Hero of the Day: Robert of the Llama Butchers
December 19, 2006 10:35 AM
Fellow litigator and very established blogger Robert, of the Llama Butchers, has been stewing about what to do about the Episcopal crack-up. He's very up on the issues, and his parish in Virginia is not. And, it sounds like the rector is pretty liberal. Last night, Robert's parish had its vestry meeting, and Topic A was the decision of several major parishes in Virginia to re-allign with a different province of the Anglican Communion (and sever their ties with the Episcopal Church).
Robert's been struggling with finding the most effective approach. Last night's vestry meeting started pretty rough. He was expecting the usual liberal talking points...
But what I wasn't expecting was the viciousness with which these talking points were paraded. Usually, there is much head-shaking and tsk-tsking, accompanied by sorrowful laments about those who are troubled, challenged or confused in their journey and a call for those of us still on the right path to pray for them, for ourselves and for reconsiliation in Jesus' big ol' tent.
Not last night, though. No, instead the tone was positively brutal. Not only are the ringleaders a pack of tongue-swallowing reactionaries, besotted with delusions of grandeur and hell-bent on a political and economic coup, their followers are nothing but dupes and morons. Further, their project is doomed to failure. Currently, they are all united only in hate (an actual quote, btw); once the thing they hate is gone, they'll proceed to fracture and splinter even further. Indeed, the Rector was positively gloating over the eventual downfall of the Rector of Truro or, as he called him, "the new self-styled African Bishop of North America." Even the results of the secessionist parishes' voting was questioned, with dark hints tossed about concerning vote suppression and manipulation. As for the Diocese' handling of the property issue? Well, I think they're probably going to let the smaller fry go, largely because there isn't much property involved anyhow and also because the Church believes these groups will come back begging for re-admittance in a year or two anyway. But the big fish? It's hammer time. Truro and Falls Church have struck a very sore nerve and I don't see the Diocese compromising with them at all, at all.
So what do you do after someone suggests that the people who share your point of view are "all united only in hate?"
Well, I sat through the presentations by the Rector and the Property Committee representative quietly stewing, while most of those around me appeared to swallow the Party Talking Points hook, line and sinker. Indeed, the thing became a regular pep rally. Go Church! Rah Rah! Rah! But then somebody proposed a vote of thanks by the vestry to the Bishop for all his hard work. Here was where I thought I had an opening.
"I'm very sorry," I said, "but I'm afraid I'll have to abstain from such a vote."
"Whaaaaaaa...????" said the meeting.
Yea, Robert!!! We don't want to steal his thunder, so to read the rest of what he said, go here.