It wasn't until clicking the links on a posting at Stand Firm earlier today that we discovered that the Diocese of Michigan has posted an editorial about TitusOneNine's post of a picture from the Diocese of Michigan's convention.
Here's what the Diocese of Michigan wrote:
There was a spate of criticism—unfounded, I found—from a corner of the conservative blogosphere about a snapshot of our diocesan convention that showed the placard of the eight MDGs behind the altar during the Eucharist. If you must investigate further, you’ll might find the discussion HERE. If the blog thread is removed, better judgment may have slipped in upon them before this commentary did.
The bloggers misinterpreted our intention—as gently suggested online by a priest in our diocese—thinking we had replaced the crucifix with the MDGs. The rambling comment section devolves to less-than-insightful rants on Karl Marx and the United Nations. But the kernel of concern is worth reflecting upon.
The millennium development goals are not canon; they are invitations into deeper relationships, deeper understanding. In order to embrace the mdgs—or rather be embraced by them—we must prepare ourselves not to march triumphantly but to walk humbly. We must truly empty ourselves of those things that lead us to feel haughty. Like a Pharisee. With a blog.
Even though the author, presumably Diocesan Communications Director Herb Gunn, criticizes TitusOneNine in that piece, I don't believe he contacted us or left a comment about his concerns, so this is the first we'd heard from the Diocese of Michigan. (It is possible of course that Mr. Gunn contacted Kendall without my knowing.) As I made clear in the post in question, as one who tries to help Kendall cover the diocesan convention news, I (elfgirl) was responsible for the post, not Kendall. So let me offer a few comments in response.
First, Mr. Gunn confuses "bloggers" and "commenters." He accuses the "bloggers" (that in this case would be me, elfgirl) of saying or intending something we never said or intended. In fact we explicitly stated our intentions several times on the thread itself, and provided many supporting links to further the discussion along the lines of what we had intended.
Secondly, I never claimed the MDG banner was a deliberate replacement for the cross. I made no comment about the intent of the Diocese of Michigan. I merely noted that I found the photo "irresistible" as a striking visual image. In fact, I acknowledged previous comments that the juxtaposition and symbolism was probably unintentional.
We (I) always acknowledged the fact that the actual intent was probably not to have the MDG banner as a reredos, but that the unintended juxtaposition, and the Diocese of Michigan's prominent photo on their convention coverage page, symbolized a larger issue. Unfortunately Mr. Gunn didn't take the time to respond to any of the substantive concerns (about the mission priorities of TEC, not the Diocese of Michigan's convention, per se) raised in the comment thread. Instead he pretty much dismisses the whole entry and caps off his editorial with an insult. The talking past one another continues.
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