Monday, November 20, 2006

Who's this Squiddy person?

The NY Times interviewed Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the new bishop presiding over the ECUSA and the first woman bishop elected to this position. If you haven't been following the story of her election, it has caused weeping and gnashing of teeth in many quarters (fortunately not of the eternal variety), and many conservative Episcopalians have had it up to here with the ECUSA. Numerous parishes are seeking oversight from a bishop in Africa and are leaving the ECUSA.

What I find most humorous about the interview is what it reveals about the Right Reverendess herself. Por ejemplo...

Your critics see you as an unrepentant liberal who supports the ordination of gay bishops. Are you trying to bolster the religious left?

No. We’re not about being either left or right. We’re about being comprehensive.

Because, of course, other religions are all about being reprehensive. None of us have freinds or family members who have same-sex attractions, and if we do, well, then anathema sit.

How many members of the Episcopal Church are there in this country?

About 2.2 million. It used to be larger percentagewise, but Episcopalians tend to be better-educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than some other denominations. Roman Catholics and Mormons both have theological reasons for producing lots of children.

Well, of course. Those silly Catholics and their dirt-poor masses with no system of education; no history of intellectual enterprise; no brilliant theoligical, philosophical, or scientific minds. Mentally impoverished, we are. I'll remember to tell that to my dad—the doctor with three residencies and some 16 years of education beyond high school. Pardon me, gotta light the wood stove with the diploma from my master's in English literature. Sheepskin just seems to help the peat from the bog catch more quickly.

Have you met Pope Benedict?

I have not. I think it would be really interesting.

Heh. I bet it would. I guess her Ph.D. in oceanography would be of great benefit in theological discussion with the Holy Father.

He became embroiled in controversy this fall after suggesting that Muslims have a history of violence.

So do Christians! They have a terrible history. Look at history in the Dark Ages. Charlemagne converted whole tribes by the sword. I think Muslims are poorly understood by the West, and it is easy to latch onto that which we do not understand and demonize it.

I think the use of third person here says it all. "They," those Christians (not we enlightened, leftist Unitarian-types), have such a horrible history. Just check out the Dark Ages! Filled with all those horrible universities, and hospitals, and scientific inquest! The Dark Ages, from which the middle class arose! The Dark Ages, during which time those dastardly Christians didn't wreak vengeance upon the Muslim hoardes who were threatening their borders from North Africa and Turkey. Somehow those ages were so much more dark than the periods following.

I think what bothers me most is that she not only mischaracterizes faiths other than her own, she essentially lumps all Christianity in with her misconceptions and denies her own involvement.

Something I've noticed about most of my left-leaning friends is the air of intellectual superiority they frequently take on topics while not providing any justification for the rightness of their cause. Kathy Shaidle posted something about this just the other day. There's no actual debate. They all know the talking points and the positions. And they all know which myths to repeat. Schori seems to have those points down as well.
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