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Sunday, August 03, 2003

"Progressive" religious tolerance in action.

Actually, this story made me feel better. There was a little papist-bashing at yesterday's session of the ECUSA Convention meeting. It was during the debate over the elevation of a non-celibate gay priest Eugene Robinson as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. In this case, the basher is a Minnesotan divine named Howard Anderson:

It is not the Episcopal Church that is abandoning the historic catholic and apostolic faith, argued the Rev. Howard Anderson of Minnesota. In keeping with its 20/20 mission, the Episcopal Church is at a place where it could spread its doors wide open to welcome all people into its ministry, he said, and the confirmation of Robinson would be one sign of that.

The Episcopal Church, unlike the Roman Catholic Church, is known for its unique charism of inclusivity, he said. “We ordain women. We know the primary sacrament is baptism, not ordination.” The committee needs to think hard about this charism, he said, “and decide whether we will be the last catholics — big ‘c’ or little ‘c’ — or whether we will be watered down Roman Catholics trying to defend some moral like the Pharisees, or dressed up Presbyterians.”

Catholics are Pharisees, eh? Making the Reverend Anderson and the rest of Team Gene the followers of Josh the Palestinian Tolerance Mascot. You know: the Jesus whose only Commandment is that Thou Shalt Not Be Intolerant. You know: the Jesus who can't be discerned from either scripture or two millenia of Christian tradition.

I wonder what Howie says about us when the mike isn't on.

As I said, it is perversely reassuring: For all of our current problems, Catholicism is still derided by the Inevitable March of Progress™ as something to be avoided. It made my day.

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