Bill Maher is one of my favs and one of my favorite parts of his "Real Time" show is:
So, stealing a page from his book, we're going to have a few "new rules' on this blog.
NEW RULE #1: No more Anonymous Comments
It is not a rule I change unadvisedly or lightly as I frankly enjoy the frank exchange of differing ideas and don't want to "squash" that on this blog. However, with a new church year just begun and a new calendar year just ABOUT to begin it seems a good time to follow in Jim Naughton's "Episcopal Cafe" footsteps and ask folks to put their names where their opinions are.
NEW RULE #2: Speak as you would like to be spoken to
OK -- actually that's an OLD rule ... my mother's old rule! ... but it seems to me it bears repeating in these polarizing and polemic times. Ad hominem arguments are not only not persuasive they just flat don't live up to my mother's standards of civilized behavior OR to our baptismal covenant commitment to respect the dignity of every human being.
NEW RULE #3: No more toleration of intolerance
Marilyn McCord Adams, Regis Professor of Divinity at Christ Church, Oxford “led off” last week's Chicago Consultation with her paper: “Shaking the Foundations: LGBT Bishops and Blessings in the Fullness of Time.” In her opening remarks, she challenged us to resist being hoisted on our own petard of inclusiveness, asserting that “conservatives have played on liberal propensities for tolerance and inclusiveness to insist that liberals tolerate not only individual beliefs but institutional policies contrary to liberal conscientious beliefs, and to do so no matter who holds the majority."
She offered this “concrete analogy” that TOTALLY spoke to me:
In the USA today, we tolerate people who believe the earth is flat. The constitution allows them freedom of assembly. Being a member of the Flat Earth Society doe not jeopardize a citizen’s voting or property-holding rights. But most Americans find the flat-earthers’ views false and irrational. We would not think of tolerating them to the extent of canceling the space program.
Likewise, sex-and-gender liberals have no interest in excommunicating sex-and-gender conservatives or in denying them the institutional access that all members of TEC enjoy. But in the name of faithfulness to the Gospel, sex-and-gender liberals cannot extend toleration to allowing sex-and-gender conservatives to set institutional policy no matter what. Liberals should not be so desperately committed to inclusiveness as to let themselves be held hostage by conservative threats to leave unless they get their way.
Liberals should work within the established polity of TEC and use their majority to uproot homophobia. The reason is straight-forward: homophobia is a sin and its end is now!
So if your criterion for being included is that someone else is excluded then feel free to start your own "Flat Gospel Society" ... but don't expect us to cancel the Gospel Agenda Program.
Here endeth the "New Rules." For now.