09 June 2009

umbrellas and repression

Recently CNN, like most networks noted the 20th anniversary of the Tienanmen Square massacre and the subsequent repression of freedom seekers in China. In my view, and I submit Thomas Jefferson's such evil begins with secrecy. Jefferson was famously quoted as saying that if offered the choice between a State with no press or press with no State he would choose the later.

So now we see a secret committee. Not in China, but in The Episcopal Church (USA.) Our masters bishops have created this committee in a blatant attempt to punch their tickets to Anglican events without being troubled by those pesky lesbian and gay freedom seekers. One wonders if they covet the Chinese tanks. Instead of Tienanmen Square, we will have Anaheim.

In Tienanmen, CNN was confronted by State Security people with of all things umbrellas. Umbrellas they kept thrusting in front of the camera operators so that the network could not show the square. Umbrellas like committees can be used as instruments of repression.

So here is my suggestion. Can we get a button making machine to California in time to make buttons that have the TEC symbol partially obscured by an umbrella with a miter on it? It is probably not possible to keep the bishops from being repressive, but we can certainly show that we know what they are doing.

I think the symbol apt. Of course things could get ugly if the presiding bishop can actually get the tanks!



plsdeacon said...


Sometimes a committee needs to work together without outside interference in order to speak honestly with each other. All too often honest dialogue is compromised by interest groups shouting for their point of view.

We do have the injunction to "be still and know that I am God." If the results of this meeting were to be implimented without a vote or an airing at GC, then you might have a point. But this is a group of Bishops who are trying to find a way forward in our current crisis. Can't we cut them a little slack?

Phil Snyder

JimB said...


Three things:

First rumor hath it that committee members have computers with delete keys, secretaries with shredders and answering machines. That is, they can ignore outside information if they want.

Second TEC is deliberately organized to permit the laity (moi) to express opinions. Not that someone has to do what I want but i have a certain prerogative -- to be heard.

Finally do you or I or anyone think for a moment there is substantially more to be said on the topic? This is not about 'doing theology" it is about doing Machiavelli, "Delay is the deadliest form of denial." The HoB or at least its leaders have gotten on board with Dr. Williams.

The Williams plan: Delay, push off, and for heaven's sake keep coming up with more delay. Eventually one side or the other will be exhausted. Hold an entire Lambeth without a plenary. Make GC into a 'guided discussion' forum. Put together a secret committee to talk about conservatives and progressives while hearing from neither.

Dr. Williams will presumably retire and Dr. Jefferts Shori's term will expire. There will still be cleavages cutting through the church and the wounds will be deeper. But they can write books about how they kept the communion together.

I am often told that I have a, 'paladin's personality.' I believe in bringing conflict out into the sunlight and resolving it. Not please understand by 'winning' often what happens is that when everyone looks at the costs of "victory" other choices begin to look better.

Conflict avoidance, the entire policy of our former PB and these two 'keeps the lid on.' The problem is that the pressure continues to build and eventually the lid blows off. It is better I believe to have an honest fight and look for forms of concilliation.

What really bothers me is that these elitists actually believe they have the only copies of The Prince!.

They are wrong. Conflicts do not go away when they are ignored. They fester.

Thanks fo the note. I agree the committee if it had useful work to do would be well advised to ignore some of the heat and light. It really has nothing to do but delay. That is simply bad governance.


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