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February 19, 2013


Train Wreck

In one’s fondest dreams, one could never make this stuff up. It goes beyond parody, because with utterly no effort of any kind, it parodies itself.

The Task Force appointed pursuant to Resolution 2012-C0195 to develop plans to restructure ECUSA has now released its opening statement. And, wonder of wonders: (a) they have themselves a new acronym; and (b) their statement is a prime specimen of Episcospeak in its purest form observed to date.

Their new acronym—“TREC”—is based on their deciding to call themselves the “Task force for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church.” Of course, the rest of us may simply refer to it as “T-REC”—short for “Train Wreck”.

Here is a classic example of Episcospeak from their statement:

We have started the process of developing an engagement strategy that will enable us to live into our commitment to transparency while preserving the sanctity of holy conversation….

This is Episcospeak at the pinnacle of its ability to say nothing in many words. They have started the “process” of developing (whoops, we’re not there yet) an engagement strategy to live into their “commitment to transparency”—why, of course they have. Translation:

At some point we will have to be open about what we are doing. But we are not there yet, because our talk among ourselves at this stage is still “holy.” (We are being led by the Holy Spirit, remember?)

We hope eventually to have a strategy to dip our toes into the water. But first we have to develop such a strategy, and before we can do that, we have to undertake a process for developing such a strategy.

As of today, we may confidently state that we have entertained the beginnings of that process.

Their statement continues in the same vein:

We further aim not only to provide a window into our work, but to provoke a parallel process of dialogue around questions of identity, structure, and culture at all levels of the church….

Translation:

We do intend to be transparent; the question is: to what degree? We think that we might provide a window of sorts. (But not a real big one, because those conversations of ours are “holy” [see above].)

Well, we’re thinking about it. At least, that is our present intention.

And, hey—guess what? At the very same time we’re thinking about providing a small window on our doings, we’re going to see if we can stir up [“provoke”—sic] another process—this time, one that is focused on dialogue around certain questions, i.e., without actually answering those questions. They’re the usual ones of who we are, how we are organized, and what each of us brings to the table. Lots and lots of opportunity for talking here—maybe we’ll even see if we can stir things up using media like Twitter and Facebook. [Translator’s note: that last bit comes from reading between the lines; it’s not in the literal text. But then we are talking Episcopeak.]

And we are not done yet:

To facilitate that discernment, we plan to offer a range of opportunities to obtain input and feedback from all corners of the church, and we urge all members to reflect prayerfully alongside us and to offer their insights and wisdom. These opportunities will be unveiled in the coming weeks….

“Facilitate discernment”? Through a “process of dialogue” that talks about questions, but does not answer them? (So now, [ECUSA-style] indaba = discernment?)

“Reflect alongside us”? (While we are looking through that little window you graciously provided?)

“Unveiled”?  (Sigh.)

sick

I cannot go on—I have to stop here. My apologies.

You will have to get through it on your own.


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19 comments

I believe you may have mistranslated the phrase “holy conversation.” In the original, it signifies either polytheism, or gay sex, or both.

[1] Posted by paradoxymoron on 2-19-2013 at 08:31 AM · [top]

...input and feedback from all corners of the church, ...to offer their insights and wisdom.

Consider it done.

Oops, maybe they didn’t mean to ask this corner of the church.

[2] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 2-19-2013 at 08:48 AM · [top]

Offerings and insights in disagreement with what we intend will be ignored.  Later, those submitters might by subjected to a little persuasive interrogation and theft of assets to assure uniformity in the re-imagined TREc to cultural assimilation and Borg-identity.

But don’t fret your little selves about that, we’ll have it well in hand!

[3] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 2-19-2013 at 09:29 AM · [top]

I can translate!

Spong was righ and Marx was right but

a)  We can’t say that ABSOLUTELY directly yet (though we can absolutely and explicitly reject every single tenet of the Nicean Creed)
and
b) We can’t work out exactly how to say Spong was right with any kind of coherence because… we, Spong isn’t very coherent and Marx can’t be worshipped openly yet
and
c)  We still want to see if we can fool the Global South into believing that we believe any of that God stuff.

so we kinda need to be very indirect about saying “Hell, there is no God so let’s just down to a strip joint” for a little while longer.

