Saturday, July 23, 2005


What this blog (and the world) needs is more uniform policies -- policies governing all manner of things.

The first policy I would like to adopt (doubtless in order shortly to abandon it) concerns the best terminology governing the divide between the various parties of our current theological dissensions. I have in mind something like this:

A person who believes the consecration of Gene Robinson was a good thing is X.

A person who believes the consecration of Gene Robinson was a bad thing is Y.

Now, I know that this gets into the debate about universals (cf. William of Ockham for the right answer -- Ahem, Johnn Awesomo) and the categories (cf. Aristotle for naming the problem) and what not. I am also aware that it involves, by definition, generalizing. Nevertheless, I believe that generalizing helps us get on in the world (cf. the various aformentioned debates). We just function better in life if we can divide stuff up into genera.

So, some options are:

Conservative / Liberal

Traditionalist / Progressive

Theological Republican / Theological Democrat

Reasserter / Reappraiser (a la Fr. Harmon's terms of choice)

Griswoldian / Akinolite

It is now time for you, Beloved, to post a comment on what you think might be best. Yes, Beloved, your Blogmaster needs you. I wouldn't call this a "vote", as in the end I will just decide how to proceed. But I am interested in hearing what you think.

Personally, I like the subtlety and nuance manifested in a question once asked me by a monk at Mount Athos: "Are you Orthodox or are you heretic?" I showed him, though. I out-subtled him with a short excursus on the via media. For the duration of my stay they made me sit in the exonarthex of the church during the offices.

Okay, comment.


J-Tron said...

Definitely not "Theological Democrat / Theological Republican" as I'd like nothing to do with either party in my politics or my theology.

The problem with most of those is that I can see myself adopting either label, depending on the circumstance.

How about pro-Gene and anti-Gene? That would cut right to the chase, wouldn't it?

Ah well, doesn't really matter. In the end, people who post will use whatever they will, regardless of what rule you set up. ;-)

Adam said...

I think Griswoldian/Akinolite is a very bad choice. I assert strongly that I am neither. In fact, (uncharitable attitude alert) I think they should both be removed from their respective offices and given a firm slap on the back of the head. (end of uncharitable attitude)

I like the first two options for their ease and standardness and I like J-tron's suggestion as well.

Joseph said...

I prefer to use the Less Filling vs Tastes Great categories in theological disputes, although there is a built in bias. "Less Filling" is a critique of substance and nourishment, while "Tastes Great" is a reference to subjective and personal experience.

Not yet Catholic said...

I prefer "orthodox" and "heretical." They have served the church well in the past, and - to be frank - the deliberate search for other terms is a de facto accepance of the ludicrous notion that the truth is determined by who eventually wins the argument. No matter which side "wins out" during this transient slice of history in which we find ourselves embedded, the truth will remain the truth whether I choose to believe it or not.

J-Tron said...

NYT, here's the problem with your argument: I can affirm everything that you said, but I'd be willing to bet that we disagree entirely.

The Ranter said...

Traditionalist/Revisionist perhaps?
The Griswoldian/Akinolite is especially horrid. I would rather be called Griswoldian over Akinolite... though I am on Akinola's theological side.
What I would like to know is, why have we allowed this stupid issue to so divide us? I mean, read most anything and you'll find both sides are just spewing poison at each other. The rhetoric that is going back and forth between the two sides is so nasty and filled with anger and contempt; it leaves me wanting to stand back and have nothing to do with either side. And the assumptions people are making about those who hold different views are just diabolical-- just because I think VGR's consecration to the Episcopacy was a mistake does not believe I think homosexuals are all horrid people who are going to hell, nor does it mean I think it's right to stone or otherwise execute people for it.
But you read the likes of Louie Crew, and he would have you think you were some sort of hate-monger for being conservative. I give up. This is so fucking depressing. The church should be doing other business, we are called to do other things, and instead we are forced to be stuck in this one moment, and there seems to be no moving forward without the church being destroyed in the process.

Joe said...

the problem with NYC's labels is that this is in the minds of many what amounts to a rehashing of Donatism. The sins or unworthiness of an individual to be a cleric do not change the fact that that individual is a clergyman (excluding women for the moment as that is another matter altogether).

Therefore those that most would label "orthodox" may in fact be truly heretical having been condemned by an Ecumenical Council of the undivided church.

Just my two pence worth.

Joe Zollars

Not yet Catholic said...

Not quite sure how we got to Donatism from where we started - I expect the sacraments of an immoral priest are valid (that's covered in the Articles of Religion, w/o having to go back to the Councils); I'm not sure about the sacraments of a heretical one - probably depends on the particular heresy involved. The current heresies all seem to be one or another variant on gnosticism. BTW - when was the last time anybody invented a relly new heresy? I'm not sure where I'd even start if I wanted to make one up. Maybe something involving space aliens????