As I was reading the article below, I had one eye and ear trained on CNN, listening to the unfolding terror crisis in Paris. In a juxtaposition that strains the boundaries of opposites, while France has just closed its borders, has imposed the first curfew since 1944 and has declared a state of emergency, Fred Hiltz, because a liberal government that plans to absorb 25,000 Middle-Eastern migrants by Christmas – sorry, Holiday Season – has been elected, is overcome with hope for the future.
While seeming to disavow any political partisanship, Hiltz said the new federal government also gave him much hope for the future.
“I’m not a politician—you all know that—but I tell you, this is a time of hope for this country,” he said. The Liberal government, he said, appears to have social priorities much in line with those of the church, as even some new departmental names seem to suggest—the former Department of Immigration and Citizenship will now be known as the Department of Citizenship, Refugees and Immigration. He applauded, too, the naming of an Aboriginal woman, Jody Wilson-Raybould, as the country’s new justice minister and attorney general.
“If that’s not hope, I don’t know what is,” Hiltz said of Wilson-Raybould’s appointment.
“I’m not wearing red today, but I think there is in this country a hopefulness that we’ve not seen for some time,” he said. The new cabinet seemed to collectively include a great deal of “respect, and proven expertise, and experience and abiding passion for community development, foreign aid and global concerns,” he added. “We actually as a country have some recovering to do with respect to our place among the nations, and I think there’s a time of hope that is before us.”
Apparently, there is “synergy” between the Liberals and the Anglican Church of Canada; who would have guessed that?
While Hiltz and Johnson, like many other church leaders, remained non-partisan throughout the long campaign—focusing instead on the issues they would like to see dealt with, such as poverty, reconciliation and environmental stewardship—the Anglican church’s special advisor for government relations, the Rev. Laurette Glasgow, noted that there is “a greater synergy between the priorities of our church and those of the incoming government” than there has been in recent years.
“Synergy”, as I am sure you know, means:
the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects
In this context, synergy is a good thing: the combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects means that the ACoC and Liberal Party will be mutually hastening each other into oblivion more quickly than each could alone. That’s the optimist in me speaking: try as I might, I don’t really suppose the ACoC has the wherewithal to pull the Liberal Party down the Ecclesiastical toilet after it.
Hiltz goes on to note that:
despite the considerable sensitivity of the issue and the difficulty the church has had in the past coming to decisions around sexuality, he was optimistic about the discussions around the marriage canon expected at the General Synod next summer……
“I am uneasy with the rhetoric in the Communion that talks about how fragile the Communion is, or how broken it is—that’s not my read.”
At least Hiltz is consistent in his misreading of reality.