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I Apologize To, and Ask Forgiveness from, Barbara Harris

Sunday, November 4, 2007 • 8:38 am


Well, I really stepped in it this time, accusing Bishop Barbara Harris in another thread (now removed out of respect for her) of marching in an anti-war march in San Francisco wearing a Palestinian kaffiyeh as a stole. Turns out it’s not her.

I allowed past shows of support of Yassir Arafat and the Palestinians by Bishop Harris, like this, to influence my thinking, so when I happened across a photo of a woman in vestments bearing more than a striking resemblance to The Rev. Harris, I leaped to a conclusion I shouldn’t have.

I apologize and ask for her forgiveness. This was an instance of my bearing false witness, albeit inadvertently, and I am sorry. My apologies to Bishop Harris are offered without qualification.

I believe there was a bet that involved my sending flowers to Bishop Harris if I was wrong. Sarah Dylan Breuer, if you’re reading, can you email me a street address for Bishop Harris, and some indication of what her favorite flowers are?


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Comments:

Bravo, Greg.  I admire your honesty and your willingness to admit error without qualifications.

[1] Posted by Katherine on 11-04-2007 at 09:38 AM • top

Glad to see the apology, but the original article and the whole affair here have eliminated what respect I had for this blog as a source of news.

[2] Posted by ScottChicago on 11-04-2007 at 09:39 AM • top

Scott,

Please. You never had respect for us in the first place. But thanks for commenting.

[3] Posted by Greg Griffith on 11-04-2007 at 09:41 AM • top

Well, Scott, sorry to see you go.  This must be an especially big blow for you since your standards of perfection must not allow you to utilize any news sources since the last time I looked they have a special section for running retractions and error corrections.  Let us know when you find that news utopia.

[4] Posted by JackieB on 11-04-2007 at 09:43 AM • top

Thanks Greg!

[5] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 09:44 AM • top

Get real, ScottChicago. In the ECUSA world of spin, lies, and intimidation, a mistake of identity is not what you needed to dismiss this blog as a source of news (hey, just take a look at intentional misreporting by the tv networks, NYT, others). And it remains that Harris has voiced her radical views repeatedly (with no apologies included).

[6] Posted by stevenanderson on 11-04-2007 at 09:45 AM • top

Nice crop of nastiness in response to my comment.  Farewell.

[7] Posted by ScottChicago on 11-04-2007 at 09:47 AM • top

Scott, dude, if you want to see nastiness, go to Father Jake’s. Not only many of the posters there, but Father Jake himself. I hope he spends signigicant time on his knees praying for forgiveness for some of the things he has posted about those who disagree with him [e.g., “bottom feeders” comes to mind, but hardly his worst]. I begged him to ban me so I wouldn’t waste any more of my time responding to the ridiculous accusations I have seen over there.

[8] Posted by fastlosinghope on 11-04-2007 at 09:55 AM • top

I appreciate your apology to Bishop Harris, Greg. I only wish the nastiness of others that seems to trail even your apology would cease. Really, gang, it is OK just to let an apology stand.

[9] Posted by TBWSantaFe on 11-04-2007 at 09:59 AM • top

Thanks for the apology, Greg, and I’ll ask Bishop Harris about which flowers delivered where would be best.

Prior to the original story being taken down, Bishop Harris sent an email to Elizabeth Kaeton in response to Elizabeth’s query about the photo. At her request, the text of that email follows:

Elizabeth:

Thanks for sending me the “report” of my participation in a rally I knew nothing about in a city I have not visited for several years and from a web site and its freak bloggers of which I have never heard. Of course as a Black person I know that we all look alike to many, if not most, white folk, so I am not suprised that a short afro, small glasses. a purple shirt and collar, etc. would peg the person as me. I also have been identified and addressed as The Rev. Dr. Katie Cannon, the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, the Rev. Sandye Williams, the Rev. Mary Adebonojo and several other Black women, twice my size and in no way similar in appearance. But that’s the way it goes in this wonderful racist country of ours and this lovely hate-filled church we know and love.

While I do have a concern for Palestinian people, I also have a deep concern for so called “orthodox Anglicans” who think they have cornered the market on revealed thruth and righteousness. (They remind me of Fred Phelps and his squad).  It must be a heavy burden to be so freakin’ right all of the time.

Again, thanks for letting me know what is being said about me these days. Back in 1988 when I was elected bishop the then Episcopal Synod of Americal said: “The final crisis has come upon the Episcopal Church.”  Well, here we are almost two decades later and the Church, by the grace of God, continues to press on and will, by Christ’s promise, endure.

If you are so inclined, you may pass this on to that wonderfully “Christian” website. I have no clue how to do that myself since I don’t get involved in that kind of exchange (translate “crap”). I DO have a life.

Peace, best regards, love and prayers,

+Barbara

[10] Posted by Sarah Dylan Breuer on 11-04-2007 at 10:05 AM • top

Greg:

You know it’d be SO much fun to gloat about someone else’s imperfection - but then I remember Jesus’ “He who has not sin, let him cast the first stone” -

The Jewish people were wise enough to realize they didn’t fall into that category and so do I.

I have always like the statement “It’s not the mistakes we make, but what we DO with them that matters” - you’ve just proven you are a Godly man.

Well done.

[11] Posted by Eclipse on 11-04-2007 at 10:05 AM • top

...accusing Bishop Barbara Harris in another thread (now removed out of respect for her) of marching in an anti-war march in San Francisco wearing a Palestinian kaffiyeh as a stole.

