MAGGI DAWN’S QUESTIONS unerringly get to the heart of the matter faster than most people’s answers:
The Archbishop is worried.
A new bishop has been elected (though not yet confirmed) in Los Angeles, and she’s “married” to another woman. This will undoubtedly cause another round of bitter rows in the Anglican communion, and there is no solution to the endless disagreement. Andrew Brown says that “Rowan Williams has been forced into an impossible corner by his own diplomacy”; while Ekklesia suggests that the Archbishop making comments that the election of Mary Glasspool is problematic, while refusing to condemn the extreme measures of the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, makes it seem that he is taking sides.
I think he can’t win whatever he says, and in a problem without a solution he has become the symbolic person that takes the flak from all sides. I don’t know what the answer is either. Do you? (my emphasis)
No, Maggi. I’m sure I don’t know the answer. But as every day goes by I’m thinking that the quicker we move away from religious propositions that front “a symbolic person taking the flak” the better. And René Girard, for example, stands in company with many faithful Christians whose faith does not require that GOD intended for “His only Son” to be scapegoat for the “sin” represented by all that appears wrong, or at least unsolvable, in this world. Those of homosexual orientation are no more to blame for all the ills of Africa than Archbishop Rowan can be blamed for the ills of the Anglican Communion. Outdated theologies of scapegoating – symbolic persons taking the flak from all sides – are at the heart of the matter.
In future, all violence will reveal what Christ’s Passion revealed, the foolish genesis of bloodstained idols and the false gods of religion, politics, and ideologies. The murderers remain convinced of the worthiness of their sacrifices. They, too, know not what they do and we must forgive them. The time has come for us to forgive one another. If we wait any longer there will not be time enough. – The Scapegoat, René Girard, John Hopkins University Press, 1986, p 212
May angels of God be on hand to comfort and sustain Archbishop Rowan. And may “the thoughts and meditations of all our hearts and minds” together with our prayer, moderation and non-violence, physical or verbal, establish peace.