From the Email Bag

The great value of Titus One Nine to all of us, including this slightly to the left of center Episcopalian, has been the inclusion of all the “news fit to print” (and leaving out some which isn’t) regarding the current challenges in the Episcopal Church. You have had the good grace to allow your readers to interpret that information as their intellect determined, until recently. In the days before the HOB meeting and subsequent to it there has been an increasing tendency to parenthetically comment on or reinterpret the input from various sources with whom you are not in explicit agreement. My belief is that this diminishes, not adds to, the value of the information. Many of your sources are unquestionably intellectually capable of making an interpretation of the current situation and the product of their efforts is their interpretation. Adding your editorial comment that they are in error in that interpretation is not terribly helpful as i t does not change their interpretation and they do have a right to that interpretation. It is no more right or wrong, inherently, than your own. So my advice is to go back to reporting the information and quit kibitzing.

But it is your blog and you are doing us all a considerable service by maintaining it, so thanks for that.

I would genuinely appreciate blog readers feedback on this, thanks–KSH.


Posted in * Admin, * By Kendall, Blog Tips & Features

82 comments on “From the Email Bag

  1. Sherri says:

    I, frankly, have wished for more commentary from you on your blog, not less.

  2. JackieB says:

    I disagree vehemently with the writer of this email. I agree with Sherri, I have often wished for more commentary from you.

  3. Katherine says:

    Most of Kendall’s readers have strong opinions, and the addition of Kendall’s comments are unlikely to prevent them from expressing themselves. 🙂 He provides substantial excerpts and hyperlinks, so those who disagree with him can go read and digest the original.

  4. Nowellco says:

    Kibitz away my friend!
    All interpretations are not created equal. Just ask my wife.

  5. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) says:

    Crybaby! Stop complaining about a few editorial comments. Some of the pieces KSH has posted he could also have fisked from here to Outer Slobovia and back. He is to be congratulated on his restraint in the circumstances.

  6. Craig Stephans says:

    I appreciate the commentary that hits the highlights or interprets and provides a summary. I also wouldn’t mind a bit about the bio of some of the authors that you post.

  7. BJ Spanos says:

    #5. Bart – You’re calling the author of the above email to Fr. Kendall names is not helpful. I agree with the commenters above. The added perspective is very helpful, especially in what has been posted is not correct or is somehow nuanced to suggest one thing but really meaning another. I’d say in this case more commentary is better, rather than more is less.

  8. wchogan says:

    Kendall, I am grateful when you opine, since your views are invariably accurate and sensitive. Keep it up and expand your views and interpretations.

  9. The Lakeland Two says:

    Agree with 1 & 2. We appreciate your comments very much because you have inside awareness/understanding. So when you speak/write, it’s an “E.F. Hutton” moment. And we have also often wished for more commentary from you. Your voice is balanced and well-reasoned, and is definitely needed. What you say does line up with Scripture. When you are rarely wrong, you are the first to admit it. Keep up the good work and may God bless you and your efforts.

  10. Stefano says:

    I for have no problem with KSH placing his rather obvious editorializing in and around the articles he cites. In many case the comments are directed at the reporting by ill equipped or downright careless writers. As far as any “inherent right to interpretation”, the comments by Kendall do not alter nor negate that, either in the original writer or in the reader. I am still capable of agreeing with him or dismissing his comments. I say ‘well done’ and ‘carry on, Kendall’!

  11. BJ Spanos says:

    Sorry – i meant “especially in instances when what has been posted is not correct…” Very tired this evening. Pardon the confusion.

  12. Br. Michael says:

    Nuts. I am greatfull for Kendall’s input.

  13. Grandmother says:

    Last I heard, a “blog” was indeed the product of the owner. I have often wished to hear the Canon’s “take” on various things.

    KSH, you must have trod on a toe or two, for someone to take you to task for exactly what many of us have wished for you to do.

    As far as we’re concerned, you are the Diocesan Theologian for US, not just for the bishop. Theologe, define, and point out, away my friend, it is definitely appreciated and welcomed..


