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December 05, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-12-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Eighty years of'editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Canterbury House: Time for a re-definition

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



Daily Guest Writer
(CANTERBURY HOUSE was only a few
months ago the center of a creative
spiritual and political search for new ways
of living and being, its space bursting with
more energy than it knew what to do with.
Today it lies empty, practically unused, a
vacuum or lack instead of the centering
fullness it once was. The questions it ask-
ed, the hopes and dreams it set afoot, the
ground and nourishment it gave to the
already expanding consciousness of a new
political, spiritual community, make it im-
portant to consider in light of its present
It started four years ago in its present
location and form as a modest attempt to
give expression to a new (some have said
"prophetic") religious awareness and vis-
ion of what Wholeness could be. It soon
found that it had unloosed a latent en-
ergy larger than its expectations. It an-
nounced itself as being radically o p e n,
personally and environmentally, and peo-
ple began to take it seriously.
During the past four years its import-
ance mushroomed. At f i-r s t it served a
growing art and folk culture of students,
who by their intellectual a n d aesthetic
creativity, turned on a lot of people. Then
everyone seemed to be turning on-through
events of the times, through dope, through
tragedies which were no longer someone
else's, through Alice and Dylan or what-
ever and' whoever, maybe everything all at
once - except the patriarchy.
The openness of Canterbury House and
its space made it seem that it was every-
one's space, psychic and physical, to ex-
plore and out of which to learn and grow.
There are no accidents, and it was no ac-
cident that the most important experienc-
es for so many of us occurred there. Its
music was everyone from Richie Havens,
Joni Mitchell, Skip James, Odetta, Janis,
the Blues Festival, to you and me with our
kazoos and nose flutes and Hog Farmers.
Its theatre likewise. Even its food, all get-
ting down to the tragedies of our o w n
death course, struggling to define emo-
tionally out of that what we should be
getting on with that was sacred and ulti-
mate about our lives.
ship experimentation which was so sorely
lacking in the dying Western churches be-
came a full-time dedication to see if and
how we could find a center to our lives
and give expression to those guts out there
where the world is our temple. We had no
pretense of answers, only of a faith that
enabled us the devotion to search.
People joined us in that search, in more
numbers and helped each other face the
Cosmic Madness that seeks to destroy us.
All the time something kept telling us it
all could be different. So we moved Out
There where it was no longer safe, where
our Great White Fathers feared to tread,
but where many of us felt that difference
could begin to occur. We left the liberal-
ism of simply being enablers or facilitators,
the comfort of demanding change withut
going through those changes ourselves, and
openly identified with the struggle f o r
radical change in this society/world. We
began to contribute organizationally and
Soon things all seemed to be happening
spontaneously - the Radical Film Series;
the Second Great Depression Soup Kitch-
en; strike communications; benefits for
political prisoners; the temporary housing
of the Ann Arbor Argus; the opening of
Ann Arbor Network as a 24-hour service
to help people strung out or in need of
places to crash; the starting of Ozone



-Daily-Tom Gottlieb

Middle America

Sen. Robert Huber.
Exeunt, stage, right

THURSDAY night we got what might
be our last view of outgoing state
Sen. Robert Huber (R-Troy) before he
leaves the GOP fold officially at the
end of this month.
The, outstanding point Huber g o t
across was his belief that certain persons
in this country aren't entitled to be the
equal of him and his followers; he
doesn't believe that the Constitution he
espouses so strongly is for all the people.
He spoke about the call of "All power
to the people" adopted by the radical left.
"It wasn't started by the Black Panth-
ers, or the White Panthers - it's in the
Constitution," he said.
He's right. It's right there in the Con-
stitution.' Only the people, through their
representatives have the legal authority
to declare war. The Constitution is sup-.
posed to prohibit unreasonable searches
and seizures: the nrosecution of aleged
criminals is supposed to be carried out
with due process of law.
But Sen. Huber, in the same breath
in which he espouses his belief in the
Constitution, calls for vigilantes a n d
wiretapping as necessities.
He castigates the radical left, saying
that real power is attained not through
violence but through votes, and then ad-
vocates the continuance of the Vietnam
war. He takes a tough "law and order"
stance against the powerless on campus
and in the ghettoes, both populated by
persons who are largely outside the illicit
Editorial Staff
Editorial Director Managing Editor
NADINE COHODAS ........... Feature Editor
JIM NEUBACHER Editorial Page Editor
ROB BIER ... .....Associate Managing Editor
LAURIE HARRIS...:........... Arts Editor
JUDY KAHN .. .....Personnel Director
DANIEL ZWERDLING . .. ....... Magazine Editor
ROBERT CONROW ... .......t..Books Editor
JIM JUDKIS...........Photography Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Jim Beattie, Dave Chudwin, Steve
Koppman, Robert Kraftowitz, Larry Lempert, Lynn
PAY EDITORS: Rose Berstein, Mark Dillen, S a r a
Fitzgerald, Art Lerner, Jim McFerson, Jonathan
Miller, Hannah Morrison. Bob Schreiner, W. E.
Chaney, Steve Koppman, Pat Mahoney, Rick
COPY EDITORS: Taitmy Jacobs, Hester Pulling, Carla
Anita Crone, Linda Dreeben, Alan Lenhoff, Mike
McCarthy, Zack Schiller, John Shamraj, Kristin
Ringstrom, Gene Robinson, Chuck Wilbur, Ed-
ward Zimmerman.
Sports Staff

