Monday, December 01, 2008

The Objectors

Many of you frequent the same sites I do. We have our friends and truth tellers. And we have Those Other Ones – in the blogosphere and on the HoBD list – whose sole raison d'être seems to be hating the Episcopal Church, calling us apostate, and assuring us of God's wrath to come. I call them The Objectors. Bless their hearts!

Ever since I plugged into the blogosphere, I have been puzzled by the fact that those people who claim to have left the Episcopal Church seem to spend so much of their time and energy looking back (like Lot's wife) on the Episcopal Church for the sole purpose of spewing apothegms on us.

A few days ago, I saw another blast from one of those people who has left TEC. After much rambling and railing against the Episcopal Church, he said about TEC, "Quite simply, we no longer care."

His interlocutor replied: "Yes, you guys care so little that you spend your days and nights trolling Episcopal blogs. This all reminds me of those guys who swear that they are over their old girlfriends yet drive by their houses all the time, call constantly and hang up, etc. It's all very stalkerish."

Yes! That summed it up in a nutshell. Why is it that so many folks who claim to have left TEC still stalk our church and its bloggers like obsessed, ditched lovers? They claim they've moved on ... but they just can't quit us.

It reminds me of an old quip: "How can I miss you if you won't leave?"

Like the guy in Brokeback Mountain, they just can't quit us. The poor dears.


Blogger Jim said...


Leaving is a lie. They keep circling like vultures for two reasons I think:

1) They all predict our doom. If we do not fail in love, charity or ministry they may have to ask if that is God's mind they are reading.

2) They want something they cannot have because we wont give it to them -- legitimacy. Every time I read something like Mr. Duncan's comments as he left Canterbury without his Nutwork being a new province it is clear. His comments about the diminished ABC were really a screach over what he did not get.


12/01/2008 1:19 PM  
Blogger Barbi Click said...

Lisa, this is so true. Someone at the (schismatic) diocesan office of Fort Worth (as you already probably know) checks the blogs at lest once per week. Actually, I think who ever it is must have an alert set up whenever Jack's name is used in vain or otherwise. Must be a full time job! Or it used to be.
But who the heck cares anymore? I just visited FW and all seems to be amazingly well there. There are a lot of very happy people.
Get on with your bad self, Jack. You are wasting time.

12/01/2008 3:55 PM  
Blogger Kirkepiscatoid said...

It is just as you said, it's like a bad romance. I am expecting the drunken 4 a.m. phone call any time!

12/01/2008 5:43 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

You all have helped me clarify what I was thinking.

The objectors can't really feel validated until they see us destroyed. They're not really valid in their own clinging to the "faith once delivered to the saints." So their future really depends on our destruction. And we ain't destroyed ... we ain't going anywhere.

Thanks for thinking with me.

12/02/2008 1:30 AM  
Blogger Lindy said...

You know, I don't know if that's it or not. I didn't leave on my own. I got kicked out, and it's clear that I'm not getting back in either. But, here I am... still on the Episcopal blogs. Five years on, you can't really get rid of me.

I've thought about this a lot. I really would be better off if I just moved on. But, there are two reasons I don't:

1 - I still care. Probably always will. I care for my friends who remain in TEC, and for the institution. I loved this church for a long time. I can't just turn that off and I imagine that it's hard for the objectors too.

2 - There's no where else to go. There is no other religious institutoion that captures my imagination and spirit like TEC did. I've looked around. There's just not a good substitute for TEC. If my love and passion had another institutional object maybe I wouldn't care so much, maybe I could let it go, move on. But, there is no other institutional object worthy of my attention.

I am not so sure that the objectors want to see TEC destroyed. I think that they are people of passion who do not yet have an appropriate institution to love and be a part of.

That's why I am such a fan of schism! The sooner it happens, the sooner everyone can get on with building the Kingdom of God; each one of us working towards whichever vision God has placed in our hearts.

I hope TEC will do whatever it can to help the objectors set up their own communion. I think we ought to help them. They clearly have the fire and the passion. Let's give them a venue in which they can use their gifts constructively.

But, that's just me.

12/03/2008 7:21 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Lindy, it's late and I'm weary, and I fear I won't do justice to your comment. I'll try to say a bit here.

First, when I refer to "the objectors," I'm talking about those folks who are leaving TEC and claiming we're apostate and heretics. I did not realize you have had to leave TEC. (And that makes me sad, and makes me want to know why.) I'm certainly not talking about real Episcopalians who have had to leave WingNut "Faux Episcopal" parishes.

Lindy, as I've read your comments on the various blogs, I always assumed you were still in an Episcopal parish. Want to tell us where you are and why?

