Skip to comments.Give Me Liberty [Schori, TEC and Neuhaus’ Law]
Posted on 11/22/2006 2:54:20 PM PST by sionnsar
While spending the afternoon researching web sites that might be of use to me as a reference librarian, I ran across this:
Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlement assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other.
Patrick Henry seems to have figured out the Episcopal Church over 200 years ago.
No one can honestly claim to be "ready for conversation and reconciliation" and still write this:
If you now feel that you can no longer do so, the more honorable course would be to renounce your orders in this Church and seek a home elsewhere. Your public assertion that your duty is to violate those vows puts many, many people at hazard of profound spiritual violence.
Or this not-even-close-to-concealed threat:
Our forebears did not build churches or give memorials with the intent that they be removed from the Episcopal Church. Nor did our forebears give liberally to fund endowments with the intent that they be consumed by litigation.
Make no mistake. When Katharine Jefferts Schori writes that she is "ready for conversation and reconciliation," she is lying. There is only one right answer and only Schori, J. Jon Bruno, John Chane, Louie Crew, Susan Russell and the rest of the TECleft have it. So "conversation" will continue until orthodox Episcopalians realize this. And "reconciliation" will take place when Bob Duncan, Jack Iker, the rest of the Network and all who support them admit that they were wrong.
Using such shopworn terms and cliches as "diversity" and "honoring our differences," they will, if you're orthodox, tolerate your existence. For a while. After all, what possible harm can you do to them? But as Richard Neuhaus once put it:
Ill presume to call it Neuhaus Law, or at least one of his several laws: Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed. Some otherwise bright people have indicated their puzzlement with that axiom but it seems to me, well, axiomatic. Orthodoxy, no matter how politely expressed, suggests that there is a right and a wrong, a true and a false, about things. When orthodoxy is optional, it is admitted under a rule of liberal tolerance that cannot help but be intolerant of talk about right and wrong, true and false. It is therefore a conditional admission, depending upon orthodoxys good behavior. The orthodox may be permitted to believe this or that and to do this or that as a matter of sufferance, allowing them to indulge their inclination, preference, or personal taste. But it is an intolerable violation of the etiquette by which one is tolerated if one has the effrontery to propose that this or that is normative for others.
If you attend an orthodox parish under a Godly, orthodox rector, you can bet your life savings that the rector who follows him will be discernibly more "moderate" about things. Your bishop will see to that. If you're an orthodox person in an unorthodox parish, you can stay in and testify to the truth. At best, you'll be regarded as an eccentric and people will make jokes about you after you walk away. At worst, you'll have no influence in the parish at all and probably become the loneliest person in the world.
Eventually, what you believe and proclaim will become an issue for them. It has already in a few places. They won't come out and say that directly, of course; they'll have a variety of names for it but the result will be the same. Keep your mouth shut or get out. At which point, you'll realize that the cause and your church is irretrievably lost.
So the confrontation can't be put off much longer. But I think John-David Schofield, Jack Iker and the rest of the Network bishops already realize all this. Schofield and Iker have just been a bit more upfront about it lately. Would Schori dare go the scorced-earth route and declare San Joaquin vacant? By the tone of her letter, I wouldn't be a bit surprised.
But such a policy carries a risk. If Schori did so, I would hope that the Network would declare its independence immediately. Let 815 have multiple legal battles instead of just one. Perhaps I'm naive but I would like to think that there are a great many Episcopalians still on the fence(including some in the hierarchy) who would be repelled by Schori's aggression and would view the Network much more favorably. And I can't think that such a move would do anything other than outrage the Global South and, for all practical purposes, doom TEC's chances of remaining Anglican.
We shall see.
Excellent. Neuhaus strikes again!
I often scan these threads, and I am always impressed by the devotion and hard work of the Episcopalians on them. But there is something I honestly don't understand: how can one remain an Episcopalian?
I think I would probably not have understood this even in Newman's day, when the matter was of a more purely doctrinal nature, but I honestly don't understand now how any person of good faith can remain a member of a church that opposes all traditional Christian moral teachings, has a theology that depends on what day of the week it is, and is led by people who range from the merely self-satisfied (Schori) to the totally heretical and even angry (Spong, the various Episcopal bishops of San Francisco, etc.).
This is not meant as a challenge or an insult, but simply as a real question about something that has puzzled me for a long time.
This is a question that has plagued (and still does) members of the ping list who find themselves in an orthodox church or even an orthodox diocese.
It's not always a matter (particularly on this list!) of their being unaware of or sheltered from the storm outside, but one of when and how things will play out. If you man the lifeboats mere moments before the ship reaches safe harbor, are you being hasty? A few minutes? A few hours? The option of leaving is always there -- but will you do it alone, with your parish, with your diocese? And what if other options develop?
Looking at it only as a matter of Spong&Schori&Co is to miss everything else that factors into the equation, including the rest of the worldwide Anglican Communion -- and I speak from experience, it can be very hard for a cradle Episcopalian to leave, even for the relatively familiar territory of a Continuing church.
Consider those who came before us, felt themselves at the same crossroad. Stay & hope to convince for rebirth from within or go, abandoning those who were unable to follow.