> I'm not sure 'revisionist' is generally used in a perjoratively. At least > I don't use it in that way. > > Bottom line, in any controversy we need handy labels. Now I realize that > those on the liberal/progressive/revisionist side of the controversy > generally are not comfortable with labels. But we need labels and we all > use them. > .... XXXXXXXX, What a treat to have you in this forum. I have been deprived of your sharp insights for too long a spell. I remember with joy many of your acts of kindness when we have met in cyberspace in the past. Of course we need labels. EVERY word is a label, not the thing itself; and there is nothing 'mere' about words. Words derive much of their power because they are never private property; they derive their meanings by the ways groups of people agree to use them and sometime even force their usage on others. Perhaps we should struggle over word choices more than we do: in every generation millions of people live down to the labels they let others give to them. In discourse that is already charged, we should strive hard not to add offense by the names we use for those with whom we disagree. Labels can bless when we name others with a name they give to themselves. I don't recall ever hearing someone use "revisionist" as a self-description, nor any group that calls itself "revisionists." That is why "revisionist" sounds like an accusation, your disclaimers to the contrary notwithstanding. Would most on your 'side' be happy if I were to call them "revanchists"? There are objective ways in which "revanchist" correctly describes their side of the current struggle, but I would be smug or naive if I suggested any persons ought to be pleased to have the term "revanchist" thrust upon them. By innuendo "revanchist" is pejorative, and I therefore eschew it, and you ought to eschew "revisionist" until you can point to a group of people who willingly embrace it to name themselves. It is not always easy to accept every name a group uses to name itself, especially when that name lays claim to "territory" that is in dispute. For example, in the current controversy, no side has exclusive rights to "traditionalist." As an Anglo-Catholic I am in many ways far more traditionalist than many who want to register the term "traditionalist" as their trademark. I can pass the creed with a lie-detector, but rejoice to be a member of a church that does not require me to take such a test. I also am humbled to know many who struggle mightily with parts of the creed yet live far more faithfully than do I. I am not interested in revising scripture but rather, committed to allow scripture to revise me, as steadily does the Micah text for this week. In matters of life style --i.e., taste, manners, music, the arts... (for those who have momentarily forgotten what "life style" is)- I have almost always been more conservative than most of the people I know and care about. It's in some ways a relief at last to be old, where being old-fashioned is more readily tolerated, even expected. But if you must have a label to differentiate us in the context of our current ecclesial struggle, call me "liberal" or "progressive." I can live with those, in spite of some limitations, but not "revisionist." Louie Crew Diocese of Newark 94 (L1), 97 (L2), 00 (L1), 03 (L2), 06 (L1) Member of Executive Council (Cynthia, I am trying to follow your cogent advice about signatures, but this one seems about as pretentious as some versions of my business cards--the ones I use when I doubt I'll otherwise get in the door. I rejoice that we're all already inside this space together.)
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