the Rev. James P. Dees

Note: The Rt. Rev. James Dees (Statesville, NC)  left the Episcopal Church over  TEC’s escalating “leftism” in 1963 to form the Anglican Orthodox Church. The AOC was one of the earlier Continuing Anglican churches, part of the 1961-65 exodus. As the statement below indicates, Dees has proven himself a modern prophet anticipating later corruptions to faith and order such as recent homosexual blessings. The memory of Dees repeatedly persuades me why I am a Continuing Episcopalian, and how more outspoken men like Dees are needed in the Church today. There a number of  other things that might be said, but I hope to save them for comments below. This Statement is a transcript from a now out-of-print and very rare 1962 tract.

Statement of the Rev. James P. Dees on His Withdrawal
Why I am leaving the Protestant Episcopal Church to work with others who desire to recapture the faith of our fathers and the witness of the historic Church.

I am a clergyman of the Episcopal Church. I have been in the ministry now here in North Carolina for more than fourteen years. I have served as priest in charge of one mission and as a rector of two parishes. In times past it has been my privilege to serve my church i many responsible positions. I was for several years a member of the Executive Council of the Diocese in which I was located, and was Secretary of the Diocesan Convention, Chairman of the Department of Youth, a member of the Department of Camps and Conferences, to mention some of the positions I have held.

But the time has come when I can no longer support the Protestant Episcopal Church and what it stands for, and I am now coming out of it. To say that I am leaving my Church is not quite the whole truth, for I feel that the Protestant Episcopal Church, for reasons to be enumerated, has already left me. I am separating myself from what the Church has become. I am getting out of the Church that I feel has departed from what I consider to have been its intellectual, spiritual, and doctrinal heritage. I have had all that I can stand of its social, economic, and political program of socialism; of its pseudo-brotherhood; of its appeasement of the Communists; of its so-called civil rights; and of its rejection of much that I consider to be fundamental to the Biblical faith.

An Episcopalian Heritage:
Let me preface what I have to say further by saying I am an Episcopalian of many generations. Episcopal clergy are among my forebears. I loved the Church of my childhood and the Church that I felt was handed down to me as “the Church of our Fathers”. I loved the comforting faith and gracious manners manifested in the lives of my early spiritual mentors, whose lives and teachings revealed that they were indwelt by the Spirit of our Savior, whom they taught as the bible plainly reveals. I still love its ancient liturgy and its ancient vestments, and I love the creeds and the heritage of its architecture, its hymns, and many things besides.

But the Church has changed; or, at least, the Church seems to be no longer as it used to appear. The spiritual and intellectual climate is no longer as in days gone by, and I feel that it has changed for the worse, and the faith of the clergy has been sorely watered down with liberal doctrine.

The root of my unrest is found, I believe, in the fact that the bent of my nature is primarily toward the Divine Revelation recorded for us in the Bible, which, I believe, has been imparted by the grace of the Holy Spirit. As I interpret the situation, my faith is basically Biblical faith; and I think that the faith of the Church also should be Biblical faith; and that its worship and practices should conform plainly to God’s Word which is found in His Holy Book.

Years of Reflection:
After years of long and considered reflection over observations gleaned from many sources, I have come to the conclusion, however, that there is a wide discrepancy between what the Bible teaches and what many of the clergy, both of the priesthood and of the episcopate, believe. There are many who do not believe that the Virgin Birth of Christ was an historic fact. They call it a myth. It is my conviction that there are many wo do not believe that the tomb in which our Lord was buried on Good Friday was empty on Easter morning and that He had risen from the dead in a transformed, quickened, glorified body. They say this also is only myth. It is my personal observation that there are many in the Church who do not believe in the Holy Trinity, in its historic relevance and significance. One bishop says that it is out of date. There are many who do not believe in the plain Bible statements that salvation is offered through Christ alone, through His atoning sacrifice, to be appropriated through faith in him.

Churchmen Reject the Bible:
As samples of current thinking, let me give you a few quotes from certain leaders of the Anglican Communion. Here are some attributed to His Grace, the most Rev. Arthur Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, who is recognized generally as the titular head of the worldwide Anglican communion. It is reported that in the London Daily Mail of October 2, 1961, he said, “Heaven is also not a place to which we humans go in our present bodily state, nor is it a place for Christians only. Those who have led a good life on earth but found themselves unable to believe in God will not be debarred from heaven. I expect to meet some present-day atheists there.” He reportedly is quoted in the Oakland Tribune of February 3, 1956 in an AP dispatch from Durham, England, as follows: “The theology of ‘Christ bore your punishment; believe and be saved,’ when accompanied by the fundamentalist cliche ‘The Bible says’ is a very distorted view of the apostolic gospel.” Further questionable theology of the Archbishop is reported in the same dispatch, where the Archbishop is said to have “attacked the Protestant movement which insists upon the infallibility of the scriptures and such biblical miracles as the virgin birth and the physical resurrection of Christ.” Of Dr. Hewlett Johnson, the “Red Dean” of Canterbury, it reportedly is stated in a UPI dispatch of January 26, 1959: He “was quoted as saying he believes Stalin is in heaven…’Stalin was a rough and stern man. He had to be because he had a very dirty job to do. But God’s eye is a big eye and sees everything, good and bad. To know all is to forgive all, so I think that from heaven’s point of view, Stalin is safe’.” These statements speak for themselves and are hardly deserving of comment among people who believe plain statements of Scripture.

The Rt. Rev. Richard S. M. Emrich of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan is quoted in the Detroit News of December 30, 1961 as saying: “You see, God knows His own, and the one thing He wants is love. That is why a good Moslem, who loves God and his neighbor, has a better chance at heaven than a lazy, selfish Christian.” I wonder what prompted the to engage in this sophistry. I wonder also, does he consider the doctrine of the third chapter of the Gospel of St John to be false doctrine? Apparently, he does.

It is my conviction that a Church that tolerates such views as these is to that extent apostate. It is my conviction that such views in the Church are growing, and I feel that to the extent that I am supporting a Church that permits such beliefs, I am supporting apostasy; I am willfully participating in the betrayal of my Lord. God forbid! I feel that the House of Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church has failed in one of its basic obligations, namely, that of attempting to proclaim the historic Faith and to keep the Faith of the Church as free of heresy as possible. In at least one particularly obvious instance, namely, concerning the observations of Bishop Pike, the House of Bishops has failed to take a stand and clearly delineates its position. The House of Bishops has failed in its duty to the people of the Church in this regard.

