Monday, July 09, 2007

It Must Be a Full Moon (Part 2)

It's been quite a while since I have wished to post about the Big Issues in the Anglican Communion. I'm just weary of that whole scene. I'm much happier living out my life in my parish. And here in the real world, the Chicken Littles of the Anglican Communion are just a joke. We have real issues to deal with – real people to feed, real people to whom we are ministering. I have a real community in which I live.

But I do keep one eye on the wacko Nut Jobs of the Faux Anglican Communion, 'cause it's part of my job to patrol the perimeter. And this one today really ticked me off.

Elizabeth Kaeton posted a long, thoughtful piece that started by talking about what her granddaugher might grow up to be, then cycled into broader thoughts about feminism. Elizabeth is the mother of I-dunno-how-many children. (I lost count, but I recall it's a bunch!) Some of them are hers by birth, and many are children she adopted – children whom nobody else might adopt because they had "special needs." In the midst of her long thoughtful post, she had one paragraph where she alluded to another woman's blog. I had never seen nor heard of this woman's blog. But it turns out that woman is the wife of one of the Wackadoo Right Wingers. So guess what? The Harpies zoomed in – making it a feature article that (as of this moment) has 280 comments. You're shocked, right? Shocked?!

The Harpies have now descended on her. They are urging all their devotees to write to Elizabeth's bishop, her Standing Committee, and her vestry … and they will not rest until she is stripped of her collar. In that feature article, every now and then, the discussion takes a turn away from the "Burn Elizabeth" [a.k.a. "burn the witch!"] theme. And when it does, Greg Griffith turns the discussion back to the point: "Write to her bishop." "Write to her Standing Committee." Clearly, he is out for blood.

Could "hate" possibly be spelled any more clearly?

They despise her.

It is visceral.

Mind you, this gang is smelling blood after stoking up a feeding frenzy over that priest in Washington who thought she could be a Christian and Muslim. [Groan! I disagreed with her – vehemently disagreed! and I didn't see how she could continue to be a priest in our church -- but I didn't feel a need to witness a public pillory.] They managed to create such a media frenzy that she has now been inhibited on the front pages of newspapers. It should have been handled quietly, but they succeeded in making it a public spectacle. Yes, they succeeded magnificently. And they are exulting in that victory.

They succeeded. They held that woman up for public ridicule. And they got the sacrifice of flesh that they demanded in their orgy. And they danced in glee at what they believe was her humiliation. (Incidentally, Father Andrew Gerns has some perceptive comments on this whole dust-up; click here to read his commentary.)

But that was last week's news. Now they want Elizabeth's flesh.

As I held my nose and read their comments, a couple of images kept coming to my mind. I read this "Greg" character whipping-up his devotees to "get Elizabeth." Fresh from what the StandFirm crowd views as a "kill" with the priest in Washington, they have the heady smell of blood in their nostrils, and it's the best aphrodisiac possible for their kind. It's a bit hyperbolic, but I hear echoes of that horrific scene in The Accused, where one of the more impotent guys eggs-on his buddies to rape the character played by Jodie Foster. Or of the killing frenzy in Platoon. It is all about power and control. An uppity woman is terrifying to some people. She must be destroyed!

They are going after Elizabeth now with a vengeance. Meanwhile, she is flying to Belize early tomorrow on a mission trip.

The "leaders" at StandFirm are the impotents urging rapacious violence. It would be funny if it were not so sickening.

Father Jake called it correctly when he posted over there:

You don’t give a damn who you hurt, whose reputation you trash, as long as you get to throw a little more mud on the Episcopal Church. People are expendable if they can be used to further your cause.
I used the term a very long time ago: "Bottom feeders" would be embarrassed by what some of these so-called "Christians" are doing in the name of their self-proclaimed sanctity. This is nothing but character assassination.

If you're so inclined, go over to Elizabeth's blog and tell her you agree this kind of garbage must stop. Just remember she's on a mission trip in Belize, and can't post any comments on her blog 'til she returns July 14 or 15.

Update 07/10/07. Leave it to MadPriest (a.k.a. God's Gift to the Anglican Communion) and his MadParishioners to provide truly delightful commentary on this situation. Hie thyself across the pond and read that.


Blogger Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Bless you, Lisa. Bless you.

What's fascinating is that, while I take complete responsibility for my post - even the first, unfortunate post which I pulled - I have been amazed that the identity of the author would not have been at issue except that Greg Griffin made it so.

