January 31, 2013 | Filed Under Editorial Cartoons
13 Responses to “The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina”
Beyond perceptive! ‘Nuff Said!
I’m no longer an Episcopalian so I really don’t “have a dog in this fight” but the above is absolutely on the money!!
My hometown paper, the Chronicle-Independent ran this cartoon and received only one letter protesting the cartoon as being “racist.” The publisher asked me to write a column about what I do as a cartoonist and this cartoon in particular. In case there are any other readers who have interpreted the cartoon as defaming the Church, I offer these excerpts from my column:
” Editorial pages and editorial cartoons are forums for expressing opinions and different ideas that on occasion clash with those of the reader. Editorials and cartoons can inform the reader on issues of the day and hopefully, provoke thought and discussion. That’s their primary role.
Because they are expressed visually, cartoons tend to evoke stronger, more visceral reactions than the written word. Good cartoons can tickle your funny bone or grab you by the lapels and slap you around. One day they can champion the underdog and on another eviscerate a lying politician … Editorial cartoons should, to use the words of H. L. Mencken, ” comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
Cartoons can be funny, persuasive, infuriating, clever, abrasive, hard-hitting and sometimes misunderstood. …
Case in point: a recent cartoon I drew on the very public schism within the Episcopal Church. …
A reader expressed disgust that I would portray the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina as “racist.” I did not. That’s not at all what the cartoon implies and given the context of the news on the schism, to infer that it conveys a racist message doesn’t make sense.
The national Episcopal Church has… become increasingly liberal in its ordination of gay clergy and embrace of gay marriage.The conservative churches of the Episcopal Diocese of SC … have decided to leave on these and other issues… My use of the confederate battle flag here is to make the point that, once again we are witnessing… South Carolinians engaged in a battle to secede from a national federation. I know there are some who view the flag as a sinister symbol of racism and there are others who uphold it as emblematic of their Southern heritage, but first and foremost it’s a battle flag that represents the secessionist states of the Confederacy….
As symbols go, the Confederate battle flag is the visual equivalent of nitroglycerine. Combine it with the volatile topic of religion, whether it be Methodist, Episcopal, Catholic or Gamecock Football, and you’ve got the makings of a metaphorical nuclear device.
As a writer and cartoonist, I try to choose my words and symbols with great care lest they blow up in my face. After 29 years in this dangerous practice, I still have all of my fingers and most of my faculties…. I will continue to handle these explosive tools of the trade carefully and thoughtfully to create offerings that leave readers laughing or crying or cursing out loud over their intended meanings. However I must ask readers to consider the context in which these cartoons are offered before rushing out to cancel their subscriptions and remember that, to paraphrase Sigmund Freud, sometimes a battle flag is just a battle flag.”
The business with the Episcopal Church in the lower part of the state is complicated. This cartoon is accurate & makes the issue very clear. thank you.
The people that are trying to leave the Church with the Church’s property are as arrogant as those who tried to take South Carolina out of the Union in 1861. They are using the same logic, and appealing to the same base emotions, and most likely are headed for same outcome our ancestors.
While I agree that the Confederate flag stands for many things including the oppression of people or color, the Episcopal Church has a long history of supporting oppression so I’d say you definitely chose the right image here. Too bad you couldn’t find one that also symbolizes oppression of women, gays, Muslims, or Jews, as they would be equally credible symbols.
Get over it people. it is funny and doesn’t S.C. have a history of secession?
Robert, I don’t have much to say because you’ve said it all in this accurate depiction of what the “Lower” Diocese of South Carolina has done. Thank you.
“Sometimes a battle flag is just a battle flag?” Have you told any of your African American friends that? Let’s put it this way, hotshot, I’ll believe that you actually mean that when you have one painted on the roof of your car.
A couple things. We know that you don’t believe that the Low Country’s Anglican Christians are racists. If I were you, I’d be sure to have a fire extinguisher handy if you let any smokers around that straw man of yours.
But we also know, as well as we know our own names, that you think that they’re bigots because they refuse to compromise 2,000 years of Christian teaching just to make homosexuals feel good about themselves.
Oh, and outstanding job associating Mark Lawrence and the other actual Christians he shepherds with a symbol that Ku Klux Klan idiots carry around. Particularly since traditionalist Anglicans actually respect Africans and African-Americans while the Episcopal Organization does not.
For two reasons, I’m actually not that angry about this. I’m surprised that it took you so long. And since I converted to Christianity, I stopped caring a long time ago what Episcopalianity thinks about anything at all.
@ Robert Ariail on February 7th, 2013 10:31 am
As Judge Judy would say: “Please do not pee on my leg and tell me its raining”. You knew from the start that interpretation of the cartoon as a defamation of the Diocese of Sth. Carolina was inevitable and to claim no fault and/or deny intent on your part is intellectual dishonesty.
BTW I am not a member of either group in this fight. I just a distant observer from downunder.
It’s the national “church”’s shield which needs some updating to reflect its new found fascination with sodomy. So…get really creative Robert. I know you can.
Mr. Arial -
From the replies I see here, it looks as though most of those who have replied have taken your symbol as implying a racist, anti-feminist, anti-gay, etc., etc., stance.
That is their privilege.
I suspect you knew this would happen. But, as a former member of the Diocese of SC, I think your choice of symbols was a good one. It will be mis-interpreted. But I will support your choice.
If doctrinaire Liberal/Progressives choose to misinterpret your meaning, that is their lookout. I would suggest they remove the beam from their eye before trying to remove the mote in the Diocese of SC’s eye.
Christopher, you and Lavallette seem so sure of yourselves about what is in my mind and my heart. Lavallette says he is an observer from Downunder, so I can understand why he/she sees the flag as short hand for racism- it’s how it has been portrayed by so many for so long. The flag means many things to many people, but it does not mean only racism as you imply.
People don’t understand this schism at all, and this cartoon contributes to their misunderstanding. This about the truth of the Bible, period. Can you understand?
As someone who holds the interesting distinction of being one of the very few white clergy in the overwhelmingly black Diocese of the Southeast of the Reformed Episcopal Church — a part of the Anglican Church in North America — and the Vicar of a predominately black parish (unless we have visitors I’m usually the only white person at worship), the message that you intend to convey is despicable (even while I am compelled to note that the historical message of that battle flag — resistance to tyranny and self determination — is not without some accuracy).
All of that aside, our Diocese and my parish regularly remember Bishop Lawrence in our prayers and appreciate the stand that he and the Diocese of South Carolina are taking for Christian truth in the midst of adversity.
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