Churchmen are Sacerdotalist
Besides this thinking, to which I take exception, I must confess to a lack of sympathy with certain practices among our High Church brethren, among them being the practice of invoking the blessings of the Virgin Mary. This, to my way of thinking, is a product of medieval and premedieval superstition and there is no warrant whatsoever for it in Scripture. It tends to deprive our Lord of veneration due to Him alone. I feel that anything that does this is of the Antichrist. Another practice with which I have little sympathy is that of reserving the Sacrament and of tending to place the physical elements of the Holy Communion, the bread and the wine, on a level where they are held in adoration. I feel that the reserving of the elements and the tendency toward the adoration of the elements in certain worship services hint strongly of idolatry. The elements, the bread and the wine, in effect, as I interpret the situation, become considered practically to approximate the actual physical presence of the body and the blood of the Son of God; the practice smacks mightily of the doctrine of transubstantiation; and, to the extent that this is true, I consider it to be idolatry. I find it difficult to support a Church that indulges in such practices.

One gets the impression that one can belong to the Protestant Episcopal Church and believe anything or everything or nothing at all, except, that is, in regard to certain social and political issues.

Churchmen are Leftist
Apart form this issue of the basic doctrines of the Faith, I find myself sorely tired by our Church’s participation in worldly matters that I consider to be of the anti-Christ. The Protestant Episcopal Church is a member of the National Council of Churches. I did not vote to get into it, and I cannot vote to get out of it, and I have no way of making my will or views of any effect in regard to it. I am advised that among many of the things that the National Council of Churches advocates are disarmament, co-existence with Russia, the abolition of loyalty security laws, recognition of Red China, forced racial integration, to mention but a few. One stud of the National Council of Churches by a congregation of the Protestant Episcopal Church states that the Council has “exceeded its rightful role in speaking out, as the official voice of Protestantism in America, n such controversial issues as federal aid to education, the right-to-work laws, the ethical considerations of the steel dispute, the seating of Red China in the United Nations, etc.,” and that it, “as presently constituted and operated, is a harmful and highly dangerous institution” (St .Mark’s Vestry Committee Report on the NCC). I am advised that in 1960 the Episcopal Church gave the NCC “over $500,000” which “does not include private gifts, but is represented in the general budget of the Episcopal Church, pp. 47-51” (The National Council of Churches of Christ– Activities Revealed, published by the State Rights Council of Georgia). When I support the Protestant Episcopal Church, my financial contributions and my moral and spiritual support are funneled in part into the support of the National Council of Churches. There is no way that I can avoid this happening so long as I am supporting the Protestant Episcopal Church in any way whatsoever, whether it be in givin gtoward local needs, toward building funds, or anything else. I am opposed to my supporting, even indirectly, an organization that is aligned with forces that are destroying America. It sorely tries my spirit.

Someone has sent me a copy of the “Belief and Declaration of Purpose” of the Committee of Christian Laymen, Inc., Box 285, Woodland Hills, California. The Statement to which I heartily subscribe reads a follows:

  1. We believe in an unchanging God “the same yesterday, today, and forever,” hence the Gospel of Jesus Christ, rather than the Social Gospel, should be preached from the pulpit.
  2. We believe that as individuals we are fully capable of making our own political decisions. So we oppose the political activities of the National Council of Churches in seeking, as an organization, to influence legislation in the name of Protestantism.
  3. We oppose the One World, One Church idea where by this nation surrenders its sovereignty to the United Nations as promoted by our Church leaders.
  4. We support the American Free Enterprise System and our Constitutional Republican form of government as a necessary adjunct to the survival of Christianity.
  5. We seek to inform lay people of influence in our Seminaries and Churches which downgrade the Bible and picture of Jesus Christ as just another man. These influences have now reached into Church publications including Church school literature for our young people.

So ends the “Belief and Declaration of Purpose” of th Committee of Christian Laymen.

It is obvious, it seems to me, that much of the programs of the National Council of Churches and of the International Communist conspiracy are being promoted within the framework of the Episcopal Church. A new clergyman in the diocese some time ago quoted a bishop as indicating to him that “the plums”– that is, preferred positions– in the Diocese went to the men who promoted the program of the National Council of Churches. It seems obvious. The Church, in my opinion, is so oriented toward a program of political and social action, that it practically has lost its true mission. We have committees in the Church that tell us how the Church can be effective in getting legislation passed, such legislation as the abolition of capital punishment, civil rights (so-called), etc. When I support the Church, I am supporting agencies of the Church doing  these kinds of things. I find that I cannot endure it any longer. It appears that the Church has degenerated into the role of a political and social action committee trying to remake the world, by the use of force and persuasion, into the image that the people in authority in it think it ought to be made into, rather than, through preaching the Gospel, letting the Holy Spirit of God move men to do His will freely.

I feel that in th Protestant Episcopal Church I am supporting a political and social action program committed to things that I disagree with and that are displacing the Church’s primary function of proclaiming the saving grace offered to sinners through faith in the Divine Savior. I am afraid that I have had about all that I can stand.

First Concern in the Faith:
These times are times of grave concern. My first concern is for the historic Christian Faith. Christianity is founded on God the Father’s revelation of Himself to the world through HIs divinely appointed Son, knowledge of whom has been committed truthfully to us through the scriptures and through the Holy Spirit and through a faithful ministry. My second concern is for my country, which is based on the Federal Constitution as it is plainly worded and plainly intended by its authors and based on the basic economic factor of private property, and on concern for the preservation of our national sovereignty and individual freedom. Thirdly in order comes my concern for the Episcopal Church. I cannot accommodate myself to rationally and willfully serving both good and evil. When the Episcopal Church serves causes that I consider to be evil and contrary to the best interests of the Biblical faith and of my country, then something has to give somewhere, and my personal integrity under God is more important to me than my remaining a priest of the Episcopal Church.

I feel therefore that the Church and I must separate. I have felt for a long time that I should stay with the Church and I must separate. I have felt for a long time that I should stay with the Church and fight for what I believe in, from within the Church, and I have done so. But I think now that the time has come when I may be able to give a more adequate witness to God’s Truth outside the Episcopal Church.

