Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Conservative Pity-Party

Or: David Virtue Treasures Me

Warning: Long prologue ahead before I get to my point. But I am a Southerner, and therefore I have a birthright to be long-winded.

I was amused by Mark Harris’ analysis of Bob Duncan’s “Poor, Poor Pitiful Us” address to those pitiful martyrs in the ACNA. [Queue Linda Ronstadt’s Poor, Poor Pitiful Me.] Mark is so right-on!

I need to make a confession: I am a registered “member” at Virtue Online. But it’s not really my fault. Back in the fall of 2003, I was desperately hungry for news about TEC, the then-upcoming consecration of Gene Robinson, and the Anglican Communion. That was the period when I opened my eyes to the broader church and the Anglican Communion. I couldn’t find any news from Episcopal Life or the Episcopal News Service. [Sound familiar? Seems to me that things have come almost full circle in six years.] I reached out to an Episcopal Communicator, who said the most comprehensive source then was Virtue Online. So I went over there. And, in order to comment, I had to register, which entailed giving my e-mail address.

So … now I get David Virtue’s love-notes from time to time.

Grab your hankies and queue the violins as you read the opening of Virtue’s latest beg.

June 2009

Dear VOL Supporter,

There are moments when I feel like giving up. There are times when I sit here and say to myself "I quit," because we don't seem to be winning the battle.

Then my wife says this: "Now is not the time to quit. You need to stand firm. Remember that the gays worked for 40 years to bring about the changes they have. They believed in their cause and we must do the same - for the sake of the gospel and our apostolic tradition. There are Christians all over the world who went to their graves believing in a loving God but never seeing answers to their prayers for gospel proclamation, peace and justice. Stop complaining and get on with it."

She is right of course. Now is not the time to quit. We must persevere.
Well, bless his heart.

And don’t you just love how he begins his letter by blaming all on “the gays”? Somehow, we are responsible for all the Christian martyrs who went to their graves. Get the connection?

The next paragraph of Virtue’s begging letter also blames it all on “Teh Gay.”

Recently I was in London covering a major conference on Human Sexuality that offers real hope to men and women suffering from same-sex attractions. It was a revelatory moment. There was hope. For decades homosexuals have been bombarded with messages telling than that change is not possible. Scientifically and genetically impossible they have been told. But there they were believing, trusting, hoping and EXPERIENCING change. I saw it with my own eyes.
There was a lot of coverage about that conference and its faux science. That group has been debunked among thinking scientists.

BTW, I don’t “suffer” from same-sex attraction. I live my Christian life in the awareness that I am attracted to women, and I hope that someday I will find a proper mate with whom I can express my sexuality and deepen my Christian faith and my relationship to God … just the same hope that single heterosexuals have.

I also hold out the hope that someday David Virtue may be delivered from his big hips and mincing walk. But I’m not holding my breath.

David continues by relating his brave journalism at April’s Anglican Consultative Council conference in Jamaica, about which he says: “It was all about politics, procedure and property. There was nothing about truth.” Hmmmm ….

He then promises to “be present at the first Provincial Assembly of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) in Ft. Worth, Texas” and in July “at the launching of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in Westminster, London,” and also in July at GC2009. He promises: “We will report the truth to the world and send out digests to the world.”

But here’s the funny thing. If you can stifle your gag reflex and read his blog, you will see that most of his correspondents aren’t Episcopalians, and most aren’t even Anglicans. Fortunately, no one has yet told Emperor David that he has no clothes … probably because that specter is just too hideous to contemplate.

He begins the wind-up to his begging letter with a grand flourish:

It has been said that without VOL there would be no new province in North America. For more than a decade we have relentlessly told the truth. First came the Anglican Mission in the Americas, next month it will be the birth of a new orthodox Anglican province.
Yes, David Virtue claims he is single-handedly responsible for AMiA and the new “ACNA.” Has anybody told Bob Duncan that Virtue made this all possible? (And what reward will Virtue get for handing Bob Duncan the big pointy hat??)

Of course, like a good televangelist, he concludes with an appeal for financial contributions. The poor, beleaguered man – perhaps the last best hope for orthodoxy – needs the pennies of the disaffected to continue his “ministry.”

Bless his heart. He can barely afford all these international junkets. He’s experiencing moments of doubt, while he claims credit for all the schismatic movements in the past several years.

Doesn’t your heart just bleed for him?

Warmly in Our Lord,
David W. Virtue, DD
I’m a student of Faulkner, and I remember the novels involving “Gayle Hightower, DD.” The sardonic Hightower said the “DD” stood for “Done Damned.” Of course, Virtue isn’t a Faulkner character. (Or is he?)

This never ceases to amaze me: There are people who have “locked and loaded” on the Episcopal Church for many years. They have been self-righteous snipers. And yet they try to pretend that they are victims. What an amazing feat of double-speak they are attempting … and sometimes – to some audiences – they even succeed.