Can you say, "Agenda"?

Yes, I thought you could.

Thanks. Now, I'm off to Belize.

Film, as they say, at 11.

7/09/2007 11:58 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Indeed, Elizabeth. They are not talking about what you actually posted -- but about what you witndrew after an hour of reflection. Sicko bottom feeders. They are desperate for blood. Anybody's will do. I'm just sorry they are out for yours.

7/10/2007 12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

I think we have a positive ID here.

7/10/2007 8:04 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

You can go to Undercurrent of Hostility and read the other person's point of view.

7/10/2007 12:54 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks for that link, Ann.

Just remember: Nobody is attacking that priest. Nobody is calling her a heretic or calling for her to be deposed. But her adherents are launching a campaign to get Elizabeth deposed. If an apology is called for, it's Anne and her adherents who need to apologize to Elizabeth for obscene over-reaction.

At least that's how it looks to me.

7/10/2007 10:58 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

DBW, my blog is not a democracy. It's my living room. And you are not allowed to come into my living room and call my friends names. Poof! Your comment is gone. You can say all you want on your blog. This one is mine.

7/11/2007 10:16 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Just remember: Nobody is attacking that priest. Nobody is calling her a heretic or calling for her to be deposed.

There was a clear attack on the character, career and physical well-being of the Kennedy household. It was irresponsible and completely beyond the pale.

Elizabeth Kaeton represented that she had contacted Anne's bishop, the implications being that Anne might possibly be unfit or unstable as a mother. Kaeton further represented she had amassed a phalanx of "helping professionals," including some with expertise in "domestic violence and child abuse," who had been and would continue to watch Anne's blog.

Aside from the fact that it strains credibility to think a dozen or more professionals would watch a blog of all things for signs of trouble, rather than do the responsible thing and contact Anne directly and privately, the threatening implications are clear.

Have you read the original posts? The one thing I'm struck by about all the left-leaning blogs commenting on this issue: none of them have quoted Kaeton's original post, nor the "apology" in which she all but threatens to call in CPS.

So I challenge you: post Kaeton's full quotes, from both posts, in their original, and defend them. Point-by-point show those folks at Stand Firm how they got it all wrong.

My question for Elizabeth Kaeton is: in what way was your first post "unfortunate"? Was it unfortunate that you directly identified Anne Kennedy, or that you painted such a gruesome picture of infanticide for Anne to ponder?

7/12/2007 2:44 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Dave, I just flat don't get the self-inflicted frenzy into which you have whipped yourself! Many days ago, Elizabeth posted an entry which included a paragraph that was intemperate. She considered it, and 45 minutes later deleted the over-the-top section and posted the revised entry. That would have been the end of it, except that the gang over at StandFirm posted her deleted text and went screaming through the blogosphere: "Look how the lezzie priest attacked that poor woman!" LOLOL

Who made the crisis, Dave? StandFirm made the crisis. For their own purposes.

Dave, why the heck would I post an essay that Elizabeth herself withdrew -- much less try to defend it point by point? You're just being silly.

Also, Dave, I wonder whether you're having an identity crisis. My name is Lisa. Why are you asking questions of Elizabeth here? I assume you know the URL for her blog. Or are you just frothing at the mouth because she's now on a mission trip in Belize and thus you can't attack her directly?

Are you enjoying your frenzy, Dave? Does this feel good to you? Are you feeling the fruits of the Spirit while you attack this priest of our church?

7/12/2007 6:32 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Lisa, do you it was appropriate that Elizabeth Kaeton threatened to call the authorities on Anne Kennedy for child neglect?

Do you think accusing Anne Kennedy of harboring sub-conscious murderous intentions towards her children is acceptable?

7/12/2007 7:02 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

A couple of other points:

I'm not confused about whose blog I'm on, and I'm not sure why it would constitute an "identity crisis" if I were. I think it's common in the blog world to address other commenter's posts on the blog where they're posted. 'nuff said, except that you pounced on that little point a bit hard, no?

Further: Stand Firm did not make the crisis. Elizabeth Kaeton did. The fact that she removed the post does not change the specific threats she made, nor the fact that she stated that she and others had been watching Anne Kennedy's blog for some time, and would continue to do so, to watch for other possible signs of neglect.

If Elizabeth wants to recant that, and declare that she has no intention of "watching" Anne with such intentions, then I think that would go a long way towards cooling things down.

