For that reason this blog is what it is, a collection of my (nearly) random musings about the things that catch my eye or I find humorous. That has been worth about 30-40 loyal readers who check me out a couple times a week. Such numbers are not ego inflating, but they keep me interested in this little hobby and makes it worthwhile to put the time and effort in to try and keep it an OK read.
Yesterday, however, was a little different. My post on the mixture of tragedy and farce that is the Episcopal Church was picked up by Greg Griffith at the site Stand Firm. They, evidently, get a bit more traffic than I do on average, because tons of folks started dropping by. So much so that when I logged on early in the morning yesterday the Iconic Midwest had already had its largest number of daily visitors ever.
Surprisingly, people were not coming over here to tell me to shut the hell up. Folks noted the blunt way I put the situation, but comments were generally favorable. (See here, here, here and here.) The reaction to my post went a long way to confirming my central thesis, that we are witnessing a strong movement to enshrine political ideology as "sacred." The truth is I'm not an expert when it comes to things Episcopal or Anglican. I'm informed largely by what I've witnessed among the "progressives" agitating within the Catholic Church and making a direct analogy to the debates going on in the Episcopal Church. Actually, to speak accurately it isn't an analogy at all. If all the trouble was being caused by some matter of doctrine internal to the Episcopal Church I would have expected the good folks who live their lives in that Church to say that I didn't know what the hell I was talking about. However, if my thesis were right, I would expect that what I said would resonate quite easily, because the political ideology espoused is the same everywhere in every church. It may get dressed up in the trappings appropriate to the context it is trying to dominate, but its wellsprings, goals and methods will be identical. It turns out that lots of people knew exactly what I was talking about, not because I have some deep insight into what it means to be an Episcopalian, but because I identified a shared political threat that originates outside of the religious.
In one of my very first posts on this blog I wrote the following:
The object of this kind of writing, from Tobin, Wills and other liberal Catholics like them, seems to be a Catholic church that will be safe for the party platform of the Democratic party. Indeed, it is hard to distinguish where the one ends and the other begins. This need to "update" the Catholic church so that it is nearly identical with this or that contemporary political ideology troubles me. I feel the church plays a much more important role as a counter-cultural force. The church is supposed to represent eternal truths, not this decades fashions. Historically the church has gotten itself into trouble by being too of its time, not too little. The sad history of popes as petty tyrants playing out their games of political power is not a pretty one. But it is a history that will be repeated if the church gets involved in remaking itself in the image of our contemporary political institutions. However, the drive that impels the Tobin's and Wills' of this world is strong. Anyone who opposes their vision is for them, well, a Nazi.
It turns out if you changed the names in the above to likely Episcopal "progressives" you don't loose any of its coherence. This is one of those few times when being proved right doesn't make me any happier.