I know what you mean about "no where else to go," Lindy. After GC06, I tried to leave the Episcopal Church. I visited the ELCA, the Presbyterians, the Methodists ... But none of them really felt like "church" to me. Finally, I came home to TEC ... despite the disappointment and frustration I felt. There just was no other home for me. Want to talk about your search?

I humbly disagree with your "take" on the "Anglicans" in the U.S. who are fleeing the Episcopal Church. The more I've thought about it, the more I think they need to see the current Episcopal Church destroyed, humiliated so they can see themselves [in their faux Nigerian, Southern Cone, etc.] dioceses as the REAL Anglicans.

At least that's how it looks to me tonight. OCICBW ...

12/03/2008 11:57 PM  
Blogger IT said...

My beloved is being rent out of her Catholic church by the Prop8 mess. TEC offers the potential of sanctuary for her. The problem is figuring out which parishes are friendly and which are not. I think it's important for you who are in TEC and see things as "they could be" to realize what a beacon things "as they are" can be to those deeply hurt by other churches.

12/04/2008 9:52 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

First, I.T., let me say I'm sorry to hear your BP is finally having to consider leaving the Romans. From all I've heard from you over these past few years, I have a sense of how important her church is to her. This must be truly wrenching, and I am sorry.

Second, let me tell you ... a decent part of my TEC parish's growth since 2003 has come from Roman converts. Here in conservative Missouri, more and more Romans are getting disgusted by the RCC's stance on many issues.

I know you and your BP would be welcome here. I'll trust others in your geography to recommend specific parishes.

12/04/2008 11:04 PM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

Here's a somewhat different take on your question, based on observations made in the Diocese of Central Florida over the past 6-7 years:

It's possible to become hooked on the sensations generated by continual chaos and controversy. I think the "leavers" who can't leave, as well as those who are still (barely) in the Episcopal Church but constantly stir the pot, are hooked on endogenously generated drugs.

The adrenalin rush they feel after each polarizing diatribe, each breakdown, each chaotic, out-of-control episode is (after all) what hard drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine mimic. "Leavers" and "pot-stirrers" are tapping into a powerful biological reward system, so powerful that laboratory animals have died of hunger and exhaustion while still pressing the levers that deliver it.

Our "leavers" and "pot-stirrers" need that rush, that feeling of power. They don't have insight into their addictions, however, so they continue to create chaos for everyone unfortunate enough to be around them.

The paranoid right -- the people who circulated the "Obama is a Muslim" e-mails during the last election -- are, many of them, also hooked on adrenaline. (Some, like Rush Limbaugh, are hooked on other drugs as well, of course.) There is quite a bit of overlap between committed members of the paranoid right and the "leavers" and "pot-stirrers" of the Episcopal Church, as a casual glance at Stand Firm! will show.

It's a real question for me which came first, but in many of the American cases I am aware of, the paranoid right-wing politics are primary, while the desire to destroy the Episcopal Church is secondary.

Had they been young forty years ago, many of these "leavers" and "pot-stirrers" would have been members of the extremist Sixties alphabet soup, equally in love with their own adrenalin rushes, and needing ever more chaos and violence to deliver the same rush (or Rush). As will happen with addictions.

12/06/2008 10:33 AM  
Blogger PseudoPiskie said...

"spend so much of their time and energy looking back (like Lot's wife)"

Look what happened to her. The salt of the earth they think they are may not be exactly what they think it is.

12/06/2008 2:12 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Charlotte, this is so good that I'm going to put it up on the front page. Thank you for those insights!

Pseudo, yes, I wish they would study Lot's wife a bit further.

12/06/2008 9:05 PM  
Blogger Lindy said...

Well, I was obviously feeling generous. But, I do want to believe the best about even those who might want me destroyed. There's obviously something unhealthy going on with many of the objectors. I don't know what it is. I just want to believe that they are on their way to health as are we all... eventually.

And sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you, btw. I don't get around to the blogs like I used to.

I think I blogged on getting kicked out of church once. I'll see if I can find that. I am actually weary, and wary, of talking about it. Maybe you should talk to Mary Green who kicked me out. She works as a chaplain at St. Luke's Hospital in Houston and her phone number at work is 832-355-3258. Call her if you want to know why I got kicked out. And if she gives you a comprehensible answer,let me know. And, no. I do not feel badly about putting her phone number on the www.

It is hard for me to think of myself as not an Episcopalian, and I am sure that comes across in my postings. But, for now anyway, I am not.

Glad I stopped by tonight.


12/15/2008 6:28 PM  
Blogger Lindy said...

I found the blog post I referenced earlier. Email me at hannukahlinda at gmail dot com if you want it.

12/15/2008 6:46 PM  

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