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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I. Have had. Enough!

Notice is hereby given that this is an official rant. It's been awhile, so it's a bit long. Besides, I'm allowed.

Should you not be in the mood for a rant, you are invited to take your leave, with as good a cheer as I can muster, given the circumstances, and no hard feelings.

However, this IS a rant. I have to get this out of my system. It's been long over-due. And, it's the week before Holy Week. Gimme a break, okay? I'm allowed to be in a Very Bad Mood once in a while.

This is a rant in three parts - one part speaks to the disturbing level of violence among those on the Right, one part speaks to the progression of violence towards women in our culture, and the last speaks to the violence of Holy Week, and some insights I've had about the progression of violence.

What is it that got me in such a bad mood, you are wondering?

This, THIS, is what pulled my last, poor, tired nerve: "Pro-Life News: New Dean at Episcopal Divinity School Is A Lying Baby Murdering Witch"

That's just the latest hate-filled headline from the Far Right (Oh, what else to call them?) of the Tattered and Frayed Fringes of the Episcopal Church, Anglican wannabes.

And no, I'm not going to give you the link. If you really want to read that trash, you're going to have to go find it for yourself.

Let me put it in context for you. The image that appears below is a 'controversial' advertisement from Dolce and Gabbana. It was designed to 'market' their style.

Well, you tell me what's going on in this picture.

Looks like a set up for gang-rape to me.

Dolce and Gabbana protested that it was just an advertisement. Just trying to sell their wares, is all. Oh, yes, and stir up a bit of controversy. Controversy sells. Even negative attention is attention and, after all, if you want to sell your stuff, you've got to get someone's attention, even if it's negative.

The same principle is in effect with headlines that scream of the objectification of women and invites violence. She deserves it. She wants it, see? Look at her face in the advertisement. Look at the way she's dressed. She's asking for it.

When verbal violence is on display, it is usually defended by putting the responsibility on the woman. If she'd simply act like a good Pauline lady and keep her head covered and her mouth shut, and in particular, stop talking about the 'blessing' of abortion, no one would have to respond violently.

When you don't get that sort of violent, vile, bilious stuff from the Right, you get a weepy, ineffective sob from a newly preggers Mrs. Kennedy (that's the fifth in six years, for those of you who may have been paying attention).

God bless them. Because, thank God, we live in a democracy and not a theocracy, they have the same absolute right to have as many babies as they want and are able to care for as a woman who doesn't want a child or another child has the absolute right to abortion because she is not equipped to care for the child.

One of Mrs. Kennedy recent posts is about "someone" who called her at the rectory to talk about how she was pregnant and going to have an abortion, and how Mrs. Kennedy really, really, really tried hard to talk her out of it, but, ultimately, like everything else in her life - except, getting pregnant, having beautiful babies, cooking gourmet meals, and the clear superiority of the male of the species in general and her husband in particular - she was an abysmal failure.

Poor baby. Mrs. Kennedy, that is. (Wanted to make that clear because, well, you know how Trolls love to lift things out of context.) She's obviously been so busy getting pregnant five times in these past six years of her married life (I have to keep saying that to really believe it. Bless her heart) that she hasn't learned that most clergy get at least two of these calls a week.

Or how to screen calls like this for veracity. And how to know when someone is having a bit of a go with you because, oh, I don't know, it's how they define 'fun' in their own sick little way.

Happens to the best of us, hon. On either side of the aisle.

So, don't cry for your caller, Argentina. You know she never loved you. She was just mocking you. And being cruel. You were made a fool.

Bless your heart, and keep her in your prayers.

The Trolls on Viagra have been especially vile and violent about the appointment of Katherine Hancock Ragsdale as President and Dean of EDS. Their teeny-tiny little Troll-hearts, which are always three-sizes too small, cause them to grinch and snark and carry on about things like this.

It's amazing to discover, however, that the issue of abortion always, always, always, trumps the issue of homosexuality. They can feast on the issue of reproductive rights in general and abortion in particular for days.

It's a veritable "Troll Fest" - but there ain't no lurve, lemme tell ya.

If I'm honest, it's a little disappointing. I always thought I was the object of their favorite Troll Fest. I think they're off homosexuality as a topic right now. They are really, really turned on by:

1. Episcopal priests who are struggling with the Muslim faith.

2. Newly elected Episcopal bishops who embrace Buddhist practices

3. Very bright and articulate women like Susan Russell, Katharine Jefferts Schori and Ann Fontaine.

4. Abortion - well, this is a given. They always get especially excited when Abortion is the topic du jour. And, even when it's not.

The one and only Ms. Sarah Hey, The Dominatrix of All Trolldome, actually deleted one of Susan's comments the other night.

I know. She defined it as "drive by commenting" - which would pretty much characterize most of the comments posted at that site. Except, of course, it was probably one of Susan's brilliant 'sound bite.' Except, of course, Ms. Hey simply cannot abide to share her spotlight with anyone.

Our Ms. Susan got a mighty WHACK of the Orthodite whip from Dominatrix (that's what their own call her, BTW) Hey - which was, apparently, her second warning.

Who knew? How many warnings does one get over in Viagraland? I'm thinking that the Republicans like the sound of "Three Strikes and You're Out" and, since none of the Trolls seem to have a penchant or natural-born inclination toward creativity, that's probably the unspoken rule over in the inner recesses of the bowels of the underground volcano from whence these Trolls cometh.

I, for myself, made the hideous mistake of asking - real polite and all - to be removed from posting privileges there. I didn't even get a warning. Didn't commit "Drive by commenting". Just had the gall to ask something politely.

Mr. Melanie Griffith, that chivalrous but alas, out of work, soul has tried to banish me to the outer darkness. He blocked the browser from which I used to post my comments. He doesn't know that I have more than one browser up my sleeve.

So now, on the occasions when I do venture forth into Outer Trolldome, what I get is "System Temporarily Offline."

PULEEEESSEEE. This is now several months notice. What a wimp!

Poor baby. And, him with his tin cup out, rattling coins for change so he can get a full time job out of being mean and nasty online. It's been several weeks and he's only at about 20% of what he says he needs.

I'm thinking, "Hmmmm . . . not so much." If you listen closely you can even hear him whine. Yes way! Swear to God!

Back the headline story. You can go out and fix yourself another cuppa joe or tea, if you want. The second half is about as long as the first.

Here's bit of context:

I've just finished writing our own version "Children and their Families walk the Stations of the Cross." We're going to use it on Good Friday evening in place of the Service of the Word before the Veneration of the Cross and the rest of the traditional Good Friday service.

Our task is to combine the 12 Noon Family Service with the now mandatory for Confirmation Class participation in the services of the Triduum - a mixture of family-oriented stuff and the traditional BCP stuff. Tough balance, but I think, by Jove, we've got it. At least, I think it will play here in this part of the Northeast Corridor and God will be praised and glorified.

