Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Legal Eagles Fly Away

I keep receiving notices of the strong possibility of being involved in legal action because of comments that I publish.

This is a theological, sociology of theology, and management of institutions analysis blog. The religious bodies involved can be large, small and very small. So it tries to be less about people and more about institutions - neighbours, similarities, differences: who is attracted and who is not.

If I write something that is inadequate, I try to make it adequate. I try to participate in fair comment, and this is difficult when it comes to handling individuals. What is acceptable might be judged as to what is stated far and wide in other blogs.

When someone writes a comment, that comment is in addition and does not have to be here. If someone strongly objects to a comment, then I take notice. If the comment is personal, and attacks someone's character, I am going to remove it (I allow comments to come on freely, up to a time limit).

As regards specifically on the Open Episcopal Church, I have made two postings without taking sides. I have focussed particularly on the institution: the characteristic of the Church as 'liquid Church' for example in terms of the independence of its clergy. The dispute I have noted in terms of the retreat centre: it may not be the full story, but that is not relevant - this aspect of the story is what is of interest here. It is the old question: who has authority, and it is a good question for a 'liquid Church' when there is an institutional dispute.

Personalities do clash, but whether they have or not is of less interest here.

The interest of purple power is particularly important in the Church of England. In this case there is a coming Anglican Communion Covenant and my analysis is that this will freeze the Church of England in terms of inclusion, and that it will in all effect be a final defeat for the liberals, both social and theological. That so much focusses on one man, in this case, is because this Archbishop of Canterbury is a prime mover of events, as demonstrated in the General Synod in the Bishop of Dover and the Chair of the Business Committee case. Again this is about fair comment. A connection is made to the notes of the late Colin Slee. It is about how power is exercised. I am also interested in how some people, liberal theological and liberal socially, are campaigning and are going to cope, assuming defeat - whilst I retain an interest in their success; I am also interested in those people more compatible with a more exclusive institution and yet seem to be undergoing change. It involves personalities, and I cartoon them, but I remain more interested in 'positions'.

As for the Unitarians, the issue there is whether decentralisation works and having such a low and unco-ordinated congregationalism when there is no core belief but still inherited practices. Recently the issue has been Clicks and Bricks and personalities to co-ordinate on the ground. I have also examined the relationship of liberalism in a Catholic and esoteric setting to that of this evolved low liberalism. I remain a kind of Martineau Unitarian - evolved, ecumenical, more non-denominational, which is one reason why I am not a member of any specific Unitarian institution (there are conditions of need and change by which I might change my mind).

To some extent the interactions from here and from me make things happen. It isn't just neutral observation. But observation is a large part.


Bishop Jonathan Blake said...

Please let it be made clear that the Open Episcopal Church has made no threats of legal action against the Pluralist. We believe in truth, openness and the freedom of others to comment and analyse.
The Open Episcopal Church promotes transparency, democracy and inclusivity.

Mikeb said...

I cant understand this Adrian. Your blog is very fair and balanced. Those who want to resort to legal means to stifle debate must surely be holding their views with little conviction. The courts are not the place to decide relgious ideas, debate and discussion is.

So I guess what im saying is keep up the good work and publish the threats!


Suem said...

I am surprised by this as well, Adrian. You express some decided views and perspectives but I fail to see anything offensive or personal in your posts. I wonder who is threatening you( no need to say!)

mikeb said...

dont know maybe it would be good to know about the threats