copal Church.)nNow, when it comes to shamelessncapitulation to the Zeitgeist, we have anway to go to catch up with some otherndenominations (which shall remainnnameless—I’m not knocking your religion),nbut we’re moving up fast onnthe outside, proceeding to buy thenwhole mess of left-wing pottage servednup by The Nation, and calling it “prophetic.”nBut, then, state churches have alwaysnbeen notoriously worldly. Andnlet’s not be too hard on the 18thcenturynChurch of England. Withoutnits shortcomings, would we have hadnthe Wesleys and, later, the OxfordnMovement—or Trollope, for thatnmatter? Any church that nurturednSamuel Johnson can’t have been allnbad.nMaybe in 200 years people will findnsomething equally good to say aboutnthe 20th-century American EpiscopalnChurch. But I doubt it. Acting like anstate church only works if you are anstate church. Postdisestablishment,nyou’re just another voluntary organization,nand the idea is widespread thatnmembers of a church ought to havensome beliefs in common. Abandonnorthodoxy—whatever your orthodoxynmay be—and your disaffected membersnv/ill defect to the competition,nmore or less quietly.nIt’s no accident that as the EpiscopalnChurch has become more obviouslynconcerned with the Third World thannwith the next world, its downwardnspiral in orthodoxy has been tracked byna decline in membership. (Much thensame could be said—and often hasnbeen—of the other liberal Protestantnchurches. But you can tell me aboutnyour church some other time.) Thenmost visible ex-Episcopalians arenfound in the distressingly numerousnbreakaway Anglican bodies, but Inknow Cithers who have turned to Greeknand Russian Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism,nthe Southern Baptist Convention,nand tennis.nSo why does my family hang on andngrumble? Well, I can’t speak for mynwife and daughters, but in my case thenreason is a mixture of two parts nostalgia,none part heterodoxy, and a dash ofnperversity.nThere is, in the first place, thensplendor of the ruined Anglican liturgy,nsacked and burned by indigenousnbarbarians in our own time. The destructionnhas not been complete—atnleast it isn’t yet—and if I choose myntime and place carefully, I can stillnfind a sort of Reader’s Digest CondensednVersion of the liturgy that I andna dozen or so generations of Anglo-nIrish ancestors once found as naturalnand as necessary as air. One crime fornwhich I could cheerfully send thenStanding Liturgical Commission tonshare Cranmer’s fate at the staken(which would at least give them somethingnin common) is their severing of anlink with past and future that oncenmeant a great deal to me.nA second reason why I don’t jumpnship, frankly, is that joining somenother communion would make an implicitncreedal statement that I’m notnready to make. So would staying homenon Sundays. Remaining where I wasnplanted makes very litde statement atnall, and that suits me just fine. I’m notnproud of this vegetable aspect of mynaffiliation. Quite the contrary. I justnreport it because I suspect a similarninertia is more widespread than is suspectednby the clergy and clericizednlayfolk who run the EpiscopalnChurch. Or maybe they do knownabout it. Maybe they’re counting on it.nAnyway, and finally, I stay an Episcopaliannbecause even if we are seeingnthe death throes of historic Anglicanism,nthose writhings afford the opportunitynfor a sort of grisly humor that Inhate myself in the morning for enjoying.n(Who was it that observed thatneven Dark Ages have their compensations?)nIn what other nominally Christiannchurch, for example, could you find anleader calling on his brethren to “realisticallynsee how polygamy can be accommodated”?nThe Bishop of WestnBuganda did just that at a recent consultationnon “indigenization” heldnnear Kampala. The accommodationnof alternative life-styles is becomingnsomething of an Anglican specialty,nand one would think a church midwifednby Henry VIII shouldn’t havenmuch trouble with that one. I cannhardly wait.nMeanwhile, indigenization continuesnapace here at home. A few yearsnago the Bishop of New York broke newnground by ordaining an out-of-theclosetnhomosexual to the priesthoodn—a lesbian, as it happens, whichnadded to the sensation, since womennIn the forthcoming issue of Chronicles:nIdols of the Marketplacen”If conservatism is to establish itself as the dominantnphilosophy of government and society, it must jettisonnclassical liberalism. This means rediscovering a conservativenview of economics, for it is only the prevalence ofn’free market’ economic theory that permits libertarians tonexercise influence on the right.”n—from “Economic Ideology and the ConservativenDilemma”nby William R. HawkinsnALSOnVukan Kuie explains why the art of politics always turns tontyrannynThomas Ashton wonders about tycoons with more moneynthan GodnThomas McDonnell looks at the last respectable novelist,nLouis AuchinclossnnnDECEMBER 1986 / 39n