Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, January 31st, 2013 | Uncategorized | 77 Comments
Remember the other day when Mrs. Schori referred to Mark Lawrence and most of the rest of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina in the following terms?
I tell you that story because it’s indicative of attitudes we’ve seen here and in many other places. Somebody decides he knows the law, and oversteps whatever authority he may have to dictate the fate of others who may in fact be obeying the law, and often a law for which this local tyrant is not the judge. It’s not too far from that kind of attitude to citizens’ militias deciding to patrol their towns or the Mexican border for unwelcome visitors. It’s not terribly far from the state of mind evidenced in school shootings, or in those who want to arm school children, or the terrorism that takes oil workers hostage.
Most human communities, from churches to governments to families, function more effectively in response to shared decision-making. Most of us don’t live in a world where one person is the ultimate Decider – because, over and over again, we’ve discovered that better decisions are made when they’re made in communities with appropriate checks and balances. Power assumed by one authority figure alone is often a recipe for abuse, tyranny, and corruption. That’s why Jesus challenges us to think about how the shepherd acts. The authentic ones don’t sneak over the wall in the dead of night. They operate transparently, and they work cooperatively with the gate-keeper himself.
What about the sheep who aren’t in the fold, who don’t know there is a feast to be found, rest for the body and soul, and partners who are willing to wrestle with the dictates of petty Deciders or wolves who masquerade as sheep?
Believe it or not, those weren’t the worst words the Presiding Bishop used in this situation. These were.
A spokesman for Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has denied suggestions that her sermon denouncing as terrorists and murderers those who did not share her views on the polity of the Episcopal Church was directed at Bishop Mark J. Lawrence or the members of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.
Asked to respond to Canon Ashey’s comments, a spokesman for the presiding bishop told Anglican Ink: “As for the Presiding Bishop’s sermon, she did not identify any group in her sermon.”
George Conger? This is a personal thing, I don’t know if you have any control over it and it’s not that big of a deal anyway but you might want to dial back the use of the term “schismatics” that appeared in your article’s title. Every single Anglican, legitimate or not, is a “schismatic,” brother.
But those two paragraphs are why I can never rejoin the church my mother had me baptized into. Kate, any human being who can read and whose conscience still works knows damned good and well who you were referring to.
And actual Christians just should not be able to lie through their teeth that effortlessly.