Thursday, February 15, 2007

On the tyranny of legalistic posturing

Could not resist giving the following comment on David Anderson's (AAC) response to the Communion Sub-Group Report over at titusonenine wider readership. You'll find it as comment #5 on this thread and the writer only identifies him/herself as CB ...


Without any apparent sense of irony, Rev. Canon Anderson writes, of the report, the following:

From paragraph 3:“Its examination of the text of General Convention resolutions’ language is literal and gives TEC the benefit of a doubt when the resolution language is vague.”

And then, from paragraph 4:“[the report] quite simply fails to reflect the reality of life in the Episcopal Church”
He has, with these words, given a thrillingly forceful indictment of his own method of reading and applying scripture.

A biblical literalist who rejects liberal entreaties to consider lived/experiential reality when interpreting scripture is now bellyaching about a literalist interpretation of a report which fails to account for his own miserable, painful, oppressed experience!

This is too good to be true. THAT IS THE POINT EXACTLY. Legalistic readings that strain to meet the letter of the law while abusing the spirit of the law — a sinful human tendency Jesus clearly taught against — will inevitably lead to outrage, injustice, and untold pain and humiliation.

There’s an old joke that a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged; well, maybe a reappraiser is simply a reasserter who’s been discriminated against.

How the Rev. Canon can so beautifully articulate the tyranny of legalistic posturing when it personally affects him, without extending similar pleas for merciful interpretation when it affects others, defies rational explanation. Self deception, pride, the impulse toward self-love do not discriminate between reappraisers and reassenters, liberals and conservatives, Southerners or Westerners.

Surely, if we would allow ourselves to look oustide our own selfish agendas and immediate power plays, to look beyond the agenda items and best laid plans we’ve crafted for months in anticipation of THE BIG DAY when justice/righteousness would be swiftly enacted by our own hands, rather than the Lord’s … we could find fellowship, increased understanding, common ground for moving together in love and mutual respect?


Of course we could. But -- IMHO -- David gave up on that years ago when he couldn't get his own way here in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Hasn't kept him from continuing to use the "Canon" moniker he received as an Honorary Canon of the Cathedral Center of the (in his book apostate/heretic) Diocese of Los Angeles. Figure THAT one out!

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