  14. Brad Drell says:

    Are you an advocate or a journalist, Kendall? If you are a journalist, then the writer of this email is correct. If you are an advocate, then this email is bunk.

    Your fellow advocate,
    Brad Drell

  15. David Fischler says:

    I’d like to echo the comments above. I have really enjoyed Father Kendall’s commentary, and would only like to see more of it. If all you want is a news aggregator, check out Google.

  16. RickW says:

    I was pondering a similar question today concerning the polity and form of decision making of TEC. I disagree with the initial comment.

    The problem of TEC is that it leaves too much to democracy. Democracy requires compromise in order to govern. It is an inefficient form of government that prevents power from being too closely held.

    The Gospel is an uncompromising statement by God. It is His Kingdom, and He makes the rules. It is not a democracy and the rules of the Kingdom are set by the King.

    This blog and the Church are about the Gospel. Just becuase we have an opinion, does not make us right. Just because there is a majority consensus, does not make it true. The internet is a democratic instrument – allows many opinions (even wrong headed ones) – but cannot be depended on for truth.

    Kendall’s blog should be a commentary about the ways of God, which cannot be watered down by some majority opinion. If Kendall is a theologian, then he must make the case for Theology, even if the question comes from a news paper. Theology that is not aligned with the purposes of God, well, just results in the mess that is TEC.

  17. TonyinCNY says:

    When 815 and pecusa put out blatant untruths, of course you should comment. When pecusa engages in disinformation it is right to point this out. When 815 and pecusa shade the truth, again, it is right to point this out.

  18. David Fischler says:

    And Brad: I’d suggest that it isn’t necessary for Father Kendall to have to approach the matter in an either/or fashion. There’s nothing wrong with being a journalist-advocate, as long as one is clear about that. Robert Novak on the right, or Chris Hedges on the left, are examples of writers who have a clear, out-front ideological approach, but who is also a reporter, rather than just an opinion columnist. Journalists who affect a faux “objectivity” while allowing their biases to leak out of every word are another story.

  19. Fr.Ed says:

    It’s your party. I would be disappointed not to hear your considered opinions on the issues. I have never though you stepped over any boundaries re: blogging. Have at it!

  20. Ross says:

    I’m neutral on Kendall’s occasional notes appended to the articles he links to. What I wouldn’t mind seeing more of — and I say this as a staunch reappraiser — are more articles by Kendall on this, his own blog. I may not agree with his conclusions all the time, but his (unfortunately rare) articles are always thoughtful and worth paying attention to.

  21. Jason Miller says:

    It’s your blog, do what you want. Drell says it best in 14.

  22. Frank Fuller says:

    Let me add one more voice expressing appreciation for your comments as well as your choice selections of the wide variety of materials we have here. Silencing your commentary would diminish this site, as much I hope for those who disagree with you as for those of us who (usually) happen to concur. Muzzle not the editorial ox, whomsoever he may gore.

  23. Sarah1 says:

    Agree with the above very much. You should be commenting more.

    Further, the assumption here is wrong: “Adding your editorial comment that they are in error in that interpretation is not terribly helpful as i t does not change their interpretation and they do have a right to that interpretation.”

    Your purpose is not to change the interpretation of the editorial you are commenting on. Your purpose is to point out truths and help educate people — particularly the inquisitive moderate who has finally worked up the energy to investigate but does not have the background of the past four years to recognize the obvious errors of the ECUSA 815 bureaucracy. I also include the media in that education goal — they are increasingly and avidly reading your blog.

  24. Anonymous Layperson says:

    I’ve always wondered why you didn’t comment more- after all, it is a blog

  25. Paula Loughlin says:

    As long as Canon Kendall makes clear which part of the post are the article and which are his comments I see no problem at all. I for one think we should hear more from Kendall. I value his opinion.

  26. ElaineF. says:

    I read both the National Review and the New Republic, including commentaries. I know where each is “coming from,” but, more importantly, the commentaries are thoughtful…though, of course,wrong at times, IMHO. Comment away, Fr. Harmon!

