Friday, September 04, 2009

Stand Wobbly bans continue

I had to laugh today when I received a link in email from the Rather Not, blogger upon having joined the honored ranks of those who are banned from the Stand Firm Blog. The comment that earned a banning is reproduced below in its entirety. Judge for yourselves if any reasonable person would ban a commenter for what you will see. I post this only to remind you that here, on The Continuum, we welcome dissent as long as it is polite and not merely repetition. People who hide from dissent simply have no real belief or convictions, and their fast trigger-finger practice of banning is simple dishonesty and cowardice.*

He writes:

However, I became annoyed enough to comment today when someone alerted me to a couple of threads on A Certain Anglican Blog Which Shall Not Be Named. To be fair, the author of one post (or those who administer the site) had warned that those who used the term “priestess” would be banned. However, he or they apparently did not feel that someone who used “priestess” only to declare it insulting crossed that line. Apparently, one only gets banned if one approves of the term “priestess,” not if one objects. Thus one commenter wrote

I think I will stay away from this thread except to say that I do appreciate that people be mandated not to use “priestess”. Yes, it is insulting and I have never known any ordained Episcopal or Lutheran clergywoman who uses it.

This was a bit much for me, so I fired off the following (actually posting it on two threads):

I am sorry that there are some who still find the term “priestess” insulting. It is, however, still perfectly unexceptionable and proper English. See

The author and the press cited above are hardly bastions of conservatism in the gender wars. If the objection by some in Christian quarters to “priestess” is that it carries pagan or gnostic connotations, well, yes. That’s the point.

Apparently, some do not care to be reminded that there is, in fact, an ideological or theological set of assumptions—true or untrue, valid or invalid, pleasant or unpleasant—on BOTH sides of this argument, and that those who declare the use of “priestess” insulting are in fact making a theological or ideological statement every bit as much as those who use it. Declaring it to be insulting is merely using emotion to blackmail objectors into using language in a way that caters to the very arguments to which they are objecting. So get over it. I will not allow my use of language to be policed by anyone who says she is “insulted” when in fact she is merely objecting to the position I have taken.

(I urge the reader to click on the link to Princeton University Press above to see my point.)

This was immediately deleted from both threads (as was the ‘thank you’ I received from another commenter) and I was declared banned. I have yet to see similar punishment meted out to the woman who styles herself FenelonSpoke and who declared the term “priestess” insulting (and parenthetically, I’m sure Fenelon is turning over in his grave). Arguments on this Certain Blog only go one way, it seems.

I’m not actually all that bothered by this. I admit it—I asked for it. But the double standard is troubling.


*They have posthumously banned C.S. Lewis. Banning a word is an attempt to control thought. I find the SF policy to be wicked, and Satanic. It is an attack on truth.


William Tighe said...

Go back to that thread on SW, and note that in the very first comment on the thread the word "priestess" occurs. Of course, that poster, "FenelonSpoke" is a female clergyman -- "ordained," it appears, in the United Methodist Church -- who throws hissy-fits over at Midwest Conservative Journal whenever WO is dismissed for the strange conceit that it is. So what we have is that they announce a blanket ban on the word, then immediately allow it in the case of this remarkably passive-aggressive ministerette, surrounded by the "cordon sanitaire" of quotation marks, and then ban Professor IRNS when he attempts to defend the word.

This is straight out of Orwell's *Animal Farm,* and the silly totalitatian p*ss-pot porkers who run such a Stalinist blog deserve to have their tails twisted as often as possible, and to be held up to obloquy and ridicule on all possible occasions. I hope that you will join in with me in doing so.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Gee, Bill, tell us what you really think.

We have learned that this also appeared before IRNS wrote his comment:

Obviously WO is "on topic" for this thread. However, in addition to the standard SF policies:

1. There will be no use of the word "priestess". Correct or incorrect, many find it insulting.
2. #1 is not debatable.

Should you choose to violate warning 1 or 2 your decision will also represent a choice to relinquish your posting privileges.

I am trying to decide if this contemptible behavior by the SF dictators is more akin to kindergarten or to a totalitarian state. Perhaps it is a little of both. They wet their panties in fear of a word!

By the way, this means that they already ban any quotations from one of C.S. Lewis' best known essays. That is ok, because Lewis himself would have been banned, no doubt.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Matt Kennedy who posted the thread at SFIF from which IRNS was banned is an interesting fellow for two reasons:

(1) He is married to a priestess.

