Monday 1 November 2010

On the Covenant

Peter Levite: Archbishop of the North, thank you for coming back to the studio again for our Radio Chadderbox Religion News slot.

John Sendmehome: I was beginning to think you didn't want me.

Peter Levite: Well, we wanted Rowanov Treetri from the south, but his spokesperson said that he was thoroughly bored with the topic of the Covenant and would be watching DVDs of the Simpsons despite having seen them all several times.

John Sendmehome: That's my boss. Well, he's not really my boss. No he's had a long tiring visit to India praising religious diversity. He likes religious diversity, you know. A man fancied a change and flew to New Delhi and said, "Can you make me up a chicken leg meat sandwich with a mayonnaise filling?"

Peter Levite: So the Covenant approaches the Church in England Synod, and its controversial again isn't it? It's not about religious diversity, is it?

John Sendmehome: Well it's really not so much a big deal. It is a little thing that might be passed ever so quietly.

Peter Levite: Your smoke-em-out bishop blogger, Harold Wilson: he can't find anyone with a good word to say for it. Whereas the Anvil crowd have said plenty in favour of it, including Andrew Goodgod with his wit-seeking Trick or Treat piece following on from the new Bishop Monarch and his defence, set against a Modernist Church and IncludeMe advert that warns of its dark perils. And the leader of Modernist Church opposing it is Bishop John Sackme, your colleague also in our area at Lincoln.

John Sendmehome: Yes. I once stopped at a picnic area and had a walk around. I asked some people eating about the quickest way to get to Lincoln. They asked if I was driving or walking. I said I was driving and they said yes that is the quickest way to get to Lincoln.

Peter Levite: There is, I am suggesting, hot debate. Yes or no?

John Sendmehome: Yes there is far too much noise. It ought to be passed with less noise. Very quietly so no one notices. Out of respect for Rowanov, just slip it through.

Peter Levite: Listeners, do remember to text in if you can think of why. But if the Church in England doesn't pass it, no other Church will bother. So it is important, surely.

John Sendmehome: Well, a distraught woman came into a shop and said, "Anyone: whose Great Dane is out there? My dog has killed it!" A man, shopping, came to the front and asked her, "What on earth could kill my dog, it's huge." "It has just choked on my poodle," said the woman. So you see, big or small, doesn't matter.

Peter Levite: It's all due to some visceral hatred of homosexuality in some parts of the Anglican Communion isn't it?

John Sendmehome: You see, it's like this. I'm a true Yorkshireman and I put on me flat cap and go into a bar, like in York. It is a long, narrow bar, and the notice says Liquer at the front and Poker in the rear. And this is what a lot of our friends think is normal, you see, and we like our Church to represent normality and worldwide.

Peter Levite: But there is no normality worldwide, is there Archbishop. We have moved on, your normality isn't the only normality here.

John Sendmehome: Normality. Yes. A man told his neighbour said he's got to stop his dog going after people on a bicycle. So his neighbour asked if he'd have to put the dog down. No, no, he'll take away the dog's bicycle. Well, so, we are not just a cultural Church, our position is that we are a missionary Church, you see.

Peter Levite: But a mission from a past that we've lost on a supposedly non-doctrinal matter? So says my researcher.

John Sendmehome: A small man goes into a butcher's shop and the butcher says, "Bet you ten pounds you can't reach that meat." "I won't gamble," said the customer, "The steaks are too high." See, with the Bible passages, and these international boundary crossing bishops, and the prospect of societies developing even within this country with international bishops, the stakes are too high.

Peter Levite: We have Jonathan Clutchuseless on the phone, of Modernist Church. Welcome.

Jonathan Clutchuseless: Hello, it's very exciting. I heard about the Archbishop of England liking religious diversity. Pity he doesn't have the same view about Anglicanism in the world.

Peter Levite: Jonathan. Andrew Goodgod is effectively calling you disingenuous. The Covenant does not prevent developments. It has not been quiet, but revised several times in full public view. Recognition between Anglican Churches won't be withdrawn. There is no subordination to a foreign body. The Covenant is to help decide apparent spirit led developments from localisms, so that you don't get sects with distinctive doctrines. It would never have prevented women's ordination. It makes Anglican Churches more equal. Strong words, Jonathan.

Jonathan Clutchuseless: They want it both ways, don't they? Either it is ineffective, and tell us that, or it is effective, and tell them that. Of course it prevents developments. It prevents developments by saying, if you do this, you are no longer a member of the club. Both The Episcopal Church and Southern Cone have been withdrawn from ecumenical meetings on the basis that, having ordained a lesbian bishop and having crossed boundaries with bishops, they no longer represent Anglicanism ecumenically. So that's a sanction of non-recognition. And what is the difference between recognition and having relational consequences between Churches? Andrew Goodgod is engaging in sophistry. And of course there is decision making at the centre about legitimate developments: yes there is a process, by the Standing Committee becomes a referee as to whether you are in or out or the core group. Anyway, look at the coming General Synod: the Covenant is to "make explicit and forceful the loyalty and bonds of affection" in governing relationships between the Churches of the Anglican Communion. Govern, eh?

