Wednesday, April 22, 2009
This is news?
Well, all the 'dish' has been spilled, and it's not a pretty picture.
It's not just the Anglican teabagging that's become an embarrassment.
Apparently, since I last wrote, the emails posted at Preludium indicate that this was all part of a deceptive plan to subvert the Presiding Bishop's wise decision not to have General Convention deal with the Anglican Covenant.
This was clearly an end-run to push the Anglican Covenant in its present form and force The Episcopal Church out of membership in The Anglican Communion.
There's also a very deceptive bit in a conversation with the bishop of South Carolina (that would be Mark Lawrence), in which he is asked to provide "pastoral visitation" to a conservative / orthodox congregation in Colorado. +SC declines because he does not want "quid pro quo" (a liberal bishop providing pastoral visitation to one of his liberal congregations).
This would be known as the Anglican NIMBY Effect (NIMBY = "Not in my back yard." See also under file "Ick Factor.")
What the emails make painfully clear that this is a political document not meant to build up TEC but to tear her down. It's very much like The Chapman Memo.
You remember the Chapman Memo, right?
Even Ruth Gledhill, Religion Editor (AKA "Anglican Gossip Columnist") for the London Times is on the case. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but as she tends to favor the conservatives in her reporting, she is, at least, giving even greater exposure to the whole sad affair.
So, let's see - a leaked document from the conservative camp with a destructive agenda and plan. End-run pushes. Deception. Duplicity. Backroom politics. Sexism. Homophobia.
Hmmm . . . and this would be news because??????????
Don't get me wrong, I am glad this whole very sad situation is being exposed for what it is, and I am deeply grateful to Mark Harris, Susan Russell, Jim Naughton and a whole host of other colleagues who took real leadership when these emails began to surface and are now taking some heavy hits from some of the bishops who signed onto the document.
However, this is hardly news to those of us who have been paying attention for the past, oh, I don't know, decade or so.
For those of us serving in justice organizations, this is the stuff of our daily bread. The only surprise is that it still surprises people who know better, such as the person quoted by Susan Russell in her statement from Integrity - an ally - who said, ‘This is stunning. It is remarkable to think about the plotting that is going on. In many ways I am just too naïve.’”
Well, honey, stick around and in no time flat you'll get over that. Indeed, you'll start to operate out of a hermeneutic of suspicion, just like the rest of us.
It will be interesting to see how these next few weeks unfold. Maybe this will serve as a wake-up call to those in the House of Bishops and new deputies who really, really, really want to believe that this is not a political battle.
Maybe this will strengthen the resolve of those who have been working as activists for decades to find the courage to continue this thirty-three year battle for justice through yet another General Convention.
Maybe it was the Holy Spirit, who just happened to see a few of these emails whiz past Her in cyberspace and said, "Hang on just a minute! This has got to stop!"
Maybe it was justice, working itself out in The Episcopal Church.
It may be all of the above, but for some of us, anyway, this ain't news.
In some ways, its even more embarrassing than Anglican Teabagging.