Friday, February 25, 2005

Anglican Schism


BBC NEWS | UK | Analysis: Anglican schism nears reality

To Liberal Episcopal Clergy:

OK, jackasses, I bet you didn't expect this 15 or so years ago when you decided that it was time to teach us, the laity, the proper enlightened views about sexuality.

Everything had gone so well in your project to educate us until then. First you shoved that stinking piece of shit, the 1979 Prayer Book, down our throats. Then you pushed through women's ordination (which I enthusiastically supported). You thought you had the routine down pat--it was just a matter of Using Psychology: workshops with relating games and small group sessions, politicking to get the vote through--then a little sympathy and pastoral smarm for the disgruntled, putting out small fires here and there and waiting it out until the we got used to the latest innovation so that you could move on to the next project.

You arrogant, patronizing jerks just never got the idea that you weren't the lettered gentlemen of your parishes and dioceses, the intelligencia surrounded by a lay peasantry. It never even occurred to you that any of us could have principled objections to your views or rationally considered objections to your policies--you were firmly convinced that any dissatisfaction on our part was merely a result of prejudice or irrational resistance to change, which you could overcome through group dynamics techniques, wheedling and manipulation. Surprise!

Of course it won't make a bit of difference if there is some sort of schism in the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church will continue on its slow but inexorable decline--no slower or faster than it would otherwise have done--churches will waddle through that stinking shit liturgy every week and the Church Pension Fund will remain solvent so I doubt that you'll be losing any sleep over it.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG! Thank you...you hit the nail on the head.

ST said...

You rancor surprises me. I remember a post of a few months ago where you describe a very different set of reasons for your disssatisfaction with church and religious community. After that, it's hard to see you as a distraught Episcopalian (lapsed or un-). Are you really familiar with the Episopalian liberals' approach to this issue and their persuasion strategy? Are you sure it was this smug and oblivious? I plead ignorance here; I understand your concerns about identity politics distorting the liberal aganda and often agree. But is it possible in this case we're dealing with a true principled stand and not a smarmy and unthinking bow to political correctness?

Allison said...

Whoa! Dude! Although I agree with the core principles expressed in your tirade, the expletives, bitterness and vehemence are unnecessary and counter-productive. Definitely not uttered with Christ's love at the center or with the compassion of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps you should take a breath and "chill out" before you speak.

Allison said...

Whoa! Dude! Although I agree with the core principles expressed in your tirade, the expletives, bitterness and vehemence are unnecessary and counter-productive. Definitely not uttered with Christ's love at the center or with the compassion of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps you should take a breath and "chill out" before you speak.

H. E. said...

I believe that the stance of liberal clergy is principled and not just a bow to PC: what I object to is their failure to recognize that the stance of their opponents is also principled and rationally considered.

You have to distinguish 3 questions: (1) is homosexual activity morally ok; (2) should the church as an institution officially recognize it as morally ok by, e.g. ordaining openly active homosexuals and blessing same-sex unions and (3) how should liberal clergy deal with people who disagree with them about (1) and (2).

My own views on these matters are:

(1) All consensual sexual activity is morally ok--heterosexual or homosexual, committed or casual, whatever.

(2) But the church should not at this time officially recognize it as morally ok because the costs of doing so are, as we can now see, significant, and because the benefits are negligible.

(3) Liberal clergy have dealt with dissent on this matter, as on other hot issues, in the worst possible way as described in my screed. Moreover they don't understand that one can reasonably hold (1) and (2) above and, perhaps more importantly are unable, or unwilling, to recognize that often what gets people's backs up is not their liberal views, but their refusal to take other positions seriously, their patronizing, insulting attitudes, and manipulative behavior.

Jaamie said...

h.e. In truth, your viewpoint is irrelevant. All that matters is what Jesus' view would be. Do you seriously believe, based on things He did say, that His view would be that all consensual sex is OK. Most think not.
The church's view for both liberal and conservative should be ot promote His view as the model for all us sinners to follow. The church should then be there to support us when we fail to follow that model.

