Thursday, November 20, 2008

Time to dust for fingerprints ...

"Reuters" has put out an "article" from its "religion writer" that has been published at the Washington Post website. In it there is used an incredibly offensive phrase. The article sails along after this offensive phrase as though nothing bad has occurred in the first paragraph, as though we are meant to gloss right over it and go straight on to the first quote by a well-known diocesan-level Anglican bishop. Do not stop at Go, and certainly don't think about juxtaposition.

The question must be asked - who fed that line to this reporter? Can a phrase like that just pop up on its own? Not in this day. Not six weeks before an historic inauguration that may draw four million people to the Nation's Capital. Nope.

Where did this phrase come from and why is it popping up now, when Judge Randy Bellows is expected to issue his final ruling perhaps within days regarding the property of the churches in Virginia who voted to separate? Perhaps even tomorrow as this article may be published in the print edition of newspapers all over the country.

Why,
even now, The Episcopal Church is gleefully announcing it intends to appeal the Judge Bellows ruling - even before he issues it. If TEC can't win on the merits of the law itself, perhaps it's time to cynically unleash political weapons instead and try to regain lost ground through a different kind of offensive, especially in contrast to this watershed moment in American history when that phrase should be put away forever.

So - how did that phrase come to be used in this article? Where did it come from? And how did it end up in this article? Time to dust for fingerprints, friends. We're not in Kansas anymore.

27 comments:

Kevin said...

The finger print is Michael Conlon of Reuters. It overall is a very balanced story, but the facts demand that it be balance, obviously the spin of "100 out of 7,100 congregations had either left or voted to leave before that" doesn't work anymore with four dioceses leaving, any knucklehead reporter can do a little math to figure out that there should be more than 25 parishes in a diocese and if four left I'm being fed a manipulative line of bull. The style guide seems now to pair "long-time divisions over scriptural interpretation and gay rights," in which the first part only took five years of letter to the editors to include, thus his editor may have imposed the balance. The reason is not just the first line but the last two quotes. They bookend quite nicely to show the authors true bent.

The second to last is quite laughable in my experience, I've seen the "young adults" webpage at Trinity in this area and often pass many of the Episcopal parishes in Region 3 DioVA ... ah ... I think they're lying! If you want Rez, Advent and Ascension could all use a little more gray hairs, there lots of energy but little wisdom and we're in the more "conservative" branch, PCA - the Bible Thumbing Urbanest also seem to be overflowing (Ascension is renting from a recent purchase of PCA parish).

Connecticut may be very different than DC metro, but I think author of the article would rather have written a very different one, but the facts are so overwhelming against the old spin article that were printed five years ago that he was forced to balanced one with a few jabs bookending (purposeful racial up top then claims that the blue hairs are causing all the problems, once they are dead all this will go away and 815 will win at the conclusion).

Perpetua said...

I also see a problem with the use of the word "abandoned". That is the word used to depose the bishops.

The Underground Pewster said...

I had a problem with the "let the old people die" insinuation near the end.

"Frank Kirkpatrick, a professor of religion at Trinity College in Connecticut and author of "The Episcopal Church in Crisis: How Sex, the Bible, and Authority Are Dividing the Faithful," said the church probably has seen the worst of it.

'I absolutely think there will be a strong and vibrant Episcopal Church left. Look at the number of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. The vast majority don't (care) about whether someone is gay or straight. ... As the older people begin to die off, the rage and passion will begin to disappear,' he said in an interview."

As I approach "older" I worry that I will be herded into the cattle car soon by folks like Kirkpatrick.

Will the young replace us with the long awaited new age religious left? They might, because the young have been subverted by secularism and certain members of TEC. When they take our places, they might remain on the other side of the fence. Let us pray that our young learn as we did that the ways of the world are not always the ways to which we are called to follow.

Sibyl said...

The young people, I pray, will discern from the mess their parents, the Boomers and Busters have made of their lives, that the ways of the world lead to no good end.
Father, Please bring another Jesus movement...a return to Truth, Love, Life. Amen

Capt.Scott said...

Kevin (#1)
Why should there be more than 24 or 25 parishes in a diocese? No. MI. just closed its 25th congregation, they are now down to 24. But *all is well*!

Peter Dewberry said...

Am I right in assuming that the 'incredibly offensive' phrase you have in mind is "a separate-but-equal" church? A phrase recalling the days of segregation and the claim that schools for African-Americans were separate but equal in quality.

Incidentally, that claim was also made by the Apartheid regime in South Africa to justify their policy of racial segregation.

I am not sure that the journalist who wrote this article used the phrase in the sense that you have taken it.

Whilst it is offensive in its racist connotations, it does accurately describe what orthodox Anglicans in North America want, namely to be able to separate from TEC and still be within the fold of the Anglican Communion as equal partners.

Peter Dewberry

BabyBlue said...

My dear Peter, that is exactly what the "writer" - and whoever fed him that phrase - meant. Do not fall down the rabbit hole.

bb

Kevin said...

Capt. Scott - LOL -- I dunno 7100/150 or so should be ~47 but that's old math I'm not so good at KJS's all is well new math ;-P


Peter Dewberry - You might want to take a lesson for either John McCain or Bill Clinton (one wise who didn't go there and other foolishly who did and with at a huge cost). An allusions is an allusion, meant to stir and create a point via emotion, but once called out, best to let it alone, here BB called out an allusion, rather directly, I must confess, but you in a vain attempt try to defend.

