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Monday, February 19, 2007

The Name of the Pig

So, my Brother in Christ and fervent neo-Puritan, orthodox, evangelical conservative of Louisiana origin (a particularly pig-headed strain), wrote this on the House of Bishops and Deputies (aka HOB/D) listserve "In any event, it looks like schism in the Anglican Communion has been averted."

And, my response was:

With all due respect, Brad, judging from the rhetoric on the "orthodox" blog T19 (Titus One Nine) and the hard-core, angry and unedited comments to essays on blogs like yours and the 'Orthodox Trinity' (Sarah Hey, Greg Griffith and Matt Kennedy) over at ('Mind-The-Gap-in-Charity') Stand Firm in Faith, I think it's pretty clear that schism has already happened.

If you read just below the rhetoric (where the real conversation always lies), the Primate's Communique, while speaking of "reconciliation and healing," and outlining a "process of walking together" clearly acknowledges the schism. Just because the Primates have not "officially" declared schism does not mean that it has not already happened.

Hell, many people have worked very, very hard and very, very long to make sure the "fabric of communion has been torn." Let's not deny them their moment of acknowledgement, no matter how subtle.

The Communique reads a bit like that regrettable but apt description "putting lipstick on the pig." And, the identity of the metaphorical 'pig' is exposed for all to see in this document.

Of course, it's about scriptural interpretation. Oh of course, it's about power and control and authority. Of course, it's about the rise of the feminine, and homophobia is a tool of sexism and misogyny.

Yes. Yes. Yes. That's just window dressing - rhetorical costume for the Pig.

But, the Communique is obviously, blatantly, painfully clear about the intense discomfort and fear of people whose sexual orientation is not the cultural norm.

The metaphorical pig is named "Cross-cultural Xenophobia" - the homosexual stranger in our midst we can all hate and fear and oppress, no matter what continent we're on, what culture we're from, what race or ethnicity is in our DNA, what gender, physical or emotional ability, education or class status we possess.

Now we know (if we didn't before).

Here's my question, one I'm certain will be the lament from both sides of the church aisle, Left and Right, as well as many voices in the middle: We got sold out on B033 for this?

I fully expect, however, that Moderator Bob will announce a clear and certain victory at his Special Diocesan Convention this Saturday (carefully scheduled to conflict with the President of the House of Deputies' appearance in his diocese).

He always does.

David Anderson of AAC will wax fantastic about the reality as he sees it. Martyn "Flip-flop" Minns will say something this week and other next month, and have many, many stories to tell about how he and his wife Angela listened pastorally and patiently to the stories of LGBT people who were in Tanzania. And a flurry of things will be "posted but not written" by Kendall Harmon.

The script writers at "Anglican Central Casting" are now preparing the next episode of the unfolding drama: "As the Anglican World Turns." It's all so very, very sad. Our very own "Madame Butterfly" with lush sets, beautiful costumes, exquisite, poetic language, and gorgeous, soaring music - but a tawdry, sad and very human story of betrayal nonetheless.

I keep thinking of Ed Friedman's Fable about "The Bridge." While TEC is on its way to work out the gospel, the Primates have just tied a rope around their waist, given TEC the other end of the rope and said, "Our life is in your hands" and then jumped over the side, leaving us holding them and the responsibility for the life of the WWAC in our hands.

I know how that story ends. I hope, as the Anglican Drama continues to unfold at the next HOB meeting, Lambeth in 2008 and General Convention in 2009, that our story ends the same way as Friedman's Fable.

You can find it here:


Or, for something even more edifying to the soul, go over to "Madpriest" who writes:

There are three types of people who stare adversity in the face and laugh at it.

1. Second persons of the Trinity.
2. Gay people.
3. The English.

So chin up luvvies.

And sing along with MadPriest

"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine."


Libbie said...

Very ugly.

Timotheos Prologizes said...

I think you are right to say that there is a schism and that it already happened. However, I would say that it happened back on 2 November 2003. Of course, I would say the bigger schism was back in the 1500s and in 1054.

All those schisms should be healed, and no schism can be healed without great humility, repentance, and charity.

Elle said...

It may be hard for you to believe this, but not everyone who believes that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman also hates gays. I’m straight, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy watching the struggles my gay friends face. I’ve engaged in my share of sex before (and therefore outside of) marriage, and I recognize it as sin. Just like I recognize that I have committed (and continue to commit) other sins. We all sin. But that doesn’t mean we should call it good. And there lies the root of the matter. One “side” calls an action good that the “other side” recognizes as sin. And neither side is likely to respond in a positive fashion to any screaming that comes from the other side. Frankly, I hear as much screaming in your blog (witness the name calling in this post) as you say you hear in others. If the purpose of your blog is simply to vent, go for it. If you hope to influence people who are not like minded, you might want to moderate your tone.

Bill said...

Elle, I totally understand what you are saying. But I hope you can also understand that it is very hard to be understanding when your fighting for your life. I understand that you believe extra-marital sex is a sin, but nobody is going to sentence you to death for it. Nobody is going to put you in prison for it as will be done in Nigeria. Our backs are to the edge of the abyss and its a long way down.

Donald said...


It is nice to refer to Nigera in all this..but try Egypt and Iran. Two places where Gays are hung by the neck until dead. You take the time to conviently mention Africa, but neglect to mention the Middle East. While I understand your concern, try not to pick and chose places and events to fit your "agenda" needs at the time.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Donald, Donald, Donald,

Easy big boy. No conspiracy theory here. Nobody is taking the route of "convenience".

Here's a news flash for ya, pal: None of the Primate were either from Egypt or Iran.

David said...


Please see the posting on the Diocese of Pittsburgh website that clearly states Bishop Duncan has scheduled his report on Saturday morning deliberately NOT to conflict with Bonnie Anderson's visit to St Brendan's. His report will be over before Bonnie's workshop on MGDs begins

The Rev. David Wilson
Dio-Pgh Standing Cmte

Bill said...

donald, my response was in the context of the original posting. Granted there are problems all over this nasty little globe but my fingers are aching just trying to keep up with the primates in Tanzania. Oh, and my agenda is to stay alive.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...


I understand this is a new development, made under pressure from folk in his diocese.

Either way, good for him. Good for the church.

obadiahslope said...

There were a lot of new primates so you can be forgiven for missing one of them. The new Primate of the Episcopal Church in the Middle East and Jerusalem is the Bishop of Egypt, the Most Rev. Mouneer Anis. .

Ad Orientem said...

Fr. Timothy,
What are you doing in the Episcopal Church? Really... I am serious. I have looked at your blog. You obviously have a clue as to the difference between orthodoxy (small "o") and heresy or in this case apostasy. Do you really think TEC is anything other than institutionally heretical?

Ad Orientem