I wish to let it be clearly known that I stand unequivocally for certain elements of the orthodox faith that I consider basic and particularly relevant at this time, these elements being:

  • the Virgin Birth of our Lord as historical fact,
  • the Divinity of our Lord,
  • the Atoning Sacrifice of the Cross,
  • the Resurrection of our Lord from the grave, leaving the tomb empty on Easter morn,
  • the Second Coming of Jesus, and
  • salvation by Grace through Faith alone

To sum up now, from the negative side, let me say that I sense deeply the fact that the Episcopal Church is participating in the general dissipation of the historic, Biblical faith; it is actively engaged in working against the best interests of our country; and it is actively working to destroy race, peace, and American culture by advocating the use of force by the Federal Government which would take away ultimately all of our freedom and liberties.

I know there is much true faith in the Church. I know well of many great sacrifices now being made by churchmen in the name of our Savior. It is a bad situation that does not have some good mixed with the bad, but the evils I have pointed out exist on too great a scale for me to live with here any longer. If the House of Bishops will not give us a clear statement of its attitude on certain heretical sounding pronouncements, and if others in high places in the Church can deny our Lord as the one Way, Truth, and Life, then the theological and spiritual climate is not for me.

The Demand of Holy Scripture
The fourteenth through the eighteenth verses of the Sixth chapter of the Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, I feel, speaks to me profoundly in this hour.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what cncord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not th eunclean thing: and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

And so I come out. I have found that there are other people who have suffered the same trials of their faith and the same mental anguish that I have suffered, and they plan to come out with me. We plan to set up a new Episcopal Church patterned after the historic Anglican faith and tradition. We believe that God will bless our efforts. We believe that there are many who believe as we believe and who are looking for a wholesome spiritual home. We believe that there are many who are weary of contributing their money toward Church programs that are opposed to the welfare of our country and Biblical religion, and who would welcome the opportunity of being able to make a contribution to what we are trying to do. If you are one of these people, then we extend to you a most profound and prayerful invitation to come along and help build an Episcopal Church based on the Scriptures and on the orthodox liturgy and traditions, and one that seeks humbly by God’s grace to strip itself of unbelief, apostasy, and pagan superstitions, to witness to God Almighty in the name of His divinely appointed Son, in His Spirit, to whom alone we give all the praise and honor and glory.

If you are interested further in our plans , we hope to hear from you.   Rev. James P. Dees

28 responses to “the Rev. James P. Dees

  1. Greetings,

    You suggested that I bounced over here from Facebook, and that strikes me as an appropriate move. Dees’ views about integration were not merely isolated to the Episcopal Church, but also involved him in state politics. When Gov. Sanford of NC fought for desegregation of schools in North Carolina, Dees was one of his more vocal opponents. From /Terry Sanford: politics, progress, and outrageous ambitions/, a few key quotations:

    “The Reverend James Dees of Statesville, leader of a small but noisy group of segregationalists who called themselves North Carolina Defenders of States’ Rights, sent Sanford a copy of a telegram he wired Barnett that read, ‘May God bless you in your stand for the basic principles of our republican form of government, for freedom, and for your stand in the defense of the American people against certain monsters in high places in these times of crisis.’ Dees demanded to know if Sanford was ‘using [the governor’s] office to try to induce the owners of Howard Johnson’s restaurants to submit to the integration demands of these CORE agitators, trespassers, and disturbers of the peace?’ When Sanford didn’t respond immediately, Dees sent a second telegram. ‘You did not answer my question about your urging Howard Johnson to integrate.'”

    It is apparent to me, therefore, that Dees was against integration and in favor of segregation, both in church and in the public sphere. It’s a very problematic position to espouse. His consecrating Anglican bishops in other places is really of no consequence concerning his opposition to integration of parishes in the United States.


  2. Saughn Casey is right, we should be encouraged by the Rt. Rev. Dees holding on to such a problematic position in the face of opposition, particularly as the clergy today are faced with similar so-called civil rights demands intruding upon the church.

    Though the pressures encountered by the Rt. Rev. Dees in his day were probably not as severe as those faced by the clergy today, with the fury of the ever-marching same-sex agenda, he still stands as an example for those who would bravely maintain the faith delivered, rather than conform to the values of an increasingly de-Christianized culture.


  3. James Parker Dees was but one that questioned the early ‘revisionism’ in the Episcopal Church of is time. We see how far this ‘revision’ has proceeded.
    Another prophetic voice of the time was Enoch Powell. The ‘River of Blood’ speech resulted in his being demonised and hounded from public office; he remained a member of the Commons for many years after—and lived to see his prophecy fulfilled. A loyal churchman all his life, he, too, questioned the Church’ adoption of an essentially secular agenda
    This is the core of the controversy then and now: does the Church follow Christ if she follows a secular agenda that may not be of God?

    Heaven guide and protect us all!



  4. Anonymous,

    Woah, now. You mistake my meaning. I fully support integration of schools, churches, businesses, and I find Dees’ position on it utterly abhorrent. That same sort of rot leads to spewing bromides against miscegenation, and it has no place in a Christian church. You may point to divorce or contraception as an antecedent to the rot setting in for the Episcopal Church all you like.

    Mandated segregation (rather than, say, certain parishes just happening to be that way), however, is abhorrent both in secular politics and especially in the Church. It is the sort of thing Augustine, Aquinas, and just about any church figure prior to the onset of the African slave trade would find mind boggling and offensive. No, thank you.


    • Yes, Shaughn. Just as the Bible forbids miscegenation in the Deuteronomic Law, repeats it in Ezra and Nehemiah, and Christ confirms it as does St. Paul, {the famous ‘be ye separate, and touch not the UNCLEAN -i.e., ‘mamzerized’ thing’), all of this is part of the ‘bromides against miscegenation.’ Don’t you find it ‘fascinating’ that the very same specious arguments which eventually led to the Supreme Court’s horrendous “Loving v. Viginia’ decision which ‘outlawed’ the biblical practice of miscegenation, are ALSO being used by the Sodomite faction, to argue for ‘gay marriage’?