But not much longer mind.  Our Government is going to make it illegal to believe in that God stuff and then we’ll be off the hook and we can feast on the flesh of our enemies freely.

Translation is easy if you use history as your dictionary.

[4] Posted by jedinovice on 2-19-2013 at 10:21 AM · [top]

Press Conference

Reporter:  Bishop Schori, can you tell us about the progress of the TREC commission’s efforts to begin the process of developing transparencies?  I thought TEC would have moved into the 21st century by now and use laptops and projectors for large scale displays.

Schori:  (shrugs) Progress?

Reporter: Yes, and what’s all this about “holy conversation”?  Are you saying that you speak with God?

Schori:  Look here.  Our operatives have this transparency matter under close scrutiny.  If this scrutinization yields any negative conclusions, I can assure that we will convene and maximize our efforts.  K?  Next?

Reporter:  Miss Jeffry Shorts, is it true that the Episcopal Church has plans to ordain a snake?

[5] Posted by DaveW on 2-19-2013 at 10:33 AM · [top]

#5 answer:
We’ll have to see who is elected in the next Episcopal election.  In the meantime, we can always hope…

[6] Posted by aacswfl1 on 2-19-2013 at 10:43 AM · [top]

5&6-
I believe they have been ordaining and consecrating snakes for several years.

[7] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-19-2013 at 02:51 PM · [top]

If I remember my history, actually paleontology, isn’t the T-REC already extinct?  Maybe that’s what they’re after.

[8] Posted by Eastern Anglican on 2-19-2013 at 02:52 PM · [top]

TREC sounds like Drek to me:
Yiddish: excrement, from Middle High German drec: dirt, trash

[9] Posted by Michael D on 2-19-2013 at 04:44 PM · [top]

While we do have committees and meetings at work, they are actually productive.  This entire topic would take 1-2 meetings then BOOM we are done.

I can’t even imagine the pain of attending even 15 minutes of one of their meetings, where they wax philisophically about absolutely nothing while believing by using big words they are smart and are really “on to something”.

Perhaps we should consider this as a form of “capital punishment - as many prisoners would commit suicide after just one meeting…

For the record, TEC is about as tranparent as asphalt.

[10] Posted by B. Hunter on 2-19-2013 at 05:17 PM · [top]

From my time in the mainline Presbyterian “Church” I know that “Re-imagining” is another word for brazen heresy.

[11] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 2-19-2013 at 08:03 PM · [top]

In my Karnac like capacity I predict TREC will announce the following:  More of the same! 

Nothing says lack of self-awareness like doubling down on the things that made you a disaster to begin with.  $1 trillion in stimulus didn’t work?  Maybe try $2 trillion!

Although they’ll try to obscure the true agenda under an avalanche of nonsense, my one real hope is that eventually true clarity will break through the loads of BS.

[12] Posted by Bill2 on 2-19-2013 at 08:03 PM · [top]

Who do you say that I am?

[13] Posted by ExEpiscop on 2-19-2013 at 09:43 PM · [top]

TREC = The Rapidly Eroding Church

[14] Posted by Josh Bovis on 2-19-2013 at 09:57 PM · [top]

“to develop plans to restructure ECUSA

So am I right, that this task force isn’t dealing with doctrinal stuff like ‘when and how should we bless same sex relationships’ or ‘should we insist that members be baptised’. Rather, it is about which structures get cut as church income goes down - which dioceses get merged, which youth and welfare ministries are liquidated, which parishes are closed, and which buildings are sold. 

Apologies if I have got that wrong.

But if so, then isn’t this going to get your average episcopalian clergypersun far more engaged than any discussion of doctrinal issues - because it could result in their favourite part of TEC being sold off or liquidated?  I can well imagine in that case why they want to keep the language as soothing and vague as possible, so their own kind don’t turn on them.

