Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Father Dan Martins and the Story of the Scorpion

Father Mark Harris posted an "apology" for Father Dan Martins' consent as bishop. I just could not let it sit -- I think the world of Father Mark Harris (and for that matter Father Weir) but the "flaw" that is present in our body is no more prominent than here.

Given the opportunity to be "a bishop" or "suffer the slings and arrows of chance" what would you say? Please, let me be bishop, I promise I will not sting you. I find the 'argument' to be unpersuasive and in fact in keeping with the documents Father Dan writes. What happened in San Joaquin? Read between the lines, he lost whatever he had been promised by Mr. Schofield and needed to get out! He said he had no choice - either drietrly oppose the bishop or leave? There was clear support for an opposition to the bihsop but he choice the coward's choice thereby leaving Father Mark Hall and Father Glenn Kanestrom and Father Joel (see the posting at Real Anglican that has a tale of two priests) to name but a few to carry on the fight. No, he had a choice and he made the choice that made him look good and kept his "reputation" in tact.

The Scorpion and the Frog

One day, a scorpion looked around at the mountain where he lived and decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey through the forests and hills. He climbed over rocks and under vines and kept going until he reached a river.
The river was wide and swift, and the scorpion stopped to reconsider the situation. He couldn't see any way across. So he ran upriver and then checked downriver, all the while thinking that he might have to turn back.

Suddenly, he saw a frog sitting in the rushes by the bank of the stream on the other side of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help getting across the stream.

"Hellooo Mr. Frog!" called the scorpion across the water, "Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?"

"Well now, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you wont try to kill me?" asked the frog hesitantly.

"Because," the scorpion replied, "If I try to kill you, then I would die too, for you see I cannot swim!"

Now this seemed to make sense to the frog. But he asked. "What about when I get close to the bank? You could still try to kill me and get back to the shore!"

"This is true," agreed the scorpion, "But then I wouldn't be able to get to the other side of the river!"

"Alright do I know you wont just wait till we get to the other side and THEN kill me?" said the frog.

"Ahh...," crooned the scorpion, "Because you see, once you've taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so grateful for your help, that it would hardly be fair to
reward you with death, now would it?!"

So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog's back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog's soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of
the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current.

Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of
the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog's back.
A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

"You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?"

The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog's back.

"I could not help myself. It is my nature."

Then they both sank into the muddy waters of the swiftly flowing river.

Self destruction - "Its my Nature", said the Scorpion...
Now, while it may be the "fair" thing to do to consent to a bishop-elect that has "repented" keep in mind that bishop-elects have, in the not too distant past, said things and then either not followed through or weaseled their way around the words or perhaps just not told the truth. If we hand the Episcopal Church another "loaded weapon" how can we be surprised if we shoot ourselves in the foot?

Maybe, one really does have to experience this crap in order to fully understand. The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin did the only thing it could in order to provide leadership to the rest of the Episcopal Church in an area that you all have very little knowledge or understanding or experience. The diocese not only refused consent but put out the reasons for their thinking, more than Father Dan Martins did when he "left town". The flaw in the Espicopal ethos that I see is one of overly graciousness in granting the honorable opposition room to roam, so to speak. Look back on all that has happened in the last 10 years, read the Chapman Memo and ask yourself is that not exactly what those who would destroy the Episcopal Church count on?

In closing, ultimately, all I ask is that you pray and then cast your vote.

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