Wednesday, December 9, 2009

OK, I grew up in L.A. So I gots to represent.

Like a Lakers' fan, I show up late.

Other religion blogs and even MSM have been hyperventilating about the election of a non-celibate lesbian as an assisting bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles, where I was born & baptized at the end of the 50s, confirmed in 1978, ordained (deacon '87/priest '88), married in '90, served some churches and lived most of my life until moving to South Dakota just five years ago. So I guess I should show up for the second quarter, cruise court side to high-five Jack Nicholson, and get on my way to something else.

Look, the lesbian election news is its own reward. The Episcopal Church (TEC) is the most drastically declining of the drastically declining "Mainline" historic denominations in the USA. So Press feels like success.

Maybe it's best to just have fun with it, as here. TEC is like one of those reality TV shows where "stars" experience pride and passion just by being in the camera's eye.

Still, a couple of bishops have stated that they will not give the required vote of consent to consecrate L.A.'s newest celebrity. Internationally, The Archbishop of Canterbury warns (or simply admits) that these latest antics will annihilate any claim that the global Anglican Communion has any common identity or message.

South Dakota's new bishop, John Tarrant, and the Standing Committee will be asked for consent votes. The last such controversial decision took place before Bp. Tarrant was entitled to vote. In that case, the Standing Committee voted against consent for a problematic bishop nominee from Northern Michigan.

Back in April, when John Tarrant and other nominees for bishop were asked questions about homosexual clergy, he said, "I don't know where my mind is on this." Since then, he has expressed concern for maintaining unity in the Anglican Communion. Like the rest of us, he tries to navigate a church with no common priorities or even language to create unity.

Growing up in L.A., I was used to incoherent architecture. So many neighborhoods sprang up when waves of post-WWII vets settled to build a peacetime American dream - so my Tudor house could plop next to your Ranch Style that you built beside the Mediterranean next to the Art Deco Bungalow. THAT'S Episcopalian decision making: My unified Anglican Communion doesn't go with your Gay Rights, which disagree with this other guy's reading of Convention Resolutions that really, really offend that lady's feelings even though we all represent "the broad middle" of the church.

"Broad middle" my broad butt. No common vision or values, just each of us building our own little place. Subject to approval by Gay/Lesbian/Etc. Inspectors General and justification by the L.A. Times. Amen.


Scott said...

Without the WORD serving as the anchor in all things, what you describe is what we should simply expect.

My grandmother use to say: "If you plant beans, you get beans."

The Underground Pewster said...

Your bishop better find his mind soon.

The consent process and its aftermath will provide further clarity as to what kind of houses exist in his HOB neighborhood.

David Handy+ said...


It's great that you're returned to action in the blogosphere. I hope your break was refreshing. I know I'm late in recognizing your resumption, but I do welcome it.

Unlilke you, I'm from Sioux Falls, but have only visited LA once, years ago. So I have no firsthand knowledge of that liberal diocese, like you do.

But I liked your gag line about for an aging denomination in a disastrous nosedive, attention by "the Press fells like success." Ouch, that's pathetic, isn't it?

FWIW, I think that Canterbury's statement wasn't a warning, (much less an actual threat) but rather an admission, as you suggest, that there will be dire consequences if the bishops in TEC confirm this regrettable but predictable election. However, I think it's clear that despite his mounting frustration, those damaging consequences won't happen BECAUSE of ++RW, but in spite of him. He's losing any plausible way to continue to delay and thwart at least some kind of discipline of wayward, intransigent TEC.

You are absolutely right about TEC, my friend. It has no common vision or values. No common gospel in fact. And so it will inevitably fall with a terrifying crash.

For as the Master warned us, "A house divided against itself cannot stand" (Mark 3:25).

Chip Johnson+, SF said...

Like David Handy, I am late in welcoming you back.
That said, WELCOME BACK!
We pray that all is well with you, Melissa, the boys, and the good folk at Good Shepherd.
We are just trying to stay out of the cold...physically and liturgically.