As I was cutting and pasting in the Gospel passages for the Eight Stations, I was struck by how the violence against Jesus progressed - from verbal abuse to objectification to increasingly violent language to physical violence to a murderous, hideously obscene and violent act.

Sociologists and cultural anthropologists have, for decades, done studies on domestic violence, and the pattern they document is pretty much the same as that which Jesus experienced. I don't know why I didn't see it so clearly until today.

It starts with abusive language, to language that bullies and shames, mocks and objectifies the person. Once the de-humanization process begins, it's a slippery slope to physical violence - pushing and shoving, which progresses to slapping and hitting, which progresses to belting and punching. The death rate for domestic violence among women and children is staggering.

I confess that I cringed when I saw the headline posted on HOB/D with the link to the site which produced that heinous headline. Goodness knows, part of the macho dynamic which fuels those words thrives on attention - the more negative the better. And, unfortunately, it's not the only site that is filled with cruel machismo and violent bravado in Anglican Blogland.

However, it is important that we know that this dynamic is alive and thriving in Anglican circles. Here's the thing: The author of that blog and the authors and posters of all so-called "orthodox" or "conservative" or "evangelical" or - whatever the current term du jour is these days, whether inside or outside of TEC - are absolutely entitled to their opinions.

They can even have strongly, passionately held opinions and cherished beliefs on any number of topics, including reproductive rights. God knows, I have mine.

No one - not them, not nobody, not nohow - who calls themselves a Christian has the right to use this kind of vile, violent, abusive language. Indeed, we have an imperative from Jesus to seek the higher ground and to hold each other accountable to that standard of excellence.

The author of that headline is inciting those who read his blog to violent thoughts. She's a "lying, baby-murdering witch". See? Not a person. An untrustworthy murder of babies who is godless - indeed, practices the worship of the Devil and all things vile and putrid. Got the picture? Not a shred of humanity in sight. So, well, anything goes, right?

The ends justify the means. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war. We now know who "The Enemy" is. What are we waiting for? Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone knows that everyone goes to Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show.

It will not take much for some one of the wack-a-doodle right wing extremists (not necessarily Anglican or Episcopalian) to be incited to threats of physical violence which, unfortunately, may well then become a reality.

Those who are like this so-called "pro-life" blogger and those who comment - anonymously, of course - are remarkably and paradoxically quick to try to snuff out any life that disagrees with their position to "save an unborn child." They 'troll' the Internet just looking for trash like this article on which to feed and fuel their machismo and bravado and violence.

The author of this and other such blogs knows this only too well.

Shame on them. Shame on us when we keep silence and let it pass. It is not enough to say, like Pilate, "His/her blood is on your hands," then publicly wash our hands and move on.

Even Pilate could see a riot forming. It's not exactly rocket science. Alas, the progressive pattern of human violence - especially against women - is as predictable as it is ancient.

I want to thank my brother Bruce for bringing this headline to the attention of the House of Bishops AND the House of Deputies, as difficult as that may have been.

I would encourage the brothers among us who know about this sort of violence to speak out and rebuke this "violent-speak".

Let's name this for what it is: ignorance and violence that is unbecoming - indeed, antithetical - to a baptized Christian.

I suspect this is why Fred Preuss, the self-proclaimed Atheist who lurks about and commits his own often nasty version of "drive by commenting" is, in fact, an Atheist.

Tell you what - if this were the way I thought all Christians acted, I'd be an Atheist, too. I hear ya, Fred (and, I'm appreciative of your recent constructive contributions to our conversations.)

It is dangerous language that objectifies a Sister in Christ - one with whom we may flat-out disagree or with whom we may not completely agree, but one who is, nonetheless, our Sister in Christ, sure and true.

She was created by the same, One, Holy God, baptized in the same name of Jesus, sealed forever by the same Holy Spirit, and nourished at the same Table by his body which was broken and his blood which was shed for us.

As we prepare to walk The Stations of the Cross and hear over and over again the "Passion of Jesus," let us pray for peace - which begins deep within the individual human heart.

Here endth the rant.

You may now resume to your previously scheduled day.

(And yes, I'm feeling much, much better now.)


IT said...

You GO girl!

You are completely right about the Objectification of The Other and the danger it causes. It's the kind of thing that allows people who profess that all life is sacred to commit murder of those who are different--whether women, minorities, pro-choice doctors, medical researchers who use animals, homosexuals, or Muslims.

The violent rhetoric is coming disproportionately from those on the conservative side of the spectrum, except, oddy enough, for the animal rights movement which threatens the children of medical researchers. (Apparently they think that new drugs should be tested on the kids rather than the rats. UC-Los Angeles and UC-Santa Cruz ahve been under assault with some of their faculty assaulted and firebombed. In one case, they firebombed the wrong house.)

It goes along with the posters of Christ militant, a classically white Christ figure holding an assault rifle. Hardly the image most of us have of the Prince of Peace.

In a time of economic travail and displacement, people hunker down and look to the outside to blame someone. I think we are in intensely dangerous times. I would hope that anyone who professes Christianity would work to build bridges and understanding, rather than undermine them.

But then, like Fred P, I have seen too much done in the name of Christ to be anything other than cynical.


Anonymous said...

A brilliant piece, Elizabeth, and very much needed.

I am anxiously awaiting your version of the Stations of the Cross.

Ann said...

Great rant -- I bet you wish you had such a dull life that you would have to get your excitement in these ways? Those at Stand Firm feed off chaos. They love the latest "oh my gosh ain't it terrible what those Episcos are doing." Just think we have made their lives worth living this week ---

KJ said...

Well, God bless you for interacting with the trolls (I believe CS Lewis uses dwarves, who though in the New Narnia, believe otherwise, to their detriment.), but for my spiritual and mental health, I've had to give it up, finding healing in being there for those harmed by spiritual and emotional violence. The perpetrators of such harm are not at peace about their own journey, and seemed intent on making everyone equally miserable. Life is too short with too many other challenges to hang out with those happy in their misery and fear.


Padre Mickey said...

I wouldn't call this a rant, reverenda; this is simply plain-spoken truth. Violent language shouldn't be tolerated from anyone, but to call oneself a Christian and use such language goes against the teachings of Christ.

A fine job, my sister!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Well put - and indeed necessary.

You are right, as always dear Elizabet ;=)

Kay & Sarah said...

You are so right!!

Anonymous said...

Reverenda Elizabeth,

Parabens, minha irma!


Anne said...

God bless you Ms. Kaeton, I've been married 7 years, and she didn't call me, I called her.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

My apologies. Guess I missed the post about your 7th anniversary celebration. Still, five children in seven years is a very impressive record. Brava!

