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Meet Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr.
October 17, 2003 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Ever wonder who is bankrolling the furor over gay bishops in the Anglican Church? Meet Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr., Newport Beach recluse. Among his greatest hits: funding articles that argue gays should be stoned, and a video by Charlton Heston praising the "God-fearing Caucasian middle-class."
posted by MikeB (14 comments total)

 
Ah, Newport Beach. Why am I not surprised?
posted by 2sheets at 9:13 AM on October 17, 2003


The furor exists whether "bankrolled" or not, or do you mean to suggest it's only because of such funding that it's become an issue within the church?
posted by Pressed Rat at 9:30 AM on October 17, 2003


... funding articles that argue gays should be stoned ...

So, he favors legalizing pot???
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:39 AM on October 17, 2003


and a video by Charlton Heston praising the "God-fearing Caucasian middle-class."

No, no, you don't understand. Mr. Heston never expresses views like that. That's why Michael Moore had to so unfairly and cunningly trick him into blaming US violence on non-whites.
posted by soyjoy at 11:06 AM on October 17, 2003


At this point, despite denials, I see a schism as unavoidable, if for no other reason than the conservatives want it. And truth be told, the Episcopal conservatives have been pissed off for a lot longer than is being let on.

While homosexual marriage and sexually active homosexual clergy are the *current* issues, the conservatives have been upset since the 1960s over a whole range of issues. The revised ("New Age", as far as the cons are concerned), Hymnal, Prayer Book, and Bible cost the Episcopal church lots of dollars and parishioners.

Female clergy are also a big sticking point, as are sermons that "cross the line" from religious into secular issues, and the use of churches for non-religious uses.

So, what will happen?

The big issue is money, and unlike the Catholics, property (for the most part) is kept by each church's trustees (with some efforts being made by liberal bishops to "seize" church property, knowing the courts strive to avoid involvement in inter-church disputes.) Trustees are also invested in the HUGE trust accounts retained by the church (possibly into the billions of dollars.)

So conservative churches have, in past, "jumped ship" on their liberal bishop and become "missionary" churches to conservative, mostly African bishops.

However, this may be too much to ask of churches that are not singular in their outlook, or where they outnumber liberal churches in that diocese.

So the alternative is to ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to declare something like "province" (diocese) splits, in which individual churches can vote to be with either a liberal or conservative bishop in the *same* region.

Now, this vote may or may not be democratic, that is, it may not involve the entire congregation, just the trustees. And, such a schism would be vehemently opposed by liberal bishops, potentially costing them huge amounts of money and power.

But it seems to be on the horizon. I gather after the 1 year "cooling off" period has ended.
posted by kablam at 11:18 AM on October 17, 2003


The furor exists whether "bankrolled" or not, or do you mean to suggest it's only because of such funding that it's become an issue within the church?

Not to overstate the obvious, but yes, it exists regardless, and someone is putting money behind its agenda. What is the problem again?
posted by scarabic at 11:25 AM on October 17, 2003


gays should be stoned

I am sick of the preferential treatment of homosexuals. All people should be stoned. But then I am Canadian.
posted by srboisvert at 11:28 AM on October 17, 2003


yes, it exists regardless, and someone is putting money behind its agenda. What is the problem again?

Nobody wins when the discussion devolves to killing people who don't share your conception of moral/spiritually health behavior. The conservatives may not get that they lose if they're associated with someone who advocates stoning people.

I say this as a person who probably shares much of the moral stance some of the conservatives would take on sexual behavior, and think attempting to liberalize a religious body in the same way you lobby a government is ridiculous and probably destructive to whatever good exists in it.
posted by namespan at 11:58 AM on October 17, 2003


Is Mr. Ahmanson a Ranger or a Pioneer for aWol's campaign fund raising effort?
posted by nofundy at 12:22 PM on October 17, 2003


Ah, organized religion once more shows how it preserves all that is best in mankind.
posted by signal at 4:11 PM on October 17, 2003


so what do people think will happen? will they split?
posted by amberglow at 4:21 PM on October 17, 2003


NEWPS REPRESENT!!!! But, seriously:

1. I had no idea that Ahmanson is a resident of Newport Beach.
2. I am not at all suprised by his actions.
posted by LimePi at 4:37 PM on October 17, 2003


It would not surprise me if all the evil in the world were discovered to arise from the plans of a few dozen wealthy men.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:28 PM on October 17, 2003


...wearing pointy hats.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:53 PM on October 17, 2003


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