By Diogenes ( articles ) | Aug 11, 2003
Is the clergy being feminized? Yes, and it's being queered, too. But the result will not be a hostility to tradition. None of the gays or women I know want to do away with Holy Communion, and none of them support plural marriage or bestiality, no matter what Gary Bauer fears. Rather, insofar as they are liberals, they are reclaiming liberalism from the noblesse-oblige mold of Bishop Moore and William Sloane Coffin -- two sons of privilege I admire tremendously, and who suffered much for their convictions. The new clerical liberalism is practiced by preachers who have more first-hand experience with oppression, and take as their models prophets like Amos and Jesus.
The author seems to have zero interest in faith -- i.e., whether the claims to truth made by various religions are justified or not. Tradition, for him, is what it might mean to university trustees, namely, a measured regard for the continuity of symbols and their role in corporate identity. Not surprisingly, he sees no inconsistency between the Flight Attendant Model of ministry (as inculcated by the divinity schools and the Jesuit theologates) and the bizarre claim that its partisans continue the tradition of biblical prophecy. Talk to an under-employed sheet metal worker or the swing shift man at Jiffy-Lube and ask him if his heart quickens in solidarity with the prophet-priests.
It's not for nothing that the Catholic and Episcopal churches, with their smells, bells and pageantry, historically had the largest closets for their bachelor priests. Now they have come out, singing Les Miz as they go.
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