Peter Levite: That's not quiet though, is it?

Jonathan Clutchuseless: It is quiet in the nature of not telling about it except for anoraks like me looking into it. It's been like let's get it through this stage, let's get it through that stage.

Peter Levite: Bishop Monarch says you are stifling discussion, odd for a Modernist.

Jonathan Clutchuseless: No we're not. We are saying it's been discussed, we now know what it is like, this is the final version, it's been passed and passed and passed and now is the time to stop it, at a proper legislative assembly.

John Sendmehome: Too loud man, too loud.

Jonathan Clutchuseless: The Catholicity of Anglicanism is in each Anglican Church. It is not the purpose of the Communion to decide. We decide in each province, and each province can be different.

Peter Levite: Goodgod calls that 'idiosyncratic decisions of misguided minorities'.

Jonathan Clutchuseless: Well the minority overlooked here is the gay and lesbian one, and whole Churches are not minorities. When did the worldwide Anglican Communion become a decision making majority?

Peter Levite: Jonathan's got a point, Archbishop?

John Sendmehome: A man and a woman are at a dance club. He says to her, "Come on, we're both here for the same reason." She says, "Yes, let's pick up some women." There's a lot of hot air about this you know. A man hosting dinner breaks wind at the table and the guest says, "How dare you break wind before my wife?" He says, "Sorry, I didn't know it was her turn."

Peter Levite: Hot air indeed.

John Sendmehome: Hey, fart badly in church and you sit in your own pew.

Peter Levite: But is Jonathan Clutchuseless making outrageous statements or is Andrew Goodgod dealing in sophistry and clever tactical argument?

John Sendmehome: A man went into a restaurant and said the floor is filthy. The owner said that it was an outrageous statement and he could eat his dinner off it. The customer said it looked like someone already had.

Peter Levite: So he is being outrageous, not the other fellow.

John Sendmehome: Words, words. Why is a bra single when there are two cups and panties plural when there is only one of it? We need to get real: time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana.

Jonathan Clutchuseless: I sometimes wonder if the Church is depriving a village of an idiot.

John Sendmehome: Are you calling me an idiot?

Jonathan Clutchuseless: I'm not trying to make a monkey out of you. I can't take the credit.

John Sendmehome: Hey I do the jokes round here. I'm yer Yorkshire Church comedian. You know I have respect for the dead, and it's how I'll respect you. When he got engaged his girlfriend said, "When we marry, will you give me a ring?" And he said, "Yeah, what's your phone number?"

Peter Levite: Why are you two so antagonistic?

John Sendmehome: He's a self-made man. God wasn't involved.

Jonathan Clutchuseless: There is a lot of tension in the Church. The neoPuritans have threatened to parallel the Church with a Fellowship of Confectionery Anglicans group, or something, but now they want a Society of St. Augustine, and this all follows the attempt to create a Society for Anglo-Catholics. They are trying to break up the Church. Liberals are not trying to break up the Church.

John Sendmehome: Liberals used to be so quiet. Jonathan is a difficult man to forget now, but well worth the effort.

Jonathan Clutchuseless: I used to say I like your approach, but I'd like your departure better.

Peter Levite: Well gentlemen, we are at the end of our time. George Hudson, what weather will these two men share and where are you?

George Hudson: I'm at Northallerton station, Peter, right at the north end of our region, enjoying the breeze as the trains go by. I'm glad he said that about the card playing pub.

Peter Levite: What did he say?

George Hudson: About drinking at the front of the pub and playing cards at the back, Peter.

Peter Levite: He didn't say that though. What exactly did he say?

George Hudson: Peter, I'm not walking into that one.

Peter Levite: Not into that pub then, but many others.

George Hudson: Peter, you're a man of hidden talents and we are still trying to find them. Did Carol Countdown find them Peter?

Peter Levite: And your talent for the weather.

George Hudson: The sun will rise tomorrow, Peter, and it should add to the warmth marginally.

Peter Levite: I want to say thank you to my two guests, in the studio and by telephone.

Jonathan Clutchuseless: I must thank the Archbishop for bringing religion into my life. I never believed in hell until I met him.

John Sendmehome: Let me be Christian for a minute and say to him that you were once a pain in my neck, but no longer; I have a much lower opinion of you now.

Peter Levite: Lara Crofter is up with the next programme: someone is telling her how to put her CD in. This is over in the Grimtown studio folks, and tomorrow she'll be at the clinic, so I'll be there putting my jingle into her machine. But for now this jingle says we have the news up next.


June Butler said...

Wonderful, Adrian. Sendmehome is a fine one with the jokes, but Jonathan was just beginning to hit his stride near the end of the program.

I like the joke about the dog going after people on a bicycle best. Do you have a stash, or do you make up the jokes on the spot?

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

I'm unoriginal. I have a stash. Occasionally I think of something funny or hear a joke that seems appropriate.