I haven’t written anything thus far about being an Episcopalian…that category is still empty on my blog. I’ve thought about it several times. Once, I thought about writing about famous Episcopalians, but the only ones I really know of are Garrison Keillor and Robin Williams (I’m not even sure that he’s still a practicing Episcopalian – I just know he was raised in the Episcopal Church.) That’s a short blog post.
I’ve thought about telling Episcopalian jokes. Like, how many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb? Three – one to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks, and one to talk about how much better the old light bulb was. But that’s the only joke I know. Another short blog post.
The fact is that there’s not really that much to write about. It’s not like we have our own unique set of beliefs, like Mormons. It’s not like we’re out there making a lot of pronouncements, like “Good Episcopalians don’t vote for pro-choice candidates.” I sum up the organizing Episcopal philosophy as, “Life is a journey. The journey is difficult. God can help guide you on the journey if you pray and sing and meditate on the messages of Scripture (messages, not exact words) and drink coffee as a group.”
If you don’t know much about Episcopalians except what you read in the newspaper, you would probably think that all most of us think about is human sexuality, and specifically, what Jesus thought about homosexuals. The fact is that, of the 2.4 million Episcopalians in the U.S., there are about 100,000 who really care about this issue, or care about it enough to leave. The rest of us just wish we could move on to the important work that God wants us to do, like feeding the hungry, clothing the poor and righting the injustices in the world. I’m not one of the people who says “good riddance to them” (most days, anyway). But I do think we’ve gotten to a point where the 100,000 are not going to be enough in agreement with the other 2.4 million on this issue that they can stay. I think schism is inevitable. And so I wish that it would be over so that we can move on.
It looks like things are moving forward with the split, based on this article in today’s New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/us/04episcopal.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Episcopalian&st=cse
I understand the opinions of the Episcopalians who are leaving. I understand that they believe that Jesus thought homosexuality was a sin (mostly as reported by Paul, or someone purporting to be Paul, but don’t get me started on that now). I understand the passages in the Bible that say that. But I believe that the Bible was written by men, not God, and it was written at a time when there were more prohibitions against homosexuality than there are now (and prohibitions against lots of other things in the Bible that we don’t pay any attention to now.) It saddens me that we have gotten to this point. But here we are. So let’s move on.