So it's been a busy couple of days over in this particular corner of the fields of the Lord.
I was still in Holy Week/Easter Recovery Mode and thought I had plenty on my plate to deal with just getting caught up on all the things on my "To Do After Easter" list ... plus the unexpected chance to be part of a Marriage Equality PSA video AND the invitation to the GLAAD Media Awards on Sunday night. Yesiree Bob, a very full dance card indeed.
And then I checked my email on Saturday night. And there -- lo and behold -- was a note with an attachment entitled "Bishops' Statement on Episcopal Polity" and including a smoking gun email trail with a very interesting glimpse behind the process of bringing this document into fruition.
It came with an introductory note from the email correspondent which included the following:
I am writing about a time sensitive situation for the national Episcopal Church. I am vaguely aware of some of the details regarding several Diocese scattered across the country who are attempting to separate from the national body of the Church.
For reasons I will never know (perhaps providential -- most likely it is that my initials are the similar as his and thus someone typed in an incorrect email) this morning I received in my email box communication from Bishop D. Bruce MacPherson and a group of his supporters about new documents that are in their final phase of planning that they plan to release soon.
Their present logic behind why they are truly independent of the national body and thus justified by history to do whatever they wish. They indicate they are going public soon. I assume you might know who would like this info to prepare an immediate response etc.
My, my, my.
What to do?
Well, turns out the recipient of the Errant Anglican Emails had reached out to several folks who are identified leaders in LGBT Land, and so after putting our heads together and discerning that the emails were in fact authentic -- and that this "Bishops' Statement" was indeed fixing to launch -- we girded our loins and did what Our Lord told us in the third chapter of the Gospel According to John was the thing to do: turned on the lights.
So now the word is out, the lights are on, the "men behind the curtain" have been "outed." And now -- in an effort to reframe the story from the lengths this bunch of division focused schismatics will go to split the church they have been unsuccessful in re-creating in their own image -- they are (of course) blaming those who have turned on the lights -- not those who have created the mess.
"But is this really news?" asked a colleague a few minutes ago in an email.
"Yes," I replied. "Yes it is."
And here's why. The quote I had in my press release is from a good friend of ours who was STUNNED by how "much plotting is going on."
"I had no idea" he said.
And what I wanted to say was "No shit, Sherlock!" ... but I didn't Because the truth is there are boatloads of well meaning, hard working, faithful Episcopalians out there who really DON'T know that while they're busy talking reconciliation and being nice to each other the other side is off doing whatever it takes to undermine us and our mission and our ministry.
Like plotting "mild kinds of extortion" and rewriting the history of the polity of the Episcopal Church to fit a scenario where they don't have to let the General Convention OR the Presiding Bishop "be the boss of them."
We need to make this news because we need to "turn on the light" and expose what's going on. And we have. And I consider that a very good day's work indeed -- even as I regret the need to have to do this particular piece of work when the world is calling us to get on with proclaiming the Year of the Lord's Favor.
Finally, I'm taking flak for being quoted using the word "cretin" in the Washington Blade. As is often the case with the secular media (and yes, I should know by now to be more careful!) context counts. And while I could and probably should have chosen my words more carefully, the context for that particular comment was exposing the actions of those who mask their homophobia, sexism and and entitlement with a veneer of civility and rapprochement that belies the lengths to which they'll go under cover of darkness to maintain their power and the status quo.
So, for the record, I do regret using the word "cretin." I regret it because cretin infers ignorance -- and I will not grant the architects of this schism the cover of ignorance.
They know precisely what they are doing. And the fact that they doth protest so much when their schemes are brought to the light only serves to make that point.