Bishop Kong breaks loose
ACI reminds me of a Charlie Brown strip - not the usual Lucy and the Football one, but a baseball one. In one episode, Charlie Brown's perpetually losing team got so fed up they finally quit. One minor character (I think it was Shermy) said, as he handed in his ball cap, "I guess I'm quitting too. I'm the kind who needs to win once in a while. It's different for you, Charlie Brown - I think you get some sort of neurotic pleasure out of losing all the time." Just as Charlie Brown reacted by yelling "Quitters!" at his departing team, Radner's letter passes quickly from the deeds of the derelict TEC to reproaches against the departed and departing conservatives who didn't stay to fight.
Bp. O’Neill has, since becoming bishop in 2003, made a public commitment to refuse such ordinations (of homosexuals)...Yet yesterday, he changed course.
Ah. He lied.
The issue here is not to lodge a complaint.
No indeed, since we already know how pointless that would be. A 'bishop' who lies is not about to become a man of honour just because some words of complaint are directed toward him. But we have to talk to SOMEONE so let's write a summary of why we're right to feel aggrieved and then do a little wondering.
So why would someone like Bp O’Neill go forward in contradicting these affirmations and at this time, given his previous willingness to hold back in the context of these kinds of common views? What has changed? Certainly not the “mind” of the Communion as earlier articulated; nor the burdens of common life within the Communion. I am not certain of his motives, since he offered no public explanation before his actions (although he did speak personally to some, though hardly all, of his clergy) and chose to let drop his moratorium without any explanatory warning to his larger flock.Who knows? Who cares? Maybe the gay church is giving out prizes to bishops who demonstrate their loyalty. Maybe there's a fine for slowpokes, and nobody wants to be the last diocese to authorize gay weddings. What does it matter?
But I can state one very clear change in his own diocesan context: the disappearance of traditionalist clergy and lay leadership.Ah, so you see, it's all YOUR fault, you conservatives! It's interesting that no one even bothers trying to tell the truth to the corrupted leaders of TEC, even when it's their own acts that are under discussion. Everyone recognizes that they are incurable. I always thought that Total Depravity was something humans started with; now we see that it's what you end up with after a lifetime in the Episcopal Church. This leaves the only people left to talk to as the people on one's own side.
From the time of his consecration (and before) to the present, the major conservative congregations of Colorado – as in many places in the United States — have either dispersed through departures from TEC (to AMiA or Common Cause-related groups), or departures from the diocese and/or active ministry of conservative clergy leaders. In the last year, for instance, the last 3 or 4 larger conservative congregations in Colorado have lost their pastors, some for reasons that have nothing to do with diocesan policies, some with the bishop’s at least passive encouragement. In other words, there is no more local political penalty to pay for new dismissals of Communion requests.If the conservatives hadn't left, they'd still have enough power in Colorado to "make the bishop pay" for his liberalism. Like King Kong, he could have been kept from running wild, if only the conservatives had stayed to keep making bigger and heavier chains to hold him down. Maybe the question should be how a big, smelly ape got into a position where he has the power to do this sort of damage, instead of why normal people aren't willing to devote their lives to keeping him penned up. But it's so much easier to talk to people who you know are sane instead of triumphant savages who are gleefully following Kong as he rampages through the city.
People are getting on with their lives, and Radner and co. are yelling "Quitters! You're all a bunch of QUITTERS!" because they're working on a brand-new, UNBREAKABLE set of shackles for Kong, and all everyone else has to do is put up with being brutalized for a few more years until they're ready.