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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Bullies and Thugs for Jesus

Well, it's been quite a time of late in the Blogosphere - especially for one of the managers of my favorite ultra conservative web page (Not!).

My sisters and brothers in Christian Blog Nation have done an excellent job of reporting the story.

You can begin with Jim Naughton at
Episcopal Cafe

Then, head over to
Fr. Jake Stops the World and sample his fine, measured, articulate writing.

Mark Harris at
Preludium, gives a fine analysis, as always.

But please do not miss Katie Sherrod over at
Wilderness Garden. Her opening line just about did me in when I read it.

"Mr. Melanie" as
Maddy refers to him, well . . ."apologized" in his not-so-charming, but clearly swashbuckling way.

Here's the thing I want to say: There is an alarming increase in the violence of the language coming from the Radical Right. The violence is not just the typical male Calvinist bravado, or the Christian machismo found in "Onward Christian Soldiers" or "Stand up! Stand up for Jesus!"

That's pretty amazing to me, since they - the Calvinist, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Conservative, Orthodox, neo-Puritan uber-Christians - seem to be moving on and "doin' they thang" as the boys and girls on the streets of Newark say.

I mean, they are doing what they feel called to do - breaking away from The Episcopal Church and calling the church catholic to a reformation within The World Wide Anglican Communion.

They are doing what they are called by God to do with integrity and authenticity and singleness of purpose, right?

Even "their women" (and I use the term advisedly) have acquiesced to the violence. All afternoon long, two women - Sarah and Jackie - have sat as fierce sentinels at the gates of Mr. 'pistol-packing' Griffith's apology, monitoring the content and tone of those who choose to respond, proclaiming first and second and final warnings like goalies at a fierce European soccer match, and finally banishing to exclusion those who have "crossed the line" of their feminine, decidedly Victorian sensibilities of judgement about their brother.

It's all deeply disturbing, mostly because of the portent it holds for the days ahead.

So, why the bravado? Why the increase in the violence of their language?

I have some ideas. A few initial thoughts. Truth is, I don't know for certain, except that I know without a doubt that the Anglican Jihad has officially begun.

Okay, go ahead. Snicker. Snicker all you want.

Ah, there she goes - never at a loss for an opinion. So emotional. So raw.

"The Swan of Newark" overstating the case.

But, in the days to come, expect the violence to increase.

And, don't say I didn't tell you so.

35 comments:

David said...

I'll admit I'm always especially surprised at the women who seem so involved in the (so-called) "orthodox" Anglican movements. I wonder what brings on such, well... to be blunt, self-loathing behaviour ?

Being "of a certain age," I remember some unkind things said about a minority of African-Americans who seemed to participate in their own oppression back in the Civil Rights days - "Uncle Tom" being the least offensive.

I have the same level of puzzled astonishment here.

taomikael said...

Griffith's behavior is not accidental, nor is it the result of some mental imbalance. He knows what he is doing, and the choice is deliberate. He's a skilled manipulator.

The women of StandFanatic are different. They have bought into Griffith's game completely, perhaps hoping for his approval, his validation. It's foolishness, of course, for that compliance will never bring them the result that they hope to achieve.
.

fs said...

"Anglican Jihad" - heh! That is good, and if it catches on, it'll drive the poor things bonkers, since the only thing they hate more than strong, independent women and fully human men are Islamics.

Well-written piece, Rev. Kaeton, and a nice assortment of links from around the blogosphere. I'm glad they're receiving the "attention" they deserve and hope it will give them pause -- and perhaps a moment or two of introspection.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

You know, taomikael, when I first was directed to this site, I looked at it for a long, long while, trying first to figure out how in the heck anyone could actually confuse the picture of this person with Bishop Barbara.

Oh, there are some resemblences, but there is NO WAY it could be confused with a picture of her.

Then, I wondered why Griffiths didn't check out the source before printing such a direct, personal attack.

Several commenters raised the question and he still did nothing to check out his sources.

It was only after he got wind of my note from Barbara which I intentionally buried in a comment section over at Maddy's neighborhood that he took it down.

You're right: this was not a mistake. He did it purposefully and deliberately and with every intention of stirring a hornet's nest.