Blogger Leonardo Ricardo said... too. I read my letter last week and thought the same things (mostly)´s so funny, about quarterly he sends out his guilt/fear pending doom appeal for funding...of course, it´s David Virtue and his enthusiastic followers (clergy pals too) that´s degraded The Anglican Communion and made it appear to be ¨ill¨ by using cheap Tabloid rag sensationalism ...his sexual slurs have tainted decent thinking readers until they are often startled into NOTICING that corruption of thought can be progressive...then they RUN! Of course, for the dedicated observer of D.V.´s following and their comments, it doesn´t take a genius/expert to note that several (and there are not many regulars) are very emotionally/spiritually twisted...whew, a trip to VO is a very good way to get a glimpse of the underworld of prejudice turning into vile, and active hatred against LGBT Christians...David, is all about sex and his groupies are either greedy grabbing excluders or lost in the poison of their own selective Scriptural terror of same sex body parts mixing it up.

BTW. I usually send a note back explaining to David that my ¨financial resources¨ are being directed toward ¨other¨ projects in Africa...true. David always sends back a very courteous and personal note acknowledging he ¨understands.¨

He´s quite the operator and sometimes I think he´s just another side show at this very big tented circus.

6/25/2009 9:06 AM  
Blogger Brad said...

Whenever I see the letters "Dr." in front of a non-physician, I know that the person is pitifully trying to get some respect for a title that's not 5% as hard to get as an MD degree. And guess what-80% of the time it's a theologian or someone in education (but not actually in a classroom). Now isn't that surprising?
The males in mainline seminaries are 2-5 times more likely to be gay/bi and people are surprised when your clergy pop out of the closet? Even for religion, this is serious denial.

6/25/2009 9:53 AM  
Blogger susan s. said...

Isn't he some variety of Baptist?

6/25/2009 12:09 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

The Anglican/Episcopal church will never die so long as their are divorced catholics and upscale gay, ex-fundies/baptists/pentecostalists. You are assured an endless supply of the upwardly mobile-unfortunately, your record of keeping them more than 20/25 years is nearly as poor as the Unitarians' or Quakers'.

6/25/2009 6:03 PM  
Blogger Cany said...

Shouldn't mixing the fabulous Faulkner and DV in one paragraph be illegal?

Great post!

6/25/2009 6:56 PM  
Blogger Lapinbizarre said...

To commend DV for a moment, I registered there for the same reason that you did - from time to time links to news items, frequently from pretty obscure sources, that do not show up on other sites, turn up at Virtue on Line. In addition, unlike at least one other "reasserter" site, DV regularly posts stuff not in-sync with his ideology. His site is also well-archived and often the most reliable source for older news articles.

6/25/2009 7:38 PM  
Blogger Caminante said...

I still muse that DV received communion from me at General Convention in 1997 in Philly. Had he know WHAT was serving him communion, he most likely would have run in the opposite direction, despite our knowing that the person giving communion has nothing to do with the validity of the sacrament. Oh well.

As for Brad's comments about Drs without med creds. Do you have a Ph.D.? If not, don't judge what it takes to get one.

6/25/2009 9:12 PM  
Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

David's wife is quite articulate. Her spontaneous remarks sound - how shall I put it? - planned, or perhaps it was only the punctuation that was cleaned up after the fact.

Caminante, what an honor for you!

6/26/2009 2:42 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

LOL, Caminante! What a hoot!

Cany, forgive me, for I have sinned. You're right.

6/26/2009 5:04 PM  
Blogger KJ said...

My thoughts, exactly, Mimi. Ms. DV sounds like she'd be fun at a party. And she know what the people want -- A villain! "Don't forget teh gays!"

6/26/2009 8:18 PM  
Blogger Leonardo Ricardo said...

Mrs. V get´s hauled out in written form (sometimes photos) to underline HIS in the world can you smooze about Gay sex so much without drawing attention to ones possible overly obessive nitch market? Makes the other terrorfilled queer haters feel better when a wife is dangled about...reasurrance. Haven´t you ever noticed at Stand Firm that some of the ¨leadvoices¨ often insert little commercial messages regarding their families and therefore ¨assumed¨ flawless heterosexuality? It´s all playing to a audience...for money.

6/26/2009 10:27 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I've always thought that the man doth protest too much. I'll make a $5 bet - and win - that 'something' happened to him in boarding school.

Thanks, Caminante, for your words about non-MD doctorates. Mine involved three years of course work (including two summers), 52 hours additional hours of clinical supervision, and a full year and a half of dissertation and defense.

I don't flaunt it, but I use it.

6/29/2009 8:02 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

I'm sure I'll take some flak for this, but I must agree with Elizabeth, and I'll take it even further.

There are sane people who advance sane arguments against gay/lesbian persons in the church. I can talk with them, and we can reason together respectfully.

Then there is another category altogether: the people who scream constantly and hysterically about the abomination of "homosex," are fixated on anal sex, etc. David Virtue fits into that category, as do many of the commenters on his blog, along with Matt Kennedy and some others. I've always believed those people are either the survivors of sexual abuse or they are deeply closeted gays. It's sad, really. :(

6/29/2009 8:51 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

E. Keaton, you're probably right-that's what people say about lesbians, too; they just have had bad experiences with men.
Just for chuckles: is there any other profession besides the clergy (and window dressers, choreographers and interior decorators)that has such a high percentage of gays?

6/30/2009 9:17 PM  

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