Wednesday, August 09, 2006

From One of the Ladies of Llangollen

You may know or could easily have guessed by now that I am a huge Elizabeth Kaeton Fan. I remember well the first time I heard her preach in an impossibly hot, humid and packed-to-the-rafters church in Philadelphia at the 1997 Integrity Eucharist and as a preacher I recognize how rare and wonderful it is when anyone remembers a sermon much past coffee hour ... much less nearly a decade later! That said, I want to share Elizabeth's latest reflection posted from vacation on her blog Telling Secrets as a piece that one of our colleagues has called part of "the essential Elizabeth." It is called The Ladies of Llangollen and here's a snippet:


"... reject the false dualism of ourselves as social and sexual beings and reclaim the whole/holiness of the mystery of our human being – the gift of a loving God in whose image we were created. It would mean we’d have to resist the urge to snoop into the private bedrooms of others and stop judging people for what we think they do in bed with each other. This is not an impossible task.

I believe mature adults can do this. Indeed, I know it to be so. I know. That would take a direct challenge to the current fundamentalist movement which embraces Scripture as something “God said, man wrote, and I believe” – every word, comma and period.

That is, perhaps, the biggest stumbling block to intelligent conversation, much less dialogue which might lead to understanding, compassion or, even, God help us, the kind of change of heart which would call us into a deeper, more intimate sense of relationships in community."

Read it all here ... and give thanks with me for Elizabeth's witness and wisdom!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why is it judging people to help them resist an urge that is destructive to themselves and their partners? The "fundamentalism" charge is a red herring.

revsusan said...

The urge to love and cherish forsaking all others til death do you part?

rebecca said...

anon,

Because it is a judgment that the urge in question is "destructive" to anyone. How could you possibly know whether my sex life is destructive? (In case you want to know, I can assure you it isn't!) What Kaeton+ seems to be asking here is that you stay out of it. Why is that such an unreasonable request?

Will said...

First I want to say thank you to Susan+ for printing this wonderful piece from Elizabeth+ ... so warm, brilliant and, well it just speaks to my heart. Secondly, if I'm not out of line I have to ask WHY is it that those who make the kind of remarks I see coming from the "orthodox", "conservative", "fundamentalist" side .. whatever one wants to call it, are so often from someone named "Anonymous"? Pardon the frustration ... I guess the real question is "do you really need to ask?". Pardon the rant .. it's understandable if you don't want to post this.

Dennis in AZ said...

Wasn't sure if this was the best place to post this but thought it should get out.

This should shock everyone in the Episcopal Church who isn’t a raving reactionary. The right wingers now have a website training their supporters in how to use Robert’s Rules in church fights. Think about it: how to use the rules for meetings to get your way - in a church meeting. Ugh. This is proof of how far they have gone down the road. They have a website offering advice on how to pick and win fights in congregation and diocesan meetings. Of course, nothing says that those who support the church of the via media can’t read this site, too.

http://rulesboy.wordpress.com/

If you really think about it this is truly disturbing. Training for fights in church meetings.

Hiram said...

Dennis says, "The right wingers now have a website training their supporters in how to use Robert’s Rules in church fights. Think about it: how to use the rules for meetings to get your way - in a church meeting."

As if the reappraisers never put together "a well-oiled machine" (to use a phrase I saw on this very blog, concerning the Integrity, etc. members who were delegates at GC).

The reasserters have been pushed back into the corner because they knew the Bible better than they knew Robert's Rules of Order. I cannot tell you the number of times I have seen reapprisers use parliamentary procedure to cut off debate, claim a point of privilege, etc, and shut the reasserters out. Seeking certain committee appointments has not hurt their efforts either.

In the long run, the Lord Jesus will be shown to be the Lord of all, in spite of all that reappraisers do to change the truth of his Word -- but in the meanwhile, what is wrong with knowing the procedures of decision making in an institution, and using them?

... said...

"In the long run, the Lord Jesus will be shown to be the Lord of all, in spite of all that reappraisers do to change the truth of his Word..."

The same statement is no less applicable the so-called "reasserters" and what they have done to change the Truth.

Lisa said...

Friends, please be aware that "Hiram" is a notorious troll, who loves to show up on our webpages. Ignore him, and he will go away. I suspect that "anonymous" is of his ilk also.

Focus on Elizabeth's marvelous essay, which Susan has highlighted, and let those Bottom Feeders have their own reward.

Hiram said...

Gee, Lisa, I had no idea I was notorious!

I suppose that if your definition of a troll is someone who is always posting comments that disagree with the major premise of the blog, then I am a troll. On the other hand, I think that "troll" is usually not only contrary but obnoxious, insulting, and purposefully unpleasant.

I can't say that I have always been polite, but I do seek to be respectful and to ask honest questions. Some questions I ask in order to understand a statement more fully. And some questions I raise are rhetorical, seeking to get a reply that shows me that the poster or commenter understands the implications of their statement.

I have been reading, and commenting, on Rev Susan's blog, and earlier on EVN, for some three years. I have learned a lot. I am not going to go away -- at least, not be being ignored.

One thing that I havelearned is that we inhabit different universes and operate out of largely different, and perhaps contradictory, sets of assumptions ("fundamentals") about who God is, how we know, and what the human problem is. Maybe we are both wrong -- but we cannot both be right.


(PS -- did you know that the original series, "Fundamentals of the Christian Faith," written in the late 1800's and early 1900's, had among its authors at least a half dozen Anglicans, from both the US and England?)

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, Lisa, don't listen or dare enter into a dialogue with anyone who disagrees with you. Don't dare discuss ideas or facts or even beliefs. Just shut them down, ignore them, call those you disagree with names ("troll") and hope they go away. That
must be what you all mean by tolerance, inclusiveness and that ever-looked-for "listening process" that gays and lesbians are always harping on.

Another anon

Jeff Martinhauk said...

I don't happen to think that Hiram is a troll, but I do think that his point is valid.

At least I believe that the orthodox believe it is valid. The orthodox keep insisting that we are the ones who are paranoid, despite the facts that keep coming in on the IRD and its relationships with Nigeria, and the facts surrounding the Network and AAC and how they have tried over and over to manipulate the ABC into doing what they want.

At the same time, the orthodox insist that we have a "well oiled machine" that is misrepresenting the intentions of the Episcopal church, somehow believing that the "well-oiled machinery" of TEC is powerful enough to overcome the power of the Holy Spirit.

We forget that our processes and procedures are designed not to be democratic in nature but faith-based. We allow for our delegates to vote as the spirit moves them, not as their constituency requires them to vote.

The spirit moves us forward.

I say let the orthodox try all they want to how to circumvent the Spirit. As for me, whether progressive or orthodox I believe the Spirit will always win.

j