Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Well said, Father.

Father John Roddy is the Rector of Saint Hilda of Whitby Anglican Catholic Church in downtown Atlanta. Father is a wonderful writer who picks up the pen much too infrequently for my taste. When he does write, he says quite a bit worth remembering. (He's also a fine priest and a fine man, but that's the subject of another post.)

Over on Father Roddy's blog, Anglican Catholic Priest (http://anglicancatholicpriest.blogspot.com), he has posted an entry which should be read and seriously considered by most Continuing Anglican churchmen and, indeed, by all Christians of a traditionalist mindset.

Father puts forth the thesis that continuing Anglicans and all traditional Christians may be adversely affected by the Episcopal Church's complete submission to the radical leftist agenda promoted by its leadership and most recently expressed in the illegal deposition of the Right Rev. Robert Duncan from his position as Bishop of Pittsburgh. Father Roddy states that the Episcopal Church will now probably join forces with other leftist causes and seek to inhibit continuing Anglicans through legal battles and through the support of "hate crime" and "hate speech" legislation.

Over on The Continuum, an outstanding traditionalist Anglican blog (http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com), one writer responding to Father Roddy used the term "paranoia" in describing Father's perception of the current situation.

I think it is important we remember that not all paranoia is pathological. We need a certain amount of it to survive. Even in situations where paranoia is pathological, never forget the old saying, "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean that they are not out to get you!"

I agree with Father Roddy that those of us in the Continuum are at risk for attack from the leftist Episcopal Church and from others of the same ilk. Consider that our freedom of speech and freedom of religion proceed from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Since the Bill of Rights was adopted, the freedom of the churches have been guaranteed.

However, in the last few decades, attacks on other freedoms should give us pause. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the current debates surrounding the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. Historically, that amendment has always guaranteed the citizenry the right to own weapons for whatever legitimate purpose a citizen has in mind. Recently, leftists have attacked this interpretation, claiming that the amendment really means that citizens have the right to form armed militias, much like the National Guard. Earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court upheld the traditional understanding of the Second Amendment. However, it would not take a change of too many justices on the U.S. Supreme Court for that opinion to be overturned and their are many liberal jurists who would be only too happy to do it.

If the Second Amendment could be so easily distorted, what about the First? What would keep a radical court from claiming that freedom of religion does not extend to anything that is described as "hate speech"? What would keep a radical court from saying that any church that holds to doctrine that is "hateful" and proclaims or teaches that doctrine should have their tax-exempt status revoked? Any reasonable person living today would have to answer that nothing would stand in the way of such a position. We already see evidence of this same tactic in the election-year restrictions that are placed on churches. A further example can be found in a recent edition of The International Herald-Tribune in an article described many legal scholars who urged that the First Amendment needed to be modified to take "hate speech" into consideration, much as it is in Canada and Europe. Is it too hard to imagine that could happen here? I think not.

In my opinion, Father Roddy's argument should be read carefully and prayerfully by all. Our freedoms are precious things and while they come to us from God, they are assured by a vigilant citizenry. May God grant us the grace to stay sober and alert, the grace to guard the freedoms that God has given us in our great nation.

Here's the link to Father Roddy's article:


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