Pastoral Care Lesson #1: You can't take 'em where you have never been.

Pastoral Care Lesson #2: You can't lead 'em where they don't want to go.

Pastoral Care Lesson #3: If you go looking for trouble, you WILL find it.

I learned those lessons almost 25 years ago. I'm still working on them. "Savior behavior" is a tough behavior to change. I have to keep reminding myself that Jesus is the Savior. Not me.

Blessings right backatcha, my sister.

Kirk Petersen said...

Mother Elizabeth,

The "Lying Baby-Murdering Witch" headline is dehumanizing and disgraceful, employing language that has no place on a nominally Christian website, so I do not blame you for not wanting to send them traffic by linking.

But I was curious how the author would attempt to support such a flame-throwing headline, so I Googled it. As I suspected, the use of the inflammatory headline served mostly to obscure a more thoughtful assessment of the new dean, from a more capable writer.

The more capable writer is Amy Wellborn, a conservative Catholic writing at BeliefNet. She quotes from a sermon by the new dean, the Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, focusing on these words:

"And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion - there is not a tragedy in sight -- only blessing. The ability to enjoy God's good gift of sexuality without compromising one's education, life's work, or ability to put to use God's gifts and call is simply blessing." She goes on to say that abortion providers are "engaged in holy work."

I am strongly pro-choice, but I think Bill Clinton had it exactly right: abortion should be safe, legal and rare. I think the vast majority of people who support abortion rights recognize that there is, at the very least, something morally ambiguous about abortion.

The Rev. Ragsdale's sermon does not make her a "lying, baby-murdering witch," but I think it places her well outside the mainstream of pro-choice thought.

I also think the Episcopal Divinity School does not want to be associated with those particular beliefs of their new Dean. For whatever reason, the sermon that once resided on Dean Ragsdale's personal website at has been removed.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks for your post, Kirk, and for your agreement with the violence of the rhetoric and the violent acts it always leads to. You or I or someone else may not agree with Dr. Ragsdale's position on abortion, but it is her's and she stands by it. That takes integrity and courage, two very important perspectives for an Academic Dean, which will have greater influence over the formation of leaders, ordained and lay, in the church than any particular opinion the dean might have. Well, IMNSHO, anyway.

Anne said...

Thanks for the congratulations. Why don't we mutually agree not to give each other any advice, since we don't agree on anything anyway, and because its patronizing. I'm sure you don't want any of the advice I've got tucked away for you.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Hello, Ann, thanks for stopping by again. Didn't mean to 'matronize' or 'patronize' you or anyone else. It sort of comes naturally after almost 25 years in ordained ministry - especially when talking to a sister of the cloth who has only been ordained 7 years and hasn't had a 'church of her own'.

But, you're wrong about my not wanting to hear your advice. Sounds like a great topic for one of your blog posts.

The challenge will be to do it from a place of truth in your heart -- those are actual Pastoral Care Rules that were given to me during my 3 units of CPE and while I was doing my 52 hours of supervised clinical work for my doctorate in Pastoral Care and Counseling which I try to follow for myself and advise my seminarians about -- and not an opportunity for a 'smack down'.

What are the Pastoral Care rules that guide you in your ministry? I think we can all learn and grow from each other, no matter our starting point on the theological spectrum.

I hope your first trimester queezy tummy stuff is subsiding a bit. I experienced some of that with my first two, but not the other pregnancies. I'm an old Maternal Child Public Health Nurse and I know that no two pregnancies are the same, but sometimes, for some women, they get better with each pregnancy. Hope that's so for you.

Kirkepiscatoid said...

Well, and when you think about the Stations of the Cross, we are talking serious mob behavior here.

In my mind, imagine you are just one of the locals, come to town for Pesach.

"Hey, what's going on downtown? Something about trying that Jesus dude?" It starts out as free local entertainment, esp. because the mob finds out they can free Barabbus, which in itself is kind of exciting in a reality TV kind of way...

Then the Romans get their "fun."

Then as Jesus is going up the hill, the crowd continues to swarm, and it gets more and more dehumanized with each step up the hill. It's ok to jeer, to throw rocks, to spit, to curse. Everyone's doing it. It's like the crowds at hangings in the old west. They swarm up the hill. Will he have some good last words? How much will he scream and holler?

But then as the crucifixion actually happens, I imagine that crowd slowly becoming more disgusted with themselves, that "What'd we do?" feeling creeping in, the crowd thinning out as the day wears on till only a few left, the others returned to their homes; some disgusted with themselves, some confident a rebellion was put down, some just bewildered.

I guess what amazes me is the orthodite blog folks' stamina to keep up their mob righteousness. What's it gonna take to slow them down? A crucifixion?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Actually, no, Kirke. They've already crucified so many of us, but mostly it's been +VGR. Doesn't slow them down a heartbeat.

Kirk Petersen said...

Thank you for your willingness to engage with a respectful contrarian. While I agree that the "witch" headline was irresponsible, I have to say that Dean Ragsdale's sermon makes me deeply uncomfortable.

Rather than hijacking another comment thread on your site, I've elaborated in more detail on my own blog.

Malinda said...

Rant on!

I heard an important piece on abuse against women on NPR tonight - still too often a hidden violence to the body and soul. And oh yeah it is just advertising ...

How's the coupling of "mandatory" and "church attendance" going with the confirmation class? We educators want to know.

Thanks for being out there.

EleanorBraun said...

Thank you for this rant. We think we've come so far, and we have, and then we hear this.

Perhaps this can be a bit of a balm. It's from the recently concluded Emergent Village conference in Albuquerque. Read it here:

Jane Priest said...

I didn't have time to read the whole thing but what I did read left me saying "yeah!" or "glad I haven't visited viagraland in a long time."

Today, I had a pro-life anti-Obama (beause he's a warlock Muslim baby-killer as we all know....), UCC and Episcopalians aren't really Christian person ask me where does the bible say abortion is okay. So I answered this question which is, as we know, the bible says NOTHING about abortion. I explained that of course, we may use the biblical teachings to interpret the right course in an unwanted pregnancy but the bible says NOTHING about abortion. I was then told in more words but using these words: that it disgusts her that I call myself a Christian. Then I was accused of proof-texting because I said the bible says NOTHING about abortion. I knew I was getting into a "teaching a pig to sing" situation but oh the ignorance and hate in the world. Too bad I no longer blog because I think I need to rant today, too. Thanks for letting me rant here.

As the conversation went on I reminded this woman that countries that live out strict religious principles are called "The Islamic Republic of Iran" and "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

Lisa Fox said...

Thanks for naming and shaming this violence, Elizabeth.

