Saturday, January 14, 2006

That all my priests have passed

I was having a discussion with a friend at the bookstore last night, recounting some of the more frightening encounters with people I'd had in pastoral minstry. And then this morning, I looked into Athenae's thread about Battlestar Galactica, and I found this:

And that's why I rebelled so strongly when Starbuck said they were safer with her than without her. While I understand a hundred percent why Starbuck would say that, that's who Starbuck is as well, it's also why Starbuck shouldn't be in charge. As long as she's only getting herself killed, it's all fun and games and crazy-ass stunts. When you're making decisions for others you don't have the luxury of those kinds of personal quests and private desires. Cain didn't get that, Starbuck doesn't get that. Adama does.

Which is why in the end I think he backed down. Shoot Cain and make her a martyr, prolong the state of crisis, keep everybody hopped up. Come to some kind of amicable solution, even if it's an amicable solution that takes the shape of Cain being dishonorably discharged for ordering the torture of prisoner of war, and you can begin the horrible, horrible process of everyday living.

I left a note that I would steal that last line from her. And I mean to.

This touches on precisely why I've liked the show (when I watch it; TV scheduling has dropped out of my daily routine). I saw the episodes when Adama lay dying (an assassination attempt) and his second in command had to take over, and did so rather clumsily, at best.

That reminded me entirely of small-church ministry. You have no idea what being "in charge" is, and how much responsibility you have (and how little power or authority), until you step into a position of leadership., where the whole position (as a friend of mine in ministry said), is seeing the whole picture, especially when no one else will, or can.

It certainly isn't about strutting around like a bantam rooster (a la 'W'), and it isn't about giving orders and insisting they be followed because you have to be "tough" (as Adama's 2nd did).

It's about the horrible, horrible process of everyday living and being wholly responsible for it.

Which may move us along toward an answer to the question: "What is church for?"

But it is not, I fear, a very good answer.

Which is a religious (and theological) discussion in itself.

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