  27. Jeffersonian says:

    I have to say this is the first time I’ve seen a blogger taken to task for daring to voice his own opinion on his blog. NB: Kendall Harmon is not a public utility. More comment is called for, not less.

  28. Randy Muller says:

    I like the commentary you insert from time to time. I would also prefer more articles by you.

    Since you always set the commentary off in italics, it’s clear what your comments are and what the text of the article is. If think people are smart enough to understand that the articles are written from a different perspective than yours — especially if you supply a contrasting commentary!

  29. Brian of Maryland says:

    Yes – keep making whatever comments you want. All of us are bright enough to sift through all of it anyway AND I have never once read anything from you that was peevish or small minded. You help keep the rest of us honest.

    Maryland Brian

  30. robroy says:

    If Kendall is saying exactly what the NY Times says that the HoB response was woefully inadequate and lacking in frankness called for in a group claiming to be a Christian organization, then I can’t see how one could say he is anything but a moderate moderator.

  31. Kevin Maney+ says:

    In a time when there is so much disinformation, it is essential for you to comment. Right, wrong, or indifferent, given the nature of the Internet, there is the lowest common denominator you (and every conscientious web publisher) have (has) to consider, i.e, folk who might visit your site who are not informed and who take things at face value for whatever reason.

    [b]Moreover, your comments are useful/essential because you are a gracious soul[/b]. Hence, your comments provide appropriate insight/perspective [b]and[/b] good modeling behavior for Christians of any ilk.

    This post earlier today is a good example. I was tempted to quip in the comments that, “There you go again. Insisting on using facts to debate a perspective” but refrained. It is, however, quite appropriate that you do.

  32. Brian from T19 says:

    The key words in the e-mail are: “until recently.” Perhaps the reader hasn’t been on the blog a long time, but Kendall+ wears his emotions on his sleeve at various key decision points since the 2003 convention. If you look back, whenever there has been some national/international “moment of decision,” Kendall+ has a pattern:

    -Request prayerful consideration
    -Remind people of the issues
    -State the issues more emphatically as the date/deadline approaches
    -Request that people not overreact
    -Voluminous editorializing (“Person A gets it;” “This is NOT what was requested/written/mentioned by X;”
    -A regretful pullback to other stories
    -Business as usual

    None of these is a bad thing. It is simply that certain issues are hot-button issues for Kendall+ and he has a hard time restraining his passion for those issues. And who among us doesn’t? I got Sarah Hey so mad one day that she blasted me in a comment and William F. Buckley published it!

    So, to sum up: there is nothing wrong with being passionate about an issue, the less-restrained Kendall+ is cyclical and short-lived, and none of us is worse off reading his comments.

    Just my 2 cents (which will be the new pennies since I am a revisionist;))

  33. Oldman says:

    Kendall, for what it’s worth, many years ago I had a four hour call in radio show every Saturday where people could ask me questions on a particular facet of applied science. 99% of the callers were polite and seemed appreciative of my advice. The 1% belonged to the know it alls of the world. They were a real pain as they tried to be the “expert” and dragged out their allotted time saying little of meaning or helpfulness to the other listeners. And in a way my subject could be quite controversial, too. It took some time for me to stop letting them get under my skin. I was thankful for my other listeners who did a fine job of taking down the “know it alls.”
    I must say, you do a far better job than I ever did and I thank our Lord for your even handling of your blog. Titus is the greatest place I have found for sifting through the mass of good and bad information on the internet about the TEC. It may be hard, but keep in mind that you are spreading the truth as you know it…and I do too.
    But the most I am thankful for is YOU!

  34. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) says:

    #7 BJ: Point taken, in the spirit of James 3. Still it seems to be rather a lot of whinging over what I expect is a normal — welcomed, even — aspect of blogs. The word was a touch harsh, and I apologise.

  35. BabyBlue says:

    I look forward to reading your commentary, Kendall. 😉


  36. Philip Snyder says:

    I appreciate all the comments here and especially Canon Harmon’s. I also appreciate this space as a place where we can trade in ideas and the occasional invective. Perhaps one of the reason that the ratio of invetive to comment has risen lately is that there is a sense of betrayal or being let down by many people here. I have felt let down by our HoB – even when I expected no more from them than what they gave. When emotions are runing high, it is time to pray before, during, and after each post or comment.