And I'm intrigued that Anne Kennedy still has a crush on you. Do you think she will ever get over it? I guess Father Mass Progeny just isn't enough for her.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Joie - you can rant here any time you like, honey. Would you send me your email address? I found a picture of you and me I'd like to send to you.

Sara said...

I'm glad you're feeling better. It needed saying.

KHR+ said...

Why, thank you, dear heart.

BTW, and for the record, it is true that I have taken the speech down from the blog -- or made it invisible (I'm not really a blogger and don't know how these things work). And, yes, though it is on a sermon collection blog site it was, in fact, a speech, given at a rally to conclude the defense of a clinic under siege, yet again, from anti-choice protestors who harassed and frightened the staff and patients. The clinic had been shot up in the past (the owner still had the bullet-riddled door) and everyone was feeling a bit terrorized by the protestors when they asked me to fly in to stand with, and try to comfort and inspire, the defenders.

Anyway, I removed the speech from view to try to quiet down the commenters. There's probably a way to just stop comments but I haven't had time to explore that -- kind of busy here right now.

At first I thought it would be a good thing to let the world see what the anti-choice (anti-woman) vitriol is really like. As you've pointed out, those who have only encountered the anti-gay stuff have no idea just how nasty things can get when it's women being attacked. But then ...

1) the comments kept coming and coming and my blackberry kept vibrating to announce new ones and I couldn't deal with the constant semi-interruptions,

2) my friends were getting angry and upset. I'm used to this -- been dealing with it for 25 years -- but people who love me where feeling very hurt by it. Even people who barely know me were starting to feel hurt

3) I began to think that I was providing an occasion for sin by providing a place where people could spew such hate and violence.

4) I don't want to seem to trivialize any of this by saying I was getting bored, but really .. how many ways can people find to call me amoral, demonic, sub-human scum? It was getting awfully repetitive

So, the speech is no longer available for view. If I can find time to work out how to make it available without providing opportunity for more comments I'll try to put it up again.

And again, dear friend, thanks for your righteous indignation, your defense of all women, your clear critique, and your friendship.


Jane Priest said...

...and THANK YOU, KHR+ for the context. As I have told Elizabeth offline, I don't agree with your all comments in that speech (and this after spending half my day defending the right of choice for women) as I think they really go too far, BUT I am thankful for your support of the men and women providing women with a choice even in the face of violence themselves. I had a feeling your comments might have been motivated by such a situation.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Malinda - the push back has been very strong, but we're "standing firm in the faith" - to coin a phrase.

I'll let you know how it goes after next week. I just finished getting the Stations of the Cross for families and kids ready to rock 'n roll in the morning. I'm looking forward to your insights.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks, Kathy, for honoring this blog with your presence.

The Trolls over in Viagraland have archived everything you've ever written and published and hung it up for target practice. That's very typical of them. SOP. They LOVE to incite to riot. Gee, where have we seen that dynamic before?

I do believe your integrity and courage will be more meaningful an example to seminarians than any opinion on any subject you might express.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Oh, my. I just noticed that Mr. Melanie Griffith, the Chief Troll over in Viagraland, has updated his tin-cup rally for a full time job as the most mean-spirited man in the Anglican Blogosphere and is now claiming 75% of goal - up from 20% a few days ago.

Yeah, sure, that's the ticket.

Song in my Heart said...

This is a good rant. I like the parallel you see, that I've also never noticed, between the escalating violence of Holy Week and escalating violence anywhere else. Obvious once it's pointed out, of course. You've set me thinking about violence and nonviolence and taking sides.

I struggle a lot with the "love your enemies" thing. I never know where the point is that I can justifiably say, "Love you or not, what you are doing is wrong" - I don't want to judge others. But I also know that a refusal to stand up and say that something is wrong is not the right answer either.

Maybe even the concept of having enemies is one that doesn't serve me well.

I think abortion is abhorrent and awful and, yes, sometimes violent. I'm not squeamish, but it seems to me a great tragedy. I am strongly pro-choice. I am in no position to judge for someone else whether ending a pregnancy is more harm or less harm than bringing it to term. I hope that anyone who does have to make this decision would make it with every care. I pray I never have to make it myself.

If I am ever in that position the last thing that I want to deal with is people who know nothing of my situation telling me what I should or should not do. The last thing I want to deal with is people who do know a bit--friends, family, even clergy--sending me the message that their love (and God's love) for me is conditional, based on what I do, when I'm already trying to do the best that I can.

What would happen if we all tried to assume, always, that our so-called enemies and those we disagree with are doing the best they can? But then, what would happen when 'the best they can' includes the violence you've spoken of in this post? I can often identify violent speech but I have no idea how to engage with it on a useful level, no idea how to counter it. By the time it reaches violent action I'm more concerned with staying safe, myself.

Dunno. Need to think about this more before I can make any sense of it, but wanted to thank you for getting the wheels turning again.

Fran said...

I am here late and after so many great comments. All I can say is this.


And thank you.

Grace said...

Mother Katherine,

I feel some grief even when an animal miscarries. I'm sad to see broken eggs in a robin's nest.

I can't imagine how someone, Christian or not, could feel that the abortion of a healthy unborn child even in the context of a loving, committed relationship is an unmitigated blessing.

I believe that you're my sister in Christ, but yet I'm struggling to think we could really have anything in common at all.

Prayers for both of us.


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

You know, I have never "struggled" with the thought of having an abortion. I confess that I did consider the thought - the idea - the concept - after I found out I was pregnant with my first child.

I was in a panic b/c what the knowledge of the pregnancy did was to make very clear to me that my marriage was a sham. I didn't know why, couldn't imagine it but couldn't articulate it either, but I just "knew" it wasn't right. So a pregnancy sent me into a complete panic.

The thought of abortion flew into my head as a possibility, banged into my religious understanding of God at that time, and flew right out again. Abortion was not the right choice at that time for me. But I am so glad it was legal b/c if I had needed to make that decision, I would have done it, legal or not.

That is not at all how I would characterize the struggle of some of the women - married and single, young and ought to have been menopausal - I've had the privilege to sit with who REALLY struggled.

Like, in the Garden of Gethsemane struggle. I do believe one or two sweated blood. I was in awe of the integrity of their experience and their decision.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Here's my point, Grace - I don't know if you've ever 'struggled' with the idea of an abortion for yourself. I don't know if you have a child or children or if you've ever even been pregnant. I don't even know if you've ever sat with someone who has struggled, really struggled to make a decision to have an abortion. I do know, from your previous posts (and you only seem to post here when the topic is abortion, which raises my eyebrow from time to time) that you find the very idea of abortion repugnant and "sad."

Here's the thing - both Mother Ragsdale and I have sat with people who have struggled with the decision to have an abortion. We come out in very different places, but the bottom line is that we both agree that abortion should be safe and legal for ALL women - and the reason for that abortion should be her own choice.

