Saturday, June 24, 2006

Eye of the Beholder

The Rev. Liz Zivonov , rector of the parish of St. Clement, Honolulu, wrote the following on the HoB/D list, the listserve for the House of Bishops and Deputes. It echoes pretty well my feelings about the accomplishment most people are talking about from General Convention, B033. There is a lot of hand-wringing, second-guessing, and tea-leaf reading about what went on. Here is her response (which I reprinted with permission):

"After one more day of separation from the convention, let me suggest something that probably will rattle some sabers or cause even more uproar. I suspect there will be more than a few who will not like this and are wishing I would be as quiet on this board as I was on the floor of the convention.

"B033 is a prime example of Anglican fudge. It doesn't say one thing about gays and lesbians, gender, divorce, polygamy, or eating local delicacies; it is terribly ambiguous; it is open to just about any sort of interpretation that one wants to put on it. It doesn't throw anyone into the fire unless you really want to believe that it does. Even if one has a target group "whose manner...", the resolution does not specify any particular group and would be difficult to enforce. Even if resolutions were enforceable! (Emphasis is mine...atg+)

"With great strength and commitment, we turned down 161 the day before and we did not approve anything that sounds even closely like it. THAT is what is important and what we need to remember.

"What we are doing now is judgmental flagellation of self and others over intentions, not over The Resolution. The resolution is benign. It can be used in many, many situations if one cares to. And those who care to will probably make up their own rules anyway.

"If we're honest about B033, it doesn't say anything other than we have absolutely no interest in being part of a "Christian" federation that uses threats and power to include or exclude other Christians from its midst.
This resolution is not a death penalty for anyone. It was a last ditch effort to give our new PB an opening at a table that has been an exclusive men's club and wants to stay that way.

"When our historical society looks at this resolution two generations from now, they will probably say, "Now, what was THIS all about????" If there is anyone still alive from The Official Youth Presence (which, by then, will have morphed into the The Official Elderly Presence), they might be able to pick it out from the backs of their memories and say, "I remember it causing a lot of emotional stuff, but other than that....."

"Let's get a grip. It was an incredibly emotional vote for many of us at a time when we were exhausted and under pressure. But when we look at The Resolution in an objective light, it really doesn't say much at all. And the weeping and moaning and gnashing of teeth are starting to sound like a pretty bad soap opera."


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