Skip to comments.Heresy [Griswold]
Posted on 08/26/2005 8:22:49 AM PDT by sionnsar
People who have read his sermons and articles know that Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America(ECUSA), has an rather insouciant attitude toward the Word of God. Makes him no never mind what you think it means as long as your check clears. But dare to take issue with ECUSA's Holy of Holies and Frank becomes the most rigid of fundamentalists:
I am deeply troubled by reports today that the United States has proposed revisions to UN global-poverty-reduction strategies that would undermine international commitments and partnerships already at work in the developing world. The Administrations sudden opposition to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the international target for rich nations to contribute 0.7% of GNP toward poverty reduction places an unwelcome obstacle in the path toward a more stable and secure world.
I've often stated in the past that the United Nations is the Episcopal Vatican. And I haven't been joking. The Episcopal Church, or at least its liberal wing, has had a long-standing veneration for this ridiculous institution. The UN flag is the de facto flag of the liberal Anglican world; a long time ago, my old parish used to carry a UN flag in procession from time to time and some ECUSA outlets still do. The Anglican Communion maintains a UN observer's office. So there's a reason why Frank's bent.
But why is President Bush so hostile to Frank's beloved MDG's? Just what does the Administration propose? According to the Washington Post:
The U.S. amendments call for striking any mention of the Millennium Development Goals, and the administration has publicly complained that the documents section on poverty is too long. Instead, the United States has sought to underscore the importance of the Monterrey Consensus, a 2002 summit in Mexico that focused on free-market reforms, and required governments to improve accountability in exchange for aid and debt relief.
Exactly what some actual Africans would like us to do. But George Bush supports this idea so it must be evil. Frank thinks that accountability constitutes "an unwelcome obstacle in the path toward a more stable and secure world." Can't for the life of me figure out how. Apparently, the Presiding Bishop believes that enriching Third World dictators with Western money is a Christian virtue.
The world religious community -- which has been engaged in the work of international development for decades -- knows firsthand the vital importance of partnership between governments and institutions in the developed world and their counterparts in poor countries. Such partnership is embodied in the MDGs, and without it, the world is destined to fight a losing battle against the extreme poverty and deadly disease that are destabilizing our planet.
And look how much success "the world religious community" has had. In Frankworld, there is one way, and only one way, to fight poverty. Mindlessly throw lots and lots of Western money at it. If it doesn't go away, mindlessly throw lots and lots more Western money at it. Repeat as necessary. Requiring that aid be spent on those for whom it is intended or, better yet, creating a political system where people can get out of poverty themselves will never work. Because Frank said so, that's why.
It had been my hope that next months summit of world leaders at the UN would not only recommit to this sort of partnership by reaffirming the MDGs, but also take additional steps to work toward their fulfillment. I am deeply mindful of the need to use government resources to combat terrorism, but one of the most stinging lessons of our time is that the roots of terrorism and conflict most often can be found in those places where poverty and sickness abound and hope is lost.
Touch 'em all, Frank. "The roots of terrorism and conflict most often can be found in those places where poverty and sickness abound and hope is lost" is going in the Griswold Hall of Fame.
Don't know if you know this or not, Frank, but Osama bin Laden was not poor but really, really really, really, really rich. The September 11th hijackers had college degrees. And if "one of the most stinging lessons of our time" actually is the fact that "the roots of terrorism and conflict most often can be found in those places where poverty and sickness abound and hope is lost," then why is the West not overrun with Ugandan suicide bombers? Please stop saying things, Presiding Bishop.
Out of our deep commitment to the ministry of reconciliation entrusted to us by God in Christ, the Episcopal Church has endorsed the ethic of 0.7% giving to fighting global poverty, and a great number of our dioceses have already taken this step, as have many of the worlds nations. For the U.S. to now oppose that long-held target further undermines our nations international credibility, weakens rather than strengthens global security, and does violence to all of our efforts to respond to Gods passionate desire for reconciliation and the well-being of all people.
Advocating a different approach to a problem than the United Nations(peace and blessings be upon it) proposes "does violence to all of our efforts to respond to Gods passionate desire for reconciliation and the well-being of all people." Disagreeing with Turtle Bay "does violence." Whatever, sunshine.
But why limit ECUSA giving to 0.7%, Frank? That's not even a tithe. Considering how much jack you guys have, you could give a lot more than that. The Diocese of Utah has, what, a $100 million dollar endowment? I'm sure you can find a way for Carolyn Tanner Irish to contribute that to the cause. And who really needs cathedrals or other ECUSA barns anyway? Most of them are rarely ever filled anymore. Both Trinity-Wall Street and St. John the Divine sit on some choice Manhattan real estate and I'll bet you Donald Trump would pay you more money than you know what to do with for both.
And there will be lots more properties across the country ECUSA will soon be able to unload. So if it really wanted to, ECUSA could contribute more money to the alleviation of world poverty than many small countries could. Back up your self-righteousness or shut up, Frank. Because lectures from Episcopalians about how much money other people should be spending are really irritating.
Do the figures on the U.S.'s contributions to foreign aid include the costs of disaster relief, etc.? Do they include private donations? Why is it that when people talk about U.S. contributions to the rest of the world, somehow the private money doesn't count? Just because Americans give it directly instead of funneling it though the government?
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