    Phil Snyder

  37. Larry Morse says:

    On the whole, I agree with the criticism on the level of principle. Kendall is better seen as one who is not seen, a principle not much in use in other blogs. But this blog is different, I earnestly desire to think. Kendall is the FORM of the blog, not the voice of it.

    But the critic here overstates his case by a substantial degree. Kendall is in reality not terribly visible, and the result is that his actually presence is not truly intrusive. If he doubled his “personal opinion presence” I would begin to be doubtful of the value, however thoughtful his remarks, because he would be an actor, not a form. So, in practice, the critic here is making a case he wishes were true; he is attempting to create his own facts, and it is this motive that annoys me most: He wants to shut Kendall up, and this is not a matter of principle. Larry

  38. Todd Granger/Confessing Reader says:

    Kendall, I too have appreciated your comments, brief though they be. I agree with Ross in hoping for more entries/essays from you.

  39. Id rather not say says:


    Simple solution. When you want to make a brief observation, put it in the comments sections. It’s your blog, so you get the privilege of going first without doing what seems to bother your e-mailer.

    When you write something longer, then it is effectively [i]your[/i] post and you can say whatever the @#$% you want.

    Just a suggestion. As people say, its your blog.

  40. Rev Dr Mom says:

    I agree with your correspondent. That said, anyone who comes here will discover the slant of this site pretty quickly. If you’re a “reasserter” you’ll like the editorial comments; if you’re a “reappraiser” you might find them at bit much at times.

    Essays or full entries are another matter. It is your blog and you should write what you believe. But perhaps editorial comments on articles is not the best way to do it.

  41. Stu Howe says:

    Kendall, I was starting to type a long reply here, when I realized all I needed to say, was thank you for providing this space.

  42. Rev Dr Mom says:

    #39 makes an excellent suggestion.

  43. DavidH says:

    My impression (not quantified or verified) is that your comments have increased recently. I agree with many previous commenters, however — it’s your blog and you should feel free to comment away. By and large, the things you comment on are public anyway, so it’s not like you’re dragging private figures into the public sphere and mocking them — you’re taking comments from people already in that sphere and offering your point of view.

  44. vulcanhammer says:

    It’s Kendall’s blog. He can comment as he likes. Frankly, as polarised as the situation is these days, it’s amazing he stays as even-keeled as he does. Those who visit my blog know I am certainly more opinionated in my approach, and I am certainly not alone.

  45. Anselmic says:

    Personally I don’t mind the short intro paragraphs, and I don’t think that they have change significantly over the last couple of weeks. I’d like to see Kendall post more in the actual comments too. One minor quibble, perhaps the elves could post their comments under other psyudonyms (can’t spell it). Thus preserving their impartiality as referee’s of appropriateness of comment contents. That said, this blog is de rigeur the place to go to for Anglican news, it’s success is due to Kendall and the ethos he promotes here, I for one would be wary of changing something too much that isn’t broke.

  46. Greg Griffith says:

    Live into the tension, Kendall.

  47. D. C. Toedt says:

    Kendall, I’m with most of the rest of the crowd on this one: 1) It’s your blog, do what you well please, as long as you continue your helpful practice of italicizing and initialing your own comments. 2) I LOVE seeing your own comments, which often provoke me to think about things I might not otherwise have thought about — and I love even more when folks like Brian from T19, Ross, etc., systematically demolish your errors and mushy thinking (just kidding, well, sort of) 🙂

  48. hyacinth says:

    I have alway appreciated your South Carolina polish in how you handle much of the articles and posts made on your site. I think your age (maturity) have seasoned you well. Sarcasm, nastiness, jabs or denigrating comments have never been your style. I bless you for this example. Many would do well to follow suit. As for your elves, does anything need to be said? A good tree produces good fruit. They are a credit to you.