But, he misplayed his hand. Badly.

I think he wanted so desperately to talk about the Israeli-Palestinian situation and use it as one more thing to slam those on the Left that he allowed his arrogance and high-octane testosterone-induced machismo to cloud his journalistic sensibilities.

He really thought he could get away with this.

There is no mental imbalance here, but a most definite personality disorder. Classic, in fact. A first year psych student could diagnose it from afar and without the DSMR5 handy.

You're right: His sexism is astounding. It blinded him from the possibility that the picture couldn't possibly be anyone else but Bishop Barbarba.

But, you and David are also right about the women of Viagra Land. I don't get it. Never have. Probably never will.

"Internalized oppression"? Okay. I'll buy that for Ms. Hey and Ms. Bruchi.

I guess I've just never seen it operate on this high a level.

I mean, they are intelligent women. They have obviously thought this through very carefully.

I have respect for the depth of their theological convictions.

I just don't get the violence. Ms. Hey refers to it all the time. Her one consistent metaphor for the Anglican Jihad is The Lord of the Rings. She has a really creepy in depth knowledge of all of the characters and quotes long, long passages from the text.

I just don't get the violence.

Do you think the closer they move to actual schism, the more anxious they become, the higher their violence quotient rises?

I don't know. I'm just asking.

Because, I thought schism is what most of them want - okay, Ms. Hey has been clear that she's staying (I get lost in her lexicon of Con-Coms, Fed-Coms, Neo-whatevers) which concerns me because I don't think it's a healthy choice.

She's choosing a path that is bound to make her miserable. That simply isn't good for the soul. She's smart enough to know that.

So, what's the payoff to staying in a church which she says is "apostate" to fight a battle she can't win because all of the best warriors are leaving to start a new church?

Why the violence? In general, but especially among the women leaders and commentors?

Anybody got a theory?

Jim said...

Ok, yes I have a theory. It accords well with my anecdotal experience albeit I have not done any serious data collection.

There are a fair number of people who need to know that they are in their niche. A quick re-reading of "Escape From Freedom" by Fromm is helpful in understanding this viewpoint. Among them are those who believe that some accident of birth, gender, skin color, ethnicity, or academic accomplishment entitles them to positions of wealth, power or both. And they do not have those positions.

So, they look at their niche, and at those who have what they think they should have. And they seek out common characteristics, when they can't find them, they assign them.

As they fail to get what they think of as entitlement, they become increasingly frustrated and angry. And then the violence.

I think of the women you mention, and suggest they fit the theory. They are 'good girls' who would never think a sexual thought about another woman (yeah sure) another man, or even about themselves if it diminished their husband's err, performance. The see women getting things they either desire or want to have vicariously via the men in their lives, and the frustration builds.

So, if we elect a lesbian bishop of Chicago Saturday, another case of a 'good girl' not getting to be the wife of a 'good man' who is bishop. Clearly there must be a lesbian conspiracy!

In a real sense the schism is a failure of 'good' triumphing over 'evil.' After all, we know which way the legal actions are going, and we can observe the fate of the incredible shrinking continuum. What sort of victory puts the good people under the rule of black bishops? Not a lot of happy people over there!

Or so I posit.

FWIW
jimB

SeƱor Bozo said...

I'm sad to say that your expectation of violence doesn't sound at all unreasonable.

If you're interested in more information about the eliminationist trends among the political and religious right, I'd highly recommend David Neiwert's Blog 'Orcinus'. David and his new colleague, Sara Robinson, have been doing excellent writing on this subject - as well as a lot of other interesting issues - for some time.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Jim - your thinking makes sense to me. Thanks. And, thanks to Senor Bozo. I'll check out the blog tonight.

Sister Mary Hasta said...

Any battered woman can tell you that the more you try to express your own opinion and take the power away from your abuser, the more violent they become.

Crap, I'm gonna have to talk about this feyud schtuff on my blog now, ain't I?

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Anybody got a theory?

Because once she leaves, she's irrelevant. In the One, Holy, Truly Pure and Masculine Church, she will no longer be needed as a "front woman" (and I use that term on purpose). The men will do the talking there...

By staying in TEC, she'll still have a platform from which to speak and an audience to pay her some mind.