      I believe the author of this blog is correct, and you are ‘still in the bonds of iniquity.’ Bp. Dees saw the Bolshevik ideology as comprising BOTH the ‘pan-heresy of Ecumenism’ on the spiritual front, and the pan-heresy of Mamzerism (now known as “Multiculturalism”) on the other. He WAS a prophet, and a ‘righteous man’ to boot, in that he didn’t want his congregants to fornicate themselves into a cocoa brown idiocy.

      It is not a surprising thing that Bill Clinton, the man who couldn’t keep his fly up, spoke approvingly of the destruction and GENOCIDE of the White Race (i.e.,European Christendom) as a GOAL TO BE STRIVEN FOR, in his address in (I believe 1999) at a college someplace. The heresies ALWAYS involve elements of the Incarnation. And that is why YANKEE SUPREMACISTS like yourself, hate those of us who preach the ‘narrow way’ of racial purity, as the model for which Christ died for ‘His People’ [Matt. 1:21] the sons and daughters of Adam, only.

      – Fr. John+


  5. Dear Shaughn,

    Thanks for posting. James Dees did support “segregation”. The “segregationist” position was held by the wider Episcopal Church (and society), at least, from 1890 to 1961. In the North black codes remained, and in states like California developers attached racial covenants to home purchases. In many ways northern ‘segregation’ was more severe than its southern counterpart. In that context, Dees actually towed a rather “moderate line” and was more paternalistic in his treatment of blacks rather than a strict-racial separatist. However, today I don’t think such shades of opinion are appreciated. Nonetheless, they once marked important demarcations on the ‘race question’ as debated in PEC general and diocesan conventions in the 1890’s and early 1920’s. Most of these debates were preoccupied with the consecration of ‘negro’ bishops and consequent balance of racial representation in Southern dioceses, i.e., ‘what to do with the black church’ that grew in missionary districts after the civil war. Methodists and more ‘evangelical’ Episcopalians separated blacks into African churches, giving negroes their own bishops and synods. Unlike the Methodist, PEC simply repressed negro representation in convention, enforcing a policy of white supremacy until Negro self-government was judged ready. This meant black missionary churches continued under white bishops, and the policy remained until the activism of CORE reached the Church. Therefore paternalism, not racial separatism, was actually the ecclesiastical policy of Dees, as he said,

    “We of the white race are blessed with many blessings and great privileges but with these privileges come responsibilities. As disciples of Christ, we are commanded to love our neighbor, and this means the Negro, and to work for his betterment physically, mentally, spiritually, and in every way” (Ingram, p. 54).

    Secondly, examine the letter Sanford quoted. Dees argument here is mostly legal. When he speaks of “basic principles of our republican form of government, for freedom, and for your stand in the defense of the American people against certain monsters in high places in these times of crisis”, he’s not only speaking of “segregation” but also local control of public schools against the supreme court ‘tyranny’. The problem with Brown v. Topeka from a strictly constitutional point of view was its reversal of eighty-six years of legal precedent, as Dees said, “the Supreme Court has delegated to itself the authority to make the law as well as to interpret the law” (Ingram, p. 49). Never had the ’14th Amendment’, combined with the expansion of the ‘commerce clause’ in the 1964 Civil Rights legislation, been so radically applied as to mandate federal intervention for purposes of ‘public education’, or more precisely “psychological” well-being of minorities. Thus, Brown was revolutionary, carrying wide social implications that the federal government could force on local schools and states. Was Dees off-base on constitutional matters? Or, is constructivist judicialism plain wrong?

    Leaving constitutional questions aside, the moral argument (which is more important) remains. Dees’ main complaint was the amalgamation of races which desegregation would introduce; assisting the gaols of the communist movement which included a final elimination of all races and nations (for the sake of an international working class):

    “De-segregation is a misleading term, and what is implied is stated in much too negative a fashion. What the NAACP and the radical leaders of this thing are aiming at should be stated more positively. They are aiming not simply at de-segregation but rather at the integration and amalgamation of the races. It is not just a question of them getting along among the white race, but rather a mixing of social structures, cultures, and blood”, and that, “Intermingling of the races should not be tolerated to the degree contemplated by the backers of the [commmunist] movement” (Ingram, p. 40, 48)

    So, the question is not the particular form of ‘racial integrity’ (as Dees calls it), but if race or nation ought to exist at all? When you say, “I fully support integration of schools, churches, businesses, and I find Dees’ position on it utterly abhorrent”, do you mean you find the general advocacy for any ethno-national identity sinful? Do you believe blacks may establish their own kind of associations but for whites to consciously do so is ‘racism’? Though you admit some parishes happen to be de facto ethnic (I take the context to mean ‘white’), do you believe any conscious practice of such sinful? If so, then how do you defend ethnic or “personal” parishes which RC admittedly has provided, or even the national churches of east? Or, should whites be compelled to join an ‘anti-racism day of repentance‘? If you skipped out on this, then you must be a racist!, etc.. However, if scripture reveals ethno-nation as natural, then how do ethno-nations actually go about preserving themselves? Some of this requires we define ‘racism’ and ‘nation’ rather than letting the Left do it.

    Dees was right to identify the problem as “leftism” because for ECUSA the same physical differences which otherwise translate to gender or sexuality are leveled or dismissed along with those that might likewise implicate race. Divorce and birth-control are only ancillary to problem of radical egalitarianism that has led to multiculturalism, ‘racial justice’, feminism, and pan-sexuality in the modern church. It’s the same hermeneutic and theology applied in a repeated fashion against every mediated and ordered relation. Consequently, the charge of ‘racism’ and ‘sexism’ are fundamentally the same, largely frivolous ones, born from marxist theory, and used to overthrow christian society as existed prior to the 1960’s. When Dees left PEC in 1963, he could no longer support this hermeneutic in either tithes or labor since it undermined both the health of faith and country.


  6. Well into the later ’40s, a number of Southern dioceses had separate Convocations for Black and White parishes. The Black convocations amounted to separate diocesan conventions. This system did help Black clergy and laity develope leadership skills and experience. When the separate convocations were abolished, there was a tendency for the Black lueaders to keep quiet in the presence of their ‘betters’. Perhaps some of the leadership skills and experience atrophied for a long period of years.

    In those years, there was a separate seminary for Black clergy in Petersburg, Birginia. When this school was closed and the then and future seminarians sent to ‘White’ seminaries, certain Northern bishops threatened to withdraw their own seminarians if Black seminarians were admitted. So much for integration. It reminds me of White Liberals pushing for integrated public schools while sending their own children to pribate schools that remained ‘lily white’, It reminds me of the destruction visited upon the Black community by White Liberal Democrats over the past several decades.

