Comments: APO: the David Beers letter

The comment about avoiding the internet isn't a surprise. It wasn't that long ago that others were suggesting avoiding electronic distribution as things had a habit of getting into the "wrong" hands. Tit for Tat.

Looks to me like someone is calling the bluff, on in poker, asking people to play their cards.

Good way to make sure people get what their hand is worth, not their ability to make out that their hand is worth more than it actually is.

Also, in past experience, I have found that sneaky covert players often will start behaving themselves when they know are going to get sprung for trouble making. Don't stir the pot in the kitchen if you can't stand the heat.

A good example is from Stephen Covey (?) who learnt on his first day at Uni not to say bad things about people. He expressed concerns about his room to the person greeting them, so the dean (?) called the accommodation person in to help him with his problems. That was the last time he said anything nasty behind anyone's back.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 1:50am GMT

The new conserve blogs are vigilant for signs - hints even, it would appear - that the new PB will either fall encumbered into any number of the presumptive either/or definitional traps they so dearly love to comprehensively describe the church or the world; or that she will be easily provoked into some sort of veering from her stated plans for enacting this or that piece of invite to reconcile.

Both are defined as anathema, but the PB just keeps stepping along anyway.

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 2:30am GMT

Re: Use of ordinary postal service. A couple of possible reasons for this. One is that email is not necessarily secure or stable. Another is that just as subpoenas must be delivered in person, there may be legal reasons for making such a request by USPS. That's just a guess.

As for the likelihood of apologies, I suspect none will be forthcoming. It is very hard to back down from such pronouncements.

Right now I am teaching 'King Lear' in one of my classes, and we have read the bit where Lear says he will exact such vengences, he will do such things ... and can't finish the threat, because he is enraged beyond reason and articulation.

The hope here, of course, is that Lear eventually does reconcile with Cordelia, in a scene of such powerful loving mutual forgiveness as to bring tears.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 2:49am GMT

If it is such milk toast, then why bother?

Posted by Christopher T. Cantrell+ at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 1:10pm GMT

My advice to anyone corresponding with Iker and others who agree with him is to release a copy as widely and publicly as possible at the same time you send it. That is the only way to prevent being cut-and-paste quoted.
Columba Gilliss

Posted by Columba Gilliss at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 2:16pm GMT

I think that regular mail was used for symbolic purposes. Just as the request for a copy of the Constitutions. Pro forma.

Posted by Kurt at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 2:33pm GMT

Simon commented, "It turns out to be a piece of milk toast."

Indeed. But when you're desperately trying, as is the Diocesan leadership in Fort Worth, to cast yourself in the role of "hapless victim," you'll grasp at anything, eh ? ;->

Posted by David Huff at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 2:57pm GMT


Interesting your comment on Lear. According to Horace Rumpole (long my hero in matters of poetry and, of course, bloodstains), Lear's threat is pointless because it is not specific and cannot be carried out - so it's an empty threat that allows his enemies to continue. I recall it as
"I shall do such things... I know not what
But they shall be the terrors of th'earth"
(apologies to W Shakespeare for any errors)

Lear, of course, ends up (metaphorically) castrated and literally blinded. Perhaps the threats from some commentators might be shown to be equally as empty?

Posted by Richard M at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 3:07pm GMT

Look out, boys. There’s a new PB in town. And she doesn’t take kindly to schism.


Posted by Wade Bond at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 4:04pm GMT

There is, of course, a clear and simple answer to the question of why Chancellor Beers would act now and not earlier. He has only become answerable to the new Presiding Bishop now. It is only now that she *could* ask for this.

Bishop Griswold clearly did not ask for this. The greater question is why. He has been notable for working toward reconciliation and giving the benefit of the doubt. While Fort Worth's decision to change the diocesan constitution was no less questionable then than now, there had been no discussion about actually leaving the Episcopal Church until now. So, if I give Bishop Griswold the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he gave Fort Worth the benefit of the doubt. The decision to act now is probably the result of Fort Worth's decisions now that suggest concrete steps toward departure.

I am a bit bemused at the heat of Father Cantrell's response to the actual text of the letter. Another aspect of "why is 815 only acting now" is the image of folks at 815 poring over every diocesan constitution looking for irregularities. In the last half generation 815 has had to deal with embezzlement by a financial official, not to mention more recently the Church's response to disasters both natural and human. I don't imagine that changes in a diocesan constitution that had not led to any changes in the involvement of that diocese in the Church would rise to that level of priority. I would certainly not expect the Chancellor to have time to be constantly up on 100+ diocesan constitutions. Now, on the other hand, the diocese seems intent on concrete changes in participation. At that point, this becomes more important.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 4:32pm GMT

(Tongue firmly planted in cheek) But why should anyone apologize, it's patently obvious she's planning to strap them to crosses, wrap them in tarred cloth, and light the streets of Dallas with their burning bodies. Either that or uses them in the Colosseum as lion food. What? There's no Colosseum in Dallas? Oh, well she'll have to build one. Maybe she should build Catacombs so they can say Mass there and hide from the horrible forces of Empire. I can't wait to see how the persecution complex spins this one.

And, again, please read sarcasm into the above.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 5:03pm GMT

Does the USPS normally take eight days to deliver a paper letter from New York City to Fort Worth, or did the chancellor not treat the letter as urgent when it arrived?

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 6:12pm GMT

I think Griswold was right to leave it to Schori to handle. After all, many moves and public statements have been made against her since her election, far beyond what Griswold ever dealt with. It is appropriate that she handles them. Because if she has to rely on her predecessor or an outsider to "rescue" her, then she isn't fit for the job.

On the other hand, I was amused at the reminder of what ended up happening to King Lear. Some of my contemplations in the last day about negligent men comes in a double pronged question. Firstly, can they make us cry, starve, plead for mercy, exist in filth and indignity? Yes. The issue is not that they can do this, the issue is that they would want to do this.

That is not love. Love does not condone systemised deprivation over centuries and decades. Love does not justify repression and intolerance. Love does not treat people like wild horses, to have their spirits broken.

Ask any farmer, farmers who abuse their animals often find their flock run away or turn and attack once the abuse has gone on for too long. Maybe they should go watch the movie "Horse Whisperer" - that is consistent with the gentleness that Jesus promised the Daughter of Zion.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 9:11pm GMT

Yes, Simon, it's supposed to take about 3 days, but 8 calendar days for snail mail to make it from from NYC to Texas is not unheard of.

Posted by Robin D at Friday, 3 November 2006 at 3:53am GMT

And just because some souls insist on a biblical underpinning. Go read Job 41 (especially 41:1-3). It appears that God is pretty good at charming an angry beast.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Friday, 3 November 2006 at 9:20am GMT

RE: USPS delivery times.Here's some perspective. It took my sister's birthday card 10 days to go 200 miles (states next door to each other) from my house to hers. I posted it Oct. 14. She received it Oct. 24.

Posted by Susan Y at Friday, 3 November 2006 at 9:07pm GMT
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