That's MY theory, anyway...

(Why she wants to carry that particular theological cross is beyond me...but I can see why she would rather do it in TEC than in a new denomination that explicitly denies the leadership abilities of women.)

fs said...

Because, I thought schism is what most of them want

I think victory is more important to them than schism; they want their schism with clear victory for them, and clear defeat for us. The schism they've tried for is one in which "reasserters" are formally censured, punished, and cast out of the Anglican communion in shame and humiliation. Then they can triumph over us and know themselves to be both righteous and victorious. Instead, it's beginning to look like they themselves will have to leave, and we (the "bad guys") might inherit the mantle of "Anglicanism," keep our churches, and continue as a viable and respectable face of Christianity.

This is an intolerable outcome. Remember, conservatives see the world as a hierarchy with themselves on top, dominating -- and abusing -- others. It's just part and parcel of being conservative. Ms. Hey, in particular, uses terms of warfare -- words like battle, win, defeat, etc. -- constantly, and she is never so joyful as when she thinks the "reasserters" are suffering. I think they are deeply frustrated by our persistent respectability in many quarters, and this is why they are soliciting damaging photos and videos of our clergy to use as evidence that we do not deserve respect and *should,* rightfully, be cast out, once and for all.

Second best to vanquishing their "enemies" would be some sort of "noble martyrdom" in which they leave with only their vaunted (and false) purity intact. It is to the latter that Bishop Duncan and David Ould appeal, when they speak so melodramatically of martyrdom (remember Duncan's September speech about the "red martyrdom" and Ould's Latimer and Ridley video of last August). They need to see themselves as the righteous ones, and if they cannot "defeat evil," then they must suffer at its hands as Christian martyrs, letting the victory eventually come at the hands of Christ. Anything short of outright victory is "martyrdom," for them.

It is this that I think Ms. Hey cannot abide, because it smells too much like defeat to her. I believe she, and a couple of other women there, run purely on vengeance and hatred, and there is no way she could tolerate having to be the one who must leave. In her imagination, replete with fantasy dramas from the Lord of the Rings, the story must end with the righteous in full control, the unrighteous vanquished forever (and, perhaps, the unequivocal triumph of the Great and Good Princess).

Anyway, that's how it looks to me.

Dennis said...

I think that you are right - we will see more attacks, more viciousness, more complaints, more bad behavior.

As their little world of complaint crumbles around them (and they realize that in two or three years they will be a bunch of little tiny autocephalous sects with more bishops than parishes) they have to drag something, anything, anyone, down with them.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

All very interesting theories, all of which smack of parts of the truth. These are complicated women and the truth about them will be no less complicated.

Sad. All of it. Very, very sad.

taomikael said...

"I think he wanted so desperately to talk about the Israeli-Palestinian situation and use it as one more thing to slam those on the Left that he allowed his arrogance and high-octane testosterone-induced machismo to cloud his journalistic sensibilities."

I don't think he -has- journalistic sensibilities. He doesn't report, he uses.

I think he knew that the Israeli-Palestinian situation is a hot-button for his particular audience, and that he could use the issue effectively to further his power-seeking. He knew that he had a safe target in a woman bishop, for his audience is more than ready to believe -anything- bad about women priests in general and women bishops especially. So he lit the fuse, and fanned it for all he was worth.

I'm confident that he or one of his minions saw your comment on Maddy's site and recognized the danger. So, smoothly and surely, he shifted into an alternate track. He removed the original post, so as to hide the evidence, and then diverted the energy that would have hit him into the "apology," thereby further rallying his sheeple around his cause. It worked. Even those few that faintly raised concerns about the witch hunt he was invoking quickly joined in the cheer for the Griffster's supposed "integrity."

None of his loyal assembly of followers even noticed that the standard that he himself used to judge your apology over Mr. Kennedy's wife would, if applied to his conduct in this matter, have condemned him. Nor will they, for they know that stepping out of line leads quickly to banishment. Note how quickly Ms. Hey banned Leonel for challenging them. His sin, of course, was that he was too effective in showing up their hypocrisy.

I mean, they are intelligent women.