Actually, Greg, what you accused +Harris of was supporting terrorism. But go ahead, hide the evidence of what you actually said, softpedal your true statements, hope not too many people see your yellow “journalism” for what it is, and pray as hard as you can that the PayPal link clicks keep on coming.

[12] Posted by PatrickB on 11-04-2007 at 10:09 AM • top

Leonel,

This is your second and final warning.

Greg most certainly did NOT say this: “You called Barbara Harris, a retired, honorable woman and a bishop in the Church, a terrorist”.  I will allow the comment to stand, but further offenses mean you won’t be around any more to comment at StandFirm.

[13] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 10:11 AM • top

Well, it is a shame that Ms. Keaton didn’t at least point out that there were a number of regular posters here who didn’t think the photo was of the bishop. An incident that reflects well on no one at all.

[14] Posted by oscewicee on 11-04-2007 at 10:13 AM • top

To all,

This is an apology thread.  Although the email from Bishop Harris expresses several unfortunate ideas, comments about her email will be deemed off-topic, and deleted.

This is especially [but not limited to] a WARNING to reasserting commenters.  I’m glad that SDB posted it here, but comments about it will not be allowed.

Thanks.

[15] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 10:18 AM • top

Thanks.

[16] Posted by Lapinbizarre on 11-04-2007 at 10:21 AM • top

PatrickB,

You’re correct. I did accuse Bp. Harris of supporting terrorists. But in that case, I was, and remain, correct, as the item I linked above shows.

[17] Posted by Greg Griffith on 11-04-2007 at 10:27 AM • top

RE: “An incident that reflects well on no one at all.”

Hi oscewicee, I appreciate your including everybody, but honestly it simply does not reflect well on StandFirm alone.  The commenters really have nothing to apologize for.  StandFirm misidentified a person wearing a Palestinian kaffiyeh as Bishop Harris.  That was wrong.

I couldn’t care less what folks like Jake, Kaeton, and various other progressive activists think of StandFirm—I’m simply indifferent to their opinion about us and we expect them to not like what we do one bit.  But I am sorry to disappoint reasserting Anglicans with incorrect identifications in posts [although actually we’ll disappoint you about other things as well, that we won’t think wrong in the least!]. The incorrect identification is very troubling to all of us bloggers here.

The focus needs to be squarely on Greg’s—and by extension, StandFirm’s—misidentification of this person wearing the Palestinian kaffiyeh as Bishop Harris.  This thread is about nothing more than that very wrong thing.

[18] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 10:37 AM • top

Following up on my pledge in the earlier thread, I hope this (and the earlier one on the wrong picture linked in the Pittsburgh story) will serve to keep us mindful* of the dangers of leaping to conclusions, particularly as the general stress level builds with events moving towards resolution.

There is also of course the point that dog bites man is not news, and when the Left behaves like the Left it may be worth passing notice, but it’s hardly an occasion to get all excited and wax sore wroth.<hr width=30%>

* Anyone ever notice that “be mindful of” is hardly ever used except in religious or pseudoreligious contexts?  Anyone have a recent example of its use in a purely secular piece?  Is it a legacy of our beloved Griz?

[19] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 11-04-2007 at 10:47 AM • top

Two observations:

1.  SF’s handling of this matter tends to enhance its credibility, and not diminish it.
2.  Liberals are seriously over-playing their hand in this matter.

carl

[20] Posted by carl on 11-04-2007 at 10:54 AM • top

Hi Leonel,

RE: “How can someone support a cause without being liable to be linked to that cause, is beyond me.”

Begging the question.  You stated that Greg called Barbara Harris a “terrorist.”  He didn’t.  One can do all sorts of things that display solidarity with and support murderers on death row—but that doesn’t make such supporters “murderers” as they march outside the prison.

RE: “the falsehood is to equal anyone’s support for Palestine and the wearing of one of its worldwide recongnizable national symbols as a show of support for terrorists and, therefore, an act of terrorism itself. It shows Greg’s hatred for all things TEC (as a black woman bishop who supports people in their sexual orientation, she’s kinda iconic, as some other posters took the time to point out in… in that thread-which-never-existed) as well as utter ignorance of all things Palestinian (a surprising feat in someone who has also declared himself an expert in all things Middle eastern (although, if said claim was posted in a thread that never actually existed, does it still make Greg look delusional?”

You are welcome to argue that point when it comes up on another thread—as it most assuredly will, since we’ll continue to work to post appropriately verified pics of Episcopal bishops displaying their values whenever we find the time, as we have done on numerous other occasions.

But not on this thread. 

I urge you to consider Leonel, how joyfully you can participate on this blog on multiple threads, making these and numerous other progressive arguments, if you follow our comment policy.  Further, you will bring joy to the hearts of traditionalist commenters here at StandFirm who positively revel in comments such as yours which display progressive Episcopal values!

But this is an apology thread—an apology quite specific to Greg’s egregious error in fact.  It’s not a thread about Palestinians, the Iraq war, or any other progressive causes that you wish to tout, nor is Greg apologizing for being a reasserting Episcopalian.  He’s apologizing for something he did that was very wrong. 

And that is the topic of this post.

[21] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 10:57 AM • top

If I recall correctly Greg posted the picture and asked readers if the woman wearing was an Episcopalian and some of the commenters said she was Barbara Harris.  IMHO I don’t think Greg did anything wrong.  Who is the woman in the picture?

