03 February 2013

Nothing much has changed in the Episcopal Church of late. South Carolina clergy, having served with the same presiding bishop for over 6 years still will not get her name right. They pretend to be amazed that a woman may be as capable of anger as they think God uniquely empowers them to be. What a bunch of maroons (with apologies to Bugs Bunny.)

The latest dust up began when Bishop Lawrence proved me wrong and ignored his ordination oath. OK, I screwed up. I thought him moderately honorable at the minimum and I was wrong. Now the clerical terrorists who want to steal the church's property are shocked, SHOCKED, "Shocked I say!" The response of the church is negative. You mean that they actually were subject to the doctrine, discipline and order of the church? This cannot be: they know women are not supposed to enforce such things.

Yup.

Eventually, probably at a Federal level, the church will prevail and the thieves will wail and moan ("wail.." this is a family blog ;-) ) that there has been a net loss in membership. Well of course! What can one expect? Anyone on either side of the issues will see their contributions siphoned off by the litigation and wonder if they are in the right church. Many will answer by discovering other bodies, or none.

The infamous Chapman Memo makes the strategy - scorched earth litigation designed not to win, but rather to emasculate the church, utterly clear. The claim that they expect to win is simply fundraising dishonesty. They know they will lose, and they do not care. That is not the point.

What the average person in the pew, the one to whom the thieves lie while raising funds, does not know is that the people pulling the strings and providing the seed money at various front groups care little about religion, and nothing about Christianity. They are about the politics of white male privilege. They see correctly, churches as opponents of the repression of women, ethnic, racial, and gender minorities. Those are precisely the people they want to oppress.

It is no accident that the churches the ultra-right attack appeared this week on the NRA's, "enemies list." NRA which does not represent most gun owners, is in the same dishonesty business. They want to protect importers and manufacturers, the schismatics want to protect oppressor privilege.

The calculated campaign is now self-sustaining so long as the people in the pews remain deluded with the vision of some sort of pseudo-holy 1950's dream world and keep funding litigation against the church. But the seed money, ah that we know came from somewhere and we know where.

I believe the church believes that ultimately all things do work together for good. But we have a responsibility to work for good in our time. So yes, thieves, the bad news is the Church won't just play dead. She did not choose this fight, we did not seek to have the homophobes, racists, and misogynists attack.

But she will participate and eventually, God willing, prevail. And yes she may fail, we her members, share human failings, and could simply not win. I doubt that will happen, then the record will be there as a new thing rises. If the last election proved anything, we learned the day of the homophobes, misogynists, and racists is over.

We see I am sad but increasingly sure, the same cycle in England. There, those who see the institution as more important than the people stand firmly in charge. Most people attend if at all, only for baptisms, weddings, musical performances, and of course, funerals. "Jedi Knight" is a faster growing religious category than "Church of England." The church has been broken from above although predictably, the bishops blame the laity. It will not be long before it is turned upside down by reformation. It has happened before and the bishops seem to have learned nothing.

Perhaps we should require newly chosen bishops everywhere in the communion to read and report on the life and times of blessed Martin Luther and Thomas Cranmer? Yes institutionalism and bigotry can bar the gates for a while, but the truth has a history of kicking them open. In our electronic age, that process is ever more swift and irresistible. FWIW
jimB

5 comments:

Leonard Clark said...

I had guests from England visit me last night at cocktail time (drinks and shrimp)...one a Physician the other a Hotel owner...both, bored to death with the out-of-touchness of the Church of England and both pleased to note the departure of ++fuzzygown as he goes off into the sunset (interesting, neither knew where he was going -- I did). Then, moving along to the ABC elect, they couldn't remember his name, or his diocese or anything abouhim except he was a oilman earier on (I filled them in)...I tell you the C of E (both are Anglicans) has but everyone to sleep...they could care less and had little/no interest in ++York who they didn´t remember either (good thing I keep track -- verdad)...then we all launched into the stupidity of the Evangelicals as they incite anti-LGBTI hatred in Uganda, Nigeria, and beyond...the dangerous backwardness and plain stupidity of it all. Of course bigots and thieves are out of touch with honest folks in the mainstream of everyday life...we ought no longer be amazed with the blatant self-righteous Christian baseness of it all.

Lionel Deimel said...

Hum, in a bad mood, are we? Your piece is thoroughly depressing but probably very close to the truth.

Jim said...

Lionel,

I thought,
" If the last election proved anything, we learned the day of the homophobes, misogynists, and racists is over." was fairly hopeful.

I guess maybe a bit of a bad mood. I keep waiting for the truth to set someone free and it keeps running into the escape from freedom (HT to Fromme.)

FWIW

Jim said...

Len,

It is precisely that sort of irrelevancy the CoE needs to fight and does not. Alas.

FWIW

Christal said...

I think getting pissed off can be a motivator to change.

St Laika's

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