Yes, they are. But also with desperate needs for external validation, which they know that they can get when they play the "little brother" card, mimicking the Big Boys. The males will pat them on the head in approval, and patronize them by complimenting them on their "righteous anger." What those women don't see is the contempt underneath the supposed smiles, probably because they can't afford to let themselves see the truth.

As you noted, there are a handful of people on StandFanatic that like to quote the Lord of the Rings and to think of themselves as heroic characters in that model. It allows them to demonize the opposition, and to give themselves strokes to their deep need to believe themselves significant. They do see themselves as Men of The West, standing valiant against the godless hordes that would overrun them. That's what "heroes" supposedly do to win the "glory" they crave.

Will there be violence? Possibly. Griffith is smart enough to not step over the line to where, under the laws used to hammer the KKK, he could be held liable for his rhetoric. But he also has no apparent scruples about pressing right up to the edge of that line. If some sub-humans, in his view, get hurt, well, it's not like they have any real worth to him. And Griffith knows very well how to push the buttons of his gang to motivate them towards action -- you certainly saw that when he had them writing letters and making phone calls about you in many directions.

They dream of replacing TEC, of banishing all those who make them feel small and foolishly rigid. What happens when those dreams don't pan out? When a handful of dioceses leave but the world doesn't start to revolve around the fanatics? When their insignificance is clearly proven? That's when the danger, in my opinion, will really rise.

.

David Walker said...

Sad. All of it. Very, very sad.

It also strikes me that, yes, what's going on with the behavior of the women over there (and thanks to all of the above for some really excellent theories about this) leaves one feeling that it is indeed sad.

On the other hand... the behavior of the men (alluded to in the above comments) has me feeling that it is so ludicrously outrageous that it leaves me laughing... as in "seriously now, folks, can they really believe this stuff themselves?" I mean... who can read that last letter from Pitt to PB without breaking up?

Weird.

Of course, some of the other guys over at SF are just downright scary. It's beyond Twilight Zone. More like Apocalypse Now. Brando's final soliloquy comes to mind.

Malt Viquor said...

A few months ago I found myself reading your postings about the wife of one of the MANLY MEN of Stand Firm (you know, the one that got everybody over there so steamed).

There was outrage by all the commenters there about your post (which was, IMO, a disturbingly accurate portrait of a cry for help). But there was something else very disturbing.

There was a thinly disguised glee in the SF community. I remember reading one post, a fragment of which stuck with me:

"This is WAR! We are at WAR!"

Interpreted another way: "We are IMPORTANT! We really are IMPORTANT!"

As the thread grew and grew, and it appeared that no one was going to punish "that Kaeton woman," (and also that the SF community was not important enough to warrant further comment) you could feel the disappointment seeping out between the lines.

Greg is just trying to get more and more people to read his blog, and in doing so, the content has taken a nosedive and become even more outrageous and fabricated. (As if it wasn't low enough already). He's the Anglican Jerry Springer.

Where else would you see the likes of Tori Spelling and Fred Phelps compared to the Episcopal Church?

As for the women of Stand Firm, who knows?

Why do some of the oppressed always collaborate with the oppressors? It's only a matter of time for them anyway. I guess it's better (psychologically) for one to willingly choose to be oppressed, rather than have it forced upon them.

Heck, the aforementioned wife was, IMO, a very good preacher in seminary (who was also something of a feminist). If her husband has his way, she will set aside her orders (as part of the "failed experiment") and never step into the pulpit again.

I guess another way of putting it would be, to mangle Milton: "Better to fawn in hell than serve in heaven."

I am saddened by the abuse willingly taken by such talented women.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Gee, I sure hope some of the Bullies are reading this. I'll bet they aren't. Pity.

ottorinophc said...

perhaps, ms. kaeton, if you let certain comments through onto your blog, you would realize that said "bullies" do actually read your blog, and have intelligent things to say.

once again, the tone taken by you and your commenters is offensive, and, whether you'd like to admit it or not, ironically paternalistic. i suppose it would be impossible for your worldview to accept the possibility that there are intelligent women out there who don't agree with you?

fyi, malt: last time i heard the "aforementioned wife" preach (not too long ago, actually), still IS a very good preacher. and last time i checked, she has no intention of setting aside her orders (nor her husband any intention of making her).

really, folks. if you're going to waste time with these comments, you're no better than the very thing you're frying greg griffith for.

