Thursday, March 18, 2010

Phantom Divisions

In the movie Downfall, one scene that has been endlessly parodied is Hitler discovering that Steiner with an entire army at his disposal could not come save Berlin. One of the problems Germany had at the end was Hitler's insistence that divisions that had been damaged or destroyed not be broken up or reformed. He liked to see the little divisional flags on his war maps apparently. And so he was led to assume that all was well because his army had 200+ divisions. Germany could not possibly be losing the war if it had so many divisions.

What he did not appreciate was that most of those divisions were severely understrength. Many had no weapons at all. Those that did have weapons had little or no ammunition. At least one 'division' consisted of three men, the commanding general, his second in command and a radio operator/driver. On paper they were supposed to have seven thousand to ten thousand men, depending on the sort of division they were. The result was a catastrophe for the German army. Units that couldn't fill out a soccer team were expected to attack Soviet units that numbered in the hundreds of thousands.

When Hitler finally grasped the reality of his situation he was not moved to sue for peace, but rather arranged for himself, his entourage and his nation to all commit suicide.

It's an extreme case but any healthy organisation tries to know what its situation is. What assets it has, how many people it has, how they are equipped and trained and what they are suited for. If a restaurant has too many pastry cooks and not enough line cooks then, if healthy, it will retrain the pastry chefs into line cooks or let them go and hire line chefs.

Recently a piece by Bishop Frey came to my attention. It is a small piece, but offers more evidence that the Episcopal Church is not dealing with the reality of its situation. When a church's membership leaves in their entirety, that you have the building does not mean that church is still intact as part of your organization. It means you still have the building. You can keep the flag on your map, if you so choose, but that flag does not represent what it did before.

I'm sure someone expects me to blog about Bp elect Glasspool. I'm sorry, I've said everything there is to be said about such matters years ago. The Episcopal Church does not care about the rest of the Anglican Communion, they do not care about God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. They do care about being progressive and this latest action is the fruit of that tree.


Perpetua said...

Interesting analogy!

Fr. Michael Heidt said...

Nicely put - do I have your permission to republish in Forward in Christ magazine?