ST said...

Are you saying that the clergy should not have pushed the issue at all because its time hadn't come, or that they should have pushed it, but with more respect for the views of the laity? If the Episcopalian laity had resisted the idea of women's ordination as they've now resisted the changed stance on homosexuality, would you have called then for the clergy to stand down and wait till the time was right?

H. E. said...

Are you saying that the clergy should not have pushed the issue at all because its time hadn't come, or that they should have pushed it, but with more respect for the views of the laity?

Shouldn't have pushed it at all. It isn't the business of clergy to formulate moral teachings. The ill-fated Bishop's Teaching Document on Human Sexuality was a novelty--Episcopal clergy's first attempt to exercise magisterium.

As far as policies on blessing same sex unions and ordaining openly active homosexuals this was pointless. Before opening this can of worms there weren't a lot of gay couples clamoring to get married in the Episcopal Church. As for ordination, I'd bet there were proportionately more gay men amongst Episcopal clergy than in the population at large for decades--most people knew, no one cared. The whole campaign to change policy was a symbolic gesture in support of the moral "teaching." In a decade or two most Episcopalians would have viewed the church's official position on homosexual activity as one of those silly things on the books that no one pays any attention to, like the Catholic Church's birth control ban.

If the Episcopalian laity had resisted the idea of women's ordination as they've now resisted the changed stance on homosexuality, would you have called then for the clergy to stand down and wait till the time was right?I did--and in print. That issue was more pressing because whereas gay men could get ordained with no problem, official policy or not, women couldn't. But women's ordination was an idea whose time had come and within a few years it would have gone through without a fuss. Moreover, it would have gone through with less fuss when it did if it hadn't been played as a revolutionary movement for Change in the church by some of the most vocal advocates.

H. E. said...

h.e. In truth, your viewpoint is irrelevant. All that matters is what Jesus' view would beWell my heterodox view is that Jesus' views on this and other moral issues are irrelevant. I don't see more reason to think he got it right on ethical issues than on the authorship of the psalms.

Jesus qua human was ignorant and mistaken about a variety of matters and most hold that, however problematic, that's compatible with the doctrine that he was God incarnate. I don't see how recognizing that he was ignorant and mistaken about moral issues is any worse.

ST said...

How can you be so sure that society would have evolved to accept these new positions without a series of attempts from different quarters to push the envelope? It seems to me that Stephen Gould's theory of punctured equilibrium may apply also to social evolution and that change only comes when some (including the clergy in this case) decide to puncture the social equilibrium.

Also, ss a religious Jew I'm curious about your theology. Just how heterodox is the notion that Jesus' position on a given issue is irrelevant? What relevance can Jesus then have? Are his teachings beside the point? If so, what is the point?

H. E. said...

How can you be so sure that society would have evolved to accept these new positions without a series of attempts from different quarters to push the envelope?I think the envelope should be pushed, but that the Episcopal church is not in the position to do it--unlike black churches in the South which were in an excellent position to organize and promote the civil rights movement 50 years ago.

It isn't heterodox to hold that Jesus qua human didn't have any special knowledge of matters of fact--from the theory of relativity to the authorship of the Psalms. It does seem to shock people to suggest that he had no special knowledge on moral matters or competence in ethics, but I'm not sure what argument there is to suggest that ethics is special.

Core doctrine, as articulated in the creeds, concerns metaphysical issues, not moral claims, viz. that Jesus was God, identical to the Second Person of the Trinity. However that doesn't cash out as an ascription of special knowledge or special power to Jesus as a human. According to orthodox doctrine, he was wholly human as well as wholly divine, not some compromise between the two, and being wholly human means being limited in a variety of ways. The real worry for orthodoxy isn't that it's committed to implausible empirical claims about Jesus' special knowledge or special powers, about special revelations or miracles, but that it's metaphysics that doesn't cash out empirically at all.