Malt Viquor said...

Otto, I am glad to hear that she is still preaching. I merely refer to comments made by both husband and wife on their blogs. If I gave offense by misrepresenting their comments and positions on women's ordination, then I apologize.

FYI, I don't feel that any visit to this blog is a waste of time.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Ottorinophc,

Of course I know that bullies come into this part of the neighborhood. They do so not so much to 'read' as to 'troll'.

I am only surprised comments made here by me and others haven't been dragged under the pathetic stone bridges of Viagra Land and used as an entirely new thread.

That's Mr. Griffith's usual modus operandi.

I am probably stating the obvious, but know Bullies visit here because their comments, like yours, come to me first before I decide whether or not to post them.

That's what it means below when it says, "Comment moderation hass been enabled." (Okay, and here's the Really Important part, so pay close attention:)"ALL COMMENTS MUST BE APPROVED BY THE BLOG AUTHOR."

See?

Most of the comments made by The Bullies are vile and well, there's no other word for it, ignorant. I won't clutter up my part of the neighborhood with that kind of garbage.

Is my tone - and the tone of others - offensive? And, you would be - what - surprised by this?

Really? I'm amazed.

Here's the thing - I'm not the one who wants to live in the illusion of monochrome thought and expression, theology and spirituality - much less ecclesiology.

Progressive and Queer folk have been living with people of enormous diversity of thought for centuries. We haven't said you must think and believe and pray like we do or you're out.

It's the Bullies who have done that. And, like true bullies, they won't accept responsibility for the split.

It was only when the institutional church said "yes" to the ordination of women and LGBT people that the Bullies did what bullies always do - begin to draw lines in the sand - everybody who believes the "faith first delivered to the saings" stand to the right.

Those who don't stand to the left and take your one way ticket to hell and damnation.

"Choose ye this day."

"Here I stand."

It's all pretty silly.

Oh, and did I mention - OFFENSIVE?

And 'ottorinophc', dear, no comment made in trying to understand the opposition or in defending oneself from the constant assault of the Bullies is ever "wasted time."

Jim said...

Rev Elizabeth,

I don't know if you noticed my little essay on the faith "once delivered?" It drew some response from a Canadian, evangelical conservative friend. In the end, I think we agreed that very little can be legitimately encapsulated in that quote.

Rabbi Hillel said "To love God and your neighbor is Torah, all else is comentary.

Jesus said "I come to fulfill Torah, not to abolish it.

And yet we persist in the great American heresy, treating the Bible as a book of rules. ;;sigh;;

FWIW
jimB

Frair John said...

2 things:

1) Stop blaming Calvin! Doing so gives them more credit than they deserve. I realize that it's fasionable in Anglican circels to blame all bad things on Calvin, but seriously these guys aren't Calvinists. At best you could strap together the definitions of Lollardy, Donatism and Arminianism and call it Jensenism or Duncanism, but don't confuse it with Calvinism.

2) One of the things I have noticed is that many women in these orbits are desperate for respect. I suppose we could look at that Schaffly creature or Mother Angelica for other examples of the phenomina.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Friar John,

1. Yes, sir. ;~) Okay, so 'Blame Calvin' has become the lazy, short hand way of describing the particualar ki d of Evangelical neo-puritan that we so often encounter on the right.

Actually, they are more "Bill Bright, Campus Crusade for Christ" in their theology - and spiritual maturity.

2. Good point about the women on the right. Now, to the specific priest in mention.

Every sermon I've read from her - and she doesn't print many- is intelligent and creative and accessible.

Her husband, on the other hand, is pedantic and heavy . . . well, very, very long winded.

He tries too hard and one is exhausted trying to keep up with him because he's obviously trying So Very Hard and there's a kind of a guilt-induced obligation to stick with the poor bloke till the end because he is, in fact, working So Terribly Hard for Jesus.

He is endearing in his own sort of quirky, (okay, I'm going to say it), ultra-Calvinist way. Sort of a Mr. Roger's sincerity combined with classic Reformation theology all on a testosterone-high.