[22] Posted by Piedmont on 11-04-2007 at 10:57 AM • top

Piedmont—thanks for the kind words.  But StandFirm cannot blame commenters for our posting an inaccurate identification of a person wearing a Palestinian kaffiyeh.

Greg was wrong, no excuses.  And StandFirm as a whole was wrong for not properly spotting him as we should have.

We were just wrong.

[23] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 11:00 AM • top

Guys, I’ll repeat here what I said on the other thread about the Episcopal Life Online picture snafu.

You can greatly reduce your opportunities for apology if you:
1.  Don’t think the worst of people, even people on “the other side”
2.  Let really damning evidence rest for a while.  Hours, a day or more.  If it’s true, it’s still damning a few days from now.  If it’s not what you thought, you have time to determine if something is even worth posting.  Check facts.
3.  Remember our posts are read by a wide audience.  There are always hundreds of lurkers looking for a reason to hate us.
4.  Remember this is a good place, and we want it to be a good witness.

[24] Posted by Paul B on 11-04-2007 at 11:03 AM • top

Well, Paul B, it’s a good place for Anglican reasserters if we have our picture identifications and other facts right.  And the blog will never be a “good place” for Anglican progressive activists, whether we get those facts right or not!

We’ve made mistakes before and we will again.  We will have to correct errors numerous times in the coming years and it’s best to practice doing it right whenever we can!

[25] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 11:10 AM • top

Thanks, Greg. Amen

[26] Posted by john1 on 11-04-2007 at 11:10 AM • top

Greg,
I applaud and am in awe of your ability to be a Real Christian & Human Being. This apology would never happen on the progressive blog sites. EVER! Nor from a progressive in person. This apology makes you the bigger & more humble man & Christian that we all should aspire to be.
God’s bBlessings be upon you Greg.

As far as EK & Barbara Harris goes….it would be nice if they too could learn to be humble Christians and apologize for their venomous words they spew, but I will not hold my breath as I would turn blue. It is not in them unfortunately, but I still pray that God will actually touch their hearts and turn them to a real and true following of Jesus Christ.

[27] Posted by TLDillon on 11-04-2007 at 11:16 AM • top

A pity.  We all could have really enjoyed Leonel’s contributions of his views, just as we have appreciated so many other progressive Episcopal comments here.

Leonel apparently missed the first post in which Greg asked who the person was.  He then traded out/replaced that first post for the second, which was the one that garnered so many comments.

Regardless, Greg was wrong.  He misidentified a person wearing a Palestinian kaffiyeh as Bishop Barbara Harris.  There are no excuses for that, only apologies.

[28] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 11:20 AM • top

One Day Closer, thanks for your appreciative words in your first paragraph.

But remember, this thread is not about various revisionist Episcopal activists—there are plenty of opportunities on other threads to protest their ideas and theology.  This is about Greg and his apology.  It is inappropriate to compare him or reasserting Episcopalians to revisionists.  We are held to a higher standard.

[29] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 11:22 AM • top

Sarah,
I understand that and I’m just sayin…...without sayin!

[30] Posted by TLDillon on 11-04-2007 at 11:26 AM • top

I appreciate Greg’s and therefore Stand Firm’s clear and sincere apology (esp. wrt. to the flowers).
However I really wish this had been a closed post such as Harmon+ sometimes uses when the post stands alone and needs no comment.

[31] Posted by Bill C on 11-04-2007 at 11:39 AM • top

Bill C, I think it might would have been perceived as cowardly of Greg to post the apology and not allow comments.  We deserve the slings and arrows for misidentifying a picture of a person wearing a Palestinian kaffiyeh as Bishop Harris. 

We have also received slings and arrows for taking down the original post.  In the past, we’ve left up posts that had errors that we later corrected, but then we received slings and arrows for not taking the posts down; so our policy for the past year has been to take down posts that are wrong, apologize for them in a separate post, take the slings and arrows.  We are always confident that if revisionists need fodder they can find everything archived anyway—that’s a piece of cake.  But certainly StandFirm should not continue to keep up something that is in massive error.

I just think we need to be able to take slings and arrows, making certain that we attempt to do the right thing and then continuing doing what we believe is right.  Obviously, we all know that it was a terrible thing to misidentify that photo as Bishop Harris. 

If we had not allowed comments, reasserting Episcopalians wouldn’t have been able to vent at us!  Then they would have been forced to hie themselves over to revisionist blogs in order to vent at us—a dreadful punishment to our commenters!  ; > )  We certainly don’t want to compound our error by not having a handy locale—this post—for their boos and hisses and advice, too.

[32] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 11:47 AM • top

Thank you Greg for being honest enough to retract when you have found yourself in error.  It was not hard to believe that the picture was of Ms. Harris based upon past behavior.  However you stood up and said you were wrong.

To Leonel, ScottChicago, and other revisionists,  it would seem that the power brokers and bloggers for the revisionists jump on anything they deem negative but almost never retract if they are in the wrong (I guess because they never believe that they are in the wrong).

I find StandFirm to be a blog of good ethics and strong morals.  It has been a most encouraging 8 or 9 months that I have been reading (and commenting) on this blog.

[33] Posted by BillB on 11-04-2007 at 12:12 PM • top

Sarah, I realize the thrust of this thread is supposed to be about an apology. My comments will be slightly off-topic, but it is something that infuriates me more than a year after it happened.

One of the reasons I finally made the decision to leave TEC is the undeniable anti-Semitism that has become a fact of life in the Church. There are those who would argue it is not “anti-Semitism”, but rather “anti-Israeli.” I call that a distinction without a difference…or nearly so. I could trace the origins and reasons for my feelings, but for the sake of brevity I won’t…except that it is based on specific incidents going back at least eight years.

