Monday, November 24, 2008

Thank God For Enemies

One useful thing about having real and powerful enemies is that it should clarify one's thinking about one's friends. Often between friends (or those who should be friends) there is a rivalry that makes them act in unfriendly ways toward one another.

This blog entry is one of the few that is fully worthy of the title of the blog, as it will deal with both Hot Rods and Anglicanism. I mean to talk about the enemies of Hot Rods and the rival factions within hot rodding. Likewise, I mean to touch on the enemies of Anglicanism and the factions within Anglicanism.

An Enemy of Hot Rods

An Enemy of the Gospel

Within what can loosely be called Hot Rodding (and I'm having to be generous here), we have what I would call proper hot rodding (meaning old school hot rodding), but also 1960s muscle cars, custom cars, newer muscular (American) cars, and import Tuner cars. There, I've said it. In times past, I would now wash my mouth out with soap. Because Tuner cars and their drivers have always been the Enemy! They are the hated and despised rivals of the true hot rodder, with their front-wheel-drive, ugly rear deck spoilers, and diminutive scale.

But is the Tuner crowd really the enemy of hot rodding? Or should they better be seen as another stripe of hot rodder, as allies, even? Contemplation of some true enemy, like Henry Waxman (Democrat - California) brings things sharply into focus for us. Compared to Waxman, the Tuner guys are my blood brothers. I need to start treating them as such.

Likewise, in Anglicanism ... we have Anglo-Catholics, Evangelicals and Charsimatics. What about that rag-tag bunch down at the local AMiA franchise, with their happy-clappy worship, 1979 Rite II liturgy, and ridiculously good Rwandan coffee (okay, that's just jealousy talking, right there) ... are these Anglicans my enemies? God forbid ... they are brother Anglicans! But ... but ... don't some of the bishops in communion with them ordain women? (Women's Ordination is the ecclesial analog of front-wheel-drive, just as the 1979 BCP is the Anglican analog of the ugly deck spoiler.) I think so, yes. But even a cursory study of Gene Robinson (Apostate - New Hampshire) will show us the difference between an enemy and a rival (but real!) Anglican.

I think that we need to quickly adopt a more fraternal and loving manner toward our brother hot rodders on the one hand and toward our brother Anglicans on the other. My hope for the newly-formed Anglican Province of North America is just this: that we will love each other as brothers.

What can any of us do, as individuals? Here is my own plan: At the Detroit Autorama this year, when I'm crusing around the basement of Cobo Hall, I will not spend the entire time drooling over the rat rods ... I will go over to the Ricer Tuner section, look at their cars, compliment the builders, and ask real questions. I will show a real interest.

Oh, yes, and I'll visit that AMiA parish at least twice this winter, too.