mardi, février 12, 2008

Red Ink

I'm a registered voter in our litle Victorian village, although I don't vote the party line. But I'm also a shareholder in another political party-the Episcopal Church.

A number of years ago, we held an election.

We needed a man or a woman to run the local branch of our business. Our campaign committee chose men and women as potential executives, from inside and outside the diocese.

These kinds of elections aren't supposed to be marred by politicking-but this one certainly was, from the get-go. Those who advocated for the city parishes wanted the guy who had looked out for their interests. Others pushed for someone who would bless their conservative stance towards ordaining women and gay blessings. Different congregations, and clergy were the crucible of scheming calls and covert meetings.

The person who ended up winning was a man who learned the names of diocesan clergy before he got to Philadelphia-or knew them after one meeting. He radiated amiability. Who knows what he told the conservatives-his liberal views were very well known. It wasn't long before all of the camaraderie disappeared in a flood of accusations and resentment over promises allegedly shredded or evaded.

Elected in a deluge of sentimentality, he was forbidden to exercise his ministry this past fall after decades long accusations of a sexual abuse cover up involving his brother hit the press once again.

Not good for the diocese. Not good for the Episcopal Church. Not good for business.

I like Barack Obama. I admire his oratorical skills, his enthusiasm, his crossgenerational appeal.

But whenever I see a powerful deluge of sentiment, as in the one firing up the engines of his candidacy I worry. The wishes are so profound-the subject still a relative cypher.

We don't need a tabula almost rasa. He's not an empty brain, like G.W. Bush-but he hasn't tipped his hand as to who he really is yet-and what he really cares about.

Who is this icon on whom we have projected our desires? Do we even know what it is we long for?

1 commentaire:

Sue a dit…

On a quick surface run-through, I ended up chuckling -- about the man in church-office (which whom we're more than familiar) and the man running for another office. But as it sunk in, you hit a real sensitive spot -- with all the wooing and the glitz and the promises, it's so hard to imagine how it might all turn out. In the former case, it was a disaster. How many folks expressed their betrayal? Many. We experienced something very, very similar at the next level down and we learned the hard way -- thinking you know someone, being led to trust, and then ... well, you know.

I too have been liking Obama but that's on the "outside." After the excitement dies down, then what???

Makes you think, really. Too bad I'm too exhausted this morning to think any more. :) Up all night with a sick boy, out shoveling slush first thing this morning (withOUT my coffee) ... Thanks for the post -- I'll share this one with Don. :)