There's a great reflection making the email rounds -- Don't Call Them Conservatives --written by Teresa Mathes -- a delightful woman I had the honor to meet in May when I preached at St. Paul's Cathedral in San Diego (where her husband happens to serve as diocesan bishop.) As "Father Jake" beat me to the punch and already has the piece posted I'll link to it from here ... I appreciated Jake's personal "intro" ... but let me add a bit of my own:
I was raised by conservatives, too. Goldwater Republicans. Good ones. Caring ones. From my perspective often wrong-on-many-issues ones but people with whom one could debate, dialogue and discuss. I grew up considering myself a Republican -- registered to vote as one in 1972 (the first year 18 years olds could!) and didn't officially make the switch across the aisle until the early 90's while watching the Republican Nat'l Convention and hearing out of Pat Buchanan's mouth hate-speech I knew was spinning my gone-to-Jesus-in-1987-Daddy in his life-long G.O.P. grave. I left kids doing homework ... dinner on the stove ... and drove down to the grocery store where I knew they had the voter registration card table set up and changed my party affiliation then and there. (See also: metanoia)
Long story short: I have deep respect for genuine conservatives and absolutely no patience for what's being done in the name of conservatism in this country and in this church today. And neither does Teresa Mathes. Which is why she gets this week's "You Go, Girl!" award!
Don't Call Them Conservatives
by Teresa Mathes
I was raised by conservatives. In Southern California, where I now live, this is rather like saying you were raised by wolves. But I like to think the people who raised me did a good job: they gave me a strong sense of family and of community obligation; they taught me to respect social institutions. Conservatives, my mother often said, valued what was best in society and tried to preserve it. She abhorred mob tactics, half-truths and secrecy. “If you have to hide it,” she’d say, “You shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
I was also raised Episcopalian. My grandfather helped build the church in which my mother was married, then my cousin, then my sister and I in our turn. I was graduated from Sewanee, a liberal arts college owned by the Southern dioceses of the Episcopal Church. I have sung Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral, lunched with a Primate of New Zealand and dined with an Archbishop of Canterbury. By the time I was twenty-eight, I was on a first name basis with Jack Allin and Cecil Woods, and if you don’t know those names, it only proves how pathetically, arcanely Episcopalian I am.
Of course, if you do know those names, you know how un-Anglican all this boasting is. The Episcopal Church in which I was raised was a church of civility, a church that thought before it spoke. Some would say we thought too much and spoke too circumspectly. So I am being very clear here about the position from which I speak. Because what I have to say is that the AAC and the ACN do not represent true conservatives.
Read it all here