Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Crisis over Kat in a Hat

By now you've all heard about mitregate, the deliberate insult to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori during her recent visit, in which Lambeth Palace (a) told her not to wear her mitre and (b) demanded papers, please! to prove her provenance.

Despite the apologists claiming this is Standard Operating Procedure, pictures exist to show that other American Bishops, men and women, are allowed their mitres in the UK, and the Presiding Bishop had presented her papers on a previous visit to the UK. So this comes down to petty harassment, albeit in a superficially polite English way.

As Diana Butler Bass comments,
The world is facing global warming, an economic meltdown, massive immigration crises, continued international terrorism, interreligious tensions and warfare, nuclear escalation in the Middle East, poverty, the abuse of women and children, human trafficking, genocide, oppression of LGBT persons, and a massive environmental cataclysm in the Gulf of Mexico--and the Archbishop of Canterbury is worried about a woman's hat?

In case the Church of England hasn't noticed, this is why people are rejecting Christianity. It isn't because some Christians chose women to lead their churches, ask questions about traditional renderings of theology and the Bible, doubt God's existence, or want their gay and lesbian friends and relatives to be part of their church communities. Canterbury, please know that western people are rejecting Christianity because--as noted in a recent survey of young Americans--Christians are "out of touch with reality."

Meanwhile, inspired by Ruth Gledhill's coinage of the Kat name, I offer you this:

A Bishop went Calling
in old London town
And she brought her hat
and she brought her gown

But someone at Lambeth
said, "not quite so quick,
We must see your papers
In case there's a trick."

Though she'd been there before
She obeyed their directive
To prove her ordination
and office elective

And then Lambeth begrudged,
"you may lead the prayer
but there's a condition:
you can't cover your hair!"

So the Bishop obeyed
And she carried her mitre
but she's a smart lady,
and known as a fighter

So she preached on the Gospel
On love and inclusion
And on hospitality
and at the conclusion,

She proved to be greater
than petty Lambeth priests
She said, "you are welcome,"
She said, "love has saved you,"
She said, "be at peace."


Counterlight said...

I think her last UK tour was a triumph for the Presiding Bishop, enhanced by Lambeth's clumsy hostility. Their attempts to diss our bishop and our church back-fired and created public sympathy on both sides of the pond for Bishop Katherine.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Greaat post and all that my brother Counterlight said!

LKT said...

Love the verse! Laughter seems to be the way to go.

it's margaret said...

Hah! We start vacation bible school tonight (we do it in the evening and serve dinner -- for working families)... and this year it is the Gospel according to Dr. Seuss! --Thursday night we will do the Seusscharist! I am sending this to our VBS director! it Fits!!



Jim said...

love the poetry. Canterbury cannot even lie effectively.


David |Dah • veed| said...

I think that I heard Dr. Suess laughing from somewhere in the Great Cloud.

Karen H. said...

"England" grows more pathetic by the day. I love the poem however and I love that our PB was unbowed by the sad, desperate attemps of those who wish to hold onto a world that has long since passed.

Anonymous said...

This post is hilarious....the Kat in the Hat! Too cute.

I thought we already had The American Revolution. How did England get in charge again? LOL! Perhaps it is time to take our toys and our money home.

The Queen of England presides over The Anglican Church. Why in the world would they keep women away as Bishops? Women rock, everyone knows that!

I'm just saying.....