Living in an Aquarium   2 comments

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Above:  Visit the Aquarium in Fairmount Park (1936 or 1937), by Robert Muchley

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/wpapos/item/95514347/)

Reproduction Number = LC-USZC4-3397

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A Related Post:

https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/a-preachers-kids-defense-of-clerical-continence/

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I spent much of my childhood taking the grand tour of the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church.  Moving as often as we did proved detrimental to me, an introvert.  Now, however, I am glad to report, I have lived in the same town for almost eight and a half years and in the same home for almost six and a half years.  Such stability would have been unimaginable during my youth.

Recently I have been examining my photographic albums.  Looking at pictures from decades ago has dredged up old memories, which I have not revisited for some time.  Memories of awkward childhood incidents have reminded me of how much I have changed and how fortunate I have become.  They also remind me of how blessed I am to have found a place I fit in–St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, which I have attended since August 2005.  I am outcast no longer.

My main memory of my United Methodist childhood in southern Georgia is that I lived in a series of proverbial glass houses–fish bowls or aquariums.  Many people–especially church members–held me to a higher standard than they did others, perhaps even themselves–or at least that was the impression with which I lived.  I went through life with the sense that I was always “on stage”–a terrible way to live.  I never got into any serious trouble as a youth.  My adolescent rebellion consisted mainly of modern art and modern classical music, in fact.  Whenever morality failed to regulate my behavior, fear of consequences did the job.  But I affirmed then what I repeat now:  There should be just one standard–one informed by graciousness and forgiveness.

Now I live in the liberty of a lay person.  Now I ca say and write safely basic sentiments which would have been risky when I was growing up and having to think about potential blowback upon my father, mother, sister, and self.  (My father’s public support for the Martin Luther King, Jr., federal holiday contributed to his move out of one racist town in the 1980s, so I am not referring to especially incendiary material.)  It is good to be among the laity.

So, if any of you, O readers, seek a positive lesson to learn from this post and to apply to your lives, here it is:  Do not hold your clergy people and their family members to a double standard.  No, think and act graciously, in a forgiving manner.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 8, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPHINE BAKHITA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN OF MALTA AND FELIX OF VALOIS, FOUNDERS OF THE ORDER OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

THE FEAST OF SAINT JEROME EMILIANI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK, U.S. ARMY GENERAL

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