power structure which has grown up in
this country despite the Constitution.
SEN HUBER is off to organize a strong
Conservative third party in Michi-
gan, one that he feels will be more co-
herent and important than the feeble and
pathetic American Independent Party.
More than likely, he will find a good
amount of support in Michigan. In the
Republican primary for the senatorial
nomination, he lost by only a hair to
Lenore Romney. While some of that can
be attributed to voter disgust with Len-
ore, it cannot be denied that a lot of vot-
ers in this state agree with Huber. It is
sad but true that, like him, many voters
believe the guarantees and principles of
the Constitution exist only to protect
their vested interests at the expense of
those with whom they disagree.
Huber is an expert at appealing to the
fears and frustrations of these voters
with his anti-Communist, anti-student,
anti-social progress platform.
PERHAPS IT IS a blessing to have him
out of the Legislature and into the
real world of political organizing. The
two-party system needs to be smashed,
and he will certainly help if he can con-
tinue to widen the schism that is sinking
the Republican party in this state.
But liberals and radicals who would
welcome this side-effect must be pre-
pared to gain mass support for their own.
positions. Fascism and regressive poli-
tics in general have a tremendously huge
appeal for large portions of the populace
in this country; they are willing to sell
all our freedoms down the river for the
price of the, for them, comfortable status

House to help freaks and others on the
loose as runaways with their own housing
Four thousand or more people a week
were utilizing Canterbury House. Some-
times it never closed. People were saying
life was different there, and we were say-
ing it could be different Out There, too, in
a beautiful way. Crying and laughing, fall-
ing in love and saying yes for the first time
in a long time.
difficult. The old ways were dying, we had
helped them die, and it was impossible al-
ways to keep up with the changes going
on. Chickens and sins of the fathers came
home to roost. Much happened too fast,
sometimes too brutally, and people got
hurt. My own life changed, often at the
expense of many people, and that I regret
very deeply. But we tried to deal with that
pain as well. We all cried when we hurt
each other, but then we got down to it.
It took a long time to realize why we
got ripped off so much, that the world is
no longer made up of good guys and bad
guys, but raw people who need (as we do),
who could easily and understandably take
out their frustrations on their friends.
Now suddenly it is all different. People
ask me if Canterbury House is closing.
Most others simply ask me what is hap-
pening there: I am not there any more,
but from what I hear I gather that not
much of anything is going on there.

