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March 25, 2004



Sorry, mate. I think he's quite right. He appropriated the language of violence in order to make the point that this group of cowboys had done something illegal, outside of the rule of church law, and had done violence not only to Methodists (particularly Wesleyans), but to the whole covenant which binds the UMC together. Both are violent things to do. Both are theological and emotional violence. His rhetoric is entirely justified. If you don't believe that the conservative Methodists are feeling violated now, read some of the Bishop's statements at Good News. Or maybe you could talk to my Aunt. She wouldn't and couldn't say her liberal catechism on gay relationships (despite her personal involvement with many gay people), and they forced her out of her pulpit, and her church into a corner labelled "Bigoted". You don't think that's theological violence? You don't think that the AAC is feeling violated by an illegal mob about now? I think it's entirely justified. (And, for the record, I have been a victim of physical violence. If we're comparing victim badges here, that is. ;-))


A couple of points.

The AAC may or may not feel "violated" by an mob, but the AAC hasn't responded in an irenic way. With the threats of schism, its own commission of illegal acts under canon law (irregular confirmations and such), falling prey to Donatism, and immovable demands, the AAC is at least as guilty of the types of sins that it accuses more liberal Episcopalians of committing.

And second, it's very interesting that we're all so focused on church law here, considering the relationship that Christ had to the Law. Not that I'm saying that law has no place, but it's worth questioning whether our service to our law gets in the way of Christ's transformative life for each of us, not just with respect to LGBTI issues but to the whole of our lives on earth.

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