Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill.The total ignorance of both Christianity and Islam just takes your breath away. She should check her medication. The total weakness of faith, mindless relativism, and the palatable fear of the Politically Correct as seen in her Bishop helps explain why the Episcopal Church USA is in such decline.
On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest.
She does both, she says, because she's Christian and Muslim.
Redding, who until recently was director of faith formation at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, has been a priest for more than 20 years. Now she's ready to tell people that, for the last 15 months, she's also been a Muslim — drawn to the faith after an introduction to Islamic prayers left her profoundly moved.
Her announcement has provoked surprise and bewilderment in many, raising an obvious question: How can someone be both a Christian and a Muslim..?
She says she felt an inexplicable call to become Muslim, and to surrender to God — the meaning of the word "Islam."
"It wasn't about intellect," she said. "All I know is the calling of my heart to Islam was very much something about my identity and who I am supposed to be.
"I could not not be a Muslim..."
Redding's bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting.
Canada isn't getting much better,
The other day, six Anglican archbishops called for the church to bless the unions of same-sex couples. The Anglican Church of Canada is about to have a big vote on the issue, and depending which way they swing it will either deepen the schism within the worldwide Anglican Communion or further isolate the Episcopal Church of the United States.I may have a few issues with the Southern Baptist Convention here and there - but at least we argue about The Word - not The World. Some non-denominational mega-church please buy St. John the Devine before the Episcopalians give it to the Wahhabists. Please.
But never mind all that. What struck me was the rationale the archbishops came up with. This gay thing, they sighed. We've been yakking about it for years. Let's just get on with it, and then we can get back to the important stuff. "We are deeply concerned that ongoing study," they fretted, "will only continue to draw us away from issues which are gradually destroying God's creation – child poverty, racism, global warming, economic injustice, concern for our aboriginal brothers and sisters and the growing disparity between the rich and the poor."
That's it? Anglicans need to fast-track a liturgy for gay couples so they can free up time to deal with the real issues like global warming? Half that catalogue of horrors seems to be different ways of saying the same thing ("child poverty… economic injustice… growing disparity") in order to give a bit of pro forma padding to the totally cool cause du jour of global warming. Which is so cool that, if an Anglican archbishop shows up at a climate-change conference, he'll be lucky to get in the room, and if he does he'll be stuck at the table with the wonky leg next to the toilet, barely able to see the Most Reverend Almer Gortry up on stage doing his power-point presentation and warning that rising sea levels will send tidal waves crashing through every gay wedding reception in Provincetown by Saturday afternoon.
UPDATE: John is on it, and so is Bookie.