If it were just offense at some strained rhetoric, I'm sure things would have died down by now. But it is the persistent threat to the Kennedy household that has stoked this issue, and Stand Firm had nothing to do with that.

7/12/2007 7:19 PM  
Blogger Suzer said...

Dave -- I appreciate your concern for the Kennedys. I think Rev. Kaeton was also expressing concern, but with all respect to Rev. Kaeton, I do think she crossed a line that might have been better left alone. Not that priests (who are, of course, human and fallible) on both "sides" haven't occasionally said something they later regretted. But at least I saw Rev. Kaeton's regret. I have seen no apologies for some of the more hateful comments I've seen in the past about GLBT people and TEC in general on sites like SF.

I happen to appreciate Rev. Kaeton's online ministry. Do I agree with her all the time? No. Most of the time, though, I am spiritually fed by her ministry, whereas the few times I visited SF, I was appalled at the damaging rhetoric spewing from those calling themselves Christians.

Rev. Kaeton has been clear that she takes responsibility for what she said, and she issued an apology. That's enough for me. Didn't Jesus teach forgiveness? Have some folks forgotten that?

So, why is this discussion still raging on, and on this blog? This continues when Rev. Kaeton has no opportunity to respond? How telling.

Since I don't go there, I would ask those who do -- have the Kennedys asked that all of this stop? That people stop discussing this and leave it to Rev. Kaeton and Rev. Anne Kennedy to work out on their own? That might be the best thing for all involved, as the continued discussion is doing nothing to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, care for the sick and elderly, and generally continue to follow Jesus' teachings. Perhaps we all need to get our eyes back on Christ's imperatives. Re-reading the Sermon on the Mount might be the first order for all of us.

7/12/2007 8:07 PM  
Blogger Sparrow said...

Lisa: You are defending EK; Dave is merely responding to that defense. Now, as to his original question, have you read the original post and are you still willing to defend EK? By the way, that post was up for four hours, not just 45 minutes.

7/12/2007 8:59 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Dave, in response to your question, I'll ask another question: Do you think it was appropriate that Greg and the gang at StandFirm launched an all-out campaign to alert Elizabeth's bishop, Standing Committee, and vestry, in an effort to rob her of her collar ... in exactly the same way that your gang managed to do with the priest in Washington?

7/12/2007 9:47 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Dave, you continue to crack me up.

You say, "I'm not confused about whose blog I'm on," and yet you persist in directing to me questions that are obviously meant for Elizabeth. Is that because you're afraid to ask her those questions yourself?

When you get your nerve up, Dave, kindly take your questions to Elizabeth. Only she can answer questions about what she said or what she meant. I will answer questions about what I believe and what I think.

OK? Got that, Dave? Otherwise, it would be like me asking Brad what Greg means. It just makes no sense.

Yes, Dave, StandFirm manufactured what they want to pretend is a crisis. It is not. Elizabeth posted something and then revised it 45 minutes later. Now … all these days later, Greg Griffith keeps re-posting it in order to whip you folks into a frenzy. Obviously, it's working for you. I recommend that you focus on what folks have actually published, and not what they drafted and deleted. Sheesh!

Yes, Dave, it would have died down … except that your friends at StandFirm keep trying to make a frenzy out of something that Elizabeth intended to delete.

Have you never drafted something, then deleted it?

Oh, get a grip, Dave. This is just silly on your part! I don't understand why you can't let it go. Elizabeth's comment was days ago and your friends have intentionally misconstrued it. Let it go, my brother, before it makes your more crazy.

7/12/2007 10:14 PM  
Blogger taomikael said...

"StandFirm made the crisis. For their own purposes. "

Got it in one. Griffith pulled out all of his smarmy propaganda techniques, and set about to get his sheeple in line with his program. When the first article and comments got to where their flaky blog system couldn't handle the volume for some browsers, he carefully shut the first thread down and opened a second, hoping to reignite the flames.

When some posted relevant material that took the discussion away from his desired call to action, he deleted the posts and threatened everyone if they didn't fall in line. Surprise! The sheeple baa'ed and quickly rolled over.

None of the stooges ever questioned Griffith's use of painfully obvious smears and distortions. Not one, for all their so pious pretense of being pure Christians, ever asked him why he was bearing false witness. Or why he himself named the priest that Rev. Kaeton was commenting about, and proceeded to fan the flames as high as he could -- even though the priest was supposedly a reasserter! Why let a little thing like integrity or friendship get in the way of a good propaganda line?

By their works, you will know them.

