"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Not sure what to title this (I've changed it several times) (moved)

Searching on the web for something entirely different, I happened to stumble across my own little article entitled "A Case for Leaving the Episcopal Church." As the search turned up my own name, it drew my eye, obviously. I found a few things interesting:

First, that that little bit of mental meandering has circulated so far outside of the diocese of Pittsburgh as to be picked up by Anglicans United and some blog out of the diocese of Central New York, both of which republished it without my knowledge, though with proper credit (or blame, depending on the reader's perspective). The Central New York version is what popped up in my search, though someone had pointed me to Anglicans United a while ago and I was aware of that one.

Second, I found it interesting that someone at least read the thing and commented on the Central New York site. But what was most intriguing of all was the content of some of those comments. I was accused, presumably because I find my own call to holy orders to be less important than the good of the Church, of "internalized misogeny" wherein supposedly I hate myself for being a woman because somewhere along the lines some man must have told me to. More interesting, of course, was that the writer, whose condescending tones were impossible to miss, was a male. The debate, between two men I have never met, went on for a bit as they tried to argue with one another about how they seemed to assume I felt.

Have we truly fallen so far? Gentlemen (and ladies, wherever you may be) I do not need your psychologizing. I have chosen not to be a priest and cling lightly to my diaconal calling not because I think my feminity anything less. I do so because the so called brave pioneers of women's priesting were acting in ungodly rebellion with no regard to the good of the body which as priests they should be bound to protect. Every woman priest who is ordained in the Episcopal Church (and believe me I know several good ones) unwittingly participates in that act of rebellion. I cannot, in good faith, be part of that. That's not the only reason I remain a deacon, but it is perhaps one of the most immovable. I would welcome a re-evaluation of the nature of women's orders because I really do believe it is allowable (and therefore women in orders have nothing to fear from re-evaluating) and I also believe that to separate so dramatically from the rebellious beginning is the only way to remove the stain of those actions from women's ministry. In other words, women in orders have nothing to lose and everything to gain in so doing.

In the end, women's ordination remains an issue. Once the dust settles on the current divide, we will find ourselves in communion with folks who by and large cannot accept our ordained women, priests and (to a lesser extent) deacons. How we respond to those folks, who in the case of the Southern Cone-- I've said it before and I'll say it again-- really have gone above and beyond the call of duty in accepting Pittsburgh, girls and all. (Gracias, beloved Archbishop!), really will define the future of the Anglican Communion.

Where am I going with this? I don't know. Perhaps it is just a way of responding to the murmur I seem to have sparked. Perhaps it is a way of expressing my mild disgust with it all. Mostly I guess it's just food for thought.

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