from Stand Firm by Greg Griffith
I don't get this, I don't know how to explain it, I don't know what he expects to accomplish with it, but here it is:
An Open Letter to Bishop Henry Parsley from Two Named 'Louie Crew'
In 1911, when his son Erman was only six, the local Klan came in the dark to the home of my grandfather and demanded:
"Louie, it is time for you to do your civic duty."
Louie stood them down while Erman watched from behind a window, frightened by the torches and the hoods.
Then to Erman's amazemenet, Louie called out the name of every hooded man. Erman thought his father had magical skills, not realizing that as president of the local bank, his father had loaned the money used to buy most of the buggies and horses of the vigilantes.
"John! Gary! James! Henry!......" Louie called to the panel before him; "you know that you are up to no Christian good when you have to hide your face to do it."
+Henry, Bishop of Alabama, Ernest and I still pay taxes on Louie's property in Coosa County. You know that you are up to no Christian good when you have to hide the identity of the special panel that you have appointed to study us secretly.
Nor do you treat all parties equally. This week the MISSIONER, published by Nashotah House, identified The Rev. Daniel Westberg, a professor at Nashotah House, as a member of the secret panel and Dr. Ellen Charry, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, as the panel's chair. (See page 3 of the current issue)
The writer had sufficient knowledge to characterize the theologyical position of each member of the secret panel.
Why does one of our most conservative seminaries have access to information that you have denied to all who have requested it, including those of us who share fiscal responsbility with you at General Convention?
End the duplicity. Take the hoods off all members of the committee. Let there be transparency and decency.
I have been baptized.
Louie Crew, L1 Newark
Louie is talking about the "secret" theology committee formed to "study" the issue of same-sex blessings and - well, you know the rest. Reports will be issued, then the HoB will "receive" them, there will be a "period of discernment," and dull moments in between will be punctuated by outbursts of 200-proof crazy like this one.
By the way, the Nashotah newsletter reference is to the latest issue of The Missioner, the seminary's newsletter. In it there's a blurb mentioning two of the committee members' names (I'd link to it but Nashotah's site has been down all morning), and information indicating that there are four conservatives and four liberals on the committee, and that two separate reports will be issued making the case from either side.
Exit question: Why is the gay Episcopal left (sorry - redundancy alert) so apoplectic about the fact that 815 has impaneled a secret committee? And why could the right not care less?
My guess: The left can't stand the fact that there's a 50-50 balance on any official body dealing with the issue of same-sex blessings. They're used to a more even 85-15 balance. Plus, how can they possibly demonize the conservative members of the committee and thus poison the well from which the report will be drawn, if they can't get the members' names and don't have time to plan the assassination of their characters?
Louie Crew (r) and Ernest
As to why the right isn't apoplectic too: Simple. We haven't expected openness and honesty from 815 for.... well, it's been so long I can't really remember. That, and we don't expect the committee's work to have any effect on anything. The church will continue to bless same-sex unions no matter who says what against it, or how solid the reasoning.
This little episode does, however, illustrate both the hypocrisy as well as the consistency of the Episcopal left. They are hypocritical because this kind of melodramatic over-reaction to the slightest possibility of defeat or setback is exactly what they accuse the right of doing, when in fact we are by comparison positively insouciant. They are consistent because this is a large part of how they've gotten this far with so few people and so little popular support: They whine and gripe and screech at the slightest injustice, and cause as much pain to those who would get in their way, so that after a while there is a Pavlovian response to them: Just give them something, anything - a little more than last time but not the whole kit and caboodle - and maybe I can get out of here and get back to my life, which thankfully isn't populated by dangerously unbalanced freaks the way Episcopal church government is.