P’s Louisiana oil spill re-awakened the old American anti-Brit tradition, so stand by for an anti-Yank rant, which has an equally venerable history.

We’ve been enduring an American religious oil spill for years – women priests and bishops, gay and (soon to come) divorced bishops. Also hymnology which puts Mrs Alexander’s ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ in the same league as Aquinas for profundity.

However, what can you expect from a nation which got shot of the Arminian, claret drinking, anti-slavery Wesleys but welcomed the Calvinist, Coca Cola drinking, pro-slavery Whitefield? If you doubt Whitefield’s fondness for ‘Coke’, I’ve been convinced that the evidence for it adopts the same rigorous historiography that enabled American scholars to prove that Junia was a proto-bishop.

American religious unsoundness began early – at the first Thanksgiving. Is pumpkin pie anything to be thankful for? Compared with it sprouts have nothing to fear, but eating pumpkin pie shows the same lack of taste that has produced tele-evangelists.

Heresy and American behavior (spelling part of the heresy) spreads wider than religion. Take the Boston Tea Party. Who but the Yanks would be proud of people who put the tea in the water rather than introducing the water to the tea?

When the Anglican Church in America became independent, they first decided to use the unadopted English Book of 1689, until it was pointed out to them that this book hadn’t been adopted in England because it was a potentially heretical compilation.

It’s not only feminist theology that America has shipped to us but also Worship Songs – the musical equivalent of Starbucks coffee. To be fair to the Yanks, the correct title for these dirges is ‘Washed Up Songs’, but Kendrick & Co. didn’t quite catch the American accent.

Alan Edwards