Fast forward to a month prior to the 2006 General Convention. Delegates from my diocese were holding informal meetings to discuss the issues that would be addressed. I attended one and asked about a resolution to be presented by the Episcopal Committee for Peace and Justice [or something like that] that mirrored the highly controversial resolution passed by the Presbyterian Church that advocated a boycott of any American company that was “deemed” to be contributing to the occupation of the West Bank. I asked how the delegates in attendance thought the GC would react to this resolution.

I was dumb-struck when one of the delegates replied in what I could only interpret as a sneer, “I don’t know what the Jews want.” At least this delegate had the presence of mind not to respond, “I don’t know what the g/d Jews want.”

Misidentifying someone on the web is most, most regrettable. However, all this discussion glosses over the dirty little secret of the Episcopal Church. Anti-Semitism is alive and well in the hearts of many of its members, both clergy and lay.

[34] Posted by fastlosinghope on 11-04-2007 at 12:17 PM • top

RE: “Misidentifying someone on the web is most, most regrettable. However, all this discussion glosses over the dirty little secret of the Episcopal Church. Anti-Semitism is alive and well in the hearts of many of its members, both clergy and lay.”

Well . . . distractions and loss of focus is what happens when people make the bad errors that occurred yesterday.  It’s a consequence of really messing up.  And StandFirm really messed up, so then people will be distracted from the issues that concern Episcopal reasserters.

We should receive the unfortunate distraction as a consequence that causes “shrieking pain” in us all, and hopefully that shrieking pain of distraction from the focus of StandFirm that is the consequence of our being wrong will impel us to be very careful.

Of course, we’ll continue to make mistakes and correct them as soon as we are convinced of them.  But when we make mistakes and do wrong, and bear false witness, bad things happen to our mission, and we experience pain.  That is the way humans learn.

[35] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 12:24 PM • top

Stand Firm must develop policy to deal with this kid of snafu if you expect to have any credibility.

You went after her in a fenzy on the basis of one photo, which upon even cursory examination, could easily be seen to be suspect.

What do you think you are really adding to any meaningful discussion?

In this case, nada and you did some harm.

[36] Posted by augustine on 11-04-2007 at 12:28 PM • top

Augustine, with all due respect, it appears that SF does have such a policy, and you’re commenting in it.

[37] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 11-04-2007 at 12:38 PM • top

Thanks for the apology, Greg, and I’ll ask Bishop Harris about which flowers delivered where would be best.

Please forward the address and particulars on to me as well, Sarah.  I will be fulsome in my apology, repentance and request for forgiveness as well.  I really stepped in it and fully accept the opprobium that comes with my error.  Mea maxima culpa…

[38] Posted by Jeffersonian on 11-04-2007 at 12:39 PM • top

Hi Augustine,

You are mistaken about two things.  First, Greg went after Bishop Harris not simply based on one [now proven wrong] photo of Bishop Harris, but because of her clearly expressed and off-publicized views about Israel and Palestinians.  But this thread is not about the many and manifold mistaken beliefs and theologies of Bishop Harris, but about Greg’s error, which was in falsely stating that the photo of the person in question wearing the Palestinian kaffiyeh was Bishop Harris.  Nevertheless, Greg’s post was based on much more than simply that picture.

Second, for many StandFirm posts, we have no intention of “adding to any meaningful discussion” at all, at least by your standards of “meaningful” or “discussion”.  For many posts we intend merely to publicize and display the clearly expressed values of numerous progressive Episcopal activists.  We will continue to do just that.

Finally, StandFirm will have credibility amongst those who wish to give us credibility and based on our full record.  Naturally, that will not include progressive Episcopal activists.  And I expect that it will not include many other folks as well.

[39] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 12:39 PM • top

I thought it was Bishop Harris.  Dead ringer, really.  There aren’t that many African American female bishops around, and the purple shirt with collar sort of hinted it was a bishop.  It was dreadful mistake that hurts the credibility of SF.  Or at least Greg, who I like very much.  As punishment maybe his blogging privileges should be revoked, or his postings screened by Matt, Sarah and Jackie before they go up grin

[40] Posted by Nevin on 11-04-2007 at 12:41 PM • top

Greg,

Thanks for your taking all the steps necessary to be reconciled for an honest error; no excuses, no hedging. 

I think it is a bit ridiculous for all of the hand wringing and discord that is in this thread.  The thread became a feeding frenzy with the water being baited by a couple of reappraising trolls. 

Over the past few days I have been a bit peturbed by the postings here and on T19.  The Barbara Harris and +Duncan Quote threads were filled with high emotion and in some cases hyperbole and spite.  Meanwhile the threads about the Pittsburgh convention and the resolutions past received only passing comments. 

It appears to me that we have a tendency, in the blogoshpere, to spend too much time and energy dealing with personalities than with the substantive issues. 

Pittsburgh did something significant. Barbara Harris and a note from +Duncan to KJS are simply noise in the mess we find ourselves in.

Frreed

[41] Posted by frreed on 11-04-2007 at 12:46 PM • top

Hi Frreed, I can’t speak for Greg, but I think that the behavior of Episcopal bishops is substantive for those of us in ECUSA.

[42] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 01:02 PM • top

Sarah,

I agree.  I am just a bit amazed at how we can get so involved in the personalities and gloss over some truly substantial events.  Barbara Harris and +Bob will depart from the scene at some point or another.  The realignment and Pittsburgh’s sginificant step in it will be influential for generations.