7/12/2007 10:30 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

"Sparrow," I'm merely defending Elizabeth against the hysterical "Burn the Witch" inquisition that Greg and the StandFirm gang have launched against her. I've never known a guy to be as hysterical as Greg is about Elizabeth. I don't know either of them personally, but he sure does seem to have a "thing" for her. Go figger! I don't know why he's so obsessed with her, but it sure does make me wonder . . . If he has a wife, I sure hope he pays as much attention to her as he does to Elizabeth+.

Yes, I read the post that Elizabeth actually decided to post. I agree wtih parts of it, and disagree with other parts.

I'm amazed that Greg persists in his lie about the chronology. But he does that well. That's his schtick, not mine.

If you want that lot to be the arbiters of what is "orthodox," then I happily leave you to it and him. Enjoy.

7/12/2007 10:35 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Dave, in response to your question, I'll ask another question...

You do realize, Lisa, that's not actually a response??

I suspect you don't have one.

But I will answer your question anyway: yes I think it's entirely appropriate that such rogue and irresponsible actions by a leader in TEC and president of her diocese' Standing Committee be brought to heel.

One last thing: criticism of Kaeton's actions is coming from both sides, not just the "Sicko Bottom Feeders" at SF. A number of liberal commenters, including Paul Stanley, have weighed at SF in with expressions of shock:

Just for the record, as a firm liberal/reappraiser, I thought that Kaeton’s post was utterly unacceptable, and her apology inadequate and squirmy. I can’t see any legitimate defense for what happened. I guess we all understand (weak as we are) that apologies are hard; it takes great strength of character to apologize wholeheartedly; that partially explains but does not excuse this.

Similar critical comments from the left can be found at Kaeton's own blog, Mark Harris' and Tobias Haller's, who himself has expressed dismay at Kaeton's words.

Dave, you continue to crack me up.

You say, "I'm not confused about whose blog I'm on," and yet you persist in directing to me questions that are obviously meant for Elizabeth. Is that because you're afraid to ask her those questions yourself?

When you get your nerve up, Dave, kindly take your questions to Elizabeth. Only she can answer questions about what she said or what she meant. I will answer questions about what I believe and what I think.

By my count, I've only addressed one question directly to Kaeton, regarding a comment she made here. It seemed appropriate that I respond to the comment, er, in the context she made it. For some reason this seems to have vexed you greatly, so let me explain something about blogs that might help you in the future:

When someone makes a comment, another commenter will often respond directly to that person. It makes the comment section, you know, sort of like a conversation, to keep things in context. See? You seem to think that all comments on a given blog are directed at the blog owner. That's actually not the case. Commenters, once again, are allowed to respond to each other.

Make sense?

7/12/2007 10:44 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Dave, you and I are well aware that this is not really a dialogue. You want to try to trip up me or Elizabeth – whom you're attacking vicariously here. OK. You want to live in fantasy land, I'll let you live there … for now. But I am growing very weary of it. All you have to say is "Burn the witch as Greg tells me." How very tiresome. You seem to have so much to say, Dave, that I suggest you get your own blog, …. 'cause I'm getting tired of your taking up my bandwidth without saying anything new.

Dave said: Yes I think it's entirely appropriate that such rogue and irresponsible actions by a leader in TEC and president of her diocese' Standing Committee be brought to heel. That's interesting. Then I wonder when you will urge that the liars and scofflaws on StandFirm be brought to heel. So far as I know, none of them has been charged. And they won't be. Because we are not engaging in the kind of scurrilous tacics that you seem to favor.

You lie, of course, by charging that Elizabeth+ is being accused from all sides. Yes, some progessives are taking issue with some of what she has said. I think that is a healthy thing. We have not yet drunk the KoolAid of "group-think" that your StandFirm friends are drinking. Yes, we can differ. Some can affirm all of what Elizabeth said, some progressives are distancing themselves, and some are coming down somewhere in the middle. Thank God for that.

I would again urge you: If you have problems with what Elizabeth said, then take it up with her. Or continue to hide out here if you must and if it feels safer to you.

My essay attacked StandFirm for its inquisitorial, orgiastic rhetoric. If you have arguments with that, take it up with me.

I don't know why you can't tell the difference.

Yeah, I understand about blogs. I have one. As far as I can tell, you don't yet have the courage to have one.

