Thursday, April 18, 2019

Passover and Easter — a divine double-feature

From the Boston Globe-

The Episcopal Church isn’t in the news very often. Even an annual spate of headlines — like the current one — seems excessive. Bishop Michael Curry stole the show at last year’s royal wedding with a charismatic sermon celebrating love. And this year, just in time for Holy Week, there’s been a flurry of attention thanks to a presidential hopeful, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. 

Mayor Pete, who left the Catholic church of his upbringing to marry his husband, is crafting a candidacy aimed at the Christian left, where there’s a wide-open lane. His status as a devout Episcopalian came up on the campaign trail when he wielded it to cut a contrast between his faith and the anti-LGBT policies of Vice President Mike Pence, another cradle Catholic, whose turn to evangelicalism shaped his politics. 

Co-opting Episcopalianism’s political pedigree is a sensible play. Inclusion has been central to the church’s “brand” since the 1970s, when it started ordaining women and declared that gay men and lesbians have “full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church.” The ordination of LGBT clergy came next — followed, in 2003, by the controversial election of an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in New Hampshire. Conservative parishes who protested in the months leading up to his consecration would later split from the Episcopal Church altogether. In the colonial Connecticut town where I grew up, some families left our church for Catholic or evangelical alternatives. 

More here-

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