from 9 to 15 May 2005
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understanded of the people
Your editorial in defence of
use and interpretation of language reflects the consistently high standard of your
editorials in general. How much more difficult
for us living in 2005 to understand writing translated
and transposed in time if we can't even understand
messages expressed in our own language and time.
may you editorialise! Yours is the consistent voice
of reason and compassion in an increasingly unreasonable
and compassionless world. I look forward to it every
St Luke's Anglican, Toowoomba
11 May 2005
sound of one dog barking
word about fortune telling: a
desire to peek at the future is in our human
nature. Whether it is weather prognostication,
medical and genetic pre-disposition to diseases,
financial expectations, crop production, volcanic
and earthquake predictions, or for other practical
reasons, we humans want to know what is going
to happen. Tarot, Kabala, I Ching, numerology,
phrenology, palmistry, astrology, and tea-leaf
reading to name a few methods of divining, are
not anti-Christian. Our dog tells us the future
because she knows before we do that visitors
are coming. She barks.
would have us believe that only through prayer are
we to know what God wants us to know. Sometimes God
answers prayers with "NO".
Christ Church, Kealakekua
9 May 2005
a shame that so many seemed
to have missed the point of your editorial letter
which displayed a picture of the ouija board
-- I don't believe I read that you condoned its
use! However, trying not to be too judgemental,
when it comes to listening objectively humans
don't have a great record; add religious certainty
and . . .
enjoy and admire your objective approach.
Episcopal Church of Scotland
10 May 2005
response to complaints
about the ouija board illustration was wonderful.
Your penultimate paragraph is simply superb as
a stimulus to continue to revere reading as an
art that must not be lost. Thanks.
Rogan (retired, priest and professor)
Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit
Gambier, Ohio, USA
9 May 2005
comments about the decline of
literacy, and declining use of language, helped
me discern some of the problems I have with trends
in my home parish in particular, and the ECUSA
the past few years, we have, from time to time, experimented
with alternative liturgies, 'family liturgies,' 'special
liturgies,' and other variations from the Book of
Common Prayer. Two problems arise.
first is related to your observations. Too many people
are sufficiently tone-deaf to the subtleties of language
that they forget that a change in language will almost
always effect a change in meaning. How we say something
almost always has some impact on what we are saying.
For example, if one substitutes 'Father, Son and
Holy Spirit' with 'Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier,'
one loses something of the relationship that the
first formula implies among the Persons of the Trinity.
This may or may not be something that those who crafted
the second formula considered. However, I suspect
that many in the pews do not appreciate that such
a switch changes theology, as well as language. Worse,
I fear that, if they were aware, they would not care.
second problem arises when the Book of Common Prayer
ceases to be common to all ECUSA churches. If we
lose the particular forms and expressions that are
a significant part of our Anglican heritage, one
has to wonder if there is any point in maintaining
the ECUSA as a separate denomination. If there is
little by which we can say, 'We follow a somewhat
different tradition than our brothers and sisters
in the Lutheran, Reformed or other traditions,' is
there any point in maintaining a separate hierarchy
and administrative structure? Shouldn't the mandate
for Christian unity require comity and respect, but
Church of the Ascension, Clearwater
Seminole, Florida, USA
13 May 2005
candles were once banned...
your response to my letter and
in your Editorial this week you now add insult
to injury! I did indeed read your May 1st letter.
The argument itself was good and as usual provocative
in the proper sense of that word.
you chose to use as an example the casual use of
an instrument that has had devastating results in
people's lives. You flippantly suggest in your editorial
reply that you will not use candles as images because
they are used by Satanists. This is beside the point.
Candles have a long tradition of use in Christian
liturgy and prayer. I do not think the same applies
to the use of Ouija Boards!
Westbury UNITED KINGDOM
9 May 2005
I've noticed, sadly, is the dumbing down
of American thinking and perceiving. That so
many Christians, even amongst Episcopalians,
more or less subscribe to a simplistic evangelic,
literalistic world view where science, literacy,
and the appreciation of prose, poetry, rhetoric,
and certainly logic is fading, makes me wonder
whether we've crossed a bridge not to the 21st
century but to the 14th!
mean, this absurd business in Kansas where the whole
Scopes Monkey trial is being replayed is certainly
my case in point.Then, of course, the rancour and
divisiveness of the issues of gays place in the community,
Church and temporal. Where did Christ have anything
to say about that!?
(I use the word tentatively) and spiritually Christian
thought and piety is as brittle as much of fundamentalist
St. Mary's Church
Eugene, Oregon, USA
13 May 2005
our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All of our
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