Not wanting to leave conservative Protestants out of the fun, today's On Faith page in the Washington Post featured not only the requisite Sally Quinn pontification against the Catholic Church but a Methodist minister's essay on how he hopes that one day all Christians will view as irrelevant and unbinding the Bible's teachings on homosexuality.
Change it must "or else the Catholic Church may end up like Colonial Williamsburg, with the pageantry, the regalia, red shoes and all, a relic of what was once a vibrant, living institution," Quinn scolded in the concluding paragraph of "Will the Catholic Church become its own relic?" Below the fold on the same page, editors published Methodist minister Adam Hamilton's 9-paragraph item "Citing the Bible for the wrong side of history." The digital version's headline reads "On homosexuality, many Christians get the Bible wrong."
Hamilton, who has a new book out entitled "When Christians Get It Wrong," compared the verses in the Bible which condemn homosexuality to those that allowed a form of slavery - although in practice it was more akin to indentured servitude, usually for the payment of a financial debt -- in the Mosaic Law:
I believe that in the years ahead an increasing number of Christians, not only progressives but also conservatives, will read the Bible's passages regarding homosexuality as all Christians today read the Bible's passages on slavery. And the sermons preached from America's pulpits decrying the rights of homosexuals today will sound to future generations much like the pro-slavery sermons sound to us today.
Whereas Quinn warns that a conservative, orthodox Catholic Church risks being a quaint relic, Hamilton passive-aggressively suggests that any church that preaches that homosexuality is a sin risks being a hateful, retrograde relic. At the very heart of Hamilton's critique is the notion that Scripture is not really divinely inspired and communicating eternal truths, but purely human in derivation, culturally-influenced in nature, and ultimately to be judged by succeeding generations.
Whereas Quinn attacks the Church as an institution and insists that it change to fit the mores of our times, Hamilton is calling on all churches, but presumably he's mostly concerned with Protestant ones, to adapt a view of the Bible that denigrates its authority and infallibility.
With these two pieces, the editors of the Post's On Faith section demonstrate that a more apt name for the religion page would be An Attack On Faith.