Sunday, November 04, 2007

When is an Apology Not an Apology?

When it is "qualified."

Greg Griffith accused an Episcopal Bishop of showing solidarity with terrorists. You can read the post, and the ugly comments that followed, here.

The bishop in question, the Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris, was contacted. It appears Greg got it wrong.

He issued an "apology," with this qualification:

...I allowed past shows of support of Yassir Arafat and the Palestinians by Bishop Harris, like this, to influence my thinking...
In other words, since Bp. Harris is supportive of the plight of the Palestinians, he is justified in accusing her of being in solidarity with Hamas terrorists. He apologizes for the mistaken identity, but stands by his accusation. That is an apology?

If this was an isolated case, one might be able to say forgive and forget. Unfortunately, this reveals a pattern of troubling behavior by the manager of Stand Firm.

I am not alone in suggesting that Greg and the site he manages have given us good reasons to be concerned. From Mark Harris:

...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.

From Katie Sherrod:

...Greg Griffith apologized in his usual style, taking more swipes at Bp. Harris along the way. And the commentors managed to insult her several more times while commenting on the apology. Geesh, these people are amazing...

...So why write about all this? It just calls attention to them.
I do so because violence is a disturbing theme on Stand Firm, and a subtext to much of the swaggering rhetoric of the 'traditionalist" camp...

...the underlying reason for the deep rage -- and violence -- simmering just below the surface in so many of the men AND women in the "traditional Anglican" camp. White men aren't in charge anymore, at least not they way they think they are entitled to be. They are being challenged by women, minorities, and --worst of all -- gay men!...

I think most folks will agree that the manager of Stand Firm is in need of professional help. Let's hope he gets it soon.

This does bring up another concern. It appears that Greg Griffith is also very involved in Kendall Harmon's new site. Since my experience is that Canon Harmon conducts himself as a gentleman at all times, one wonders why he continues to yoke his work with such an unstable person.

Such sharing of resources suggests the possibility that Mr. Griffith's violent and misogynist attacks represent a perspective within the ultra-conservative position that, if not directly sanctioned, is at least tolerated. I hope that I am mistaken.


UPDATE: Don't miss Elizabeth Kaeton's contribution to this conversation: Bullies and Thugs for Jesus.

2nd UPDATE: Susan Russell offers Blessed Are You.

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