I suspect she knows that she's not only a better writer than her spouse, but a far better pastor and teacher. I have no doubt she not only outshines him in almost every way, but that she knows she does.

There's an enormous power in that with an integrity all its own. Women have been working in this mode and method for centuries.

It's just surprising to see it so active in 2007 and in America.

It's not one I would embrace or espouse, but it seems to work for them, so what do I know?

Only this: I don't understand it.

Which is okay. I'm sure she /they don't have a clue about why my life with Ms. Conroy and our six kids and four grandchildren works for us.

The only difference is, I'm willing to let them live their lives the way they know best.

I don't have to like it and neither do they.

I only wish they would return the kindness and courtesy.

Frair John said...

One of the other things I have noted over at Ft Viagra is how singularly joyless they are.
I mean it. These are grimfaced, nasty and angry people. There is little humor other than destructive, nasty stuff. There is no sence of joy at all (which is one of the reasons why I wince at calling them Puritans or Calvanists - those were people who had a sence of humor).
That you find the Husbands sermons deadly matches my own feelings - there is this sort of "close your eyes and think of England" sort of way to engage the Word which is embodied in some of his stuff.
I'm trying to puzzel out a short blog entry of my own on the reasons why these guys can't be called "Calvanist" if you are interested.

ottorinophc said...

elizabeth,

i completely understand the need to control, to some extent, the comments that go onto your comment board. but you must recognize the irony when you do this and still pass judgment on sarah and jackie for doing the same.

what i find offensive is the fact that you, and at least many of these commenters, speak about this particular female priest as if there's something to feel sorry for her about. your categories obviously don't allow there to be a female who doesn't agree with you. if they don't agree with you, they must be oppressed or hysterical or desperate for male attention. and that, frankly, is pretty offensive. it is exactly the sort of categorical thinking you're saying you don't want to live with.

and you're right, no comment made in trying to understand those you disagree with is a waste of time. but continually referring to them in such "monochrome" categories, which you are doing, doesn't do justice to the debate, and, in fact, makes you guilty of the very thing you accuse greg griffith of. now, griffith deserves his lumps for this recent debacle. he really does. we always need to fact check our assumptions before acting on them. greg didn't. let him have it. it'll help him remember next time to be more careful.

BUT, by the same token, you have to realize that you are doing the very same thing. indeed, many of you are critiquing the whole of those you disagree with by reducing their thinking to a few pulled quotes and a poorly done psychoanalysis. not everyone in the standfirm camp feels threatened by women in authority, or gay men, or alternative lifestyles. certainly not that particular couple you often seem to reserve the most venom for. i don't know greg or sarah or jackie, but i do know matt and anne, and it's upsetting for me to read something that attacks them with such little regard for the truth.

Cyndee said...

I'm an orthodox woman who has a strong sense of self esteem and certainly does not feel "oppressed". I simply believe that the Bible is the Word of God which cannot be changed to make others feel good about themselves. I feel that sins should be repented of and not condoned.
btw - a man didn't force this down my throat - I figured it all out myself because "the Bible tells me so".
I'm sorry that most here feel all who differ with your position are angry, hateful, homophobes. It certainly is not my position.
God bless you all. I love you and prayers are with you.

Frair John said...

ottorinophc-

My question in this matter is essentially this: How can a talented, capable and intelligent Priest be willing to set aside so much of her own personal integrity to toady to her husband’s friends. That she would be willing to side with those who often actively denigrate her ministry and then blame herself for the trouble her own God given ministry causes her “allies.” Mark my words; she will be forced by these “Godly” men to renounce her orders. That she will do so, gladly, only shows just how warped this situation is. I also wonder just how loving a marriage is in which the husband would force his wife into such a situation simply to make himself feel more comfortable.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Otto,

No one is talking badly about your friends. We are having a conversation in a public forum trying to figure them out - their "stridently heterosexist, unrepentantly heterosexual lifestyle."

We know that they love Jesus and Jesus loves them, but we just don't know why they do what they do - think what they think - live the way they live.

You know, just what you folks do over "there" about folks like me.

No one is "attacking" them. As I have discovered, when you are a public person (and the blogosphere makes you a very public person), you leave yourself open to people asking questions - difficult, sometimes embarassing questions - about some very personal aspects of your life.

