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Monday, May 10, 2010

Gearing up for herstory

I am just beginning to allow myself to get excited about the consecrations this weekend of Diane Bruce Jardine and Mary Douglas Glasspool as bishops suffragan of the Diocese of Los Angeles.

There are several historical significances of the election of these two women in that diocese at this time in the history of The Episcopal Church.

There are several generations of women living in that diocese today - young, professional women, some now ordained - who remember not being able to serve at the altar because of their gender.

No, I'm not talking about The Roman Catholic Church.

Yes, I'm talking about The Episcopal Church.

For two women to be elected -- and, on Saturday, consecrated to the episcopacy -- is an event of enormous significance for men and women of equality everywhere.

It's also pretty amazing that two women were elected to the episcopacy in the same diocese at the same time. That's not happened in The Episcopal Church prior to this election.

And, of course, the fact that one of those women is a lesbian will, unfortunately, take center stage and overshadow all of the historical significances of the day.

Indeed, some of the Right Wing Nuts in the Chicken Little School of Theology are already crying that The Anglican Sky Is Falling.

To hear some of 'teh orthodox' tell it, the hole in the ozone layer was clearly caused by 'revisionist' Episcopalians.

Some of these folks have been telling us since the ordination of the Philadelphia Eleven in 1974 that "the final crisis is upon us."

Then, when Barbara Harris was elected bishop in 1989, THAT was "the final crisis".

Oh, but wait . . . when Gene Robinson, once known as "the most dangerous man in The Anglican Communion" was elected bishop in 2003, THAT was "the final crisis."

No, no, no. . . wait, wait, wait . . . there were a couple other events - a few reports that got elevated to Canon Law - a coupla ultimatums issued by a few outraged Primates from the Global South that certainly were "the final crisis," weren't they?

But this weekend - Ah, THIS weekend - will be "the final crisis" when a "self avowed lesbian" is consecrated bishop suffragan.

It's all a bit silly, isn't it? I mean, after a while, these folk just start to become an embarrassment to themselves and the church they purport to love.

The ancient Chinese proverb, "Women hold up half the sky," has long been more aspiration than fact.

When women are finally allowed to hold up their half of the sky, I suppose it can feel like the sky is falling.

It's not, of course.

It's really just herstory being made.

I can hardly wait.


IT said...

I am really sorry we won't be there...would have been but for flight reservations to go give a lecture in the midwest. But we are totally there in spirit!

MadPriest said...

Harris Milstead and his backing singers. They were a brilliant act.

whiteycat said...

Elizabeth, we ... your faithful readers ... expect a full report with all the details and photos included. We are counting on you!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Oh, excuses, excuses, excuses IT. ;~) I was really looking forward to spending more time with you. Alas and oh well. Next time.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well, Jonathan, I expect to hear a sample of their music next time I'm in your neighborhood.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Have I ever let you down, Whiteycat? ;~) I'm sooOOOooo on it.

IT said...

BP is not going to forgive me when she realizes that she'll be missing you too!

Well, we'll just have to figure something out for the next time...

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

IT please tell your beloved that she has to forgive you. I said so, that's why ;~)

Next time. Fer sure.

MadPriest said...

Oh, for goodness sake. It's only a bishop getting her pay rise. Really. You want normal and then when normal happens you start acting like it wasn't normal all along. Make your minds up!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Jonathan - it's different here in the states. Really. Different.

Then again, I suspect you knew that.

MadPriest said...

it's different here in the states

Yes, bishop worship is much more entrenched and O.T.T. in the States.

The thing is, all this fuss ain't gospel. Would you make such a fuss over a new cleaner starting in your church? Then, unless a bishop is more important in God's eyes than a cleaner you should pack up this idolatry.

Or is this ceremony just a big up yours to the haters? Is it a celebration of your victory? Either would be unchristian in the extreme.

We fight. We win. We quietly go about our business.

Muthah+ said...

Please give my love to Mary. I wish I could be there but you will represnt us all, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well, I don't know about any one else, but having two women elected and consecrated bishops suffragan sure feels like gospel justice to me.

The liturgy will be, accordingly, FABULOUS.