I think his teachings are beside the point because ethics isn't a matter of "teachings"--by Jesus or anyone else--but a matter of figuring it out by reflecting on our intuitions, generalizing and achieving a "reflective equilibrium." The point for me is that Christianity is our culture-religion and that I, at least provisionally, buy the metaphysics.

Anonymous said...

Come On Harriet, Griz and his pals at 815 have had a really, really bad week and they don't need this from you right now. How would you feel if a bunch of poor benighted African, Asian, and Hispanic folk ganged up on you in Ireland, of all places, and asked you to take your sanctmonious, puffed up and pontificating ass somewhere else? I mean AFRICANS for frigging sake! Ah, the noble white man's burden is hard to bear indeed. Don't these people EVER learn? Our role is to missionize them, their role is to be missionized by US! It's right there in the Book of Sums -- you know, the checkbook from which we send them moola each year so they can buy fancy red and white Anglican bishops robes from J. Wippell's & Co. and pretend to be REAL bishops! Their ingratitude clearly knows NO limits! Their place is to be seen and NOT heard. Our ancestors clearly didn't program them right the first time around. Now they seem to think that THEY, can you imagine that THEY! think that THEY can tell US what the Bible means. I mean for Pete's sake, it's OUR Bible and it means whatever we damnwell tell them it means! And now, after this royally bad week to hear you slam the precious 1979 BCP as if the masterful litterary (and almost TOTALLY PC) improvments of a bunch of middle American white bread bishops of circa 1975 on the classic prayer book of Thomas Cranmer were merely, how did you put it? Just a "piece of shit!" I mean this is just too much to bear. Next you'll be saying you don't like "Listen to what the Spirit is saying to God's people." after the reading of the Lessons each Sunday! You need to chill and just let Frank take us to that "deeper place" where the spirit is leading him -- and us! Don't even suggest that that "deeper place" might be Hell, because dear Harriet, Father (and now Mother) ALWAYS know best! Remember dear gentle lay folk, some things NEVER change! Peace, -Chris

Anonymous said...

Well, father and mother are quite miffed that these young churches are finally coming of age and are determined to express their voice...youngins today got no respect for our authority!

ST said...

The Bible is not a physics manual - agreed. It tells us something profound about the nature of God (at least in relation to creation) - certainly. It has, by design, nothing of enduring value to say about how we must act - perplexing. I'm troubled, at the very least by all the narrative waste, the literary inefficiency. Some questions about your doctine: is Jesus in the New Testament always man and never God? Is he, as man, no more worth listening to or emulating than other men? Is the whole book silent on how man ought to behave?

J. Arbeiter said...

BRILLIANT! I'm a little late to the bracing analysis in the original posting. Your differentiation between a very liberal sexual ethic and the question of whether it is wise for the church to bless such is truly brilliant. If we choose to have sexual relations apart from the marriage of a man and a woman, we are on our own. Don't drag the church in as a salve.

Anonymous said...

Bonjour I'd love to thank you for such a great quality forum!
thought this is a nice way to introduce myself!

Sincerely,
Sage Brand
if you're ever bored check out my site!
[url=http://www.partyopedia.com/articles/curious-george-party-supplies.html]curious george Party Supplies[/url].

Anonymous said...

Hi There I'd like to thank you for such a great quality forum!
I was sure this would be a perfect way to introduce myself!
To produce wealth it is usually a good conception to start a savings or investing procedure as early in life as obtainable. But don't worry if you have not begun saving your assets until later on in life. As a consequence of hard work, that is analyzing the best investment vehicles for your cash you can slowly but surely increase your growth so that it measures to a big sum by the period you wish to retire. Contemplate all of the accessible asset classes from stocks to real estate as investments for your money. A well diversified portfolio of investments in different asset classes may help your money swell through the years.

-Christian Sokolowski
[url=http://urwealthy.com]currency exchange rates[/url]