7/12/2007 11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I find it amusing that you feel that Dave is in the midst of a "self inflicted frenzy". His comments seem calm and reasonable to me. It seems like you are the one "in a frenzy". From reviewing the various blogs, I don't think anyone "manufactured this crisis". Many were upset by the comments made by EK (including me)and no, I didn't have to drink and Kool-aid or even read the SF blog to be upset. As the mother of six, I can tell you if these comments were directed at me, I would sue for defamation of character, liable and slander. Fortunately for EK, those she commented on are actual Christians and have themselves asked others to forgive her.

7/13/2007 12:10 PM  
Blogger David said...

Well, all I gots to say about this mess is the following:

Did Elizabeth+ make a mistake posting something intemperate ? Yes, perhaps. She seemed to think she did, removed it, and issued an apology. That's what good people do when they make a mistake.

She's a fallible human, just like all of us. But I see the fruits of the Spirit manifested again and again and again from Elizabeth Kaeton. She's a blessing to our church - warts and all (and we all have them ;)

As an aside, I've also read quite a few postings from the Kennedys (esp. Matt) and those writings I've had the stomach to finish were mean, arrogant, and manifested pretty much the opposite ministry of Mtr. Kaeton.

But as "that book" mentions, you don't get figs from thistles...

7/13/2007 3:21 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

"Anonymous," here's the funny thing: You won't find on Elizabeth's blog the comments that she's being bludgeoned with. Why? Because 45 minutes after posting her essay, she had 2nd thoughts, took it down, edited it to get rid of the intemperate remarks, and republished the new version. If Greg didn't have such a desperate need to "Get Elizabeth," her comments wouldn't have been seen by more than a handful of people. Greg and the SF crowd are whipping their followers into a frenzy about what Elizabeth self-censored. I think that's just bizarre. Don't you feel manipulated?

Yep. SF and its adherents like Dave are in the midst of a self-administered frenzy. That's just how it is. It bemuses me.

"Anonymous" said: It seems like you are the one "in a frenzy". I'm sorry you think I'm "in a frenzy." I am most certainly angry to see the SFiF gang attack a virtual friend based on what she decided not to post. Can you get your head around that, "Anonymous"? She's being attacked on the basis of some paragraphs she deleted. Does that not strike you as most bizarre?

"Anonymous," I'm sorry you're feeling upset. But hear this clearly: You are allowing yourself to be upset by words that Elizabeth decided not to publish, and which the SF gang continues to publish. Don't you feel manipulated?

7/13/2007 8:40 PM  
Blogger muerk said...

I've been watching all this play out and I'd like to say this. Greg Griffith didn't make this an issue. He made Rev. Kaeton accountable for something she published. I appreciate that she pulled the post quickly, that was the right thing to do.

But my respect would have been greater for Rev. Keaton had she made an unqualified apology, rather than trying to apportion blame on Griffith for pointing out what she had actually done (albeit with quick regret).

No matter where people think the fault lies, either with Kaeton for publishing it or Griffiths for talking about it, Rev. Anne Kennedy has acted with charity and prudence. I think we could all learn something from that.

7/14/2007 3:27 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

David said:

Did Elizabeth+ make a mistake posting something intemperate ? Yes, perhaps.

Perhaps accusing a fellow priest, of whom you have no personal or first-hand knowledge, of harboring murderous proclivities towards that priest's children, is intemperate?


Yes, perhaps it is.

Lisa said:

She's being attacked on the basis of some paragraphs she deleted. Does that not strike you as most bizarre?

As I pointed out, she is being criticized for threatening the well-being of the Kennedy household, a threat she has yet to withdraw or apologize for. In fact it was in her "apology" that she restated and expanded in great detail just exactly how she was poised to carry out this threat. To be criticized for such reckless and unwarranted behavior is not bizzare. In fact as a parent of four and a confirmed member of a parish in TEC, where Kaeton is a priest as well as a leader at the diocesan and General Convention level, I take her threats very seriously, and believe absolutely she should be reprimanded and disciplined for her actions.

Your post and further comments imply that Greg Griffith has whipped his minions into a frenzy over nothing. Is a persistent threat to a family's children nothing? Was it conduct becoming a priest to issue such a threat to begin with?

Kaeton's actions and stated intentions are very, very disturbing. That a priest and leader in TEC could harbor such horrific thoughts and publish them, even for 45 minutes, (or four hours) is shocking, and the outcry from SF and others is entirely appropriate.

7/14/2007 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


In what other business do we have the delusion that people will be perfect? Don't go nattering on ad infinitum - it's a bore.


7/15/2007 7:40 PM  

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