Thursday, August 21, 2008

Archbishop Williams (yes, this one this time)

Poor +Rowan. Lately everybody has been picking on him -- both the "progressives" and the "traditionalists." (That's the problem with standing in the middle of the road -- you are likely to be hit by trucks coming from both directions.)

Anyway, somebody recently made reference to +Rowan's 2002 small (in size) book, Writing in the Dust, written in the wake of September 11. So I pulled it off the shelf and read it again last night. It really is a remarkable book -- wise and deeply thoughtful. I am particularly struck by Chapter 5, "Against Symbols."

He writes: "'Using other people to think with'; that is, using them as symbols for points on your map, values in your scheme of things. When you get used to imposing meanings in this way, you silence the stranger's account of who they are; and that can mean both metaphorical and literal death." (p. 64) He speaks of Christians and Muslims, of Christians and Jews, of the West and the East, of men (males) and women.

He doesn't say anything about gay people, nor in the context of the book is there any particular reason why he should. But it seems to me that the sin of "using other people to think with" applies just as much to what we think and say about gays as about Muslims, Jews, women, and all "others."


(Hmm. Do you suppose it's possible? -- Grand Tufti, who are you really? And what have you done with our Rowan??)


Doorman-Priest said...

"Poor Rowan" my arse. Its all self-inflicted and due to vascillation.

A career in the diplomatic service clearly awaits me.

Anonymous said...

Please excuse my intrusion on this thread but I wish to respond to your post on Mark Harris’s blog. My posts there do not appear to get through.

I find it ironic that those who object to power point often admire stained glass windows in Churches. Don’t they see they serve the same purpose?

Poor Rowan is finding one cannot lead unless you are true to oneself. I hope that he will retire before these internal tensions may possibly destroy him.

airedale said...

Fr. Bill, Time for a new post!!!!!

Fred Preuss said...

This is what happens when you have a state church; you can't appoint the ones you want or get rid of the ones you don't like.
Separate church and state now!

Anonymous said...

I remember what an Associate of the Order of the Holy Cross said, Fr. Eugene Blankenship once said: "When the flames get high...don't be a screaming martyr..". Its easy to appease when one stands in the's awfully hard when the heat is on.

Fred Preuss said...

Anonymous, the Episcopal church has been flaming for so long now that screaming about it would be a waste of time.