    In passing, in one or two of the Mid-Western dioceses, there were separate departments similar to the arrangements in the certain Southern dioceses. These departments were for White work and for Indian work. I think of several outstanding clergy of the Lakota Nation that grew to leadership under this system.

    Would the Black and Indian clergy and layfolk of that time developed the leadership and experience under an integrated system? The historians could examine these dioceses of the South and in Indian Country in comparison with the dioceses that did not use these separate but equal systems.



  7. Charles,

    Thank you for a thorough, clearly researched response. (Who, by the way, is Ingram?) The chief trouble that I have with Dees’ secular opinion lies in his false claim that it is based on “freedom” from the federal government. Segregation was not freeing — not for blacks, certainly, but also not for whites. It’s seldom remembered that, under Jim Crowe, it was illegal for whites to serve blacks in restaurants, even if they wanted to do so. Far from “allowing” whites to be separate from blacks, it forbad them from doing otherwise, in clear violation of the 14th Amendment. The commerce clause does not enter into the equation. I do not find Brown vs. Board of Education especially problematic or controversial; it was 9-0, where Plessy vs. Ferguson was 7-1 with one vote abstaining. Do you have in mind other cases, or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? (By the way, who is Ingram?)

    When I say that I fully support the integration of schools, churches, and businesses, I mean exactly what I said. It isn’t the place of state or federal government to forbid people to integrate willingly, and the state certainly has no role in arranging such functions. Schools and businesses are a separate issue from churches, at least in terms of the role the state plays. I find the NAACP equally as troublesome and unnecessary as an “NAAWP” might be. I also find the Episcopal Church’s earlier practice of segregated churches despicable. A paternalist, soft, Kipling-esque religious paternalism nevertheless remains problematic because it stands outside of Christian tradition. I also do not, especially, buy the paternalism he is selling. His support of forced segregation befouls any argument for paternalistic mumbo jumbo.

    Simply because others conflate race with sexuality or gender does not make the two ipso facto the same issue. Simply because others conflate these issues under the heading of civil rights does not make each issue a case of civil rights. Race does not involve acts of the will; sexuality does, as do divorce and contraception. Race does not involve ontological difference. Biological sex does. One can, therefore, quite easily condemn segregation on the basis of it being absurdly out of line with Christian tradition, even as one also refuses to bend on matters of sexuality.

    I am utterly indifferent as to whether there should be nations or races. There probably will be, regardless of whether I prefer one nation or one ethnic group, or none at all. That indifference could be because I am a mongrel bred from Irish, Scottish, English, Dutch, and Cherokee Indian stock. (With whomever shall I associate?) I do, however, oppose with every fiber of my being any state which tells me I cannot associate with someone because of his nationality, and I oppose any so-called Christian church which would attempt to accomplish the same. Personal parishes are not in the same category as forcibly segregated churches, nor are churches that happen to be, shall we say, monochromatic, but nevertheless embrace visitors of other cultures. (I actually had in mind Korean Methodist Churches, Greek Orthodox Churches, or Gospel churches, for what it’s worth. I’ve found them to be overwhelmingly welcoming, if a bit confused at my presence.)

    We essentially disagree on a few points, namely,

    1) The role of the state in regulating how races should or should not act.
    2) The role of church in regulating how races should or should not act.

    In sum, I firmly believe that the state has no business denying people the ability to interact — which is what racially segregated schools in fact do, regardless of their motivations. By the same token, I do not support affirmative action. I also firmly believe the Christian church has no basis doing such things on the basis of race. Sin is solely a matter of the will, as F.D. Maurice would say. Race has nothing at all to do with the exercise of one’s will. Therefore racially exclusive groupings are not compatible with the whole Christian tradition, and America’s peculiar attempts at doing so are to be shunned.


    • More on Brown coming. But for now, if something is deemed moral, we don’t have “freedom” from it. Secondly, the law might have a mutable or ‘secular’ side, yet the law still upholds a general and necessary principle from either nature or mosaic revelation. While the particular form of law can be changed to fit places and times, the principle cannot The question for us is if there’s any ethical imperative in preserving nations? I don’t believe we are ‘free’ to be either indifferent or hostile to it. Perhaps EJ Bicknell’s defense for national churches in his Exposition on the Thirty-Nine Articles might help. Bicknell says,

      “The phrase ‘national Church requires some attention. Men sometimes argue that a national Church is only so many dioceses of the Catholic Church. We allow, indeed, that it does consist of a given number of such dioceses, but it is far more than their mere collocation. Its unity is not simply a unity of addition. The Church of England, for instance, is bound together by the sharing of a common life and character peculiar to itself. It is foolish under the influence of a hard and abstract logic to attempt to shut our eyes to the influence of a nationality upon the traditions and history of a Church. This principle of nationality in the Church found already existing in the world: form the outset Christians belonged to some race or some State. The Church could no more evade or escape the fact of the nation than the fact of the family. Nationality is part of universal human nature. Here, as elsewhere, the Church is called upon not to abolish, but to discipline, purify, and consecrate what is natural.(p. 301)

      This resonates with the 85th Annual Convention (1875) of the Protestant Episcopal Church, which said,

      “[W]e have before us as the polar star to determine our course the Christian principle upon which our English divines and reformers relied for their guidance, and upon which our Church has stood in England, Scotland, Ireland, in these United States, and in all the British Colonies; that is, independent Churches for distinct nationalities or peoples. That is the principle; simple, clear, distinct and fixed, a sure and safe guide for us in our times and circumstances… The truth of this principle, spiritually and logically, is not to be found in the territory occupied by the nation or people, which is a mere physical connexion, but in the homogeneity of the people themselves.”

