Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Loyal Opposition

Barton, Joyce. "I'm the Loyal Opposition: Service and Fun in the Minority Position." Mission Journal (November 1987): 28-29.


JTB said...

Thanks to the folks who pointed me to this article and helped me get a copy I could place on the blog.

If you click on the image, it will enlarge it so that it's readable.

And--not least--thanks to the author for her permission to post it!

am loving the cartoon.

Carolyn said...

Wow, great article. I am struck by the author's loyalty to her church, even when they (in my view) mistreat her. I think I need to take this idea more to heart. I can feel so wounded and hurt that I don't feel a lot of loyalty, but often think I am staying more out of gritty determination. The truth is, though, my faith is what it is because of the CofC, and there are a lot of blessings I've received because of the church that now causes me so much pain. Must ponder this more. Thanks for posting.

AM Kingsfield said...

Barton chose her "bloom where you're planted" philosophy to the detriment of her daughters. When I thought of leaving the CofC for myself, I hesitated for similar reasons. I'm so glad I got my children out of there though. The Presbyterians have been just as loving and supportive of my personal crises as the CofC ever was. Oppression is wrong, even if my oppressors are wise and kind.

JTB said...

hi AM,

I appreciate your comment and I'm glad you're here--through whatever avenue brought to my little blog. I want to say, though, that I don't want to start passing judgment on other people's decisions or narratives. Joyce Barton's choice has differed from yours, and from many others who've contributed/commented on the posts in this series so far. Certainly the go-or-stay choice confronts every single one of us, and there are consequences to making that choice which do affect other people, positively and negatively. Expresisng what we think of other people's choices and the likely (or known) consequences flowing from it is a delicate thing. I want this blog to be a safe space for all narratives and all experiences, and that means affirming each other even if we ultimately disagree. Even or maybe especially when we disagree about the go-or-stay response to what certainly is an oppressive situation in many ways.

I've said before, and I'll reiterate here, that I don't think that there is one correct response. Not everyone has to go. Not everyone can or should stay. But for me personally, I draw strength and encouragement to stay within the CofC from women and others who have had the strength and conviction to leave. I think those who have left reluctantly can do so in part knowing that there are others, like Joyce, who can and do stay.

The bottom line is, we need each other. It's my hope that one of the services this blog series can render is to demonstrate this, and create ways in which we can affirm each other's choices as expressions of faithfulness to the larger body of Christ to which we all belong.

JTB said...

P.S. just put together that you're the author of one of the gal328 articles I've linked to in another post! So I can now say, thank you!!, for sharing your story through gal328 (and again in some sense here). And that I'm glad that you indeed have found the materials to build that new place to worship God with your children, in peace.

Keith Brenton said...

I miss Mission.