[15] Posted by MichaelA on 2-19-2013 at 09:58 PM · [top]

This whole thread needs a serious beverage alert.  I just narrowly averted a large coffee spew on my keyboard and screen. 

Dave W. your comment about transparencies is wickedly funny!  Unfortunately anyone under 35 may not get it!

[16] Posted by Karen B. on 2-20-2013 at 05:54 AM · [top]

By the way, I thought given the acronym there’d be a bunch of Star Trek jokes here… but not being a Trekkie, I can’t come up with any.

[17] Posted by Karen B. on 2-20-2013 at 05:56 AM · [top]

>“By the way, I thought given the acronym there’d be a bunch of Star Trek jokes here… but not being a Trekkie, I can’t come up with any. “

Well, it certainly involves a form of Treknobbable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treknobabble

“Treknobabble is a portmanteau of “Star Trek” and “technobabble”. It is used humorously by fans of the various Star Trek television series, and disparagingly by its critics, to describe the infamous amount of pseudoscientific gibberish packed into many episodes. Writers on The Next Generation and later series inserted the tag “<tech>” to portions of the script where they needed some jargon inserted, which others then assembled. Piller filler is a synonym, a derivative of producer Michael Piller’s name.”

Examples from the technobable generator (refresh for different content) on http://www.daughtersoftiresias.org/progs/technobabble/index.cgi

Picard: Quick, Data, do something!

Data: Yes, sir. I am currently BSing the quark positron bombardment to teach a good lesson to the warship.

Picard: Will it work?

Data: I don’t know. It’s never been done before.


Data: Sir, we seem to be having a problem. The axial subspace control center has been sabotaged. It looks like the work of Cylons.

Picard: Mr. Data, is there anything you can do to fix this?

Data: I am channeling all available resources into de-simulating the generator to proselytise to the vessel. That should hopefully fix the problem.

Picard: Make it so.

Which oddly enough makes more sense than…

“We have started the process of developing an engagement strategy that will enable us to live into our commitment to transparency while preserving the sanctity of holy conversation. We further aim not only to provide a window into our work, but to provoke a parallel process of dialogue around questions of identity, structure, and culture at all levels of the church. To facilitate that discernment, we plan to offer a range of opportunities to obtain input and feedback from all corners of the church…”

But then, in the technobabble work of The Next Generation and Voyager techno overdose - it was there to *provide* a solution to a problem in the world of the story.  The bable actually leads to some form of slution, even if we don’t understand what it is!  In TEc (and the CoE) the babbling is there to *prevent* a meaningful solution and to maintain inertia.  As such there is no meaning because the claims of trying to find a ‘strategy’ are false.  The task force can say any old thing that makes them sound ‘religious’ (minus the Christianity) and ‘active’ as long as it increases confusion and inertia among the orthodox while Schori and co. carry out the real business of throwing the Christians out into the cold.  The task force is a cover and so it can anything as long as it lets Schori do her thing. 

I am willing to bet Schori’s instructions to this task force were, “Talk action, do nothing, cover me while I rip the Christians to pieces. <Babble>”

Expect more such babble from the new ABoC while he adopts the very same strategy…

Welby:  We have a problem.  The orthodox are noticing that we don’t mean any of the Christian stuff and they are realising we prefer Marx to *choke* Jesus.  They might start questioning!

Porter:  It’s OK Sir. I’ll create an inverse reconcilation field using our theological obstication relay which I can initiate through a reconciling dialogue pulse.  That will capture the orthodox in a clarity feedback loop and cause mainstream pacification due to equality weighting.

Welby:  Do you have any idea what that lot just meant?

Porter:  Not a clue.

Welby:  Will it work?

Porter:  100% success rate so far.

Welby:  Make it so.

[18] Posted by jedinovice on 2-20-2013 at 06:41 AM · [top]

>Dave W. your comment about transparencies is wickedly funny!  Unfortunately anyone under 35 may not get it!


I don’t know. I think you may be projecting a bit there Karen.

[19] Posted by jedinovice on 2-20-2013 at 06:43 AM · [top]

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