That's not an attack. It's just part and parcel of the territory.

I've had to toughen up. I'm quite sure your friends have. I suggest you do, too.

If you don't want to "listen in" then do what I do. I don't go over "there" unless I'm prepared to hear what "they" have to say. I listen, gasp, pray, leave, and pray some more.

If you come over "here" to listen, then get off your high horse and prepare yourself for what you know you'll get. Listen, pray, gasp if you need to, leave, and pray some more.

That's my best advice.

Cyndee - I hope you feel better now. God bless you, too.

ottorinophc said...

friar john,

first, you assume that anne is simply submitting to matt and his friends, and sacrificing her personal integrity. that she is somehow giving up her true beliefs to be accepted by matt and others at standfirm, like they're some kind of frat that glorifies the objectification and domination of women. thus, it's a complete mystery to you that anne, a strong willed female who has, as some of you have stated, displayed "feminist" tendencies, could even come close to supporting a group like standfirm. this cognitive dissonance comes down to two things then: 1. anne, for some inexplicable reason, has decided to give up her convictions and "toady" to matt and his friends, or 2. anne's views and tendencies are actually compatible with matt and his friends. unfortunately, your categories don't allow for the 2nd option, so it must be the first, you reason. perhaps you need to reconsider your categories here.

second, you relegate anne to some sort of secondary level, below "her husband's friends"...as if she never talks to them, but quietly just accepts whatever orders they sling at her. that's just absurd, and if you ever have spent any time at all getting to know anne, you'd know that. but no, those of you who don't even know anne just take this like it's scientific fact, and, what's more, you characterize her as a potential monster who will some day murder her own children. i believe the phrase "mark my words" or its equivalent was used then too...is it really a mystery she doesn't care to respond to you? i mean honestly, isn't the image of the hysterical woman something feminism has spent decades fighting against? your complete lack of charity towards matt or anne is stunning to me.

third, you just assume that matt dominates anne, that their (mutual) interpretation of gender roles requires this. again, if any of you spent ANY time in the kennedy household, you would realize the inherent absurdity of this idea. i've been in a lot of houses, and seen a lot of functioning and non-functioning families at work. despite what you may think, matt and anne work equally, and treat each other as equals. the first person matt shows his sermons to is anne, and the first person anne shows hers to is matt. anne is matt's equal and confidant.

my guess is that you don't believe me, or simply wish to dismiss me. i hope not.


and elizabeth, you're absolutely right that posting on a blog makes you a public figure, but there are also basic courtesies of discourse and rhetoric that are being transgressed here. i don't doubt there's an honest attempt to understand here, i really don't. i'm sure anne's actions are truly a mystery to you guys. i just get fed up with the constant characterization of the other side, particularly matt and anne, as vicious and hateful people. they have, perhaps, one of the most loving marriages i've ever seen in my life. and that's no overstatement.

yes, sometimes the commenters on standfirm can be outrageous, disrespectful, hateful, and ignorant...and i'm not going to bat for them. i think it's obvious when people are ignorant and shouldn't be taken seriously. i myself have responded to them with the same concerns i'm responding to with you. you can probably go and read standfirm and see when i make comments, i'm often classed as a liberal and lacking some sort of biblical conviction, which is absurd. such classifications really don't further meaningful debate, and i try and fight them wherever i find them.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Okay, Otto and Friar John, you can both take this discussion to either of your own blogs.

Or, how's this? How 'bout you two boys pick up the phone and talk to each other? You obviously know each other from someplace else. Just talk to each other. I know, it's a silly old fashioned idea, but hey, that's part of the reason the Incarnation is so important. It's about being in the flesh as opposed to an idea or an image.

Unlike Mr. Griffiths, I am not looking to increase my web traffic. And, unlike him, I don't need the attention any way I can get it - even negatively.

I run a tidy little living room here and you're both starting to make a mess.

So, off with you now. Go on. Turn off the computers and go for a long walk in this beautiful autumn weather. It won't be with us for much longer.

Oh, and put on a jacket and take an apple with you.

There you go. Faretheewell.

ottorinophc said...

