MICHAEL MEDVED REPORTS: The controversial new leader of the Episcopal Church in the United States provided a prime example of these alienating attitudes in a startling interview in the New York Times Magazine on November 19th with Deborah Solomon. When Solomon asked about the current numbers of Episcopalians, for instance, Bishop Jefferts Schori took it as a point of pride that her church experienced declining membership.
Q: How many members of the Episcopal Church are there in this country?
A: 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 other denominations.
In other words, it’s just those uneducated, unsophisticated Evangelicals and Catholics and Mormons and Orthodox Jews who are bothering with the messy, dirty work of producing and raising kids. Naturally, the Presiding Bishop defends the low Episcopal birthrate as a sign of enlightenment:
Q: Episcopalians aren’t interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?
A: No. It’s probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth, and not use more than their portion.
BB NOTE: When I was a kid I was scared to death of this guy (see picture of guy on the far left). Wonder if he was an Episcopalian too?
Q: As a scientist with a Ph.D., what do you make of the Christian fundamentalists who say the earth was created in six days and dismiss evolution as a lot of bunk?
A: I think it’s a horrendous misunderstanding of both science and active faith tradition…
Q: Pope Benedict…became embroiled in controversy this fall after suggesting that Muslims have a history of violence.
A: So do Christians! They have a terrible history… 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.
Note that when the good Bishop speaks of the shameful record of violence by Christians, she says “they have a terrible history” – not we. In other words, she instinctively excludes herself when she talks of Christian tradition.
BB NOTE: Well, that just about it says it all.
Finally, Bishop Jefferts Schori casually dismisses the familial and marital norms that most believers embrace and defend as the very essence of Judeo-Christian faith. Instead of traditional pride in a husband and wife building a home together, making heroic efforts and even significant sacrifices to share a life, the Bishop happily announces that she and her spouse occupy opposite ends of the continent.
Q: You were previously bishop of Nevada, but your new position requires you to live in New York City. Do you and your husband like it here?
A: He is actually in Nevada. He is a retired mathematician. He will be here in New York when it makes sense.
In other words, it doesn’t “make sense” for a retired mathematician to be at his wife’s side when she takes on the leadership of one of the nation’s most significant Christian denominations? It doesn’t make sense for the first female Bishop to head this denomination to try to model marital togetherness?