    As for the comments, may I suggest that a simple solution might be to post your comments as the first blog entry? It seems rather a disservice to those in this dialogue to be precluded from your giftings in assessing the nuances in much of the debate. Yet at the same time, placing it within the article setting gives your posting a perceived greater weight. Placing it as a first blog entry makes you “First amongst equals” – entailed to post an opinion which should be considered on its own merits rather than on the fact that you’ve pull rank (you’re certainly entitled to it but it looks cleaner). Is this a compromise solution or what?

  49. Mathematicus says:

    Kendall, I think your blend of education, experience, and position within the church make you uniquely qualified to comment on the issues before us, far more so than most of us who do comment. Please fire away whenever you feel like it. I, for one, am always glad to see, “[b]Kendall wrote:[/b], even if Imight disagree with you.

  50. Connie Sandlin says:

    Hey, it’s your blog – you can comment if you want to. And I want you to. Please continue to help us sort through the muddle.

    Love in Christ,

  51. Don Armstrong says:

    I have great respect for Kendall’s insights and am much more apt to read something if Kendall says it is important or to understand it better when he adds a comment of discernment. It is because I trust Kendall that I check his blog a couple times a day–it is always the first thing I do, right after driving to Starbucks, when I get up in the morning…way out here in the mountain time zone, long after the rest of you have posted your own responses…I say the more from Kendall, the better.

  52. TACit says:

    #46, LOL.
    The previous 51 comments cover many important aspects of the reasonableness and importance of Kendall’s usually infrequent commentary on this, his own weblog. It occurs to me in fact that your mother (English teacher) would be really proud of the job you are doing here, Kendall, if that is not too bold a thing to say.
    You provide a forum that assists many to reach for new levels of theological literacy including as it pertains to the current passion-stirring issues. The Lambeth 2008 would be in need of such a good theological communicator for its Theological Education emphasis, I should think.

  53. dpeirce says:

    Add my voice to the cacaphony approving Fr Kendall’s comments. They are always pertenant and helpful; I can’t see how anyone would hesitate to express a different opinion from Fr Kendall anyway (not the elves, now, that would be dangerous, but Fr Kendall yes ^_^). Only even *remotely* possible downside to his comments might be an increase in posts which simply say “I agree”. Can certainly live with that.

    In faith, Dave
    Viva Texas

  54. Lawrence says:

    Comment away!

  55. Briane says:

    This seems silly to me. By definition the blog (a web log) exists as a medium that actively encourages insertion of commentary. If the site owner can’t post his thoughts in such a medium, I mean, what’s the point?!

  56. frrememberthat says:

    I am not in favor of the mini editorials, especially when they dismiss the viewpoint of others. I think this does not let the reader draw their own conclusions. Anything that begins conversation rather than keeping people in the entrenched polarized positions is good by me. Otherwise we will continue to live in the polarities.

  57. John B. Chilton says:

    The strength of t19 has been in its coverage including bringing us thoughtful pieces we might otherwise miss. So, like the email writer, I am most grateful for this. At the same time I have always wished you, Kendall, would give us more of your views, insight, observations, and disputation of facts. So I am glad to see you have done so recently.

  58. Bill Cool says:

    Kendall, I agree that your introductory remarks about what you post are helpful and that even more frequent remarks would be helpful. However, I would not want them submerged into the regular comment stream. You are not merely one of the many commenters. You are the one who chose to insert the particular topic itself and background from you can be helpful.

  59. Briane says:

    “I think an editor should be independent, that is, of personal influence, and not be moved from his opinions on the mere authority of any individual.” — Thomas Jefferson

    Open public discourse and a the marketplace of ideas is okay by me. Let the T19 Editor editorialize! 🙂

  60. Hursley says:

    Dr. Harmon:

    First of all, I tend to agree with those who feel you should be free to comment on your own blog. Second, I can see where too much commentary could cloud the special character of this particular blog, just as too much commentary can ruin anything. However, I do think it is very interesting that your correspondent chooses to go down the ol’ “rights” path in his/her argument. It always seems to boil down to “rights” in TEC, doesn’t it? And, as usual with this sort of argumentation, the result is that those whose opinion doesn’t coincide with the Inclusivist agenda are explicitly denied their “rights” and are told to, in effect, shut up. Somehow, it is just too painful to have folks undercutting the Court Theology. It doesn’t add up for this reader.