[43] Posted by frreed on 11-04-2007 at 01:09 PM • top

Congrats to Leonel on his/her magnificent trolling!
Courage, Greg.  Thank you for your previous, and future, efforts on this site.

[44] Posted by paradoxymoron on 11-04-2007 at 01:09 PM • top

Thank you, Greg, for your honesty and integrity in apologizing to +Harris and removing the thread that wrongly identified her in a parade.  I am sorry that people are using an apology as an excuse to blast SFIF.  All you can do is attempt to right a wrong and you did that asap.

[45] Posted by terrafirma on 11-04-2007 at 01:11 PM • top

It isn’t just lurkers looking for an excuse to hate y’all who get turned off by these kinds of squabbles.

[46] Posted by Hope on 11-04-2007 at 01:15 PM • top

Liberals are seriously over-playing their hand in this matter.

As a revisionist (although not always a liberal), I agree.  This has been so blown out of proportion.  Everyone makes mistakes and I thought it was +Harris too.  If this is the best ‘weakness’ we can find in our reasserting friends, then we need to seriously reconsider our own ideas.

[47] Posted by Brian from T19 on 11-04-2007 at 01:27 PM • top

I posted my note to the wrong thread and hope it is acceptable to repeat it here.  I am no leftist but am an orthodox Christian, and you know I stand up for the same theological principles as you do, Greg.  But thank goodness you have deleted that venomous thread, which did, I think, call for apologies in general.  It was so offensive that some of us on SF could not even bear to post our criticism to it.  You may have noticed that there were very few participants out of the large pool of SF people—mostly some of the same claims over and over.  I hope the Archbishop of Canterbury was not watching us because he certainly would be shocked at the generally inadequate lack of distinctions drawn about the Palestinians.  More should have been said (and earlier) about Christian Palestinians and those who are not terrorists but sufferers in all this agonizing situation.  I understood that your target was Hamas, but I thought it could have been clearer.  It’s true that the excesses of the parade were worthy of al the outrage and exposure—and were plenty shocking in themselves, especially in photos—but I thought a few extremist lines just ran wild with the thread.  Sometimes it’s simply a matter of tone and lack of charitable perspective that does harm in the aggregate.  I hate to have to say such things, but we all have a stake in this blog’s performance and reputation.  I am relieved that we are asking for forgiveness, but doesn’t anybody see beyond the Harris snafu to larger issues?

[48] Posted by Paula on 11-04-2007 at 01:36 PM • top

What a lovely mistake to make in full blog public view, and what a good start on apologizing, and what a good albeit shaky seeming start, on learning from one’s mistakes - all construed from an outsider, non-conservative or UNorthodox reader’s point of view. 

Who wudda thought I’d be taking GG as a role model any time soon? 

I rather doubt GG thought he would offer an outsider progressive believers such as I am - lost? doomed? pagan? headed for eternal hell fires? - such an opportunity for role modeling and for grateful learning.  Something about how to learn how to learn, from contemplating one’s known past mistakes.  An effective lesson in perception and hermeneutics, then.

But maybe God’s grace operates to open learning doors that often surprise all believers.  As a progressive believer outside the real folds of conservative salvation, I still think God most often helps me learn from my mistakes by going over them, sometimes in incredibly slow and great and instructive detail.  Sometimes, the way I made the mistake can turn out to be as important, as the sort of mistake I made.  Wrath and punishment often seem to have little or nothing to do with this process of growing in holiness.

So thanks GG.

[comment edited—off topic]

[49] Posted by drdanfee on 11-04-2007 at 01:59 PM • top

Sarah, thank you for requesting we not comment upon Bishop Harris’s words.  I shall, instead, go gnaw on a wall somewhere. 

Greg, you do good work here.  You are human.  Sometimes it gets in the way.  This was the theme of our sermon this AM for All Saints Day.  ...“For the saints of God are folk just like me,
  And I mean to be one too.”

GMM

[50] Posted by GoodMissMurphy on 11-04-2007 at 02:04 PM • top

Hi DrDanFee,

The aspects of your comment that did not pertain to the topic of this post—Greg’s apology—and that attempted to steer the topic to other issues which are well-covered in other threads has been edited.

You’re welcome to post on-topic at the many other threads which I assure you will continue to occur for your delectation.

[51] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 02:07 PM • top

First there was the business with JIPacker, with its insult to CC Anglo-Catholics.  Then there was the business with the African bishop and his alleged anti-gay statments.  Now this.  Its getting to be old, Greg.  Apologies are wearing thing. [comment edited—off topic]

[52] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 11-04-2007 at 02:07 PM • top

Hi Laurence K Wells,

Actually there are many many more such errors from StandFirm in the past, and we will certainly continue to make more.

Also, of course, the StandFirm bloggers are very happy with the African bishop stories—the entire series was a shining highlight of this blog.

Finally, please stay on the topic of this post—I edited an off-topic comment.

[53] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 02:20 PM • top

I thought it was SF that brought clarity to the untruth other blogs had posted about the African bisop’s statement.

[54] Posted by James Manley on 11-04-2007 at 02:23 PM • top

Sarah Hey:  So what we have here is an apology without repentance or
“firm intention for amendment of life.”  Greg’s apology is neutralized by your arrogant and insecure attitude.

