Gay marriage and the Third World
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Europeans and the British a continually surprised by the religious crazedness of Americans. They shouldn't be.
An illusion fostered by the na´ve presentation of early American history is that the country was originally settled by a bunch of liberty loving folks in funny hats. They fled to the New World to create a society where anyone whose opinion on, say, Holy Communion, could be punished and forced to recant. Neighbor was encouraged to spy on neighbor to insure that everyone's beliefs were pure (hence Puritan).
If they'd drafted the Constitution they'd have been appalled if anyone suggested a separation between Church and State. Liberal humanism emerges from affluence, stability and education.
I wonder how many people who've been hoping the Catholic Church will liberalize when the current Pope dies think his recent nasty buffoonery against gay marriage think that the average Catholic disagrees with the Pope. The Catholic Church is growing but mostly in Spanish speaking Third World countries. There the Pope's social conservatism is applauded.
Until I met Charles I thought of Episcopalians as tepid, ineffectual liberals. That hasn't changed. But I hadn't heard of the schismatics most often called Continuing Anglicans. These are new denominations created by conservative ex-Episcopalians who no longer felt at home. A few simply want the older (and lovelier) liturgy. Most couldn't accept the ordination of women.
Africans on emigrating to the US often go to the American Anglican rather than the Episcopal churches. As the fight over the new gay Bishop will probably make clear the African bishops have been supplying support to the conservative American members of the Anglican Communion. Often ordaining conservative Episcopalian priests. The latter then engage at war with the liberal American church.
I think we'll see the Episcopal Church split massively over gay marriage. Possibly the worldwide Anglican Community as well.
The Third World will be on the conservative side, something no well meaning liberal ever expected.
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