    So, I agree that T19 has a special character that could be damaged by excessive polarization; but, you have always made a very strong effort to require manners and Christian charity as a basis for commenting. Keep up the good work and don’t be shamed into silence because someone doesn’t like the level of circulation and influence this non- “court prophet” blog has. If you really “cross the line,” more of us fusty moderates will say something.

    In Christ,

    Non clamor sed amor psallit in aure Dei

  61. Rob Eaton+ says:

    Not sure about the EFHutton observation; that may simply be a function of the fact that you don’t always post editorital comment, and so when you do the fact that you do is notable.
    It is quite amazing the kinds of unreasonable comments people actually leave here across the board, and the blog only gets stronger.
    I was going to say I agree with Brian (and DavidH) about his observation of when you do make more comments. But then he attributed it to some sort of undisciplined emotionalism.
    Still, it seems clear you don’t do a lot of commenting on posts or in the threads except at critical times. Which I value. I don’t see how you could make such comments, anyway, on every post or thread because you’d lose your job(s). The commenter should be grateful, then!!
    And I do appreciate the fact that you made an editorial comment on this very post.
    (wink, wink)


  62. Craig Goodrich says:

    My response to the email is Rubbish!

    If we’re interested only in seeing the source, we can generally just follow the link to its pure and unadulterated form — which in the case of ENS, for example, is quite obviously untouched by human hands.

    The fact that this blog is being run (at least nominally) by Kendall+ is one of the reasons I stop in, and I regard the relative rarity of his comments as unfortunate. I wish he had more time to comment, though I’m sure that working to free more of the faithful from the pseudotheological gulag of 815 carries a higher priority.

  63. Dave B says:

    Dr. Harmon you are very fair in your comments and your blog has been a great blesing and help to me as I try to sort through what is going on. Keep up the great work.

  64. justme says:

    Firstly, thank you Kendall for all the work you do. I may not always agree with you especially when you ‘close comments’ on an article. But what I see hear is “if I agree on the subject it is alright for you to comment” but if I don’t then it is all wrong !!!
    Seems to me that this person is one of the old school who do not think the average person needs to be helped to understand. Bear in mind if it were not for the blogs and getting the word out to us we would all have been kept in the dark instead of being informed. This is why ‘things passed’ in convention, 30, 20 or even 10 years ago because the average person did not know and understand what the PB abd HoB’s were doing and to some extent why we are in this mess today.

  65. The_Elves says:

    Kendall, this elf has always been in favor of your commentary and even has longed to see you move more from commentary to teaching (like maybe posting some of your sermons?!). But you knew that already! 😉

    Re: comment #62 [i]”The fact that this blog is being run (at least nominally) by Kendall+… “[/i]

    No “nominally” about it!!! No no no!

    With exceptions of exceedingly busy news periods, or when Kendall is travelling, 99% of what you see here is posted by Kendall. The primary role for us elves is comment moderation and to help out with technical questions (such as user registration) and blog formatting issues, etc. We do forward story links to Kendall if/when we have time (as do many of our readers, with Kendall’s encouragement!), but most of the time Kendall’s already seen the story links we send before we’ve sent them.

    This was a solo effort by Kendall long before we got involved, and even if we disappeared one of these days, most of you would notice little to no change. We just try to help with some of the admin stuff to free up Kendall for what he does best.

  66. The_Elves says:

    Proof of what I just wrote in #95.

    Since switching to this new server & blog, Kendall has posted 1997 entries.

    We elves have only posted 215 entries. But most of those came in May (lots of admin stuff re: the new blog) and July (when Kendall took some time off).

    Anything we post is listed as being posted by the elves. We do not “ghost post” for Kendall. Occasionally on the old blog if Kendall was travelling we would “prep” stories for him that he then reviewed, modified as desired and posted under his own name, but we’ve not done that on this blog.

