The Enforcer

I’m watching with great interest the reports of how Obama is gathering together his team.  Nothing more interesting than the management of change, it seems to me.  And, of course, you find it all in the church as well.

I still believe that the problem is usually not a lack of ideas – more a lack of rigour in carrying them out.  Hence it seems absolutely right that Obama should have appointed Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff – a man with a fearsome reputation for pushing along an agenda.  In church circles, the Archdeacon [in the SEC – the Dean] is traditionally the Enforcer – delivering the bad news on behalf of the bishop so that the bishop can subsequently arrive and say he didn’t really mean it.

To digress for a moment, I think that the church does have lots of ideas – but they tend to be a bit floaty – passions rather than policy.  So that we talk a lot but rather less happens.

Meanwhile, having hired an Enforcer, Obama is showing signs of wanting to be collaborative and bi-partisan at the policy level by talking with Hillary Clinton and John McCain – which seems brave.  I hope he’ll be able to sustain it because it seems absolutely the right way to go.


  1. Some of the bishops in England and most in Scotland refused to swear the oath of allegiance to William III, because they had already sworn allegiance to James II. This, combined with taking the losing side in the Stuart campaigns of 1715 and 1745, led to the SEC being proscribed until the early 1780s.

  2. I was talking with the verger and a candidate for holy orders (the deaconate to be exact) this last Friday (Consecration of +Samuel Seabury here in the TEC) and we were trying to figure out what made you SEC Bishops “Non-Juring”

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