Friday, September 28, 2007

Dogs in the Manger

I’ve read TEC Bp’s. message to the Abp. of Canterbury and to the greater Anglican Communion in response to the Tanzania communiqué as well as several different Bps. take on the message. Likewise, I have read the positions of the GLBT community and the Joint Statement of the AAC, Forward in Faith and the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes. Finally, I’ve read what Bp. Akinola had to say.

Until recently I’ve held the position that NH Bp. V. Gene Robinson was probably the loudest of several dogs in the manger howling at the issue, to include puppies from all sides of the ponds. However, I’ve come to change my mind. I see that distinction now falling to Bp. Akinola.

If any attention has been paid to previous posts, y’all know I believe a middle way is the only way through this crisis and I’ve long held that both sides were in need of attitude adjustment. What I don’t think I’ve offered is my thought that Bp. Robinson could resolve a lot of the turmoil but for his refusal to compromise. I’m no longer sure of that, having come to believe Bp. Akinola the single most dangerous person to continued communion of the Anglican faith, becoming my new “top dog” by his utter refusal to consider anyone but himself as able to divine the will of God.

The God I’ve come to know and trust is the God of the New Testament, one of love and compassion and not one of judgment and bitterness as portrayed in parts of the Old Testament. It’s pretty clear that Bp. Akinola will settle for nothing less than total capitulation from TEC and I fervently pray that never happens. I see him as standing not just on his scriptural beliefs but coming from a position of “homophobia” and believe that his homophobia and not his faith, directs him.

Personally, for the record:
1). I support “the civil rights, safety, and dignity of all gay and lesbian persons.”
2). I do not object to the blessing of same sex unions; however, I do not support their becoming sacramentalized.
3). I feel that by taking “Holy Orders” one is held to greater standards of behavior and becomes a “role model” for the laity. Offering an example by word and deed of clean and upright living to be emulated by those to whom they minister. As I see it, this precludes presenting any challenge to their own or the wider church or providing for any further strains on our tenuous bonds of communion.

All this presents even more of a quandary to me. I’ve long held that I am Anglican first and Episcopal second and really don’t want to have to be forced to decide where exactly my allegiance lies. If you read Common Cause Partners Theological Statement it makes complete sense to me and I can accept it fully. However, I know in my heart that these are agenda driven people and their agenda is to marginalize and exclude some to whom they have no right in so doing.

So where exactly do I stand?

I wish I knew.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

House of Bishops

Email this AM included my daily from TEC, indicating that the House of Bishops, concluding their meeting in NOLA, issued a response to the Tanzania comunique.

It would appear at first glance a reply acceptable to maintaining rather than breaking communion with worldwide Anglicans. While the next few days will provide further comment from both sides as to what it "really" means; this observer sees it as a statement both concilitory and compromising of positions strongly held by all.

Thanks be to God!

1st Amendment Freedoms

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke Monday at Columbia University either at their request or Iran's. All the "to do" surrounding it has been couched in 1st Ammendment "Freedom of Speech" terms. That is purely a load of CRAP.

While the 1st Ammendment allows for the free exercise of speech, it does not include any provision for forum nor audience.

We've missed the boat on this one, both the left and the right. While not a citizen of the U.S., I suppose Ahmadinejad is accorded some of the rights of a citizen while on our soil, but no more so. No where will you find a requirement to provide a platform for Klansmen, or any other group or individual to spew their particular position. Nor is there a requirement to force folks to listen to what they consider "B.S." As the right to speak is guaranteed, so the right not to be compelled to listen is likewise.

The way I see it; we have a school which, for whatever purpose, has allowed an enemy of the State a platform to speak against our Country. And, I can't get on board with that. Shame on you, Columbia University.

Friday, September 21, 2007

My Daemon

Have read (quite some time back) all three books of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Enjoyed the first and second books (The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife) and thought I saw leanings towards Christianity in them. As I finally read the third book (The Amber Spyglass) I remarked to the wife that I did not enjoy it and in fact found it slanted against Christianity towards something much darker. It is my recollection also, that I somewhere read of Pullman's being either Agnostic or Atheist and that his trilogy was produced to offer alternative points of view regarding faith and salvation for young people. I suppose that's also why I ultimately failed to appreciate the series.

Anyway, the first book is coming out on film in early December and the production company has this website to publicize it. Part of that website provides the opportunity to determine what form your personal Daemon (an alternative inner self in animal form) takes. I found that to be a very intriguing thought; an alternate side of one that accompanies them throughout their life as a creature of lower species. Having found the website on another blog I took the test and found my personal Daemon to be Aspasa, a female Osprey. Those who know me, go here and see what you think. You have 12 days from today to modify my Daemon by testing yourself against my answers.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Daughter living in NOLA just emailed me what the Times Picayune had to say yesterday about the Bp's Meeting. Read it here.

