South Carolina: “Something Else” Turns Out to be Same Old, Same Old
Via TitusOneNine, I read a couple of recent homilies by the Rev. Gay Jennings, the new President of the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies.
I didn’t post any breathless critiques. While her words were less overheated than many TEC speeches, that’s not why I passed on posting them. I passed on them because passing is what we’ve been doing ‘round here. Until yesterday’s breaking news about South Carolina, most of the recent posts here at SF were trending toward U.S. politics and cultural fare. Episcopal/Anglican stuff just doesn’t generate any energy anymore, even on Episcopal/Anglican blogs. But yesterday the TEC powers that presume to be launched another of their exercises in being the top down, legalistic, exclusive kind of religion they claim to hate and rise above.
So, as TEC does its same old, same old response to conflict - invoke jiggered Canon laws and fling the folks’ offerings to the Presiding Bishop’s lawyers - what does the new Pres. of the HOD proclaim?
“At every level of the Episcopal Church – individual, congregational, diocesan, provincial, and churchwide – we can look at how we live our lives and structure our communities and ministries and consider if we could do something else. Something else that might just bring us closer to the heart of God and those we are called to serve – the last, the least, the lost, and the left behind.”
Again and again and again, TEC leaders say benign stuff, but the words never, ever connect with behavior. They are propaganda in the worst sense of that term, not so much an exercise in hyping an idea as in hiding an ugly reality behind a facade of words and images.
Heightening the absurdity is that Jennings was preaching on a commemoration of Anglican martyrs, burned by a top-down church for proclaiming the Biblical Gospel:
“Today we remember in our church calendar Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, bishops who were martyred in 1555 for their beliefs about the need for reform in the Church. Bishops, take note! They lived lives guided by the notion of ‘something else,’ and that’s exactly why we remember them 457 years later.”
“Bishops take note”? How about, “Presiding Bishop, take note”? Oh, I am sure that Jennings and her club will fight the House of Bishops and the PB over all kinds of churchy titles and entitlements, but don’t look for “something different” in terms of “respecting the dignity” of other Christians who prioritize the Old and New Testaments over being liked by the TEC insiders’ club.
Jennings gives it away toward the end,
“The Episcopal Church did something else when it decided to embrace the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Episcopalians at all levels of the Church’s governance and ministry. Bishop Browning’s clarion call that there will be no outcasts has reverberated throughout the Church in a variety of ways ever since, and we are moving ever closer to full inclusion.”
So there you go. “Something else” means “lets do something else to people who don’t count and should be outcasts.” As Sarah and Matt+ said in prior posts, TEC’s South Carolina spasm is just another exercise in “outrage and bitterness” by TEC poobahs; the “folly of evil” in thinking it can “do something else” just a bit meaner and finally be rid of Christ and his people.
Same old, same old, Madame President.
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