Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Open Book Anglican

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Open Book Anglican

The old 1930s pop song, "The Lambeth Walk," never took such a pounding as it did at this decade's Lambeth Conference of the world's Anglican Bishops in England. (The US prefer to be called Episcopalians). Man, did those heavily mitred big heads ever need a lesson in rhythm and pews.

If they'd only listened to the song or even, God and heaven forbid, let their pates down and hop a few steps towards reconciliation, they wouldn't be in the farcical situation they're in today. Farcical, unless you're a spiteful Catholic who's been waiting for this moment since Henry the Eighth decided he didn't want no Papist telling him in whom he could and couldn't pork with his Royal schlong, and he wasn't even Jewish.

The loony lads, and very few women, at Lambeth should take a look around them today before denouncing gay bishops, gay marriage, gay pride, and any gay old time.

Any time you're Lambeth way,
Any evening, any day,
You'll find us all
Doin' the Lambeth Walk. Oi!

Well if only they would. The apallingly uptight Anglican Communion (don't ever call it Church) is facing certain North-South schism, while its congregations are in free fall in parts of the decandent West, as are most of the traditional churhes. In Canada, Anglicans had nearly a million and a half members in 1960. Fifty years later that figure had plunged catastropically to around than two hundred thousand. Like other mainstream faiths, it became increasingly irrelevant as the conservatives clung to the keys of the churchdoors, and therefore heaven, while the liberals — how quaint that word now sounds — left in search of more tolerant interpretation of the much misinterpreted word of God.

The north American split from the rest of the Communion is inevitable although a few traditonalist continue to try to block the way to more women bishops, more gay and lesbian bishops and clergy and more gay marriages. This is anathema to the all-powerful African block who will not tolerate any deviation from their own deviant interpretation of the Bible. So a two- or three-way split would not be surprising as each Communion goes its own way. And all they had to do in Lambeth was swing a little harder and hop a little higher. Not this year, it seems. Pity. The anwer was just a gramophone needle away - may not be available for MP3 download.

Every little Lambeth gal,
With her little Lambeth pal,
You'll find 'em all
Doin' the Lambeth Walk. Oi!

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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John Scully

John Scully has been a journalist for almost fifty years and has covered stories in seventy countries for major international news and current affairs organizations. His book, Am I Dead Yet? A Journalist's Perspective on Terrorism, was published in spring 2008 by Fitzhenry and Whiteside.

Go to John Scully’s Author Page