Michael Conlon at least has the defense that he didn't see it (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) but you remove all doubt thus left holding the bag ... and your booby prise is ... you just confess that you defend Plessy v. Ferguson ... Michael Conlon has deniable plausibility, BB was the onw who called it out (directly) yet you were the sucker who attempted to defend the indefensible thus you end up the one who claimed Plessy v. Ferguson as a "just" statement.

Th rabbit hole is easy to fall into when one makes an allusion, BB did a successful job of distancing herself form it, but you, Peter, maybe in attempt to do something else, spring the trap shut on your self, for you did not think about the externalities that go along with the authors suggestions, the author can at least claim stupidity, but your defense removes that and thus you now claim segregation as just ... sometimes in a no-win situation it's best just not to play the game.

Kevin

Peter D said...

I'm not 'defending' anything, I am simply pointing out that the 'phrase' does is in fact an accurate description of what current developments are leading to.

I most certainly do not claim segregation to be just, as Kevin implies. I lived most of my life in Apartheid South Africa and know at first hand the awfulness of segregation, furthermore, I saw through the speciousness of the arguments used to justify segregation more than 40 years ago.

Regardless of the odious historical allusion of 'the phrase' the following is the situation we are faced with.

Fact: Orthodox Anglicans, among whom, I count myself, are about to launch a separate province, which, I assume, want to be accepted along with other provinces in the Anglican Communion. I assume they will also want to be treated with equality at the Anglican table.

But as Kevin points out maybe I'm just a gullible "sucker" and don't realize it.

Peter D
www.free-inside.com

PS. BB, you may remember that on the final night of the Alpha advisers' conference hosted at Truro in October 2007 we were part of a group who had a meal in the Irish pub near the church.

BabyBlue said...

That's it exactly, Kevin. I did muse over and over whether to ignore it or to call it. Was the "writer" of the phrase stupid or brilliant? No one can defend the phrase - it is indefensible bigotry. The phrase is filled with shame (and perhaps there's a gamble that the international media won't know it and use it - or the conservative media will take the bait). It is a rhetorical tool to shame opponents and in the process attempt to rehabilitate their own damaged public image while they, themselves, have all ready fallen down the international rabbit hole. Don't go with them.

Don't be fooled. Don't play.

bb

BabyBlue said...

PS - Yes, hey hey Peter! Thanks for posting. That was a fun dinner at the pub. By the way, it looks like Derek is going to join us on staff at Truro in January. Hope you can come down and visit us soon.

Yeah, I think that the intention is to defend what is indefensible - that's the point. It's what I might call a "Flak Trap." Watch your step!

bb

Anonymous said...

Someone fetch the smelling salts!

Grandmère Mimi said...

With respect to equality under the law, "separate but equal" does not seem workable, because it turns out that separate is never really equal. I agree that the phrase is loaded, but in reference to the divisions in Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, I can't quite see wherein lies the offense. Will the use of the phrase somehow work to injure the cause of those who want to separate? I can't see how, but I'm open to having the matter explained.

Kevin said...

Grandmère Mimi,

It's about as crass if a report said the 815 is looking for a "Final Solution" for the orthodox leadership. While I'm sure there are some who can make an excellent case of similarities, the allusion is so charged and tied to events in world history, that it degrades any sense of objectivity in favor of an emotional appeal (trying to tie the current situation to the emotions that a past one (particularly universally condemned)).

So a reporter could just as easily loose creditability of objectivity if Reuters used the term "witch hunt" for how they gone after certain bishops.

Grandmère Mimi said...

So the reporter's use of the phrase is on a par with references to the Shoah? Surely, you're overreaching. I'm sorry, but I don't find your explanation persuasive at all. It's the separatists who wish to be apart. That's separate, isn't it? And you want to be equally recognized as a legitimate province, right?

Perhaps the reporter could have chosen another phrase, but to say it's offensive (to whom?) or to compare it to references to the Final Solution is beyond my comprehension.

Kevin said...

Or perhaps you are revealing something to the rest of us about yourself ...

I'd avoid such topics with my grandmother too ...

Grandmère Mimi said...

Kevin, I thought perhaps I could have a conversation here about the issues, without anyone getting personal, but I see that it's not to be.

Kevin said...

Well, Grandmere Mimi, your profile is seen with one who liberally used the "N" word. So is that guilt by association? Could be, but it also leaves the impression of what your take is on Plessy v. Ferguson, which I don't think my conclusion are that far off base from evidence here and there.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Kevin, you must be aware that guilt by association is a logical fallacy. Look it up.

I'm curious. Are you the guardian of this site?

Kevin said...

I'm curious. Are you the guardian of this site?

Nope, just a commenter.

BabyBlue said...

Kevin has his own table, though - with a great array of friends assembled. I think even Hagrid's gone over to sit at Kevin's table - and Hagrid rarely leaves his post by the door. After all - Hagrid is the guardian of the Cafe, as some anons find out from time to time.

But grandmothers are welcome too.

bb

Grandmère Mimi said...

BB, thank you.

Geoff said...

Not nearly as crass as using "orthodox" as a euphemism for "against full participation of gays and lesbians in the Church."

MadPriest said...

Hi everybody!

And Kevin, what are you doing with that poor dog? I thought it was only "the gay agenda" that led to that sort of behaviour,

Kevin said...

I see all of her usual cohorts wonder through ...

BB - Are you saying I need a life? {*lol*]

MadPriest said...

You summoned me from the pits of hell, master.

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