Friday, January 25, 2008

Calculated Benightedness

This from the current leadership of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to the clergy and delegates…

“The following account appeared the next day in the Los Angeles Times. Please be aware as you read that the Times printed a correction today, saying that “although attendees walked toward the Communion table, only Christians were encouraged to partake of Communion. Out of respect for Hindu beliefs, the Hindus were invited to take a flower. Also, the article described Hindus consuming bread during Communion, but some of those worshipers were Christians wearing traditional Indian dress.”

The letter then went on to provide the first, already established as incorrect article.

What do you do with a group of people who are given the facts, acknowledge these facts and then proceed to that which has already been determined to be erroneous?

You shake your head, kick the dust off of your sandals and walk away, muttering prayers for the deliberately ignorant. All we can do is to “Assemble…and come together, draw near, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge—those who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save…” (Isaiah 45:20)

Today is the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle. It is fitting that the current leadership of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth would seem to be in such need on this day of days. For are we not in need re-evaluating our views when we deliberately and calculatingly hold fast to that which has been proven wrong?

Sr. Joan Chittister in her Visions and Viewpoints newsletter asked and answered the question: “What can we learn from the spiritual heritage of other traditions? Answer: that God is in the heart of humankind and if we listen clearly, we can hear that same voice in another language. We can hear the voice in the Koran, the Dhammapada, the Bhagavad Gita, the Talmud and the Lotus Sermons. All we have to do is listen.”

The posting that created such a stir on the House of Bishops and Deputies listserve and had people from both sides of the fence agreeing with one another can be found at http://tinyurl.com/35zrcz. So this was a big deal in that most on both sides rarely find anything about which to agree. Calmer voices questioned whether or not any one had actually attended the service and why was everyone in such an uproar. Soon after a link to the LA Times correction was submitted to the same listserve - http://tinyurl.com/3djjwt. The gist of the uproar was the fact that non-baptized persons partook of the bread during the Eucharist. It was noted in the correction that this did not happen; rather, the Hindus who participated in the communion were actually Christians.

How quickly we jump to judge others! How slow we are to acknowledge our errors!

Does this correction by the LATimes satisfy the current leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of FW? Oh, no…much easier to loudly proclaim – DON’T confuse me with the facts!

I think on this day noted for St. Paul’s Conversion, we need to assemble...and draw near" and heartily pray for all those who so tenaciously cling to their ignorance in this benighted diocese. This messgage from the people who control the diocese is one which should be seen for what it is - yet one more attempt to take the truth and twist it to their convoluted ways. No one has to lie about Jack Iker or the people who blindly follow him...one only has to read the reports put out by them from their own offices. The truth is fairly clear...if one's eyes have not been blinded...

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