For me, that's a sadness but reason to thank God for the blessing of safe, legal abortion. For Mother Katherine, there is reason to rejoice and thank God for the blessing of safe, legal abortion.

That doesn't make me any better than Mother Katherine or her any better than me, or either of us better or worse than you.

We are still - each one of us - loved and cherished by God, enough to have been given the gift of free will. It is not up to you or me or Mother Katherine or ANYONE to take away that gift of free will.

rick allen said...

One person may be a pacifist, think that all war is wrong, that all killing in war makes it something abominable, to be opposed in season and out.

A second might abhor war, but see it as a tragic necessity of social life, a justified exercise in collective self-defense or the toppling of tyranny and oppression.

Those two have a real difference between themselves. But surely they have more in common with each other than with a third person who sees war as a positive good, as a blessing.

Kirk Petersen said...

Dean Ragsdale, to block comments on an individual post in a Blogger-powered blog like yours, the path from the Dashboard is Posting > Edit Posts > click Edit next to the individual post > click Post Options below the text field. To block or otherwise moderate comments on all posts, the path is Settings > Comments.

JimB said...

I have been off line for a day and a half (I am looking for a new ISP!) On your rant, subject to Rev Anne's corrections (7 years after all,) I could not agree more.

A couple weeks ago, I posted on the rising tide of violence and preparation for violence on Jim's Thoughts . I am afraid we are both correctly observing the phenomena.

Yes it is un-Christian. It is also anti-democratic.

Any time, any time a person is diminished by violent speech denying fundamental humanity to some group with which they are identified the speech or writing is violent and evil.


KHR+ said...

Kirk Petersen is my new hero. Thank you for the instructions -- I shall try them out as soon as possible.

Because of the thoughtful nature of the comments here I decided to try a response. (Never try to respond to the kind of comments that were showing up at the original site!). It's a very rough and ready draft on the fly. And I'm sorry that I'm unlikely to have a chance to do any editing or polishing -- it really is a crazily busy time right now, as perhaps you can imagine.

But, should you be interested in my rough thoughts you can find them at

You can find the original speech there, too -- I wanted to get them away from a site that purported to be sermons.

Please forgive me that I will be unable to respond to your individual comments.

Grace said...

Mother Kaeton,

I stop by fairly often, although not as much lately. But, I often don't post.

Should take the opportunity to say, that often I'm blessed by your comments, and totally agree on many, many topics.

Probably I should comment then, too. Sorry. :(

Joanna Depue said...

Thank you for sharing your passion here. Perpetuating violence, hate mongering, vilification, defamation will never come to good. Approaching Holy Week with the Cross before us I am left speechless at callous 'christian folk' who eagerly squint to see the splinter in anothers eyes without noticing the plank in their own!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thank you, Dr. Ragsdale, for the link to your sermons and speeches. Context is everything.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

This note is for "meurk" who actually made this statement on another blog. Wait, wait - I'm going to cut and paste it, so it will be "authentic": muerk said...

What Elizabeth Kaeton writes make my skin crawl. She rails at the verbal violence of headline rhetoric, yet is happy to accept the actual physical violence done to the unborn. It's a very creepy attitude.

Ah, ya just gotta love a gal with creepy-crawly skin and not a logical thought in her head. You just can't make this stuff up. I guess they don't call 'em "fundgelicals" for nothin'.

Grace said...

Ok, Mother Kaeton,

I promise this is my last statement concerning abortion on your blog for a long time. I think this Muerk's attitude that comes across toward you is way out of line.

You're not creepy, and I know are perfectly sincere.

But, still I can see an element of truth in Muerk's statement. Shouldn't we as Christians do our best to adopt a consistent life ethic across the board.

If we're going to speak out against violence toward women, war, the death penalty, etc. what about violence in the womb?

I'm willing to agree that in extreme circumstances elective abortion maybe the lesser of the evils, just as acts of war sometimes maybe the lesser of the evils to protect innocent lives, or to perserve freedom.

But, still both war, and abortion are truly acts of violence, not "blessings."

I understand that there are women struggling with abortion, and I agree that we need to love, and accept people where they're at.

But, this doesn't always mean to me sitting silently by while people make choices that can cause destruction to themeselves, or to others, and then affirming the decision to boot.

Promise this is my last word. I'll just listen now.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Hello again, Grace - Listen, I'm always glad when you come to visit and you are welcome here anytime. I'd just like to hear you weigh in on something other than abortion. Just once in a while. You are a compassionate, intelligent woman. I'll bet you have lots of opinions are lots of things. I'd like to hear from you - at least once in a while - on other topics.

I don't have a whole lot of time this morning so I want to comment on three things in your post.

The first is meurk's statement about my being "creepy". I think she reveals more about her own homophobia than anything she might say about me. I'm glad you don't find me "creepy". I'm sure you don't approve of my so-called 'lifestyle' but I think you've got enough of a sense of God's love that you are not repulsed by people who are different from you or whose life is not fashioned in accordance to how you read scriptures. Poor meurk. I do pray for the continued growth and development of her soul.

Second: the "consistent ethic". I think that's a fine goal. A RC bishop whose name escapes me right this very red hot second once talked about the 'seamless robe' of ethics - a reference to the robe Jesus wore to his crucifixion.

I strive for a consistent ethic in my own life, so my position on abortion is not out of sync with the ethical precepts I have developed from the starting point of the gift of free will which God grants to each and every one of us.

That does not mean that there are no consequences for our actions. There are. It does mean, however, that we are not to judge - or inhibit - the actions of others.

Of course, there are laws. "Do not murder" is one of them. And here's where you and I disagree. I subscribe to the medical and legal definition of where human life begins. You don't. And, that's okay. It just means that the consistency of our ethical standards are different. Not wrong. Different.

Think of it as the musical patterns that are different from a piece of classical music to that of a jazz piece. They both flow from the same basic notes. They both have a consistency. The results, however, couldn't produce a more different effect. And yet, each has its own integrity and beauty and truth.

Finally, I want to address the issue of "violence in the womb." Given your ethical principles, I can see how that would be your perspective. Violence is, at times, a part of all of life. Last night there was a violent rain storm here. I was awakened several times by the wind blowing things around and against the house.

However, I didn't get up and yell violently back at the wind. I didn't curse the rain or the wind that was disturbing my sleep, my peace.

Neither does anyone - like meurk - have the right to violent, threatening language about how my or Dr. Ragsdale's position on abortion disturb their peace.

You can disagree. You have that absolute right - free will being the amazing gift that it is - but if you take that right and turn it into violence which objectifies and threatens anyone else's right to free will or escalates that to dehumanize them so as to justify the violence you incite against them, well, that's where the line gets drawn, Grace. That's where this 'rant' began. I. Have had. Enough.