No more political offices, no more soup
kitchen, no more professional entertain-
ment, unused physical space, and other un-
used resources. Only a few of the needs it
served can be found elsewhere. The cen-
ter it provided is gone; now there exist
only peripheries.
I GUESS IT ALL came down at once, or
at least that is the way it seems. I got fired
by that patriarchy I referred to earlier, for
reasons whose implications I was naive not
to take seriously at the time, but which I
feel we must all take seriously right now.
The specific problem was that I was liv-
ing with a' lady and her children in love,
struggling to gether in painful honesty to
define who we were together as we explor-
ed our inner-outer world. The problem was
that I was doing this as an ordained Epis-
copal minister. The limits and boundaries
of such ministry are defined by cannon
laws, which can be so rigidly enforced as
to control both the personal life of the
minister and his (yes, it's exclusively male)
public ministry as well.
Needless to say my life style was not
commensurate w i t h those canons which
require either celibacy or church-state
sanctioned marriage. I was far away from
either of those.
The time comes I suppose when we de-
cide we're not going to play the game any
more, when we, the needs of our times, or
the time of our needs strips our cover. No
more hiding, no more closets. Instead of
being everything THEY say we are, it be-
comes a matter of being everything WE
say we are. There is something raw but
cleansing about it, which really makes a
difference. I doubt this is true for those
who hide behind covers of respectibility.
They must be living out so many contra-
dictions right now as to not know who they
Out There where the masks slip off is a
wonderful, terrifying freedom of honesty.
Once that happens then the smugness of
the American dream and what has been
done in our name disappears, and with the
loss of pretending and pretense, we can
realize that we have become together our
o w n community-society of homesteaders
and outlaws. Angela Davis, Pun and
Weathermen bring that home to us these
SELF-DISCLOSURE as an important
p a r t of building a sense of community
seems to be a problem at Canterbury
House. Time and time again I have press-
ed Canterbury House people and staff to
open up to the community of people it has
served and spell out the problems they
seem to be having with people who still
really care. Together it might seem that
a direction for the future could be found
so that needs and wants could once again
be served.
It is interesting to note that although
the consent of the community was requir-
ed at my ordination, there was no similar
consent of the community required or
sought by the Bishop at my firing. Per-
sons in power have never been known for
taking seriously any mandate except their
own. Nor are they known for taking com-
munity seriously.
Once upon a time there really was a way
to get back homeward. Someone led us
t-ha..Y l.b 4h an nt lnn mnr. An', min

Canterbury House is responsible is unable
to handle an overtly political ministry;
particularly one which challenges its very
sources of support and legitimacy. To be
Out There may mean a very uncomfort-
able but necessary part in that prophetic
tradition from Jeremiah to Daniel and
Phillip Berrigan. It may mean severing
institutional ties and standing. alongside
such mavericks in our history as the Cath-
olic Workers or the Confessing Church of
Nazi Germany.
on a future for Canterbury House are as
As a college chaplaincy, it presently re-
mains under the ultimate authority of
one man, the Bishop of the Diocese of
Michigan. To be its own and carry on what
needs to be done, may require a break
with puppetry and patriarchy.
A less courageous, but still relevant
change would be to become a 'parish, which
is at least self-governing and self-suffic-
ient. (Orthodoxy need not necessarilly be
reactionary.) The larger step would be to
formally stand outside the church tradi-
tion and become what we could call a
free church, creating Out There in its own
autonomy its own future as it wants and
needs to.
There are those who say they love the
church too much to move against it for it,
but they should consider which comes first
right now when the chips are down for
more and more people-the institution's
preservation or our people's future. Any-
thing Canterbury House has done creatively
has been heavily criticized by uptight Am-
ericans. They are not about to relax re-
However, the indecisiveness about the
future by those immediately in charge of
Canterbury House does not necessarily re-
flect the feeling which people once a part
of its community seem to be expressing.
Increasingly, decisions about Cantrebury
House which affect the turned on cultural-
political community of Ann Arbor are being
made by its board and staff, and not by
them with the people theyeither seek to
serve or have served.
It would be tragic for us if Canterbury
House loses itself as it seeks to save its
neck. It would be much easier if the
people wouldn't get uppity, or so we've
thought. That has been our approach to
blocks and women. We have not been. up-
pity about our relationship to Canterbury
House, but in so far as our lives can be
affected by its presence or absence, we
should be. Its failure will be our failure.
LAST SPRING, one Sunday morning's
worship wasn't going well, and we stopped
to figure out together what the problem
was. David Ackles, our weekend's per-
former, stood up and said he had been to
three worship experiences with us over the
previous two years. The first was very
exciting to him, the second less so, and
this one was very unpleasant. But he went
on to say that now that the newness and
freshness had worn off, we seemed to be
getting down to the most basic problems
of any struggle and of any community. He
added that despite the frustrations and
pain, and perhaps because of them, this
might be the most exciting time of all, for
him and for us.


Conservative James
be the Senator from
two million votes. We
happen here.

Buckley is going to
New York. He got
can't allow that to


Editorial Page Editor
Thinky about it
American battle deaths in Vietnam de-
clined by half last week to 32, from 65
the previous week. The number of Ameri-
cans wounded was also down in the week
ended Nov. 28, from 335 to 178.
Meanwhile, the .South Vietnamese com-

24C v MF. A a ...fk :C'?: ii

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