  67. palagious says:

    Perhaps, making comments/opinion more explicit by using a different color and I don’t think all comments need be explicitly colored — just the one’s where personal opinion is stressed. I don’t think pointing out factual inconsistencies or differences between documents or statements rises to the level of opinion. You might say, well its his “interpretation” of whether the HoB Statement answers the mail to the DES communique and I would answer “exactly”. From what I see from supposedly professional journalists that cover the issue with far less acumen this type of writing would not land you in the OPED section.

  68. Doug Martin says:

    Goodness! The response is overwhelmingly in favor of Dr Harmon’s continued commentary, so “let it be so”. For the benefit of #60, “rights” never crossed my mind. “Old school”? Could be. So allow me to again express my thanks to Dr Harmon for supporting this blog in whatever form it assumes, and for his thoughtfulness in not using my name without asking first although it was unnecessary. I remain the original commentor, Doug Martin.

  69. DonGander says:

    Three things:

    First, this is Dr. Harmon’s blog and I would consider it a breach of civil rights and sanity if his own thoughts and leanings were no where evident.

    Second, I appreciate his pointing things out that I might miss.

    Third, I feel it an enormous privilage to sit under the doctor’s tutorage. I would like to see more, not less, commentary.

    In case there is confusion in my post, my vote is to file the subject email in the wastebasket.

  70. samh says:

    If there were in fact no Truth, then of course it wouldn’t be proper for Kendall to analyze material he is posting. If he were claiming to be a news aggregator, it would be inappropriate. But he is a priest in God’s Church, with a gift for thinking God-thoughts.

    In fact, there realistically is no way for him to [i]not[/i] express his opinion. Every decision that is made regarding what items to post expresses an opinion. To put up the image that everything is impartial, everything is equally valid, everything is right… well, that would be a disservice to the Church and to the world.

    This is not to say that others are not entitled to their opinions. They certainly have “the right” to think their thoughts and to express them in writing. Kendall’s commentary does not detract from their rights. But the expression of a thing does not make it legitimate or give it some sort of claim to Truth.

    Analyze away, Kendall!

  71. badman says:

    I agree with your email correspondent although, of course, as it is your blog, you can do as you please.

    The strength of this blog is its relaying of a broad range of views, its breadth, and its very rapid updating. Interleaved comment obstructs the relay. [b] Comment itself is good, but it is best if it doesn’t take the form, as it were, of interruption. [/b] Comment in separate “think pieces”, however short, or in the comment roll, would actually be more persuasive and authoritative, I think.

    This is your blog so you are like the judge, and the reader is the jury. Judges who interrupt witnesses are generally less successful at persuading the jury than judges who make their points separately, as in summing up.

    Of course, those who instinctively agree with everything you say will do so whenever you say it. But I sense that your blog has a wider readership, and therefore influence, than this.

  72. DonGander says:


    I was with you (sympathising with an aspect of your point) until you say, “those who instinctively agree with everything you say”. If you are correct then that is no big deal, but, are you correct in saying that? To what extent are you correct or incorrect?

  73. Neal in Dallas says:

    First, I appreciate that your blog is abut more than the issues concerning the Episcopal Church/Anglican Communion. It shows that these issues really are occurring in a much larger context.

    Second, I agree with others who have noticed that it IS YOUR blog. You can comment on what you will. I think you’re doing quite enough commenting. Nice balance. Clear, pointed, but not too much logorrhea.

    Third, why should you simply reference articles in order to let people draw their own conclusions. You are a teacher, Kendall, not a reporter. You are using your blog to teach. The articles are balanced; your comments are aimed at using those articles to teach. Keep teaching.

