Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My good friend Lisa, in her post today, alerted us Piskie readers to the actions of the Diocese of South Carolina, which she charged might be "secessionist and duplicitous".

I responded, because it showed me the clear, highly charged path between conditions and actions. It's almost as clear as the path that creates a lightning bolt between cloud and ground:

Since 2009, TEC has not received a pledge from the DofSC greater than 0.7% of its income. By contrast, even the DofLouisiana has pledged in the 10-11% range; NC is at 21%, and VA is above 17%. SC is de facto in secession.

I have two proposals, one hard line, the other softer. Hardline? Adopting the principle that one puts one's money where one's mouth is, I propose we replace the entire SC standing committee and bishop based on their failure to do their part to uphold the Church to which they claim to belong. IOW, show me your commitment to TEC by your pledge and its fulfillment. This is the God of Judgement, in spades. There will be winners and losers.

The softer line entails more work. Organize. Create a coalition. Invade the state as CORE did the South in 1961 with its Freedom Rides. Enlist Integrity, HRC, and any other organizations willing to participate. Visit the churches in the DofSC. All of them, if you have the staff. Engage the vestries and clergy. Ask for time to speak to "adult formation". Put human faces to labels like "gay" and "lesbian". You want friends? Be a friend. There are dozens of ways by which you can do this, you know them, you can't do it just by e-mail or Twitter or blogs. You have to be there and make the commitment to be a real friend. Visit a sick relative, hug a stranger, make a phone call in support of a parishioner's need. The softer line converts adversaries into friends. Net, no losers.

The bishop's stance? Up to his congregations. The change starts from the ground up. When the civil rights movement changed us forever, some fifty years ago, did you see the change coming from the top down? Weren't you listening?
 I recognize the risk I have created, that I might be thrust into a leadership role in such an effort. Understand that I greatly prefer a consultative role. I recognize that such a role transfers responsibility to another, whose values may not coincide with my own. I have not given sufficient thought to the morality of such a decision.

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