Man, what’s up with Cal?

I received the regular e-mail update from the American Anglican Council. In the update, they included a commentary by Cal Thomas covering the Episcopal Church. I have to say, I am almost shocked at the stridency of language Cal Thomas uses in his writing, which appeared in lots of newspapers around the country.
I am struck by the stridency, the incredible anger, and yes I’m going to say – hatred, that is now coming from many people found in certain segments of society and the Church. Read this from Cal:
“Bishop Schori, a former oceanographer for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle, says, ‘The Bible tells us about how to treat other human beings and that’s certainly the great message of Jesus – to include the unincluded.’
“This is so outside orthodox Christianity that only biblical illiterates or those who deny the supreme authority of the only book that gives foundation to the faith will accept it.”

Does Cal Thomas really believe that to “include the unincluded” is “so outside orthodox Christianity”? This may play well with the radicalized Religious Right, but how does it sound to the vast majority of Americans who are no longer involved in Christianity or the unchurched? The central teaching of Jesus may not have revolved around including the unincluded, but his life depicted in Scripture certainly does exhibit including the unincluded. Whatever happened to “love thy neighbor as thyself?” If that is not a call to include those who you would exclude, what is? Man, are we arrogant!
It is becoming more obvious as every day passes that large segments of the (what word is right?) Fundamentalists/neo-Puritans/radicalized Religious Right(?) is/are tipping the scale so far to one side that they face the very real danger of becoming Fascist-like. This is not conservatism and it is not traditionalism, it isn’t even traditional American Evangelicalism. It is fanaticism.
Read his entire column below

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Still thinking…

As I read through various blogs and news reports about what our Church is experiencing these days, domestically and internationally, I still find myself with the feeling of standing between two polls and each poll is pulling strongly in its direction. I feel tied to elements or aspects of both polls. It’s hard to resist giving into the allure of certainty that comes with fully embracing either side. It is tiring.
My past still exerts a strong influence on me, and I hope that I carry with me the best of that expression of the Christian faith. I can say “amen” to much of what this side says about the faith. Yet, that expression just doesn’t do if for me any longer. I know that ultimately it matters not what “does it for me.” It isn’t about me, but I cannot remain in a place that I no longer find compelling or see going in directions that I think are counter to Jesus’ teachings.
I often have knee-jerk reactions to some people or positions on the other poll. I can find lots of stuff to disagree with, but that is approaching the poll from a place of negativism – and how can I learn anything if I’m not willing to put aside my own proclivities or unwillingness to even consider the arguments of this side? Aside from the knee-jerk reactions to some aspects, I do find much I can agree with.
My former seminary roommate, Jason, seems inclined to be closer to one of the polls than I am. Despite the fact that he may well feel I don’t listen to what he says, I do. It is in the relationships we have that words and actions come together and challenge us more than we may know. I am thankful for these kinds of relationships – for the Jason’s. If it were not for him and others, all I would be doing is gathering around me teachers who scratch my itching ears. Remember what Paul wrote to Timothy? (2 Timothy 4:3)


Mark Harris on his blog, Preludium, reflects a bit more on General Convention ’06. He comments on the aftermath of the votes by the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops on resolution B033 – the last ditch statement concerning the Windsor Report. It is worth reading: here.
The backdrop for his comments is Matt. 5:37 – let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no,” no. He comments on the two groups of bishops who for the most part repudiated the passed resolution as soon as voting was completed. One group he refered to as the disassociating bishops and the other group as the dissenter bishops.
This paragraph struck me:
“Disassociating is a meanness, the meanness of the embarrassed or the loser. But the greatest of these acts of meanness is the meanness of the ones who hoped for the worse in order to prove that they are the best. Disassociation, as practiced by dissemblers, is merely a way to further a cause that can’t carry its own weight in a democratic fashion.”
Perhaps, it is endemic within Anglicanism to resist dogmatic “yes’s” and/or dogmatic “no’s.” Perhaps, these dissenters and disassociationists are attempting to live into more fully Matthew’s command, even if by using illegitimate or spurious methods. Perhaps.