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March 18, 2005

Comments

Simeon

D.C.,

This is a great summary, thanks! I've linked to it in my own blog.

I agree that it's quite surprising that more mainline to progressive Episcopalians aren't outraged at this bald-faced legal and political maneuvering on the AAC's part...

mumcat

Why haven't people raised more stink about this? People like Fr. Jake have been. But when push comes to shove, most liberals, I think, have come to the conclusion that talking isn't going to get anybody anywhere. If liberals start talking the conservatives talk louder, longer, harder and more vituperatively. So by being more passive I think the hope is that people will tire of the rhetoric and look for other answers. Besides, the more they talk, the more clear their agenda becomes. It really is the liberals' best weapon -- the words of the conservatives themselves.

Simeon

True, and D.C. makes that point above. As long as the AAC/"Network" members' words and actions really get out in "raw" form (i.e. minus the spin), there's hope that this will come to pass.

However, it assumes both a certain amount of non-biased reporting and the freedom of the press to bring it out - both of which are sadly lacking in my own diocese. Our own diocesan newspaper in Dallas is becoming a blatant mouthpiece for the "Network"... so we have to depend on Via Media Dallas, the Episcopal News Service, and occasionally on the religion section of the Dallas Morning News.

obadiahslope

There will be those who are turned off by the antics of some conservative leaders. But it is sad if this is your "best weapon". Because it means that you will be identified more by what you are against than what you are for. Although I disagree with you on the substantive issues, I wouldn't wish that on you.

D. C.

Obadiah, it seems to me that your comment, "you will be identified more by what you are against than what you are for," is a non sequitur.

obadiahslope

I am talking about the trap of oppositionalism, whereby a group - and it has often been a conservative group - is clearer about what they oppose rather than what they are for. One thing that leads to falling into this trap is spending more time and effort in opposing what you oppose rather than supporting what you support.
It is arguable for example that conservative christians in the US and Briatain were more concerned with opposing modernism in the first half of the 20th century than in working out a framework to identify what they were for.

Philip

D.C., reading this string shows just how identically the two sides of the current unpleasantness view the process.

Both progressives and orthodox (reappraisers and reasserters, if you wish) are saying just about the same things. If only the other side keeps on talking, then their bad/evil/unfair/knuckle-dragging/disrupting etc., (pick your own word), will become clear and their position will collapse.

Both sides use the same words, expect the success of their side, but only from the perspective of viewing through the prisms of their own lenses.

It is clear, that neither side is talking effectively to each other, for both sides are ever more entrenched in their positions and have adopted a fully defensive mode.

Sad.

Philip

Philip,
I am not sure I have said what you said I said. I don't that if those who think differently from me only keep talking they will expose themselves...and that their position will collapse.
In fact I think the opposite. Our positions are well known. There is no silver bullet to collapse the other side. I can see that many who disagree with me have come to their position carefully and in good faith. Some of them can say the same about those of us on my "side".
Yet I agree with you that neither side is talking effectively to each other, etc etc.
Not sure where we go next. any ideas?

bls

That's what you all need the homosexuals for.

It's all becoming much clearer to me now. The two "opposing sides" need us theologically-orthodox, culturally-liberal gay folks to bridge the gap. It's evident that that's the whole crux of the thing, so to speak. If we - the gay folks, I mean - can survive the tension, it'll all work out in the end.

(Well, probably not. But actually this is the truth of the matter underneath everything.)

D. C.

And then of course there are those of us who are theologically liberal but culturally conservative (although in my case, when it comes to gay rights, I'm definitely of the live-and-let-live school of thought).

bls

(But really, folks: what in the world does homosexuality, of all things, have to do with Christianity and a transformative religious experience? And why is this being put at the center of the Christian faith today? There's nothing at all about it in the Creeds, after all.

And as you will see if you read this post, ethics is not the major portion of what we are about in the Christian Church; a nice proof is given on this page, and Q.E.D. Here's a quote from that post:

So there is a transformation; contra the Christian Right (aka “True Christians”), the necessary and sufficient transformation is phenomenological, not ethical. The world qua world is transformed, and us via that.
)
bls

It's all very interesting, D.C., I agree. Matter of fact, I'm "culturally-conservative" in some ways myself, and am not averse to, and in fact often quite interested in, new thought in theological matters.

So the labels really don't much fit anyway. Somebody once said this is the signifier of "shifting paradigm," and I think at this point I'm inclined to agree. All the world is in flux, in every way, right now.

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