“The easiest way to get 15 minutes of fame,” Mr. Obama said, “is to be rude to someone.” From an article in The New York Times quoting President Obama.
In the swirl of rudeness out there in blog land, even we in the Anglican and Episcopal blogsphere are not immune. Worse, of course, even PRELUDIUM, whose sense of decorum is second to none, is given occasionally to rude behavior.
If so it is "by my fault, by my fault, by my own most grievous fault." (Remembered from days as an acolyte at the Cathedral in New Orleans and used ever after.)
And yet, we must remember that while it may appear rude to catch people out in their lies, the fact is, they lied. If it appears rude to point to writings that indicate collusion in an attack on the office of the Presiding Bishop, the fact is such collusion has taken place.
Years ago I insisted over and over that the Archbishop of Canterbury needed to make a statement concerning his conversation with then Bishop Duncan and others who met with him. The question was whether or not he suggested or encouraged the development of a network of "confessing" Anglicans. It was rude to ask. And, when the answer finally came, it was clear that the matter had come up and he had not squashed it.
The thing is, President Obama is right. Every act of rudeness, whether or not it was justified by the search for truth, gives a moment of fame. Fifteen minutes is for most occasions too long. Judging from this little blog, those moments of rudeness in the search for some part of the "truth" got the blog a two or three day spurt of interest. And then things returned to normal.
What we need, I think, is not rudeness (even in a good cause). What we need is simple questions asked as people without guile. I've always liked Jesus' description of Nathanael, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" I've always thought I'd like to be seen as someone "in whom is no guile." It won't happen.
Still, it will be helpful in the days ahead to be able to ferret out the truth without guile. It is a goal to work for.
We've had quite enough of those seeking 15 minutes fame.