Saturday, May 31, 2008

A revisionist confronts Orthodoxy and is unhappy

The following comes from this thread. Starting at #38, Tom Woodward, a priest and one of the leaders at the now-defunct 'Episcopal Majority', pops up. Hilarity ensues. For the record, any post by a smartass calling himself 'mousestalker' is me.

Because I am slow, I just realized why it is revisionist priests and, presumably, bishops have such difficulty at reasserter sites. They are used to being treated with respect because of their office and to be deferred to as having authority.

Unfortunately, at StandFirm it's the American Revolution and they are Crown appointees. Their titles and ranks make them suspect and while they use roughly the same words, the accents and emphases are different, not to mention the goals.

Or to use another analogy: I used to be in a relationship with a drunk. She was sober when we started dating, but she turned to the bottle afterwards. It was a rather difficult time. My wife was in a relationship with an addict. He was clean when she met him, but he resumed his drug use and their relationship foundered. My wife and I share that same history and it's a commonality that has brought us closer as we both learned from the experience. Neither of us have any great desire to repeat our previous relationships.

I think the reasserter websites are healthier than revisionist ones because of the shared experience of pain. We have all been at least singed by bad religion and it has made us demand healthy religion, sound religion, Truth rather than bullshit. Generally, we are all on the same page and can provide support and comfort to one another. And it has made us skeptical of the odd revisionist parson who pops up and expects to be treated with as much deference as in his home parish.

To Tom Woodward and any other revisionist preacher who may come this way. I do not hate you. I am well aware of my sins. But you are not my confessor, spiritual guide or priest. I am not under your authority. And while I will always be civil, I do not trust you, intellectually or spiritually, unless and until you earn that trust.

You're the charming guy who has a flask in his pocket and is slightly slurring his words. And you've just crashed our Al-Anon meeting.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Importance of Public Morality

Pete Hitchens goes yard. Just read the whole thing. Then take a break and read it again.

The money quote for me is "A person properly schooled in right and wrong is safe with any weapon. A person with no idea of good and evil is unsafe with a knitting needle, or the cap from a ballpoint pen."

{H/T Kim du Toit}

Class in Embalming

The children of God having left, the remaining Episcopalians in San Joaquin have been asked to help those in other breakaway dioceses remain Episcopalian. I assume that there will be seminars in how to ditch those pesky Standing Committees, how to pry largesse out of 815, how to have some level of input as to who your new bishop will be, basic lawsuit filing, and of course the ever popular labyrinth design workshop.

For a denomination that prides itself on dialog, the Episcopal Church resorts to scorched earth tactics in lieu of negotiation entirely too much. Our leadership not only can no longer use the language of Christianity, it can not act Christ-like either.

I am very much in favour of those who wish to stay Episcopalian staying Episcopalian. I am also in favour of those who wish to leave, being allowed to leave. And I am keenly aware of the fact that there are only a limited number of churches that I have ever contributed money to and that under any sense of fairness I would ever presume to feel that I have some sense of ownership. Anglo-Catholic I may be, but I didn't build those buildings, I didn't work in them, raise children in them or get buried near them. I have no right to have a voice in their disposal.

I wish like heck that those who have no direct interest in the building (I am looking at you Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori) would keep their big fat flapping mouths shut and mind their own business. If you feel you have a steward's obligation towards the properties, then may I ask what efforts you have ever put towards their construction and maintenance? As to the funds you have direct and overt authority over, is handing them to Goodwin-Procter really the highest and best use for them? I assume you learned at your recent poverty summit that there are still poor people in America.

Some factual background information:

The reconstituted Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin consists of six parishes (churches that are self supporting) and ten missions, one of which has its own building.

Diana Rigg as I Will Always Think of Her

More flashbacks to a mis-spent youth.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cows With Guns

Thursday Morning Renaissance

Chey in my earlier post about Renaissance asked if they had done a song called 'Mother Russia'. They did. The concert Youtube video that is available of it is not the best quality, but here is a recorded version:

(the video is about the last Tsar's family)

If anyone wishes to explore their music more, the "Live at Carnegie Hall" album is perhaps the closest they ever came to a 'greatest hits' album.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Retro Wednesday- Carpet of the Sun

In the seventies, I was probably one of two Renaissance fans in North Carolina. Annie Haslam's voice still gives me chills.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Small Groups and Minority Rule

Let's suppose that you are in charge of organizing a conference of some kind. You know that the attendees you agree with constitute about 400 or so. You know that the attendees you disagree with number around 480. If you allow any sort of mass vote on whatever issue has you divided, then your side will lose.

What you have going for you is that you are in charge of the organizing. Knowing something of the history of post colonial Massachusetts, you arrange for a no-lose situation. You break the 880 total participants into 22 smaller groups of forty each.

Your 400 pals get divided into 16 groups of 25 each. Each of those 16 groups also contain 15 of your opponents. The remaining 6 groups are composed entirely of your opponents. You announce that all work, and therefore decisions, will be made by the groups.

Your side wins all decisions 16 to 6 every time.

In politics that is known as gerrymandering and it has a long and ignoble history.

I wonder if there will be a new name coined for it in the context of Anglican church politics?

Heavy Metal Cello

H/T to Sven

Tuesday Afternoon Hollywood Moment

because I don't post enough Ann-Margret

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What Will Happen At Lambeth

There has been some discussion of what the indaba groups are and how they will function. I thought I would give those unfamiliar with them or with facilitated groups in general, some idea of how these thing work.