[55] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 11-04-2007 at 02:38 PM • top

Greg,

Two thoughts:

i)  Whenever I think of you from now on, I’ll think of a wheelbarrow. 

ii)  Recall in the Parable of the Prodigal, repentance began just after the realization that ‘hey this pig’s food really sucks, and I can’t eat it anyway, and shouldn’t I just go back to the Old Man’s digs so I can eat servant’s food.’

That’s repentance.  That’s the point when the Old Man sprints pell-mell over to meet his son, who ends up with a decidedly better apology. 

People don’t always see the repentance, short of crawling on bloody knees and raw sewage across the Parade Grounds, as true repentance. 

And they’re wrong, about that.

[56] Posted by J Eppinga on 11-04-2007 at 02:43 PM • top

Lawrence Wells
With all due respect the Bishop Orama issues for which Stand Firm did an excellent job of uncovering the real truth is off-topic here. 
The subject of this thread the apology to Bishop Harris.  Greg has admitted to making a terrible mistake. 
Stand Firm has made something over 6,000 posts and there have been about 6 for which a retraction or apology needed to be issued.  If my math is correct that’s about 1/10 of 1 percent error rate.  But even one error is regrettable and this one was egregious.  The apology needed to be made.

[57] Posted by JackieB on 11-04-2007 at 02:44 PM • top

Laurence K. Wells - (please forgive my previous misspelling of your name)
We cross posted.  Greg’s apology stands alone.  It is not diminished or bolstered by other comments.  Sarah’s attitude is neither arrogant nor insecure.  If you knew her, you would know just how off the mark your remark is.

[58] Posted by JackieB on 11-04-2007 at 02:50 PM • top

It’s always a dangerous moment when an ideological opponent commits an error in public.  It tends to confirm all our our ideological stereotypes, and so the temptation is to rush through the breech and exploit the moment - lest any neutral observer not grasp the full implication of the situation.  But when we do that, we present ourselves as simply lusting to be next in line to twist the knife.  Which is pretty much how Liberals have presented themselves on this thread. 

Instructive to say the least, drdanfee.

carl

[59] Posted by carl on 11-04-2007 at 02:55 PM • top

RE: “So what we have here is an apology without repentance or
“firm intention for amendment of life.”

No—we merely have an apology for a specific wrong, which does not necessarily include all those instances that Laurence K Wells deems to be in error.

And we have acknowledgement that as sinners, we will continue to sin and make mistakes.  We are quite confident of that fact—no matter how hard we try, we continue to post things in error and we will do our dead level best to apologize and ask forgiveness, as Greg has done.

[60] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 02:56 PM • top

I realize I’m just a small voice crying in the wilderness here, but I continually raise my hand and comment in these situations that SF is doing itself no good by mixing politics and religion.  The fact is that many many conservative “orthodox” Roman Catholics view the actions of the Israeli government to be wrong on many counts.  In fact, Marionite Catholic Arabs in Israel (the very few of them that have not been driven out) have continually called upon American Christians NOT to provide unqualied economic, political, and military support of Israel.  The view of the Marionites is that they have suffered much more as Arabs under the Israelis then they ever did as Chrisitians under the Moslems.  This is just not one of those black-and-white issues such that those protesting the treatment of the Palestinians can be labelled ipso facto as “terrorists.”  As with many other political issues which are not black-and-white, by seeming to take a strong stand on one side, SF puts itself in a position where it continually narrows its constituency over issue that are in no sense directly (or sometimes even indirectly) related to its primary purpose.

BTW, I speak as one with first-hand experience of the situation who has lived in Israel and is married to an Israeli.

[61] Posted by Catholic Mom on 11-04-2007 at 03:49 PM • top

Catholic Mom, with respect, I think you mean “maronite” rather than “marionite”.

[62] Posted by Brien on 11-04-2007 at 04:10 PM • top

Sarah:

Thank you so much for banning Leonel.  It was taking all my restraint after reading his rambling off-topic comments towards Greg to not type in bold “You are seriously annoying” - or invite him to take up permanent residence in the Anglican catbox.

Re:  Apologies

You know, REALITY is that intelligent people take risks and also make mistakes.  REALITY is that good people realize their mistakes and apologize.  REALITY is that immature people make fun of others who make mistakes and misconstrue their humility as weakness…

I tell you what, when Jake, Jim N et al. recant calling good bishops polygamous, saying vicious lies about Orama, slandering A.B. Akinola… then we can talk about Greg’s few mistakes… until then, FRANKLY spare me….

[63] Posted by Eclipse on 11-04-2007 at 04:13 PM • top

Greg,
I think your apology is heartfelt, sufficient, and needs no flowers—there’s just too much that could be misconstrued (probably publicly) by the folks in question.

Send roses—“I am NOT your sweetheart, asshat!”
Send carnations—“Is THAT all it’s worth to you?”
Send daisies—“Well, isn’t that common! I AM a bishop!”
Send exotics—“Don’t you think I have better things to do than figure out how to care for this thing?”

You get the picture. If you insist on honoring your statement, though, maybe a gift certificate would be best? wink

[64] Posted by teatime on 11-04-2007 at 04:13 PM • top

Eclipse, I appreciate the kind words in your first paragraph under apologies.  Keep in mind though that the thread is not about any possible failings of others—it’s about our very clear failing.  It’d be wrong to take a thread meant to be an apology and use it to point fingers at others. 

Teatime . . . Sarah Dylan Breuer issued the bet.  I was going to send the flowers if Greg didn’t want to, as he did not submit to the terms of the bet.  But I think it’s honorable of him to fulfill the terms.  Sure—the flowers could be taken wrong.  Hopefully Greg will explain in the note that Breuer wanted him to write why he is sending them.  There is nothing that he can do about it if she does not approve.

