Thursday, January 18, 2007

They're doing it on purpose

I swear to God, the Episcopal Church in the USA must be trying to piss off the entire rest of the world with this latest dazzling, multicoloured display of snottiness. They appear to have hired Miss Emily Litella to explain it all to the Panel of Reference. Her letter wastes no time insulting its recipients, by drawing attention to their obvious ignorance in the very first line:
With great concern, I write to you to clarify apparent misconceptions regarding the polity of The Episcopal Church reflected in the content and recommendations in the panel's December, 2006 report.
Well, this sort of thing can happen when you let non-Americans get their hands on the keyboard.
Inherent to our shared call to follow Christ in mission and ministry together as members of the Anglican Communion is the need for mutual understanding of each other's polity and culture.
Everybody ready? Then here it comes, Remedial Anglicanism For Morons:
The General Convention of the Episcopal Church meets every three years in a bicameral legislative system. It consists of the House of Bishops composed of all our bishops, and the House of Deputies, composed of up to four clergy and four lay elected from each of our 111 dioceses. There are more than 800 members in the House of Deputies.
Did you write that down? Eight hundred! How many is 800? No, Khotsu, it's more than the number of bananas on a tree! No, no, Maurice, it's even more than the number of cows the village headman has! I'll tell you: it's like the stars in the sky, when big round fire go to sleep at night.
It appears that the panel has misunderstood our polity regarding the primacy of General Convention and our overall structure that requires nearly every major decision in The Episcopal Church to have the agreement of bishops, priests and lay persons. The House of Bishops cannot alone make decisions for The Episcopal Church.
We not like you. We civilized. We have many chiefs, big chief, little chief - much talk, many moons before signing peace treaty. Not like African Church, big chief bang! bang! with curly stick on heads and making medicine!
The interpretation of The Episcopal Church's Canons is the responsibility of our ecclesiastical trial courts when a clergy person is charged with a violation of them and of the General Convention in all other matters. The same is true for the question of whether or not the "Dallas Plan" complies with the Canons. Only our ecclesiastical courts or the General Convention are authorized to make those interpretations. In the polity of The Episcopal Church, only the General Convention or the ecclesiastical trial court interprets our Canons.
I have your exams here, and I have to say, I'm VERY disappointed. Question number three was "What is the final authority in the Episcopal Church?" The correct answer is "General Convention or the ecclesiastical trial courts." Everyone repeat that three times. The answers you wrote were completely unacceptable! "God." "Jesus Christ." "The Bible." Zero on that one.
Thirty years ago, through our representative legislative process, we voted affirmatively to allow the ordination of women. Generally at that time The Episcopal Church did not think the 1976 Canons were permissive or ambiguous. Nonetheless, to address any possible misunderstanding, in 1997 General Convention, with the concurrence of both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies adopted additional Canons intended to put to rest the question of whether a woman's gender could be used to disqualify her from ordination.
Sigh. I guess I'm going to have to start right at the beginning. OK, maybe THIS will make it clear to you


The panel appears to misunderstand the importance of the fact that our Church's ordination process is carried out at the diocesan level.
I don't care how you do it where you come from! It probably involves a lot of sweating and bodypaint and cutting each other with knives, but that's not the way we do things here!
If the percentage of people supporting or opposing the ordination of women is important to the panel's analysis, then the panel's incorrect inferences that a substantial number of people in the Church oppose the ordination of women should be corrected. If any of the panel's recommendations were influenced or based upon this misinformation then the panel should revisit those conclusions with the evidence that support for the ordination of women in The Episcopal Church is extremely widespread and strong and joyfully embraced.
Listen, we didn't teach you bunch to read just to have you turn around and start waving complaint letters from so-called "orthodox" Episcopalians at us. They don't exist! Do you hear me? They're all written by one guy in an attic in Fort Worth. Haven't you people ever heard of TV? Watch the film of Mrs. Schori's coronation consecration this summer, and that will tell you all you need to know about how happy we all are to have women priests.
In all these years no one, including Bishop Iker, has been brought up on disciplinary charges for the alleged violation of the Canons for refusing to ordain, license, accept into the diocese or approve women as rectors. We are clear that women are not to be denied access to ordination. We have been tolerant of Bishop Iker.
Yes, we are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Why, even now, if Iker would return with all his heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning, rending his heart and not his garments, we may turn and have pity... What? Oh, I read it somewhere.
I further request that future bodies charged to make recommendations to the Archbishop of Canterbury on any topics that have to do directly with a particular province of the Anglican Communion, have adequate representation from the province directly affected by the recommendations of the panel.
Look, this is just too hard for you. You'll never be able to understand and appreciate our uniqueness, so why don't you leave it all to us? Just go outside and play, and we'll take care of everything. We'll just call it our burden.