*skulks off*

p.s. i, too, am getting a little tired of all of hey's lord of the ring's references ;-)...so we definitely agree on something!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Okay, Otto! Now we're talking. Let's leave your friends out of this, shall we?

Tell you what. When you come back from that walk and thinking about calling Friar John, we'll have a little chat about your thoughts on that violent imagery and why it's so important to Bullies.

I'm noticing that they love anything wherein people die a noble death but first there's suffering and lots of blood and gore and Very High Language - preferably with a British accent.

That - excuse me - CRAP that one of the Aussie boys showed with Latimer and Ridley burning at the stake as his message to the Primates was as disgusting as it was revealing of something in the psyche of these folk that I just don't get.

What was THAT all about????? Honest. I just don't get it. And it's not a boy thing because Ms. Hey loved that stuff and is absolutely fixated on the LOTR's dark and monsterous imagery.

What's up with THAT?

If we can keep this discussion away from particular individuals or persons, the better.

Maybe I'll start a new thread: Christianity and Violence - What's up with THAT?

Frair John said...

I don't think I know him, and looking at the post I was awfully aggressive.

I'm sorry to both of you.

(BTW_ I have a leaf mold alergy that is gawd-awful. I'll just drink m'self another cuppa and read w/my kitty.)

ottorinophc said...

well, i am more sick of hey's use of lotr because it's overused. not because of it's violent nature. and i know that sentiment is shared by others in standfirm, though it might not be stated out of deference to the good work standfirmers feel she does.

secondly, it's been hard to leave my friends out of this, because what got me into was the feeling that they were being attacked. and whether you want to admit it, some of the attacks have been pretty violent. not physically, of course, but there clearly is some verbal violence going on with both sides. it's only a sign of the intense emotions and the feeling that a lot is at stake here.

speaking of stakes, that particular video didn't do much for me, either, but i recognized the fact that the message wasn't one of, we are bordering on literal war, but rather, that some christians have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for beliefs and that bishops shouldn't be afraid to stand up for what they believe. don't take this the wrong way, but it's really the same rhetoric at work when the left brings up the horrible murder of matthew shephard. not exactly alike, of course, but i think it makes my point...using an emotionally powerful (and violent) event to urge people to make a particular decision...that was at work, at least rhetorically.

as far as other "violent" imagery...talk of pistols, etc., sure it's a romanticized vision of themselves. typically, they don't base their argument in these things. when they do, i think standfirm feels comfortable using these stories, many of war, and raw emotional power because they genuinely feel they're locked in a violent battle for the very soul of the church. i wouldn't try psychoanalyzing it very much beyond that for the point of argument. it really won't take you very far except with those who already agree with you.

you probably shouldn't feel threatened by the talk of violence. just because people are conservative, doesn't mean they support the kkk, or think what happened to matthew shephard was ok. every reasonable conservative i've ever spoken with does not think this at all. many even recognize the importance of issues that your side brings up. and i think there's a lot standfirm can do to better it's rhetoric, and become more accessible to your side. but, at the same time, that doesn't mean they will suddenly change their mind about the morality of homosexuality. it's a moral issue for them. most of them don't hate gays, but that doesn't mean they think it's morally acceptable, or that the church should accept it as such. this doesn't mean some sort of peaceful coexistence, even meaningful friendship isn't possible. i know for myself, many of my closest friends are gay. and they know how i feel about the issue. this has yet to put a serious strain on our friendship.

re: christians and violence...this is an interesting topic, to be sure. ironically, despite their own occasional violent tendencies, luther and calvin both have very interesting things to say about it. particularly about christians and pacifism

ottorinophc said...

friar, i myself am sick. must be the change of season elizabeth so joyfully praised ;-)

and don't worry about the aggressiveness. it's a passionate issue, and i myself am guilty of the same thing. it's also a part of the whole medium of the interweb....rashness and overstatements are part and parcel to the whole commentboard culture.

David said...

From an anonymous commenter over at the Mad One's blog:

"Self-importance is our greatest enemy. What weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellowmen. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone." --- Carlos Castaneda

I think that offers some insight into the motivations of those (so-called) "orthodox" who insist on staying in TEC just to be rabble-rousers...