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bad church, good church

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Nov 05, 2006

An interesting take by Chris Johnson on the role of the new Presiding Bishopess and the press:

Why does the news media pay such an inordinate amount of attention to the Episcopal Church?

Is it because of that influence that TEC, never all that big a church, was always said to have had over American politics? Doubtful; TEC has been bleeding members for 30 years and hasn't seriously influenced much of anything for a long time.

Is it because the Episcopal Church has no serious beliefs of any kind anymore and is thus the perfect "religion" for people who want to call themselves "spiritual" without having to obey a bunch of rules or stop doing something they enjoy? TEC is hardly unique in this regard.

Is it because Schori's a woman? Other mainline denominations have elected female leaders with barely a notice from the press. Is it because of the international status Anglicanism enjoys? I think that's part of it but not the whole story. I think TEC gets the run that it does for a very simple reason.

The Episcopal Church is what the secular media wants the Roman Catholic Church to become.

To an outsider, both churches look alike. The vestments of both churches have the same names(alb, chasuble, stole, etc). The bishops of both churches wear miters and carry croziers and the liturgies of both are not all that different. But there is where the similarities end.

Because the Roman Catholic Church is a large, international church with influence all over the globe whereas the Episcopalians don't influence much of anybody. But the Catholics have all these stupid rules. An unborn baby is a human being. Abortion is murder. Sex outside of marriage is not such a hot idea. Women shouldn't be priests.

To the media, then, Kate Schori is a godifyoubelieveinthatridiculousconceptsend. A liberal woman with a pointy hat and a hooked stick who doesn't care who or what they sleep with and who has, for the time being, an international stage with another international Christian church. As I see it, the media seems to be tacitly saying to Rome, "Do you see what kind of approval we'd give you if you'd just lighten up?"

Well, we know what the stick feels like. Can the Jefferts-Schori treatment be the carrot?

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