    One of the problems with the now-called ‘liberal education’ is that a liberal education teaches only one side of the argument: the ‘liberal side.’ The opposing side is often met with either silence or derision from the professor. A truly liberal education presents both, or more sides, showing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

  74. Milton says:

    Well, Kendall, the e(cusa)mperor always was and always will be annoyed when anyone, including you, points out that he has no clothes. Keep on commenting, and I think the current practice is fine as is, to italicize your comments to set them off from the rest of the article. By the way, as of 9:15 AM CDT, [i]ALL[/i] of the text, articles and commentary is displaying [i]italicized[/i] on my monitor! Tongue-in-cheek [i]commentary[/i], or a slip of the keying finger? 😉

  75. Milton says:

    Ah, the italics are [i]fixed[/i] already! Magic, those elves are!

  76. Hursley says:

    #68 – Doug

    I guess I got the “rights” concept from the language in your message to Kendall. It just seemed to be an important part of the logic of your argument. I could be wrong, but it rather does read that way (“right to their interpretation” v. a right to critique interpretations of events in various news accounts on one’s own blog). I guess I see some of your overall point, but still believe it tends to foreclose expression, rather than promote it – esp. with the “right to interpret” aspect (which, as far as I can tell, was never really in question anyway).

    In Christ,

    Non clamor sed amor psallit in aure Dei

  77. Sherri says:

    #56, it might be good to remember that it was Dr. Harmon who launched the thread on getting “unstuck” – one I found especially memorable and hopeful, for all of us, until the bishops showed they didn’t have as much creativity, or something, as their clerics and the laity. We miss a lot, I think, by not hearing more from the blogger himself. And if we want the blog to just be a news service for us … isn’t it a bit lazy of us to expect merely that and nothing more?

  78. Ralinda says:

    Kendall– Your recent commentary has been very helpful and very insightful. I’ve forwarded a few of them because you said it better than anyone else.

  79. Timothy Fountain says:

    At some point, Christian leaders/teachers are called upon to help the people understand the sense of what is being said. It is not enough to say, “Here’s the info, decide for yourselves.” That approach has damaged ECUSA/TEC’s health as a Christian enterprise and as an organization in ways too many to list here.
    We have people, all claiming to be Christians, coming up with vastly different conclusions and presentations. There is a strong need for Christian teachers to help understand how those conclusions are reached.
    And many of Kendall’s comments have been aimed at secular press distortions of Christian issues.
    Again, there is a responsibility to teach. Kendall is a diocesan Canon Theologian. His comments are a good use of this site.

  80. jamesw says:

    Kendall: I have always considered that one of the strengths of your blog is when you comment on the articles. It is always very clear as to what your thoughts are, so there is no confusion.

    You are not a journalist, there is no such thing as a purely objective collection of TEC/Anglican related news stories, and I don’t see why you should be that source.

    Rather, you are, as Neal said, a teacher; and, as Brad said, an advocate. A lot of what gets put out now is extremely one-sided, biased, or less then honest in what is covered. Your comments are always gentle and thoughtful (nothing TalkRadio about them).

    I will give you an example. Two evenings ago I spoke with a lay person in my diocese who is strongly conservative. She seemed very pleased with the HoB statement, and when I inquired why, it was because she had read one news story which spun it along the lines of “no more non-celibate gay bishops, no more same sex blessing, and alternative episcopal oversight.” I asked this person if she had actually read the document – she had not. So, I went through it with her, and when she actually understood it, she was horrified with it. Your comments and editorials, Kendall, are designed to counteract this sort of erroneous and mistaken interpretations. Your comments keep everyone honest. Please keep them coming.

    And I would disagree with IRNS’s suggestion – it would make it harder to quickly see where you have made editorial comments – I prefer to see them in the post itself.

  81. Sarha7nj says:

    I’ve been lurking for quite some time (was introduced to you by GetReligion) and finally registered to comment on this. Please, Rev. Harmon, keep commenting. Although not an Anglican/Episcopalian myself, I have been following TEC news for quite some time and I did pray for all of you during the last few weeks of “interesting” times. This site is an asset to all believers in Jesus Christ, and you deserve most of the credit for that (with the assistance of the elves). So, please, keep writing.

  82. johnd says:

    I can only add my voice (type?) to those above who appreciate & look forward to your comments. I too would like to see more of your thoughts.