Over at Stand Firm: when they are bad they are horrid.

It's a slow couple of days for some in Anglican Blog Land, particularly when the best the Moderator can do is a three line nolo contendere. So maybe that accounts for the two amazingly weird postings on Stand Firm in the past day:

The first concerns an "editorial" spoof by ENS in a story titled "Pittsburgh Bishop declines Presiding Bishop's offer of reconciliation", in which by clicking on a picture of Bishop Robert Duncan (see pic to right) one supposedly gets a picture of the weeping Madonna (see pic to right). That story was published on November 2 at 7:30 PM.

There are several problems: one is that whether or not it was true then it doesn't seem to be true now. That can be because ENS fixed it. What did they fix? A spoof that had a cynical edge? Well, perhaps not. If you go to the following news story, titled, Sobbing with God. There the picture of the weeping Madonna appears as well. It was posted at 2:05 PM, November 2.

So the question: was there a picture behind the picture? Several people claimed to have seen it including Mad Priest. If so, was it deliberate, or a hack job of posting new pictures and not deleting old ones? Or what? At any event the offending pic behind the pic seems not to be there any more.

But that picture mishap is pretty small stuff. If it was a deliberate thing, an apology is in order. If it was a mess up, forgiveness is in order. If it is a Stand Firm playtime event it is out of order.

But the second Stand Firm item is horrid.

SF posted the following article: "Barbara Harris shows her solidarity with Terrorists." The article was lambasted by Fr. Jake and there were many who questioned the resemblance between the picture of the person in San Francisco and Bishop Barbara Harris. Jim Naughton over at Episcopal Cafe, where he has a phone number to call, called Bishop Harris who confirmed that she has not been to San Francisco for several years. Thanks Jim.

Stand Firm has made a miserable attempt to defame both Bishop Harris and the unidentified person in the San Francisco event. Identifying Bishop Harris with terrorists is an editorial jump so filled with hatred that words fail me. Identifying the person in the photograph with Bishop Harris (SF conveniently provided two pictures for comparison) is just possible - both wear glasses, both have short graying hair, both are in some form of religious garb, etc. But the difference are there as well. The hands in particular. The identification is made and for a moment it sticks. But in a blink of an eye it unsticks too. More to the point the identification here relies on the old racist propensity to think that all people of color look alike. If you want that person in San Francisco to be Bishop Barbara Harris, slip on over to racist land where it is unnecessary to ask questions or do investigative work.

We don't know what sort of misery is visited on the person in San Francisco whose photograph is posted here. Perhaps that person is miffed by being confused for Bishop Harris, perhaps honored.

At the close of his hate article, Greg Griffith says this :

"Presentment and defrocking would be too good for you. I'll restrain myself from describing what I think an appropriate punishment would be, but it would start with shipping you to Gaza or the West Bank and seeing how things go for a woman who tries to preach the Christian faith."

What does he think folk there might do? It doesn't matter, he wants it to be bad and fulfill some fantasy of punishing women, or women preachers. Hate takes many forms.

I have always been a believer in paying for services rendered. I once sent a small contribution to Stand Firm for the work they did in bringing several reports through Anglican TV that were useful and several bits of information that backed up what was being reported elsewhere. There are occasions when I have to read Stand Firm just as I have to read Titus One Nine and BabyBlue. But Stand Firm has to clean house soon. They might start by removing this piece of crap, apologizing and sending Greg for some serious counseling.


  1. Interesting. The article over at "that site" has, at 0840hrs, East Coast time, has been pulled. It was certainly a new low for even that blog.

    Padre Wayne

  2. It looks like Greg has admitted his error, taken down the article, and publicly apologized.

  3. I think this may have already blown over:


    While the apology seems somewhat qualified, I'm willing to take it as genuine.

    Can we get back to being the hands and feet of Christ in the world now?

  4. Stand Firm has apparently retracted the "story", but that doesn't change anything. The damage is done, the hate is exposed. As I said at Fr. Jake's:

    Stand Firm is the bastard child of the Faux Network (can't use the word "news" in that reference), as is VOL (oh, wait; that one should be spawn...)

    At least Greg acknowledges that Barbara Harris is still Christian and would preach the Christian faith! (Does the guy really not know what a dope he is?)

  5. It's a good thing that the "orthodox" constantly announce that they are Christians--otherwise no one would ever guess it.

  6. I'm sorry- the Michael Russells of the HOBD world... with his sneering "Talibanglicans" and "bullydox"... are at least as offensive as anything at SFiF. That doesn't make either side right when they go down this path, but I've never seen Russell et al. apologize.