One last thing - Context is everything. So is audience. Dr. Ragsdale is very clear that what she said about "blessing" was not a sermon but a speech given at a rally. Two very different things, Grace.

Now, do I agree with what Dr. Ragsdale said in her speech? No. Does that lessen my opinion of her? No. Does that disqualify her for the position to which she's been appointed? No.

I think the fact that she could say something that is, even among many feminists, an unpopular position (many of us think: 'safe, legal and rare') makes her brave and courageous - two wonderful attributes that ought to be an example for seminarians.

And - are your ready for this, Grace? - consistent with her ethical principals and values. You may not like her ethics, you may even strongly disagree with them, but if consistency is a value for you, well, there you have it. It's not consistent with YOUR values, but you can't deny that Dr. Ragsdale is nothing if not consistent with her own values.

Okay, I've said more than I intended. It' off into my day right now. I'm listening to you, Grace. I'm very interested in what you have to say.

And, let's just both pray for meurk, that God opens her heart and her mind to the possibility that the diversity that God has created is good.

Grace said...

Mother Kaeton,

Thanks for your comments. I will visit sometimes,and post about other things. I do appreciate your blog alot.

I certainly have no difficulty with your lifestyle, and am very affirming of GLBT inclusion in the church, and gay marriage.

But, I'm also quite pro-life across the board as well.

This does sometimes surprise people. Although, why it's thought there should be this automatic connection, one way or the other, I'm not sure. (Scratches head here. :) ) My political, and social views are a real mix.

It does really just goes to show that we can't put each other in a box. We're all definitely unique, created in the image, and likeness of God.

I'm off too, hoping to get some hiking in, and then stopping at the Pet Store. The ticks are out in full force, and my Border Collie is in desperate need of "Frontline."

God bless!

James said...

This, THIS, is what pulled my last, poor, tired nerve: "Pro-Life News: New Dean at Episcopal Divinity School Is A Lying Baby Murdering Witch"

That's just the latest hate-filled headline from the Far Right (Oh, what else to call them?) of the Tattered and Frayed Fringes of the Episcopal Church, Anglican wannabes.

I suppose you mean this article:

Note: creator of title (yes, title is very annoying): has nothing to do with Episcopal Church or Anglican Wannabes - some "covenant news" site.

Author of article: very clearly has nothing to do with Episcopal Church or Anglican Wannabes - a Catholic woman, one of the net's best-known religious bloggers.

Your intended target: "The Trolls on Viagra"? Only - standfirm didn't publish this title, nor the article in question.

So you are launching this diatribe against such fringe Episcopals or Anglican Wannabes, based on what? What have they done, to deserve the things you care claiming here? Rather, it's other Christians - this CovenantNews group, which seem to be very much anti-war, anti-Iraq war in particular - and this well-known Catholic blogger, Amy Welborn, you should be mentioning and shaming. You need to see this more clearly, or you will keep sniping at these "orthodite fundigelicals" as you call them, whereas - it's just more mainstream Christians that are targeting you with epithets that these orthodite fundigelicals probably wouldn't imagine using themselves.

Is this why you aren't linking the original article, because it actually has nothing to do with the people you are somehow "shaming", as Lisa Fox quotes? I think you have a point, that this title is truly annoying, but - the "I have had enough ... " etc. - all a bit deceptive, when meant to induce the reader to think that this was posted at standfirm?

Please do respond - I'm considering starting a series "Deception in the Episcopal Church" - this particular article actually is what inspired the thought - it seems to me that deception is one of the big problems TEC will have to encounter, and that it's likely to become worse until truth again becomes a first-order value.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Dear whoever you really are - Well, I think you are looking to create a fight that I have absolutely no interest in getting involved with. It's your issue, not mine. Mine is violent rhetoric. If you'd like to talk about that, let's have at it. Otherwise, you will just have to find the fight you are itching to have someplace else.

James said...

Elizabeth, I do not seek a "fight" but rather a "clarification." If you also don't want a fight, can't you simply acknowledge the point here: you are trying to smear StandFirm with something they didn't actually do? OK, yes, rhetoric is violent, won't go into the ethics about that just now - but - whatever one thinks of this site StandFirm - can you acknowledge that, in a moment of passion, you did write a rather consciously deceptive article? Or do you deny that this article is deceptive?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Smear SFiF? Oh, my dear, they relish in smearing themselves! Just look at their banners sometime. No, I used the title of the article as a way to talk about the violent rhetoric that is characteristic of the "tattered fringes" of the so-called "orthodox" Right.

Deceptive? You are talking to the wrong person. When you have lost custody of your children for five years, lost opportunity for job placement or advancement, been denied housing, and suffered all other manner of indignities all because you tell the truth about yourself, 'deceptive' is not part of your vocabulary.

This blog ain't called "Telling Secrets" for nothing.

Thanks for the visit. And, OBTW, if you want me to really believe that you don't want to pick a fight, try lowering your rhetoric. Asking a question that begins with, "Do you deny . . ." is stuff that is usually heard in the heat of a court room battle.

James said...

Sorry about the pointed tone - you seemed to be evading the question the first time.

How about this: wouldn't it have been more clear and honest if you'd specified that this actual rhetoric didn't come from SFiF, and was from elsewhere? Do you really see no ethical problem in insinuating that this title came from SFiF?

I agree: we need to think carefully about "violent rhetoric," but also "deceptive rhetoric." I have much admiration for your steadfastness and what you've been through - nonetheless, as a person in authority, I do think it desirable for you to be called to engage in an honest manner. I understand circumstances; but I do not disrespect you in considering you as beyond all accountability, or by expecting you to say things which are untrue, and yet refraining from calling you to honesty. Don't disrespect yourself in this way either.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well, and I guess I am to presume that this is supposed to make me believe that you are still not trying to pick a fight?

I know that I'm a lowly woman, and, God knows, a lesbian, but I do think my article deserves a more careful read before you begin to insinuate that I am being "deceptive" or "call me to honesty."

I mean, really!

Go back and read what I wrote. Go ahead. I'll wait. Be sure to read how I did not identify the source of the quote. I was particularly careful not to do that.

When I return to discussing things from the "Far Right" (which is how I identified the source and one of the POINTS OF THE POST) I begin with a reference NOT to SFiF, but BY WAY OF EXAMPLE - Mrs. Kennedy's blog.

It is after that BY WAY OF EXAMPLE that I talk about "The Trolls on Viagra" (aka "SFiF).

I was giving EXAMPLES of the kind of rhetoric and thinking that can be found on blogs on "THE FAR RIGHT" of the Anglican Communion.

Get it? No deception. Examples. It's a common literary device, taught in elementary school English classes around the country.