      I don’t think it outrageous to suggest manners approved in the church may also be commended in society. The overlap between ecclesiastical and secular (or their areas of mutual interest and governance) is perhaps more prominent in the sacrament of Marriage, and this is likely why matrimony often becomes a focal point in national questions. Francis Hall, in Dogmatic Theology V. IX, does not dismiss the intersection of secular with ecclesiastical interests, and the imperative for the church to uphold such, “The Church, in particular, is pledged faithfully to advertise and promote both the natural and the supernatural ends of Marriage, as God revealed them” (p. 303-304), Hall then compiles the various historical impediments and irregularities to marriage, and evidently race is not “utterly indifferent”. Hall says,

      “Various impediments make a Marriage either irregular or inexpedient but do not, in most jurisdictions at least, nullify it when once fully consummated. (a) Disparity of social status and culture, especially if racial inequality is involved, ordinarily makes Marriage inexpedient, because of the hindrance afforded to mutually congenial relations and to the relations and to relations of each party with his or her own social status” (Hall, p. 299)

      Dees stood in this common, catholic line of thought. As I quoted in the post above, Dees was not overcommitted to segregation, differentiating amalgamation from segregation. Dees defined ‘amalgamation’ as the elimination of races and nations, and it was this kind of social leveling (in general) he opposed. It’s theologically more problematic to disconnect TEC’s liberal-marxist anti-racism from its campaigns for gender equality. Both are rooted in the denial of bodily difference. Consequently, Dees was scapegoated for a consistent stand, and further stigmatized by adding charges of schism upon him. His greater legacy for principled opposition against ECUSA’s apostasy while pointing the way for Continuing Anglicans is thus missed.

      BTW. T. Robert Ingram was another Episcopal priest opposed the integrationist politics of CORE and other communists. He was rector at St. Thomas Church and School, Houston TX; author of Sacred Studies, 1958; Labemth, Unity, and Truth 1959; The Two Powers; Schools–Government or Public, 1959; contributor to the Atlantic Monthly.


  8. Fascinating interchange between Charles and Shaughn. One thought I’m having on this is the tendency of us “moderns” to view and interpret the positions and behaviors of our ancestors through our modern world view. God, in his wisdom, has always used flawed individuals to further his purposes. On all sides of the Reformation, at times, it was not at all uncommon for one who was deemed a heretic (often defined as departing from one camp’s orthodoxy) to be executed and that act to be understood as a service to God. This and other less-than-humane ways of dealing with differences did not restrict the work of the Spirit in the lives of the various flawed characters, be it Cranmer, Queen E., Calvin, Luther, or the many others who helped bring reform to the Church at large.

    In the same way, we can look at the high water mark of classic liberal democracy that came from the minds and lives of the U.S. founding fathers, many of whom were slave owners, some not freeing their slaves except through their wills at death; and others that routinely denied rights to many classes of people based on religion, ownership of property, or sex that today would be considered “Neanderthal.”

    As Charles alludes to, there was a sea-change in what “enlightened” American society deemed as enlightened in the 20th century alone, contrasting the period of 1900 to 1960 and the following years to the present.

    My point may simply be that I can look back and disagree with and lament what may be deplorable positions or actions of an historical figure and yet factor in the context of the historical culture and society of that individual. And in so doing, I can perhaps give him a kind of “pass” as it were. Whereas today an individual with the same faulty views I would judge quite differently.

    So, I rejoice that our Lord uses very flawed vessels of mercy (good definition of the Church) by which to accomplish his purposes throughout history. He continues to do the same today… I trust.



  9. Dear Jack and Shaughn,

    I’ll write more as the day or so passes. But for now let me recommend some further Anglican sources on the subject. Latimer Press has a more contemporary series on the national church which discusses patristic and biblical sources, booklets #7, 15, & 19, written in the 1980’s. Here are some pertinent quotes from study 19., The Functions of a National Church, where Rev. Max Warren gives, what he calls a ‘high’ view of nation against the notion it is “utterly indifferent”:

    “…implicit in my argument, is the conviction that the nation is not fortuitous, the creation of chance. A nation is an entity in its own right. If one accepts a Biblical understanding of history, then nations are part of a Providential ordering of human life. National self-consciousness, like individual self-consciousness, is something good in itself, however much it may be distorted to evil ends.” (p. 17)

    Not forgetting Bicknell’s comment– “The Church could no more evade or escape the fact of the nation than the fact of the family”– the State has similar duties to both nation and family, namely, because one is an extension of the other. When “racial” mores erode, family mores expectantly follow, and vice-versa. Anyway, the Church should not dismiss the connection. I recommend reading Nowell’s exposition on the fifth commandment, especially his catechism on the second clause. Anyway, Warren goes on to quote F.D. Maurice who pointedly says, “The Church exists to maintain the order of the nation and the order of the family” (p. 21). The civil sphere may decide the manner of application, but the principle remains for both church and state to uphold as moral.


  10. Dear Shaughn,

    I indeed mixed up the 14th amendment with commerce clause. Thanks for pointing that out, and I managed to fix it. However, I don’t believe this changes the sharp analysis of Dees and those paleoconservatives contemporary to him. Again, their disagreement with Brown involved its far-reaching ramifications. Here is a chapter or two from Mrs. Gordon’s Nine Men Against America, about the Frankfurter-Warren court who worked intensively to enshrine the New Deal, welfare state, and generally strip down christian-republican culture. Also, note the ‘psychological’ basis black and white schools were judged to violate ‘equal protection’. This is very closely related to today’s hate crime allegations where ideas harmful to ‘self-esteem’ are equated to physical deprivation and violence. It’s really a pandora’s box legally, and it will increasingly be used against Christian religion.

    While I am still clueless how individuals like Justice Frankfurter and Arch-priestess Shorci can be so right on anti-racism but so terribly wrong on gender equality (again, by what standard?), it’s definitely not my interest to defend the kind of law as embodied by Jim Crowe. That said, I believe natural law and scripture prop nationality and race, making these categories morally relevant as evidenced by Bicknell and Hall above.


  11. James Parker Dees had a lot more to say about the condition of Church and State than issues of ‘race’. Quite frankly, I find the constant raising of race issues abhorrent when other issues raised by Dees are ignored.
    The issues of race, sexuality, etc are symptoms of something far more significant: the erecting of our own self-righteousness according to our own imagination over the truth and righteousness of God Dees’ question remains: Is this or that issue or position of God or Man?
    Brother Shaugn asserts that the State has no moral authority to enforce segregation. In his mind, does the State possess the moral authority to enforce integration? I suggest that if the State does not rightly enforce one, it does not rightly enforce the other. It is one thing for the State to remove from its laws provisions for the one; it is quite another for the State to enact requiring the other. Any suchlike actions by the State intrude a bias that may not be of God—and that is Dees’ concern, as it was anent the Church adoption of a secular agenda on secular terms, and not God’s terms. Essentially, this is what the whole controversy is about. Whom do we Christians follow: the State or God? How do we know which is which? We search the whole of the Scriptures and be guided by God’s word written, which testifies of God’s Word living and true.