12 Comments:

Blogger Allen Lewis said...

Masterfully done, - or is that Mistressfully? - Dr. Mabuse! Your fisking just brings out how totally condescending this letter from Bonnie Anderson was.

This faux doctor definitely fits the description of feminazi if anyone does. She is so concerned that nobody encroaches on her turf that anything which looks like it may be critical of the House of Deputies obviously triggers her "Mother Bear" reaction.

When we prayed for clarity from General Convention 2006, we had no idea just how much clarity Bonnie Anderson and her antics would provide!

12:21 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Condescending, indeed! When I said that the letter was infuriatingly patronizing, Dean said that we needed a new word: matronizing.

9:08 pm  
Blogger Phil said...

My goodness, but it would be fun to sit in on dinner in your house.

10:08 pm  
Blogger Min O'Pause said...

Wait,

And you AREN'T condescending Mabuse?

Min

10:11 am  
Blogger Phil said...

Mabuse is certainly descending, but there's not much "con" in it. That's what makes it so delicious.

12:27 pm  
Blogger Min O'Pause said...

Oh, you should be on TV with that rapier wit, Phil. Comedy Central should give you your own show.

Min

1:52 pm  
Blogger Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

Min--
I think the difference is that Dr. Mabuse is illustrating absurdity by being absurd--while Ms. Anderson is actually earnest in her condescension.

2:29 pm  
Blogger Min O'Pause said...

Nasty, Brutish and Short,

How, well, condescending that you felt you had to explain the post to me.

Um, yeah, I got it. However, in general, Mabuse is very snobby and condescending on a daily basis. So, I find it funny that she wishes to point it out in others on a continual basis, as well as profess outrage at the condescension.


Min

3:23 pm  
Blogger Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

Min, do you think Dr. Mabuse is more condescending than you are to your co-workers? From Min's blog:

"Everything is fine with the job, except for the fact that I have to sit in a cubicle...next to one of the most obnoxious copy editors I have ever encountered....

"From day one, I noticed that one of the copy editors never closes her mouth, period. From the time I arrive into my drab cubicle, until the time I leave, she is constantly running her mouth, getting into people's business, and generally trying to let anyone and everyone know how wonderful she is...

"Since that time, LMW [ed. "Litte Miss Wonderful"] has done everything possible to get and keep my attention, and feels the need to constantly blather on about her personal life, take cell phone calls from her friends all with this high pitched, fingernails on chalkboard type of voice.

"And this is the level of competence as a copy editor that she possesses:

"I heard her ask another copy editor, "Is homeowner one or two words?"...

"I have tried my best to just ignore her and do my job, but it makes it hard when I have to be on the phone a lot tracking down information from people and she's constantly talking very loudly.

"Her latest game was to start invading my personal space, by sitting on the edge of my cubicle desk, her boney butt facing me, and carrying on conversations with various other employees almost in my cubicle....

"When I continued to ignore her and her boney butt, she finally turned around and said, "I'm in your cube, because I have a bunch of office supplies that I just got in mine, and I don't want these people taking my stuff."

"I just looked at her as if she had lost her mind.

"Right now, all I want to do is walk into her cube and start screaming "Shut UP..JUST SHUT UP...SHUT UP...SHUT UP...SHUT UP," but I am sure that would have the opposite effect on her."

7:12 pm  
Blogger Min O'Pause said...

Gee, Nasty, Brutish and Short, is that all you have?

I'm sure Mabuse must love the fact that you are cutting and pasting my words on her blog.

Oh, I don't think I've ever said I could not be condescending. The difference is that Mabuse wants and needs to point it out in others, when she's just as condescending and snobby.

Yes, the editor in question supposedly has five years of experience. I'd say if she can't figure out, with the help of an AP manual, that homeowner is one word, then something is very wrong.

But Mabuse is now posting about Peter Sellers, so I think she wants to change the topic.

But thanks for visiting my blog!

Min

11:59 pm  
Blogger Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

Good God, Min! So now everyone's condescending, including you? I mean, first you said Dr. M was, and the you said I was, and then when I pointed out that you were condescending on your own blog, your response is "well, I never said I WASN'T condescending."

They're some thought processes that aren't connecting as they should, Min. You should look into it.

12:35 am  
Blogger xavier said...

Dr. Mabuse:
I was laughing my head off. To be patronizing to the South is so refereshingly santimonious eh?
The North American Anglican church is headed for oblivion but not before providing us with lots of comedic material

xavier

3:51 am  

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