Lovely Petty Chicanery

BC observes with a certain disquietude that Deacon Thorndike Andrewes is unsettled to the point that he allocated for himself an extra finger of An Eaglais Bhreac this evening during the mutual ministry review he and BC conduct daily after Vespers. The good deacon has been remonstrating with BC rather strenuously regarding the "Best Religion Blog" contest of the apparently prestigious though hitherto-unknown-to-BC Bloggers Choice Awards for which this humble forum has been nominated. As noted earlier, BC initially resisted the deacon’s promotional plans for this dubious distinction and relented only when BC was assured that prominence in the polling of a blog not given to hyperbolic ejaculations on all things Episcopalian would be novel and perhaps even a soothing emollient anointing the troubled brow of the blogging Ecclesia Anglicana.

But, alas, letting all things be done decently and in order yields, in the whipsawing fray of our blessed communion, an astounding diminution of interest and attention. After an initial surge for T1:10 and, by metaphorical extension, the covenant process and, indeed, the Anglican Communion itself, the voting has faltered, leaving a certain strident website noted for vehement discourse climbing to the top of the poll, eclipsed only by a blog of the Ecclesia Romana, a rank unlikely to be surpassed given the fecundity of that church’s communicants, though BC applauds Father Matthew Kennedy and his assistant pastor for their valiant efforts to close even this gap.

“They’re beggin’ for votes on their site and even sendin’ out emails to all their registered users,” fumes the always well-intentioned, though at times volatile, deacon, whose irascibility often waxes – and diction wanes – as his glass empties, “And they’re tellin’ people how to cheat and vote lots of times. They’re proud they’re cheatin’ so good!"

That this web-based bastion of self-avowed Anglican rectitude would openly encourage petty fraud provokes in Deacon Andrewes an interlude of intemperate language reminiscent of sailors long at sea or Altar Guild ladies encountering wine stains on fair linen, but BC finds himself touched by the endearing venality of it all.

Unlike the embarrassed flurries of concealment when a gust of contemporary American politics blows through the Anglican-good-and-true websites and billows up white robes of righteousness to reveal bright-red Republican underpants, there is something refreshingly direct about the unbridled pursuit of the meaningless using whatever means necessary by those unkindly (and often imprecisely) pegged as prigs by their factional foes. Just as one begins to wonder if the Anglican blogosphere – left, right, and in the cracks – can do nothing but pound its keyboard in furious certitude, pausing only long enough to stand on its porch in its bathrobe and yell at the neighborhood kids to get off its damn lawn, an utterly charming little interlude of humanity breaks out. Thanks be to God!

BC finds similar comfort in the pith of a certain academic who does not mince words about his view of the Episcopal Church and its property by averring “…if you have dwelt in a whorehouse for many years after knowing the nature of the establishment, and now if you tarry but a while longer you can collapse the building and perhaps get away with some of its spoils, why not do it?” BC takes the liberty of appending, deux ex machina, “in Christian love” as the commentator no doubt intended, but can find no other fault in this admirable expression of intent and purpose.

No, Deacon Andrewes – put that bottle down now, please – BC will not engage in pious cant about the hypocrisy of Christians – even blogging Christians – engaging in a bit of petty chicanery or overblown rhetoric. BC knows only too well that he and his dear brothers and sisters firmly rooted in Christ are keenly aware of the Tempter's obvious blandishments and, instead, show ourselves in these trifling ways children of the Fall in sure and certain need of a Savior.

Pray for me, a sinner, and, indeed, pray for us all that we may love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with a God who works in and through us in ways we can scarcely imagine to a sovereign purpose clear only at that day when we shall see face-to-face the One who has redeemed us from this fear and darkness. To Him be the glory now and forever!

Update on May 18th: As their blog ratcheted within a few votes of the the number one position in this prestigious email harvesting scheme , the hosts of the vastly-more-visited-than-T1:10 website mentioned above called for all things to be done decently and in order and for voting to continue within the general framework of "one (hu)man, one vote." BC rejoices with his dear brothers and sisters in Christ that penitent sinners, among whom BC is daily numbered, will always find divine mercy, rather than the judgment so richly due us.