  12. Hi Benton,

    I definitely believe the state is obliged to uphold both tablets of the law. But the church wields the spiritual sword and must teach how the former is done. This is complicated by America’s Religious Settlement which disdains contentious subjects either ecclesiastical or doctrinal. Instead, the American church(es) work in common areas of moral uplift. While race might have been once a question of conservative manners, it’s fallen to the wayside. Today it’s rather quietly dealt with it in personal contexts, and I believe it’s a subject that whites rather not deal with especially since we are often the effigies that get set on fire. It brings back a lot of bad feelings and is very upsetting. We could have also talked about Dee’s apostolic succession and the 1995 Athen’s Statement by the ACC.

    Getting back to Dee’s legacy for continuing Anglicanism, one of my favorite quotes from the transcribed Statement is where Dee says,

    “When I support the Protestant Episcopal Church, my financial contributions and my moral and spiritual support are funneled in part into the support of the National Council of Churches. There is no way that I can avoid this happening so long as I am supporting the Protestant Episcopal Church in any way whatsoever, whether it be in givin gtoward local needs, toward building funds, or anything else. I am opposed to my supporting, even indirectly, an organization that is aligned with forces that are destroying America”.

    I think this is a valid point lay people ought consider, and we should ask if our tithes are being used to support practices and propaganda widely divergent from the catholic faith. This is the exact question I asked while in a Presbyterian-RPW church. After learning what RPW unleashed in the War of Rebellion, I felt continued support of iconoclastic churches only compounded today’s contention and division in Christ’s body.
    But these are also the same question I’d ask TEC. How can a christian finance an institution bent on undermining family not to mention the ecclesiastical body known as the Lambeth communion.

    However, Dees has trouble pinning TEC as heretical. Instead he points to (many) cases where no discipline is exercised. Not much has changed, and I’ve found the same dilemma labeling TEC. On paper it remains creedal and therefore essentially catholic. But how it plays out the Creed not to mention the general lack of discipline makes TEC a hap-hazard and dangerous place for the cure of souls. The problem is lack of discipline. Dees says,

    “One gets the impression that one can belong to the Protestant Episcopal Church and believe anything or everything or nothing at all, except, that is, in regard to certain social and political issues.”

    This might have been another avenue of discussion in addition to Dee’s try at apostolic succession. Recently the TEC House of Bishops decided to embrace ’emergent christianity’ which will likely spell the end of any traditional notion of public worship. It’s like TEC has finally gone utterly insane, and the clergy are resolute to run her into the ground. Emergent worship is basically a Postmodern argument for the irrelevancy of the church, abandoning all dogma for ‘experience’. This is the last phase of final dissolution, and conservatives can just sit back and watch the wicked undo themselves.


  13. The fact remains that ‘race’ or ‘racism’ is used to silence sound discourse on issues that have no such context. It is a ploy to avoid sound discourse. It is used as a political club to silence criticism or to force the issue into a politically desired resolution.

    As Christians, we need to be watchful about having ‘race’, ‘sexuality’, class warfare, and other suchlike used against sound discourse. We need to know what the Scripture and undoubted understanding of the Church have to say and refuse to allow the discourse to be established upon non-Christian principles which we, as Christians, are compelled to accept. This is what Dees refused to dp. This is what the Church fell into. This is what troubles us to this day.
    “Here I stand; I can not do other.” We have to stand the same ground on the Word of God, no matter the issue. The issues are symptoms. Let us know the illness that has befallen the West.



  14. Pico Ultraorientalis

    This is a very interesting discussion which really requires separate treatment on its own in terms of how a combination of political rhetoric and history of past injustices can combine to create an entirely novel social ontology. I suspect that the old integrationists of the ’60s would be horrified to see how thier legacy has been twisted to serve radically transvaluational causes. It is as if all of Antonio Gramci’s political lines were now automatically imputed to Martin Luther King!

    This is such a huge subject that it really isn’t done justice as a footnote to an obsure Episcopal ecclesiastic. Indeed, it deserves a blog of its own.


    • Hi Pico,

      Maybe a better analogy than Antonio Gramci to MLK Jr. is Karl Marx to Brooker T. Washington? MLK Jr. was a democratic socialist which today is mainstream progressivism. Democratic socialism split from militant socialism around the late 19th century, just before the rise of Leninism-Bolshevism. The latter is often identified with communism, and the former usually bearing the simple label “democracy”. But in the West democratic-socialism proved to be center-thinking after WWII, so it’s not like I am saying MLK Jr. was necessarily radical. He represented intellectual opinion. Anyway, here’s some history on MLK Jr. You’ll find him in at very much a liberal christian in his thinking:
      The Economics of MLK Jr.
      Was Dr. MLK Jr. a Christian?

      The 1979 Prayer book has MLK Jr. listed as a saint for TEC. I believe APA still has a day of recognition for the episcopacy of Rev. James Dees.


  15. I note that the term used by Fr. Dees is “forced integration.” When a federal court order mandated that Georgia end its dual school system in circa 1964, The State of Georgia responded with a “freedom of choice plan.” That is to say that students could choose from several schools that were proximate to their neighborhoods. This was unacceptable to the U.S. Department of Justice and instead a federal judge ordered schools forcibly closed and mass busing instituted. We all recognized that segregation was at an end, the only question was whether it would be done with good order and discipline, or in a leftists revolutionary manner. The public schools still have not recovered from the way that the dismantling of de jure segregation was ended by the federal government.

    It is the same with the gay civil rights movement. If only we were going to quit discharging gays from the service for being gay then who cares? The objection is to the year round mandatory multicultural and diversity training classes that follow in the wake of these “civil rights” laws. It is a brainwash pure and simple. This is what Fr. Dees objected to, his words speak for themselves. Don’t put words into his mouth, or assume opinions for him. Leave that kind of smear to the left.


