Saturday, April 4, 2009

An Outbreak of Sanity Amongst the Episcopalians

Taking a break from the madness at ND, I am pleased to find an emanation of common sense from West Coast Episcopalians. From a CNN story no less.

Episcopal minister defrocked after becoming a Muslim

I heard about this lady a while back, before I started the blog. Basically, she was an Episcopalian minister who decided three years ago that she was also Muslim.

Yeah, I know. Up is Down. War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength. Freedom is Slavery.

Redding said her conversion to Islam was sparked by an interfaith gathering she attended three years ago. During the meeting, an imam demonstrated Muslim chants and meditation to the group. Redding said the beauty of the moment and the imam's humbleness before God stuck with her.

"It was much more this overwhelming conviction that I needed to surrender to God and this was the form that my surrender needed to take," she recalled. "It wasn't just an episode but .... was a step that I wasn't going to step back from."

Ten days later Redding was saying the shahada -- the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Mohammad as his prophet.

So she converted to Islam, right?

But Redding said she felt her new Muslim faith did not pose a contradiction to her staying a Christian and minister.

"Both religions say there's only one God," Redding said, "and that God is the same God. It's very clear we are talking about the same God! So I haven't shifted my allegiance."

So we're talking about Jesus, then? He is God and all.

You've got to love the imam's rationale on all this:

The imam at the Islamic Center in Seattle, Washington, where Redding prays said she brings the best of both traditions to her beliefs.

"Coming from an example of wanting to be Christ-like and coming from the perspective of wanting to follow the best example -- the example of our prophet Mohammed -- it all makes sense then," Benjamin Shabazz said.

So Mohammed is the epitome of being Christ-like. You would have thought that Christ would have been the best example of this, but hey, I'm just a dumb Christian.

The Episcopal Church also rejected Redding's religious choice.

"The church interprets my being a Muslim as 'abandoning the church,' " she said. "And that [there] comes an understanding that you have to be one or the other, and most people would say that. It simply hasn't been my experience that I have to make a choice between the two."

The Diocese of Rhode Island, where Redding was ordained, told her to leave either her new Muslim faith or the ministry. A diocese statement said Bishop Geralyn Wolf found Redding to be "a woman of utmost integrity. However, the Bishop believes that a priest of the Church cannot be both a Christian and a Muslim."

I'm not sure what sort of integrity this woman allegedly has. She's claiming to be both Christian and Muslim. Common sense takes this and has no choice but to recognize her as a hypocrite. I hope that this sort of nonsense isn't the beginning of a trend. Recall that we recently had Gene Robinson spouting off about the need to embrace logical contradictions. Redding's use of reason seems to use the same principles.

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