A few things I found interesting.
From the article itself:
  • Bishop Charles Jenkins of the Diocese of Louisiana asked each to bring a gift of $10,000 to be divided between Louisiana and Mississippi.
    Many will, he said Tuesday -- and Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina has pledged to arrive with a gift of $100,000, Jenkins said.
  • "It seems now the way it's going to work is they're going to have to go home and digest what they've heard" before declaring their response to whatever the Americans put forward, Jenkins said. (referring to the Global South Primates)
  • "On a more pragmatic level, those who will be hurt the most by this are the poor," he said. "We are involved heavily around the world in ministries of relief and development. And I don't think we have the luxury of giving in to our self-absorption on this issue, and taking that energy and those resources away from the poor."

And from the comments:

  • Posted by droopybuzums on 09/19/07 at 5:25AM
    I'm of two minds about a Christian I hope they can reconcile and continue God's work. As a gay-friendly straight woman, and member of PFLAG, I want to see the homophobes not muzzled but also not take over this church, as they have so many others.
  • Posted by godsvision35 on 09/19/07 at 1:24PM
    I'm happy for those of you who classify yourself as "gay friend". Hey, I guess I'm gay friendly too, which means I don't have a problem with anyone who chooses to live as a homosexual. However, there is a big difference from respecting someones lifestyle and altering your spiritual belief to accommodate something it specifically speaks against. Those who believe that the bible doesn't speak against homosexuality, that is your choice and everyone else has to respect that. However, you also have to respect those who believe that the bible doesn't speak against homosexuality. The thing is we cannot be hypocrites as the bible speaks equally against fornication, adultery, stealing, murder, etc.

No personal comment on the issue this time. Everyone needs to form their own opinion and yet respect the right of others to differ. As a Church we MUST try and find our cherished "Via Media" somewhere in between.

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

TEC is meeting in New Orleans beginning today. ABp Rowan Williams will spend the 20th and 21st meeting with the American Bps. in private session. Seems to me this is the "make or break" meeting.

Came across an observation in an AP news article that included the following. It seemed extremely accurate: "The various debates ... over my lifetime have been a fascinating study in two ships passing each other in the night," said the Rev. Peter Moore, a leading conservative thinker and retired head of the Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa. "Neither heard a thing the other said. It was clear that both groups had made up their minds on totally different grounds, and they were not speaking the same language."

I consider myself one of the many, many average Episcopalians somewhere on middle ground and am dismayed that the Church I have grown to love could be rent asunder by the far right and the far left.

Politics are driving my Church as well as my Country and both are much the worse for it. Truly it seems that no one wants to consider the point of view of their opponents. Why is it that we can no longer dialogue, listen and learn; but instead close our minds to all but our own biases and refuse to even acknowledge other thoughts?

Pray for wisdom and foresight for TEC throughout the coming days.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Blessings on thee

Church was good yesterday. The wife made it back on her new "scooter" after a two week absence (recovering from her foot surgery) and for the first time a new mother in the Parish had her 3 mos. old son there with her. That made it doubly special. The little guy was born 3 months early. His due date would be right now. Both she and he looked fine. For a while we weren't sure how things would turn out.

She was beaming and rightfully so. And, what better a place for him to be on that Sunday Morning. Happy Due Day!

So I say to him:
"Blessings on thee little man, barefoot boy with cheeks of tan."

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Fear Not !!!

News of the day is that Madeline L'Engle has passed on to her greater reward.

She was probably most famous in the wider world for her sci-fi series but the wife and I had an opportunity to spend a weekend retreat with her in the beautiful Texas Hill Country one January several years back. She led the retreat and based it upon her most recently published The Glorious Impossible. I took a few things with me from that retreat, a knowledge of how to compose a Collect, personalized autographs on a few of her books and the vivid memory of two of her comments.

First of all would be "BUTTONS". At some time during the weekend we discussed things that were superfluous. As an example she used the cuff buttons on a jacket. To this day I still think of some things as "BUTTONS".

The second and more important memory was of this great woman shouting out "Fear Not!" in reference to the Angel of the Lord's appearance to the shepherds announcing the birth of The Christ. She was, in all likelihood, the first to cause me to recognize the utter fear that those shepherds would have felt with the Angel's appearance, not in a small part due to its size and magnitude. I can imagine they were scared s&#tless. What else should have been said but "Fear Not!" Prior to that weekend I'd always thought of Angels in a childhood way: small and cute and cuddly, Cherubim if you will. Since then I've learned this is not so. Some time after that retreat, while in Europe, wife and I found an Angel that matches a wooden Creche we display at Advent and through the Christmas Season. It was much larger than any of the other figures and rightly so. I suppose it will be displayed even more prominently and proudly this Christmastide.

She was a wonderful, thought provoking and caring person and this world is a lesser place for her passing.

Tesser well Ms. L'Engle, and Fear Not!!!