As Episcopalians Welcome Gay-Union Blessings and Transgender Ministers, WashPost Lets Them Claim That's Not Liberal

The Episcopalians just held a General Convention that voted with large majorities to create a blessing liturgy for homosexual couples – as well as cleared the way for “transgendered” ministers – “Let us thank almighty God, although he gave me the wrong private parts.”

But in The Washington Post’s “On Faith” section, the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings had the chutzpah to claim that these sexual-revolutionary votes were not a nod to secular politics, but the working of the Holy Spirit and “her” guidance:

Our bicameral legislative structure was borne of the same revolution against England as was Congress, and we look alike. It’s easy to stand on the outside and view our democratic process with the same disdain and cynicism that voters feel toward what transpires on Capitol Hill, or to assume we’ve sold out our faith in favor of the secular world.

I believe these criticisms are misplaced. Episcopalians are remarkably sincere about church democracy. We believe that the Holy Spirit is working through our legislative committees and debates, even when we misinterpret her guidance. Part of the reason our General Convention takes so long is that we spend significant time in worship, reading scripture, and singing.

Obviously, a close reading of Scripture finds a number of disagreeable passages against homosexuality, but the Episcopalians must skip over those. Jennings said the "sin of homophobia" needed to be removed from the church:

Our recent moves to include lesbian and gay Christians  more fully in the church, for example, are the result of more than 30 years of theological study, prayer, and conversation. One can disagree with these initiatives, but they were not born of a desire to reject our Christian truth for secular wisdom. Many of us who hold quite traditional views on the nature of sin believed that our church needed to repent of the sin of homophobia.

One AP account quoted activist Rev. Susan Russell ready to keep the “evolution” going forward: "I believe the Episcopal Church will continue to evolve on the issue of marriage equality and look forward to joining our UCC brothers and sisters in being a headlight instead of taillight on marriage equality.”

But Gay Clark Jennings was bizarrely claiming that this process wasn’t ideological and wasn’t the march of “lockstep liberalism,” but the results of a laser-like focus on Jesus:

It might disappoint sensationalist critics, but Sunday mornings in most Episcopal churches are short on political rhetoric and debates about sexuality and long on Jesus. Episcopalians are devoted primarily to praying together, serving people in need, and wrestling with hard questions that don’t have easy answers. We value Christian community over lockstep liberalism or any other ideological position, and even though it opens us to ridicule, we keep inviting everyone to join in.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis