Friday, May 26, 2006

A Damning Week with Eighteen Days to Go

Don't miss Mark Harris' reflections on 18-days-and-counting til General Convention: "A Damning Week with Eighteen Days to Go"

As we get closer to the Episcopal Church’s General Convention multiple lines are being drawn in the sand, bullies are threatening to take their marbles and go home, and Anglicans are generally acting badly. Here are some of the highlights: read it all.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a laugher when Harris calls his opponents 'bullies' and says they are 'threatening to take their marbles and go home." Instead of engaging with the ideas and arguments, and the TWR, and the work, not just the moniker, of ACI, he turns juvenile, really. TWR report, like the Primates before VGR's consecration, made it clear what tore the fabric of the communion.

DF in Massachusetts said...

Gee whiz. Where does one start with Anonymous' comment?

I think it was The Very Rev. Alan Jones, Dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, who said that the real dangers to the world are people and groups who promote "fear, cynicism and divisiveness."

We see a long record of some segments within ECUSA proclaiming that if XYZ happens then ECUSA will be kicked out of the Anglican Communion. Of course, these fear-based arguments have not come to pass.

We also see a long record of some segments within ECUSA cynically ignoring facts about the extensive decades-long engagement by those who seek to include all people. To claim that Mark Harris has not practiced engagement is cynical.

Last, but not least, we see segments within ECUSA modeling divisiveness by committing heretical and un-orthodox acts such as removing themselves from taking the Eucharist with people who dare to think different from them.

My own parish in Boston, founded in 1733 as a parish in the C of E's Diocese of London (which had jurisdiction at that time over this part of North America), is proof that one does not need to genuflect to the King of England or the Archbishop of Canterbury in order to maintain communion.

Anonymous said...

"Last, but not least, we see segments within ECUSA modeling divisiveness by committing heretical and un-orthodox acts such as . . . " consecrating VGR, blessing same-sex unions, denying central claims of the Christian faith (Spong), denying authority to Scripture (Bennison: we can write it, Scripure, again), signing a document saying (Griswold) that VGR's consecration should not proceed, but then going ahead with it and then (there's more) turning around and accusing others of not being committed to the catholicity of the church. Yes, df in Mass, you are right. There are models of divisiveness about. And, for the record, I don't think the reasserters are promoting fear in the way you depict. We are not saying 'Listen to us because, oh my, we will be kicked out of the communion and how terrible that will be.' We are saying we have done something, and some things, that have already broken the true sacramental unity of the church--never mind, things that have corrupted our witness--and the institutional fracture will continue unless we arrest our current pace and direction.

I stand by my comment that the piece Harris wrote does not engage patiently with the ideas. He caricatures, mischaracterizes, and puts forth little of substance other than to say he doesn't like the characters he has drawn.

"We also see a long record of some segments within ECUSA cynically ignoring facts about the extensive decades-long engagement by those who seek to include all people." What facts are you talking about? What cynical ignorance do you mean?
If you are referring to the touted tag line "we've been studying and discussing this issues for 40 years", I can't think of a more deceptive half-truth about ECUSA's engagement with sexuality issues. There have been arguments, and studies, and, above all, actions that have moved ahead of any theological rationale--or any accepted and endorsed rationale, at least--for 40 some years. But there has been no common mind expressed that allows us to overturn, with integrity, scripture, reason, tradition, the BCP's ordination vows and its understanding of the place of sexual relations. It is this cavalier treatment of our identity, along with the wink-and-nod policy of so many bishops (and what integrity is in that?) that causes cyncism.

DF in Massachusetts said...

Living the Christian life as an Anglican has never required being of common mind with a group. Even a hallmark of Anglicanism, the Book of Common Prayer, has a gazillion expressions throughout the world.

For me, being Episcopalian means being part of a tradition and communion that recognizes we are all children of God, and that as children of God we are all family.

And I, for one, don't know of any healthy familes that require a litmus test or common mind in order to be a family member.

Aunt Sally may decide not to go to her family reunion because nephew Fred is gay. But Sally's absence from the reunion is her doing, not Fred's. And she's still family whether she likes it or not.

Families that stay together are the ones that don't blame Fred's presence at the reunion for Sally's absence.

Catherine + said...

A hearty AMEN to DF!