Letters: Wednesday, May 09, 2007
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A Church Divided

To the editor: To say your article (“A Great Schism,” May 3, 2007) on Anglicanism was biased would be the understatement of the century. There have been two churches in the Episcopal Church for years — one very traditional with two wings, Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals, and one that has come to reflect the liberal theology of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The same is true in Britain, Canada, Australia, and other western nations. The Robinson consecration was just the proverbial straw to break the camel’s back. The Anglican Church worldwide is going through a realignment. The two divisions of the Episcopal Church in America are in the process of separation. The same sort of rift over the authority of scriptures began in the Presbyterian Church 30 years ago and is seeing new fractures today in the Presbyterian Church USA.

If you are in any way open-minded about this issue, I urge you to really study it. Go up to Plano and talk with the folks at Christ Church. Read some of the Anglican evangelical theologians — Alister McGrath, J.I. Packer, Ephraim Radner, and C.S. Lewis (yes this rift in Anglicanism goes back to his day — and beyond). Don’t be so quick to sum up the Anglican conflict as a bunch of bigots who want to shun gays!

Dick Gruetzemacher

Chickamauga, Ga.

To the editor: Thank you for your informative article on the issues of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. Reporter Eric Griffey is one of the few writers to get the issues clear and the facts straight in an area where they are not easily obtainable. You are to be congratulated.

I am a native Fort Worthian who has been exiled for 30 years because I am an ordained woman. Even though my family still lives in the Metroplex, I cannot work in the area because of the non-canonical policies of the Diocese of Fort Worth. I have been the rector of parishes for the past 25 years, and yet there is no way I can return to my home.

One of the purposes of the founding of that diocese was to maintain a “balance” of conservatives and liberals in the two houses of the General Convention of 1985. Like the Missouri Compromise, these machinations did not work. It has just produced in Fort Worth a diocese that is ignorant of the work of the national church. Since its inception, the Fort Worth diocese has been kept out of the mainstream of Episcopal thinking and life. Its bishops and clergy have isolated themselves, claiming a spiritual superiority akin to none. And, like any group that isolates itself, it develops its own myths and customs. The diocese’s leadership presently is like some science fiction movie — in a time-warp.

Interestingly, during this same period, there has been an incredible mobility of the laity to Fort Worth and other West Texas areas. These are lay folk who have experienced the Episcopal Church as the diverse and open church that it is. They move into the area and are scandalized by the backwardness of the diocese and ashamed of the bigotry that the clergy leadership manifests. Some leave the church to go to other denominations. Others just drop out of attendance altogether. There are hearty groups who refuse to allow their welcoming Episcopal Church to be hijacked by the hidebound isolationists that serve to fossilize the faith.

The issue is not women priests. The issue is not LGBT folk. The issue is power, and when church leadership concentrates on power, it fails to preach the Gospel of Christ, who enjoined Christians to live in the powerless relationship of love with one another.

Lauren A. Gough

Binghamton, N.Y.

Call in the TABC

To the editor: Reporters I’sha Gaines and Briceida Cervantes’ article on the Lancaster Avenue homeless people wearing out their welcome (“Not in Their Backyard,” April 18, 2007) was well written and informative.

As I read it, I kept waiting to see if the affected residents had contacted their state senator and if their senator had asked the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to look into the operation and licenses of the liquor resellers near the residents’ homes and property. Apparently the residents had not.

Any reasonable person is concerned about the plight of the homeless, and, like a cancer, it must be battled on many fronts. One such front is their source of alcohol. The only way to affect improper or nuisance liquor sales in a neighborhood is via a state senator’s request to the TABC for “source investigations” of those resellers.

The residents and business owners pay state taxes for such senatorial and TABC services. They should get their money’s worth.

Randy Brown

Fort Worth



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