  7. I've alerted the person in the photo, a UCC minister who was protesting the Iraq war, about this contretemps. Like Bishop Harris, she is accustomed to the arrogant racism of white churchmen -- I feel confident she'll be very honored.

  8. Preludium has long been on my reading list, and I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed in you for two reasons.

    One, that you gave money to the folks at StandFanatic, thereby encouraging them to continue to pollute the Net with their toxic cant.

    Two, that you seem to have failed to recognize that Mr, Griffith's consistent conduct cannot be explained by attributing it to some sort of mental illness. There's too much calculation there, too much careful attention to what the sheeple that frequent the place want to buy for his antics to be just due to his aberrant conditioning or a brain chemistry imbalance. The reality is much more unpleasant.

    Griffith has admitted altering headlines and crafting quotes to better suit the "message" of SFiF. That surely can come as no surprise to anyone possessing even a shred of intellectual integrity who reads more than a few articles there. He has assembled a team of authors who produce a consistent product. While their conduct might be attributable to a programmed ignorance and a deep need to make themselves personally significant by propagating their prejudices, Griffith doesn't fit that mold. He's an accomplished manipulator, and he's found an avenue to power that works for him.

    The sudden removal of the thread about Bishop Harris, once the error was known, was not due to any respect for her. His qualified apology was anything but an apology; it was a calculated move to avert a PR problem and to turn it instead into an asset. "See? Look how humble I am, that I apologize when I've made a mistake." And the sheeple bought it, hook, line and sinker, right on schedule.

    Did he promise amendment of behavior in the future? Of course not, nothing could be further from his mind. Did he truly name his sin? Nope, for to him, it wasn't sin.

    One can pity a person carrying a burden of irrational prejudice. However, it's important to recognize the difference between one carrying such a burden, and one whose behavior is coldly calculated to bring them their desired personal rewards.


  9. It seems to me that Greg made a straightforward public unqualified apology for his error, but few on this blog have the grace to accept it as such and to extend forgiveness to him as your Lord has commanded - 70 times 7? haven't you heard of that one?

  10. brain f - Greg was forced into an apology -and he did it only reluctantly when it was clear he could not JUST remove the thread without comment. Which is what he did when he attributed a letter to VGR - ran a thread lambasting and mocking VRG for writing it and then found out that if he had done a modicum of research he would have plainly seen that VRG had NOTHING to do with the letter at all.

    He's into to rallying for the purposes of railroading. It's a pattern - Ask Kaeton, Wolf, Fr. Jake and numerous others. SFiF has made a joke out of itself. And we'd all be laughing if it weren't so tragic and dangerous.

  11. Taokmikael,

    It seems to me that if you're predisposed not to accept his apology, you're probably not going to see his apology as a true apology. I'll say this- his apology sounded much more sincere than Elizabeth Kaeton's apology when she threatened Anne Kennedy. Take that for what you will. Perhaps that means that neither was good enough.

  12. At the end of the day, only Bp. Harris has the capacity to accept the apology. I thought it genuine, if spoiled by the crud his readers posted to it. In fact, I sent him an apology of my own, as I had equated his reportage with that of the New York Times and it is not that bad, at least in the specific case.

    I note that here, and on SF, we have those who simply cannot stand the idea that the right can be wrong, attempting to either equate the commentary elsewhere with this incident, or claim that somehow the initial article represented acceptable writing. My favorite is probably the one that says that as Bp. Harris is a woman, she cannot be a real bishop so who cares? Now there is Christian principal at work!



  13. "It seems to me that Greg made a straightforward public unqualified apology for his error, ..."

    Brian F has conveniently forgotten the standard that Mr. Griffith himself defined and proclaimed about the validity of apologies. He has done precisely what he refused to accept from Rev. Kaeton some months ago. Griffith is therefore being judged by the exact judgment that he himself applied to others, a most fitting outcome.


  14. There is also a thread about my seminary, VTS, which starts out as simply sad ("conservatives are muzzled and the gays have free rein") and then devolves into the pathological. The oddest parts of the thread are posts from people who say they graduated from VTS, and kept their conservatism secret while there so they wouldn't be blackballed in their faculty evaluations (sent to their bishops and COMs). Why? So they might get a job in the same ECUSA that they seem so happy to deride. One would think that they wouldn't want to work for an institution they see as morally corrupt. Perhaps I'm missing something.

    I normally don't read StandFirm, but following this particular posting - sent to me by a fellow seminarian - had the strange fascination of watching a train wreck.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.