Comments: some American responses to General Convention

The Living Church's editorial has a fatal crash right here:

"Nevertheless, the Windsor Report’s recommendations seemed to be the best way to address the muddled situation brought about by the New Hampshire consecration."

The "muddled situation" (now there's a euphemism!) was NOT brought about by TEC's . . . *honesty*, in consecrating +Gene Robinson.

Rather, it was brought about by the hysterical REACTION, in some quarters of the AC, to that honesty. :-/

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Thursday, 13 July 2006 at 4:26am BST

Sooner or later when a LGBTQ son/daughter starts to come out to the extended family, - sombody, somewhere will ask: Why are you trying to destroy this family by talking about this? That is one of the lower points in the ups and downs of coming out to the extended family. It is almost impossible to answer, so many and so fast and so entirely off point are its presumptions and assumptions. Later, after calm has settled; and perhaps after others less hysterical have spoken up in two and threes and fours - the hysterical question fades, and the real extended work of talking it through in the extended family can occur - to various degrees for various reasons in various forms and attitudes.

Now we Anglicans worldwide are transfixed, because the hysterical person cannot distinguish intellectually or emotionally or socially, between having your major assumptions/frames crash into new data news, and having your real world crash. Both crashes can be wrenching indeed. But you may actually die in a real world crash, no matter what you think or no matter what you do. A presumptive religious frame crash is highly survivable, as so many people of so many different sorts can bear good witness. I sometimes wonder if some sort of crash in presumptions/frames is not actually a fairly common, fairly reliable indicator of sincere faith journey.

At my old seminary, they used to tell a story. Two senior professors were walking out of chapel together. What a fine day, one professor remarked genially to the other. Uncommonly fine weather for this time of year around here. What do you plan to do?

The second professor answered, Well, on this fine day I have to head back and redo my class lecture in theology for tomorrow, Monday.

Whatever for? the first professor asked. Why don't you just use last year's lecture notes?

Ah, said the second professor, I can't use last year's lecture notes for tomorrow, because - well - the simple fact is, I really don't believe them any more. So I have homework to do.

In its original telling, the point was that this sort of thing is archetypally Anglican/Episcopalian. So far as I can tell, this is not still the case, undisputed.

If this newish covenant process is really about making space for everybody, I do wish Canterbury would take the clear, strong lead in at least two ways. First off, I do wish Canterbury could model just how to include the new conservative believers without saying that we have to sacrifice something important to their special views, derived from their special conformed reading of scripture. Getting some clues there would help all the rest of us, and it might start a trend rolling where we see how to do something besides staying silent, and letting their loud claims go unchallenged - as, for example, we witness their agenda to systematically dismantle gay civil rights being carried forward. If Canterbury can actually call the right to account, worldwide, one supposes it must begin at home, in the CoE, above all other locations. But of course, Canterbury can sidestep the heat in that kitchen and hide behind the government and the queen.

Secondly, it would help a great deal if Canterbury could preach historic Anglican leeway in regard to any and all hot button issues, for the foreseeable Anglican worldwide future. Even if the right manages to make mincemeat out of the LGBTQ Episcopalians in the USA, there are other domains in which this peculiar Know It All claim of the right will be asserted, though can any of those hot button domains generate quite the hysteria that Queer Stuff seems able to generate? How long can you run a worldwide communion based on hysteria? (If USA Southern Baptists and other new conservative churches are any example, maybe a rather long time. We have to claim breathing space, repeatedly, because for the foreseeable future we cannot take it for granted as innate to the conservative frame(s) being urged.)

Posted by drdanfee at Saturday, 15 July 2006 at 9:38pm BST
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