Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thoughts on scandal mongering

If it is the end goal of Stokoe et al. to renovate the OCA, to make it in the image and likeness of a town hall meeting, and to deny her hierarchs the authority to lead, then what business does the Church have with them? Too long self-professed “experts” have made Orthodoxy an experiment and used the OCA as their laboratory. All the while the house of cards was collapsing. Now the OCA has real leadership and the malcontents can’t cease their invective.
Read the entire post.
Hat tip to Owen the Ochlophobist

On a personal note I think Mark Stokoe rendered an important service by sounding the alarm when the smoke of Satan was filling the Church. He and a few others bravely stood up and spoke truth to power at a time when it was urgently needed. However, I have long suspected that there was an element that was feeding off the endless scandal mongering and enjoying themselves and the attention they were getting.

It has been observed that some people who work in high pressure or dangerous jobs have difficulty adjusting when the time comes to move on to more normal pursuits. While I think having a voice that is independent of the church administration to provide balanced (and yes occasionally critical) reporting is not a bad thing, I wonder if this website is the right voice for that job. The most recent posts there give me serious pause and compel me to ask the question, have Mr. Stokoe and some of his followers become addicted to the thrill of fighting scandal?

1 comment:

DavidD said...

I recently had an exchange on Facebook with a podcast guy who leans toward the activist-midset. While I attempted to be subtle and kind about it, I implied that there I had some concerns about the effects of that on the message, but also on the messenger particularly long term.

I was aware of the (over-simplified) paradox of trying to influence someone not to be so focused on influencing people. I'm an idiot and have no idea why I thought I had any business contacting him.

At any rate, this is the same experience I had growing up around a dad who had a picture of James Dobson's family on his desk. I always felt that activists need power and eventually end up spending all their time getting the power to do whatever they wanted to do in the first place. People who want to use that power for other things become competitors first and then eventually the enemy (displacing the real enemy).

I'm deeply indebted to those who have risked much to offer Orthodoxy online and in person and in publications I have read. I even enjoyed a liturgy offered by Fr David (your blog-fellow) and those lovely folks in Merced (I grew up near Visalia and was considering moving back to the area).

I'm glad that I am surrounded by giants. I'll be very lucky if I can learn the first shred of humility from the experience. For now its all watching mom and dad argue at the dinner table.