  16. A fascinating blog, Charles.
    I’ve particularly enjoyed learning about Bishop Dees.
    Thank you for linking to my ‘Lutheran Catholicity’.
    I shall return the compliment via the links on my main blog, ‘Glosses From An Old Manse’.


    • Great to have you post, Pastor Mark! I have a particular affection for Lutheranism, especially the more catholic kind. In my hometown we have a parish that belongs to the Missouri Synod’s English District. The English District, in fact, has retained a bishop.


  17. Having worked in one of the most liberal civil service establishments in the country, I can tell you that racism comes in many forms. So do the accusations of same. When the North East and the far West of this country go all holier than thou on the issue it is time to remind them that it was the North Eastern, i.e., the Yankee states who conducted the slave trade and drew the largest profits from it before it was shut down. They were also the homes of the largest and most efficient plantations for the breeding of slaves. It has also been pointed out that the major reason slavery was abolished in the Northern states was the racism of their citizens. They did not free them; they sold them down South and in many places forbade blacks to even be in their states. It was their hope to export them all.

    When Dees was accused of racism it focused all of his criticisms of what whas happening and was being done to popular culture on one thing so that none would consider the truth of what else he was saying.


  18. And as a sort of epilogue let me remind everyone that the Union “heroes” of the War Between the States, which was ostensibly fought to “end slavery”, Sherman, Sheridan, Custer, and Grant were the architects and executors of the genocidal war against the Indian nations. Sheridan put it in the most eloquent Yankee terms when he said, “The only good Indian I ever saw was a dead one.” Sherman came up with the idea to kill all of the buffalo which became official federal government policy. These “soldiers” learned their lessons well in making war on women and children in the South, they applied those lessons with great vigor as they rode down and shot women and children fleeing them in the snows of the Great Plains. Broken treaties, broken promises, lies and theft marked all of their dealings with the Northern Plains Indians and others. Perhaps these Yankee generals were remembering how the Indian Nations in Oklahoma had a military alliance with the Confederacy, and even had voting representatives in the Confederate Congress! I guess they thought the Indians deserved this kind of treatment for siding with the South.

    And down to this very day, the Indians still have not been compensated for any of their stolen lands, e.g. the Black Hills, the States of Oklahoma and Arizona,and their property, e.g. the buffalo. These Northern “heroes” were war criminals during the war against the South, and they were war criminals in the Indian wars as well.


  19. Pico Ultraorientalis

    Richard Weaver carries this line of thougth even further in his essay “Chivalry and Total War” in which the European etc. henoclasms which we call WWI & II preceeded by the Franco-Prussian war of 1871 were significantly influenced by the “strategic advice” of Generals Sheridan and Sherman to the Prussian High Command. By the way, North Carolinian Weaver died the same year of Bp. Dee’s secession from the ECUSA. I wonder if there was any mutual influence between the author of “Ideas have Consequences” and “The Ethics of Rhetoric” and the dissident ecclesiastic? Problably not on Weavers part who was pretty isolated and academic. But the Bishop may have picked up on a Weaverian theme or two, either consciously or through intermediaries.


  20. As there is already a “Fr. John” I (for charity’s sake) will name myself “Fr. John, 2” (not to be confused with, or in any way, legitimizing spurious Roman Prelates, such as J2P2, you understand).

    I’ve just found this blog and I congratulate the writer and readers on being willing, at the VERY LEAST, to consider issues of morality, race, and apostasy as different sides of the same demonic polyhedron, as it were.

    However, I fear I am much farther along on this road than many here (and because I had an interaction for somemonths with the late Bp.Dees, back in the late 1970’s, when I first becameaware of the ‘pattern of apostasy’, I am entering the fray…). Therefore, my views would probably be considered quite ‘off in left (right?) field’ if I were initially to state my long-held opinions outright….so, in congenial Anglican/British fashion (all held in strictest reserve, you understand, stiff upper lip, what?) I’ll merely mention a few points, and let y’all discuss them, if you care to…

    First. Dees was one of the clearest cases of ‘romeaphobia’ I have ever encountered. His pamphlets made it quite clear that he was not an Anglican in the ‘catholic’ (small ‘c’) sense, but a Low/No Church Protestant, of (as W. S. Gilbert called it) ‘… the most bigoted and persecuting kind.’

    Point: He was adamant about NOT being called, ‘Father,’ and almost hung up on me, when I pointed out that St. Paul, in the Bible (!) called his Israelite judges, ‘men and FATHERS,’ so, ergo, we should not shirk that appellation. Now, this was during the same time that the Geneva Divinity School/Reconstruction writers such as James Jordan, David Chilton, and Ray Sutton were writing articles trying to ‘teach’ Presbyterians about ‘high church’ (i.e., Anglican) modes and forms of worship….so, Dees was out of step with a lot, even forty years ago. On the racial and sexual matters being tied, he was ‘spot on’ but that, I feel, came more from his Carolinian proximity to the ‘race issues’ than his churchmanship… but he could see which way the wind was blowing. More on that in my next post.


  21. Mr. Poteet is incorrect in two instances. One, the term ‘racism’ is devoid of meaning, in that it was invented by a Jew, to deflect criticism of the Jewish takeover of the Christian Czarist government of Bolshevik Russia, by Jews themselves. (As an aside, one of the first laws the Bolsheviks enacted -and rather useful to them alone, don’t you think? – was a law forbidding all critique of jews in goverment, or a law against [sic] ;’anti-semitism.’

    Secondly, his comment “When the North East and the far West of this country go all holier than thou on the issue it is time to remind them that it was the North Eastern, i.e., the Yankee states who conducted the slave trade and drew the largest profits from it before it was shut down” shows a clear lack of historical fact.

    Here is a URL that clearly explains who was beind the Slave trade. And it was published in 1968, the year the Democratic Convention was taken over by the same minds that still occupy it today… if Saul Alinksy’s protege is any exemplar.

    -Fr. John ,2


  22. What’s funny about Dee’s is despite his low churchmanship, he went to great lengths to secure ‘apostolic succession’. In my opinion it would have been more consistent with his views to have gathered a presbytery and then did as the Methodists in 1784 with Coke and Asbury. It might have been an irregular bishoprik but no less so than using the wandering Bishops Sawyna (independent Ukrainian) and Woodward (Celtic rite).


  23. Pingback: High Church POV | Anglican Rose

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