[65] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 04:52 PM • top

Catholic Mom, with respect, I think you mean “maronite” rather than “marionite”. 

Well, I went to the “real” Catholic church when I was there. smile  It’s mostly for foreigners.

Speaking of keffiyahs,  when I visited the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, I was wearing shorts.  (Long shorts, but still shorts).  This is not allowed by the Israeli authorities who control who is allowed to enter.  (Don’t ask why, that’s another story.)  So the Israeli soldiers told me I had to put a skirt on.  I went down the block and bought a red keffiyah and draped that around me sarong style.  They let me in.  At that time my oldest son was 4 months old and very colicky.  Used to cry all the time unless you were holding him.  I went back to where we were living at the time and draped that keffiyah over the back of the sofa where he was lying and he became transfixed by it.  He’d lie there for 20 minutes at a time staring at it.  I took it back with us to the U.S.  We still have it stuffed in a drawer upstairs somewhere.  It gets dragged out and incorporated in some costume or other from time to time.  Maybe in the present climate we shouldn’t go outside with it.

[66] Posted by Catholic Mom on 11-04-2007 at 04:53 PM • top

I am not a racist, but must wear the mantle of one. 

I am a freak blogger. 

I am a worm. 

I have no life.

[67] Posted by Passing By on 11-04-2007 at 04:57 PM • top

Speaking of apologies, I happen to owe a big one to Matt Kennedy for statements I made on another blog concerning his reaction to the essay wrongly attributed to Dr Packer.  I stated that Matt was (1) slow to acknowledge and (2) reluctant to apologize.  I was quite wrong on both counts, as Matt was in fact quite prompt (same business day as the discovery) and did this without any prompting from me or anyone else.  He and I have discussed this off-blog, Matt has not demanded a public apology, but I feel that I owe him one.  This thread may be the most appropriate place; at least it makes me feel better.

[68] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 11-04-2007 at 05:31 PM • top

Great role modeling of public apology. Beautiful to see Sarah Dylan Breuer assisting Greg in follow through and drdanfee admiring Greg’s role modeling and sharing his own insights on making mistakes and learning from them.

[69] Posted by Deja Vu on 11-04-2007 at 05:38 PM • top

Comment deleted as off-topic

[70] Posted by Spiro on 11-04-2007 at 05:39 PM • top

This is dedicated to everyone who has posted on this thread.  In the end, isn’t that what we want to know in our heart - that we are loved by Jesus, truly loved by Him.  He loves Greg and he loves Barbara and He loves you and me and that’s that.

May we do the same.

bb
BabyBlueOnline

[71] Posted by BabyBlue on 11-04-2007 at 05:41 PM • top

Matt, Sarah and Jackie

*koff*
*KOFF*

[72] Posted by David Ould on 11-04-2007 at 05:41 PM • top

So, does anyone know who was the lady in the picture, who could equally have been mistaken for Barbara Harris and for a “bishop?”

[73] Posted by William Tighe on 11-04-2007 at 06:09 PM • top

This thread displays in its many posts several forms of grace. I would like to hope that we, as readers and posters, will display more of the sort of grace shown by the first post and less of the bad graces displayed later on.

However righteous we are, however correct our opinions are, grace is always an appropriate quality to display. We are all beneficiaries of Divine Grace, and it is in showing grace that we behave most like our Creator and Saviour.

As a practical matter, it helps very much to re-read posts at least once before posting them.

[74] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 11-04-2007 at 06:14 PM • top

The internet is a Very Big Place.  It’s public, it’s unforgiving, and it’s permanent, as Greg has demonstrated by recovering archived information long deleted.  Anyone called to put him/herself out there, regularly, for the cause of Christ, is assuming a huge personal risk.  It’s the kind of risk most of us are unwilling to assume even in little ways in our witness for Christ in daily life.  For that, Greg and all the SFers are to be commended.  Jesus will not be ashamed of you, Greg, at his Coming, as you have not been ashamed of Him.

So, on those inevitable occasions when our humanness leaks out and gets ahead of itself, corrections need to be made.  Privately in private life, and publicly in public life.  Greg has given us a beautiful example of taking full responsibility for an error (even an understandable one). 

Sarah is also right, though, that those not inclined to offer us charity on a good day will not be appeased by this apology and show of genuine repentence.  Fortunately, Greg’s apology will most justly be judged by his Creator - the only one he really has to please.  You’re damned if you do remove the original post and damned if you don’t, but I believe you’ve taken the best road.

Go with God, and keep up the fantastic work.

[75] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 11-04-2007 at 06:23 PM • top

Go with God, and keep up the fantastic work
Even David.

[76] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 11-04-2007 at 06:27 PM • top

David, I did consider including you as a potential “editor” but decided you share the same “temperment” in your postings as Greg.  Not that I mind that style so much but I figured you would waive it through inspection with more enthusiasm than scrutiny grin

[77] Posted by Nevin on 11-04-2007 at 06:35 PM • top

Even David.

It’s times like these that I think <u>I’m</u> the one owed the apology cheese

[78] Posted by David Ould on 11-04-2007 at 06:35 PM • top

Wiliiam,
the woman in the picture has been identified as a UCC minister in a thread at Father Jake’s place.

