Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Episcopal Church Shows Bare Minimum of Integrity

... by defrocking a priest who claims that she is both a Christian and a Muslim.

Why, oh why, do people do this sort of thing?  

We remember Benjamin Chavis, a UCC minister, who tried the same maneuver back in 1997 or thereabouts.  Like Ann Holmes Redding this week, he seemed shocked and surprised when the church told him that Christianity was not compatible with Islam.  (Chavis, by the way, went Redding one better -- he joined the Nation of Islam.  So he didn't just become a Muslim, but he became a racist heretical Muslim.)

The Seattle Times story above makes a passing reference to an Episcopal bishop who practices "Buddhist meditation."  While controversial if one happens to live in the 1950s, this is not the same thing at all.  Buddhism, in most of its forms, is less a religion than a philosophical tradition that prescribes various techniques for meditation.  To adopt a technique -- bompu, maybe, or Hindu yoga -- does not necessarily involve adoption of the philosophical underpinnings of the technique, any more than kneeling to pray makes you a Trinitarian.

But to declare yourself a Muslim most certainly does involve denying the most basic descriptors of Christianity -- the Incarnation and the Trinity.   This isn't an area where there is such a thing as dual citizenship.  Redding seems to think it's like being a Mets fan and a Yankees fan at the same time (hard enough, but "hey, we all love baseball").  In fact, it's more like joining the Flat Earth Club and the National Geographic Society.  Sooner or later, somebody will ask you to choose.

And to our only-modest surprise, somebody did.  Thank you, Bishop Geralyn Wolf of Rhode Island.  Now why did it take you almost two years?

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