10 February 2009

DV: The adulterer and bigamist who fans the fire of schism

At the press conference following the Alexandria meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, an interesting thing happened.

While the Most Rev'd Daniel Deng, Archbishop of Sudan, answered questions about the situation in Sudan -- which was the only reason he said he was at the press conference -- one reporter, unhappy that the primates' meeting had been so "nice." attempted to derail the press conference. Adulterer and bigamist David Virtue wasn't concerned about the starving, suffering masses of Sudanese; his primary concern? +Robinson's sexuality.

Not only did his question come from left field, he took the answer and, in true Virtue style, misrepresented the it to invent a sensational story to his satisfy the blood lust of his readers.

Of course, not to be "scooped," a few other reporters picked up the story, including Riazat Butt who also said there was a renewed call for +Robinson's resignation and the resignation of all those bishops who were in attendance at +Robinson's ordination.

Neither Virtue nor Riazat accurately reported the answer. ++Deng said his opinion had not changed on the subject since Lambeth 2008. That is not the same as a "renewed call" for resignations. ++Deng went on to say that he had no plans to break communion with provinces that disagreed with that position.

Virtue and Butt also ignored the fact that relations between the Province of Sudan and TEC are stronger now than before Lambeth 2008.

Although Butt was merely reporting the question (and putting the best "selling" spin on it), her article has been questioned. It appears that she is a bit thin skinned about the sting. Her reply to the criticism at Thinking Anglicans was:
...[W]hy don't you read the whole story . . . you might be pleasantly surprised although your disapproval is so intense right now that it would take a miracle for you to think better of me. Anyway, you've made your mind up already so I shall say goodbye to [Thinking Anglicans] - remind me not to get involved again.
I actually do feel sorry for her - she was caught in one of DV's attempted coups.

DV is a pit bull about homosexuality. I've only encountered two other persons as rabidly obsessed with homosexuality as DV is: one was J. Edger Hoover (and we all know what they found in his closet - a gay marriage and several dresses) and the other a school mate who came out of the closet thirty years after we graduated.

Jerry Falwell, while being driving though San Francisco, encountered a group of gay rights protesters. He turned to his assistants and said, "Ah, where would I be without them." Virtue can say the same thing.

Like Falwell, both Virtue and Akinola have used gay rights as the escalator upon to fame. All three would be obscure pipsqueak clerics were it not for the equal justice movement.

For a long time I've wondered just who Virtue is. The research revealed an interesting picture.

First, Virtue, is not Episcopalian. He is not even Anglican.* He is a Baptist minister. It gets better folks -- he was ordained in the American Baptist Conference - the liberal wing of the Baptist world. The Westchester, Pennsylvania resident served as associate pastor of St. Paul's Baptist Church in Montclair, New Jersey for two years.

The American Baptist Conference is/was the continuation of the original Baptists. They believed in freedom of conscience, religious belief, and personal interpretation of scripture. However, that group recently split into a new ultra-fundamentalist wing and the continuing Baptist group. The split was over homosexuality -- whether to welcome them into worship or not. Most of the ABCUSA congregations in California affiliated with the new organization.

Virtue, a Wellington, NZ native, studied English at Scots College in Wellington before going to London Bible College (Now London School of Theology) where he completed a diploma in theology. He also studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield Illinois.

It was this Baptist minister, an flagrant adulterer and bigamist, who walked up to the microphone of TEC's General Convention and told a premeditated lie about Robinson's web page in an attempt to prevent Robinson from being consecrated. DV said,
Did you know that Robinson's web site is linked by one click to 5,000 pornographic websites?
The truth was that, after clicking a link on the website to an organisation Robinson had not been affiliated with for two years, then clicking a link on that site (and doing repeating this process six more times) there was link to a pornographic site. That is eight links removed from Robinson's site.

What was the "upstanding" Baptist minister's reply when his lie was exposed? No apology, no admission that he was wrong, no admission that he had deliberately lied. Instead, the open adulterer said
The links were up last night when I looked at that time. I think that the Presiding Bishop must have spanked Gene Robinson and had him remove them overnight.
Research also uncovered that Virtue is currently living in sin - he divorced his first wife, Linda Greenberg Virtue who is still living. Divorce is a blatant sin - Jesus said so - except in cases of infidelity. So, either Virtue was virtueless and unfaithful to his marriage vows or he is living in sin. Additionally, like so many of the right wing politicians, Virtue divorced his wife after she was diagnosed with a life altering medical condition.

But as the fundamentalists are expert cherry pickers. Jesus' teaching on divorce no longer applies. They are not part of "The Faith Once Delivered to the Saints" that the fundamentalists have as their motto. It is too bad that Jesus' words do not count for much with the fundamentalists.

I also discovered that there is the question of DV's doctorate degree. He frequently adds "D.D." to his list of titles. In the Western World, doctorate of divinity degrees are not earned - they are honorary. If he earned it, the degree would have to be from an obscure Eastern European institution. I can't find which institution granted it to him. Of course, there are places where one may purchase a Doctor of Divinity Degree.

This, then, is a small portrait of the man behind the voice of the schism. A divorced Baptist minister peddling intentionally manipulated stories and blatant lies to Calvinists who, in their hatred, are swallowing it hook, line, and sinker. Oh, yes, and praising the DV for his righteousness.

My question remains: Why is a Baptist minister, an adulterer and bigamist, so obsessed with the affairs of the Anglican Communion. There are only two possible answers in my mind: 1) This was the only way a second rate journalist could become "famous" or 2) Someone is compensating very well for his propaganda. As I've been unable to "follow the money," I'm left with the former as my answer.

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* Tip of the biretta to reader "Anglican" who provided a link to a statement by DV that his "parish is the Church of the Good Samaritan, Paoli, PA". The CGS is still in TEC.

So the new question is, what brought this ordained Baptist minister, a fundamentalist, to the Episcopal Church from the Baptist denomination?