cry —may commence. As long as thernmisshapen drunk was lord of the Kremlin,rnthat was not in the cards.rn— Srdja TrifkovicrnT H E EPISCOPAL CHURCH used tornoffer salvation—on the inevitable silverfiligreedrnplatter from Tiffany’s, served uprnwith a spot of sherry and proffered withrnimmaculate taste and manners.rnA rougher-hewn brand of salvation —rnfor the church itself, or failing that, a viablernform of traditional Anglicanism —isrnnow on offer in the United States. No silverrnplatters, but lots of old-style religion.rnAnd its most incongruous, yet heartening,rnfeature: African and Asian oversight.rnYes, the churches of Rwanda—of allrnseemingly God-forsaken places —andrnSoutheast Asia, are running to the rescuernof traditional Episcopalians bereft of reliablernspiritual leadership and confrontedrnwith the likelihood that dieir church thisrnsummer, at General Convention, willrnvalidate the whole gay rights agenda.rnOn January 30, in Singapore, Rwandanrnand Singaporean archbishops, assistedrnby retired bishops from South Carolinarnand Tennessee as well as a Chileanrnprelate, consecrated two stoutly orthodoxrnAmerican priests as bishops. Bishops ofrnwhat? Of no necessary place —and ofrnany that might become necessary. Therntwo—John Rodgers and Charles H. Murphy,rnIII—are missionary bishops to thernUnited States.rnTo the United States? Wliat about allrnthe good old ivy-covered Episcopalrnchurches to be found in this coimtry?rnAh, that’s just it. Episcopalians have thernchurches without the tough, uncompromisingrnfaith that an earlier generation ofrnEpiscopal missionary bishops brought torna brand-new America.rnA church whose most famous bishop isrnthe staunchly heretical (and newly retired)rnJohn Shelby Spong, and which hasrnbecome famous for its frantic accommodationsrnto the secular culture, stands badlyrnin need of some godly competition.rnSuch competition it now will receivernthrough the good and holy offices-ifrnsuch they prove, and the prospects forrnthat seem extraordinary — of BishopsrnRodgers and Murphy.rnSo how did the Africans and SoutheastrnAsians get in on this thing? The 1998rnLambeth Conference of Anglican bishopsrn—held not at Lambeth Palace, inrnLondon, but at Canterbury—threw intornalliance conservative bishops from thernUnited States, England, Africa, Australia,rnAsia, and South America. Old regional,rncultural, ethnic, and linguistic differencesrnreceded into triviality. Wliat matteredrnwas the Gospel of Jesus Christ.rnAmerican, British, and Canadian churchrnleaders, swept away by feminist and gayrnconcerns, looked on aghast at what theirrncoreligionists thought of their theology.rnA major irony: Africa is where thernchurch is growing, not to say burgeoning;rnin the United States and Europe, itrnshrinks. American Episcopalians, the lastrntime anyone toted this up, were barelyrnmore numerous (2.4 million) than AmericanrnMuslims. African bishops, with littlernmoney but enormous congregationsrnand the equally enormous task in areasrnlike Nigeria of competing successfullyrnwith militant Islam, are especially keen tornmaintain the Christian moral tone. Thisrnmeans —never mind what Americanrnchurchmen may say—rejection of therngay-rights agenda.rnThe Canterbury conference stronglyrnaffirmed the ideals of scriptural authorityrnand heterosexual monogamy. America’srnangry, outvoted bishops went home determinedrnto do as they liked, never mindrnwhat the vast majority of worldwide Anglicansrnmight say. Their dioceses declinedrnto endorse the Lambeth resolu-rnBOOK OF NEXT MONTHrnJohn T. Flynn was a feisty and ruthlessly honest journalistrnwho had the great honor of being kicked out of both thernNew Republic and National Review. In his masterwork. As WernGo Marching (1944), Flynn anatomized the fascism of ourrnwar-time enemies, Germany and Italy, and found that thern”essential principles of fascism”—militarism, a debtsupportedrnstate, the bureaucratization of industry andrnsociety—had begun to define Mr. Roosevelfs America asrnwell. Flynn prophesied diat the “dark road upon which wernhave set our feet as we go marching to the salvation of thernworld” leads to national socialism. Are we there yet?rntions. Bishops said in so many words that,rnif the Holy Spirit (an endlessly flexiblernand permissive Being, in liberal ecclesiology)rnled them to ordain gays, theyrnwould do so.rnA little of this went a long way with thernbishops they were criticizing, implicitlyrnor explicitly. Wlien, to their own vexations,rnthe overseas bishops added thernplight and pleas of sorely vexed traditionalrnEpiscopalians, the temptation to actrnwas overwhelming.rnSome conservatives regard the Singaporernconsecrations as precipitate and injuriousrnto the cause they supposedlyrnserve. But consider the delights and pleasuresrnthe action affords: overdue recognitionrnof the United States, and its quasi-paganrnsociety, as a missionary field; racialrnreconciliation at the highest level —arnspiritual one — through white Americanrnobedience to brown and black bishopsrnwhose skin color and manner of speakingrnEnglish matter not at all as comparedrnwith their courage and spiritual fidelity.rnAmerican parishes have already begunrnto affiliate formally with the overseasrnbishops who performed the consecrations.rnAnglicanism—which despite, orrnmaybe because of, its vast influence,rnlacks imique doctrines and certainrnmeans of enforcement—is splitting apart.rnAnd this could be just the beginning.rnWorld Christianity would seem to be realigningrnitself—the religion of the Biblernover against the religion (such as it is) ofrnthe editorial pages and talk shows andrncollege seminars. Into the closet goes thernold silvcr-filigreed platter. Who cares?rnIt’s what’s actually on the platter thatrncounts—right?rn— William MurchisonrnOBITER DICTA: Lawrence Dugan, arnlibrarian who lives in Philadelphia, hasrncontributed two new poems this month.rnMr. Dugan’s poetry has appeared in numerousrnnational and international publications,rnincluding the New Republic,rnSouthern Review, the Spectator, Encounter,rnCommonweal, Tar River Poetry,rnIrish Edition, Poetry Australia, and, mostrnrecently. First Things.rnOur artist this month, Darren Gygi,rnhas been illustrating magazines for overrnthree years. A lifelong student of caricature,rnMr. Gygi resides in Utah with hisrnwife, Megan. More samples of his workrncan be found in his online portfolio,rnwww. theispot. comlartistlgygi.rn8/CHRONICLESrnrnrn