Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Motion to Reconsider

Naughton & Martins Provide a Forum for Conversation

Labels always fall short, but they are handy when we need to identify our "tribe." Time was, we were all the Episcopalian tribe, as distinct from the Protestant and Catholic tribes. But in these last 3 years, we've affiliated with other sub-tribes: liberal and conservative, "progressive" and "orthodox," "Network," "Windsor bishops," and so on. Fully cognizant of the shortcomings of such labels, we will nonetheless use them here.

Many of the liberals were delighted with the House of Bishops resolutions from Camp Allen. Just as many conservatives were profoundly dismayed by them. The secular press has emblazoned "schism" in their headlines, as the two "sides" have weighed in with reactions.

Indeed, schism seems all but inevitable, if one listens to the "sides."

For all the talk of the "broad middle of the Church" that came out of the 2006 General Convention, it's the left and right . . . or majority and minority . . . whose voices are dominating the discussion since Camp Allen.

The liberal Jim Naughton (Diocese of Washington's Daily Episcopalian) and the conservative Father Dan Martins (who blogs here) are attempting to let dialogue break out.

At the Daily Episcopalian, Naughton invited the conservative Martins to write a guest editorial. Martins has accepted the invitation, writing "A Motion to Reconsider." They hope the essay may open dialogue. Naughton writes: "I am hoping that the article will inspire conversation that might move liberals and conservatives closer to a mutual understanding of what each side needs from the other if we are to remain together as a Church."

Go here to read background and the ground rules for discussion. Then go here to read the essay itself (simply because it's in a format that's easier to read). Then join in the discussion at one of those sites.

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