The source of my ire was my experience of the violent rhetoric of THE FAR RIGHT. I GAVE EXAMPLES.

Understand, now?

You know what? I suspect that the power of my insight about the progression of violence that we see in the Crucifixion of Our Lord being a reflection of the progression of violent rhetoric to physical violence (which, can not be an original thought - I'm sure it is in a Very Important Theological Book by a Very Important Theologian which has simply slipped under my radar) rings so true in you that you are - intentionally or unintentionally - trying to blunt its power by this little diversion about MY "deception," "dishonesty," and "ethical standards".

I don't know. Just a guess.

Because, if you had to really get your mind wrapped around the violent rhetoric from the Far Right - the source of the quote and SFiF being primary examples among many, many others - it's not that we have to "think carefully about violent rhetoric". Are you kidding me?

As Christians who walk the Way of the Cross at least once a year, it is our imperative to stop violent rhetoric before it progresses. To not use it ourselves and to call others into account when it is used.

That takes confronting one of the most powerful forces of deception - the ways in which we deceive ourselves.

You don't so much need to call me to "engage in an honest manner" so much as you need to be honest with yourself and look in your own heart to see whatever penchant for violence does or does not lurk there.

Take the log out of your own eye, my friend, before you begin complaining about the splinter in the eyes of others.

Oh, and one last thing: It is arrogance of the highest order to presume that, just because Mighty You has a question for Lowly Me, that I will provide answers - and to your complete satisfaction.

You have no authority over me. I have no authority over you. This is a blog, not a court of law.

Lighten up, for goodness sake, or you're going to have a coronary before the year is out.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Just wanted to share a little trick I just learned from Mr. Melanie. If you google "orthodox insane violent stand firm", guess what pops up, first thing?

Funny, that.

You know, I think Lisa may be right after all. I think he does have a crush on me. You know, sorta the way 6th grade boys always pull the hair of the girl they really like.

You'll excuse me now, while I go take a shower.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Turns out, the person from the Anglican Ecumenical Bible Studies WHATEVER has a wee bit of deception of his/her own sleeve - a bit like the pot calling the kettle beige, as it were.

On his/her blog, s/he says s/he wrote:

"Elizabeth, I call "both sides" to accountability. When I smell a rat, I smell a rat, and I go bug that side about the rat I've smelled. I have defended "your" cause at sites like SFiF when I found them going over the top. What I am asking you is: are you going over the top here, are you sure you want to classify this as "acceptable for an Episcopal priest?"

But, well, you can read his/her comment posted on my blog for yourself above. Nothing about any rat smelling there. Nothing, either about "going over the top".

Hmmmm . . . do I smell deception? Oh, and BTW, as of yet, there is no update to include our last exchange.

Ah, yes. Let's do keep "priests" accountable for their "deception".

I think Jesus had something to say about removing the log from your own eye before criticizing the splinter in others.

BTW, s/he actually thinks s/he has intimidated me into considering taking down this rant.

The arrogance is absolutely astounding.

Paul (A.) said...

As to Joie's issue about the Bible condoning abortion, I have read that the procedure directed by Numbers 5 constitutes using an abortifacient as a test for marital faithfulness. (This may make more sense in Hebrew than in the English translation (New American Bible) I came across just now.) Assuming that this is the correct reading, apparently God doesn't seem to have a problem with abortion as such.

And the traditional position of the Church up through around the end of the nineteenth century was that abortion was only a venial sin prior to the time of quickening (anound the end of the first trimester), although a mortal sin thereafter.

On the issue of domestic violence, this recent op-ed makes a noteworthy suggestion.

Kirk Petersen said...

[whew!] This is why, whenever I tweak Mother Elizabeth, I bend over backwards to speak respectfully :)

Anglican Ecumenical Bible Stud, or whatever, did indeed sound like he was spoiling for a fight, with the accusations of deception.

But Elizabeth, to be fair to him -- I'm assuming someone so obstreperous can't be a member of the fairer sex [ducking] -- I have to say that I, too, interpreted your post to mean that the "baby-murdering witch" headline was from a conservative Anglican site. After my first comment on this thread I was surprised, when I was researching the post on my own blog, to discover that the headline was not from an Anglican site.

But while Bible Stud assumed bad faith on your part, I assumed that your use of that particular example was just not as intellectually rigorous as other examples of your writing.

Bottom line: I recognize that the baby-murdering headline was what triggered your outrage... but I don't think it really has much relevance to the topic of your original post (domestic violence). It was perhaps unfortunate that I seized on that headline to go off on my own riff about the "abortion is a blessing" sermon-that-turns-out-to-have-been-a-speech.

Suzer said...

Please don't take the post down, Rev. Kaeton. It's an excellent piece on a (sadly) timely issue.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

The "the far Right" is the "far Right" whether it is in the Anglican communion or The Episcopal Church. The point is that violent speech comes from the Far Right and influences where we are now and progresses. And, it's aimed at "the feminine" in our midst - women, reproductive rights, LGBT people. No coincidence. Not for me.

James said...


We all need people at some times to call us to a bit of accountability - and it can hurt, yes. Yes, I posted the original article since, on the more lefty side, the tactic is sometimes removing the posting, but still avoiding the responsibility. On the rightie side so far - sometimes I am ignored, sometimes I'm taken seriously, and see an article modified, but haven't yet had a word of apology either, just so you know - but I've seen no disappearing acts. Remember how Mr. Terry Martin's blog disappeared entirely, and Rev. Ragsdale mentions one (with a reason) on her own blog. Haven't had any major disappearing acts on the rightie side as far as I know. There are always "reasons" for disappearing acts, but they also always make information disappear. I've addressed what you bring up as smelling possible "deception" - the missing line from my post - in the blog comment on the blog site - it's even more boring than most of what I'm writing here, so I won't repeat it here.

No, I don't blog about this kind of thing, so no rat smelling of either the lefty or righty sort. Not my "calling" as it were. But I do sometimes post critical comments, or send critical e-mails. I didn't want the Bible study blog containing this article so I just made a new blog.

I really don't want you all distraught, don't feel "intimidated" - I'm not calling the blog police or other such services.

And I was just beginning to warm up to your comments a bit too ;) can't we agree and still remain - perhaps not friends, but somewhat friendly?

Ok, id stuff - I'm an Anglican, Church of England, Diocese of Europe. You can call me Wilfried. I know quite a few really great Episcopalians, don't believe any of them are "Orthodites" (how do you tell?).

I've responded already but want to look over what I wrote, to make sure it's not flawed in the violent-language category, you've already pointed out how my tone was too aggressive, and I think you were right about this.

Meanwhile - regarding what Paul wrote - the source is not far-right Anglican Communion either, it's .

