Me and My Shadow

Well, I finally did it--I cancelled my subscription to The Living Church, something I probably should have done years ago. I hung on for a long time, feeling that it was important to know what others in the Episcopal Church were saying and writing.

Though my high blood pressure is familial, reading The Living Church certainly didn't help it any. Now I've decided that I don't need to read any more issues of TLC (there's an anagram for you!) to know what's being said. It's the same, issue after issue. The blame for the mess the Church is in belongs to Katherine Jefferts Schiori and Gene Robinson. The final straw came when I read an editorial in the last issue taking Gene Robinson to task for his prayer at the inauguration activities. The article was headlined "Gene Robinson had an opportunity to witness for Christ and he didn't." Mind you, Gene Robinson is someone who, in the minds of schismatics, isn't worthy to witness for Christ yet he merits a full length editorial when he allegedly doesn't.

Quoting Duncan Macleod at PostKiwi.com: "The very act of pinning the weight of evil on a character, be it Saddam Hussein or the molester in the news, prevents us from dealing with our own shadow - our own capacity to distort God’s gift of life. In the time of McCarthyism in the 1950s, the enemy was communism. Individuals and groups were singled out for harsh treatment and rejection - because of their perceived lack of loyalty. I’ve seen the same dynamic at work in churches sick with mutual suspicion and fault-finding."

Our Church is certainly exhibiting its shadow side, yet we seem to be the only ones who don't see it. In our anger, confusion and distress, we look for someone to blame for the situation we're in. Very human, very understandable. But I'm reminded of the old Pogo cartoon that others of my generation will remember. "We have met the enemy and he is us."

We are a Church that is behaving badly--all of us. Pulling in every direction away from each other. It's hard to walk through this stuff, but the going is better if we join hands rather than curl them into fists. Someday perhaps there will be a publication called The Healing Church, to which we could all happily subscribe.


Anonymous said...

The Episcopal Church is not the only denomination that is undergoing crisis. Many of us who are involved in other ministries are disillusioned with the hierarchies of the denominations. However, Christianity will survive. The Call of the Master echoes across the ages, "Leave your nets and follow me". May we have the courage to scrap the tired old agendas(nets) that don't work and begin to follow the True Word that leads to Victory and Eternal Life. I applaude Pat's decision to stop her subscription to a newspaper that offends her. It is a first step in scrapping what doesn't work and isn't fixable!

The Host's Nest said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for your encouraging words. I know that we Episcopalians are not the only ones struggling right now, and it's good to know that others are bravely moving on.