(2) He is now against WO. See this comment by him on this thread.

Excerpt: "Personally, I have come to the point where I believe WO should be ended on biblical grounds. I think those who are currently ordained ought to be the last. I used to hold to a limited WO women could be ordained but not fill headship roles (rector or bishop etc).

Now, I think that position is flawed. I do not know what authority or role women ought to hold in the Church, but I no longer have confidence that ordained presbyter is one of them.

What am I going to do about that? I continue to believe it is not an essential matter but now that I think I see the matter in a different light Anne and I have some things to think through together and we are presently doing that."

Has Matt Kennedy+ let the Stand Firm readership know of his change of mind, and that he's now against WO?

If so, when? If not, why not?

Canon Tallis said...

I gave up reading SW when I realized that they did not or could not take Scripture seriously enough to consider obeying it. To remain engaged with heresy and heretics is to give it and them power over you which they were not intended to have.It is best simply to obey St Paul and associate with the orthodox rather than to whimper because some will never surrender their false beliefs.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Has Matt Kennedy+ let the Stand Firm readership know of his change of mind, and that he's now against WO?

And, will he have to sleep on the sofa?

Anonymous said...

Matt Kennedy reveals the weakness of his position on WO when he writes,

"I think those [females] who are currently ordained ought to be the last."

He evidently has come to reject WO on purely prudential grounds, rather than on a truly theological basis. I wish he had written, "I think those females who are currently permitted to function as priests should come to know that their purported ordinations were invalid ab initio, and injurious to the health of Christ's mystical body." But that not his position.
It is not enough merely to be "against" WO. One must reject it for truly sacramental reasons, not just out of personnel hiring policy.

Sandra McColl said...

FR WELLS! Hullo! Where have you been? We've been worried about you.

As for sleeping on sofas, Alice Linsley spent last night on mine. Small world.

John A. Hollister said...

T.U.D. quotes Reverend Matthew Kennedy as writing: "Personally, I have come to the point where I believe WO should be ended on biblical grounds. I think those who are currently ordained ought to be the last. ... What am I going to do about that? I continue to believe it is not an essential matter...."

My question is, how can something be contrary to Biblical principles, so contrary that it ought not be done, and yet simultaneously (a) permitted to continue on the principle that "We'll live with the mistakes we've made but we just won't make any more of them"?

Does Mr. Kennedy thin Biblical norms are "sometime" things? If so, he should be sleeping in the doghouse, not on the sofa.

And relevant to this is Sandra McColl's comment about Alice Linsley's sleeping on her sofa. Mrs. Linsley has been publishing, in several successive parts, a very courageous and perceptive account of how she first came to realize the anomaly inherent in her position as a clergyperson in T.E.O. and then how she dealt with that realization.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

For those who frequent Facebook, there is now a new account devoted to SFIF entitled "Heterodox Citings."
It promises to collect the theological faux pas of SFIF. (Quite an undertaking!)

The most amusing feature of SFIF is when Matt Kennedy puts on his Geneva gown and tries to present himself as a Latter-day Westminster Divine, Abp James Ussher Redivivus!

Sandra McColl said...

Alice actually told her story at a conference over here and didn't hold back on any of it. What she 'did about it' was done at great cost. I think I'd have found a thousand means of justifying staying where I was had I been in her position.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

In an email chat about all this, I made the following observation:

Fr.Wells is coming from the same place that I come from. In the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC) we draw a line at 1976, after which Orders and also Confirmation must be repeated by conditional sacramental rites for our members and clergy. If Robert Duncan himself suddenly wanted to be counted among the ACC clergy, and was accepted, he would have to be conditionally ordained first to the diaconate and then to the priesthood, assuming he was ordained after '76, and certainly conditionally consecrated since we could not recognize his Orders as a bishop (I know that was after '76). The sacramental Intention of TEC became dubious at best in 1976. Yesterday Archbishop Haverland confirmed 11 people here at St Benedict's (and one shut-in at his home the day before, making the total 12). Of this number, which consisted of both children and adults, were three former Lutherans, and also three former Episcopalians who had been through the Confirmtation Rite of the Episocpal Church, 1979.

Anonymous said...

I was once banned from Viagraville. It is a badge of honour as it is proof of one's sanity.