[79] Posted by obadiahslope on 11-04-2007 at 06:49 PM • top

David.  What kind of flowers do you like? I can’t afford to send them to the Southern Hemisphere, but know that I am contrite in my heart, in every way floral.

[80] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 11-04-2007 at 06:54 PM • top

David.  What kind of flowers do you like? 

I would have thought it obvious that my favourite flower is the tulip…

[81] Posted by David Ould on 11-04-2007 at 07:05 PM • top

Sasha—thank you for the kind words about Greg [which I agree with].  I have slightly edited your comment to delete anything about progressives.  All of us StandFirm bloggers want to remain on topic here, as with other threads, and this is an apology thread from SF bloggers.  We did wrong and we can’t cast blame onto others or switch the topic to progressives even though it would certainly be more comfortable to do so.

Thanks again.

[82] Posted by Sarah on 11-04-2007 at 07:09 PM • top

Spiro,
Thank you for your comments.  They were much appreciated but this thread is devoted to the apology to Bishop Harris.  The identification was a mistake and one which we wish to acknowledge.

[83] Posted by JackieB on 11-04-2007 at 07:26 PM • top

I think it would be cool if we could make the first week in November “International Send Flowers to a Notable Christian Leftist” week on an on-going basis.

DoW

[84] Posted by DietofWorms on 11-04-2007 at 07:30 PM • top

Sarah:

I understand, Sarah, I guess part of it is that I am tired of reading Greg getting trashed by some - especially when he is being humble and taking the correct position as a Christian.

Thanks be to God when I have messed up (and my mistakes make Greggory look like an amateur) God has been gracious to me and my true friends kind.  Thanks be to God that “when we confess our sin, God is faithful and just to forgive our sin” - what would I do without grace and forgiveness in my life?  How hard it would be.

I suppose because I know this personally, it really nettles me to see some - especially some who espouse ‘inclusiveness, tolerance and acceptance’ as their badges of honor take any opportunity to pounce on the humility and self-awareness of others.

You know, I don’t know Greg Griffith - really - but I know this; if it were not for Greg and you and many others (including you, Mr. Ould) we would still be in the unending ‘listening process’ held hostage by TEC’s use of partial information.  Greg made the difference (via this site) between our (faithful Anglicans) being isolated and feeling alone out here to knowing we were part of a much bigger picture - and that gave me hope when there was little else to for which to hope. 

For that, Greg will always have my thankfulness and respect… even though he isn’t perfect in Christ yet… just like I am not… and the rest of us on the planet…

[85] Posted by Eclipse on 11-04-2007 at 07:33 PM • top

Have we arrived at such a low estate that, no matter our political stripe, we feel qualified to comment on a mans apology to one he believes he has wronged and whether that apology is accepted in the proper spirit.  The headline says it all.  Mr.Griffith made a mistake, recognized it,  made his apology and asked for forgiveness.  He has acted as a gentleman and a man of honor. One could not ask for more.

As to those who would presume to offer advice, words or characterazations about Ms. Harris and her acceptance of the proffered apology I would simply say that the matter is best left to Ms. Harris and Mr. Griffith.  It is now a private matter between them. I would hope that each of us, as ladies and gentleman, would offer them our best wishes and continued prayers.

[86] Posted by johnthethird on 11-04-2007 at 07:59 PM • top

I agree….
Well done, Greg.
There is nothing like a good unqualified apology to send a fresh wind of the Spirit blowing through a Christian’s heart…

I am going to make a SF contribution, and welcome you to use any part of it you like to send flowers to Barbara Harris, since I hopped on your bandwagon so readily.

;< ) 
(still on your bandwagon….even when we go flying around a corner on 2 wheels…)

[87] Posted by HeartAfire on 11-04-2007 at 08:16 PM • top

I don’t want to comment on the letter, but it is the most illuminating thing on the thread (along with the identifying of the photo as a member of the UCC). Would it be possible to copy it to another thread (with the comments closed so that you don’t have any issues) so that anyone interested can read it easily?

[88] Posted by MargaretG on 11-04-2007 at 09:31 PM • top

You know, I wish through the magic of computers that we had a stress meter on the side of the page, maybe one for orthodox and one for the revisionist. Every since the HOB-NO I believe that the reasserters meter has been pegged.  We are in a spiritual war with a very crafty enemy in Satan.  Greg has been the point man for SF from the beginning.  So he steped on a mine.  The longer you are in combat the more mistakes will be made.  He misidentified a picture and has abundantly apologized for it.  We really don’t need pictures of TEC bishops to know that the majority of them engage in all sort of sixties moonbat causes and the list is pretty well known form abortion to Zen.  This whole thing just adds to the stress.  Bloggers have a hard time focusing, off topic abounds, editing, warning, bannning fly out the sides of the group.  A mistake was made, Greg acknowledged it and has apologized.  Continued flagellation does nothing but help the great slanderer, Satan.  In short everywne is battle fatigued and “off topic” which is to fight the battle with good efficiency.  Maybe evryone just needs some R&R;.  I move that this thread be closed and be archived. 
 
“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.”  Ps. 27:5-6

[89] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 11-04-2007 at 10:10 PM • top

HeartAfire,

To paraphrase Steven Wright (or was it Emo Phillips?), you know that feeling you get when you’re leaning back in a chair, and you almost fall over but at the last instant you catch yourself?

It’s gonna feel like that a lot around here.

[90] Posted by Greg Griffith on 11-04-2007 at 10:15 PM • top

PM,

Good suggestion.

[91] Posted by Greg Griffith on 11-04-2007 at 10:17 PM • top

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