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Not to worry, Suzer. The longer it stays up, the more some folks will squirm. And, the ones who squirm the most are the very self-same ones with a penchant to violence who want to divert the post by claims of "deception" or "dishonesty". How pathetic, eh?

Oh, and for those of you who hadn't noticed, there is a warning, right under the clock, that informs the reader that I do not suffer fools gladly. We can disagree. I deeply appreciate being informed when I have said something incorrectly or my facts are not in good order. However, if you're going to make false accusations and you're looking for "Little Mary Sunshine", you've obviously got the wrong place.

DavidH said...

OK, so your story is that this post is about violent rhetoric from the right and that you were collecting and giving examples. (See your comment above.) But the funny thing is that other than the Ragsdale headline, you didn't actually give any examples.

You railed on Anne Kennedy for a post that had none of that violent rhetoric (and that, according to you, was just her being a sucker anyway).

You went on about Dolce & Gabbana's ad, but like Abercrombie & Fitch, I'm sure D&G and their ads aren't really popular among conservatives.

You complain about Sarah Hey deleting one of Susan Russell's comments. (As someone who's been warned twice by Sarah myself, I have some first-hand experience. I'm also familiar enough with the people involved to know that neither you nor Susan need Sarah's approval to get a message out on the web.)

Then your rant moves to Greg Griffith and how he's looking for donations.

Then you get to your own Children and their Families walk the Stations of the Cross bit.

Then it's the pictures of abused woman (to be clear, I, like every other sane person, abhors such violence) with the claim that language like the Ragsdale headline leads to abuse. (Presumably language about Viagraland and Dominatrixes and such also incites action?)

Then you say that the pro-life blogger who wrote the headline (as another commenter already pointed out, not Stand Firm) is "quick to try to snuff out any life that disagrees with their position." So ... apparently it's OK to accuse people of being murderers as long as it's not in the headline.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Wilfried (is that your name?), you may want to go over your own blog. You have posted something there which is essentially a copy of what you've posted here - the difference being that the post on your blog includes a comment about "smelling a rat". I wouldn't want anyone to accuse you of an attempt at "deception."

And, Dr. Ragsdale didn't "take down" her speech - she simply moved it from her sermon blog where, being a speech, it did not belong. No deception.

And, when Terry Martin took down his blog, he did so because the blog had ceased to be. No deception.

I think that, when people on the Left understand that their post has not contributed to the conversation or advanced the cause, or might, in fact, have been hurtful, they do the right thing and take it down. No deception. It's called 'caring'.

The arrogance of the Right prohibits them from ever admitting they are wrong or caring if they hurt someone - especially someone on the Left.

I have not tried to deceive anyone. I have been as transparent as I know how to be. I have exposed a dynamic which has ruffled some very proud feathers.

I shall not be taking down this post. In fact, I may modify it and repost it from time to time, just so that the issue stays fresh.

Here's a question - were you ever, in the past, deceived by a clergy person? It seems to be a real issue with you. Not all of us practice 'deception', you know

Oh, and BTW, I am neither distraught or intimidated. Just in case you hadn't figured that out yet.

Now, annoyed? Ah, now you're closer to real.

You may want to stick with blogging about what you know, my dear.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Sorry, DavidH, I don't get your point. Maybe it's because I think you're scratching around for a fight and I am not going to give it to you.

This was piece was a rant on a blog. It was not a great piece of literature; nor was it an argument before the court. It was a rant. On a blog. By a relative nobody.

Really. I'm done. I've made my point and said what I've needed and wanted to say.

Maybe you'd like to talk with Wilfried.

James said...

Elizabeth, I quote from above comment:


I've addressed what you bring up as smelling possible "deception" - the missing line from my post - in the blog comment on the blog site - it's even more boring than most of what I'm writing here, so I won't repeat it here.


Apparently necessary, so I will repeat it:

Hmmm, wondering if I shouldn't instead have just saved this on my hard drive instead of posting all -

ok, we continue - cheers Elizabeth, you're a trooper to be hanging in there still. This will be boring for other folks, but hopefully will stay interesting enough for you & me.

Notice - below comment - "Nothing about any rat smelling there. Nothing, either about "going over the top". - this occurred because there was an error - you see "This post has been removed by the author" on Sat Apr 04? I erroneously posted 2 versions - one which contained this line, and one which didn't. I realized later my mistake - I'd posted, and then hit the "back" button" so I could retrieve what I posted and post it here.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Ah, boring, is it? Well, there it is, then.

And, just so you know, I am no "trouper". Persistence is a part of the heritage of my DNA. So is beign feisty. You may have noticed.

A word to the wise, my dear: never ever - question my integrity or my honesty blithely and without good, solid cause. You may just find yourself back in this same place.

Just so you know: I'm done now. Holy Week is upon us. I have seven sermons to preach in seven days, an Agape Meal and the liturgy of the Triduum to coordinate, acolytes to practice, choirs to rehearse with, and altar guilds to obsess with.

I'll be posting but not doing much commenting.

If you want to know something about my Christology, read the stations of the cross posted here. Or, read my Palm Sunday sermon.

Who knows. It may even be edifying to your soul.

James said...

Blessings, Elizabeth. Thanks for letting me know. Things here also very busy, much too busy for holy week. May God uplift you & sustain you as you serve others, and may you also find time for Him to minister to you.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

And, also with you.

James said...

It has been a very long time now. If you don't see that you clearly are not alerting the reader that you're using an "example" and everything about your text looks like an accusation of "far-Right Anglicans", I don't know what will convince you. I thought time would, but then I ran out of it.

I do hope that with time and distance, re-reading your story, you can see why I thought deception was involved. If you want to change the story, I'd advise: don't change it, simply put above the body an indication that you've discovered that you engaged in some inappropriate writing - people were very upset with Terry Martin pulling his blog like that - if he wanted to withdraw it, he could have simply indicated in the template that he no longer stands behind the sentiments in many of those articles.

The thing is, your article got me good and whopping mad at the Far-Right Anglicans when I read it. I thought, how awful. I wanted to know who had done it. So I googled it and found it. And low and behold. A lot of anger at those Far-Right Anglicans for nothing. But some anger at one particular Far-Left Episcopalian to replace it with. Fortunately that anger is gone now.

Look again at your quote:

'This, THIS, is what pulled my last, poor, tired nerve: "Pro-Life News: New Dean at Episcopal Divinity School Is A Lying Baby Murdering Witch"

That's just the latest hate-filled headline from the Far Right (Oh, what else to call them?) of the Tattered and Frayed Fringes of the Episcopal Church, Anglican wannabes.'

I don't really have any interest in doing the "deception & TEC" story, and obviously tracking problems in language in the Communion hasn't occupied me. I think it would be a good project for someone, though.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks for stopping by again. I'm glad your anger is gone.