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September 7, 2011


Episcopal Church Refuses To Allow Evangelical Representation AT 9/11 Services

From here: 

A weekend of religious-themed observances at Washington National Cathedral marking the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks will include a Buddhist nun and an Imam, but not an evangelical Christian, leading the head of the Southern Baptist Convention to ask President Obama to reconsider attending the event.

“A Call to Compassion” will include an interfaith prayer vigil on Sept. 11. It will feature the dean of the Cathedral, the Bishop of Washington, a rabbi, Buddhist nun and incarnate lama, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America and a Muslim musician.

However, Southern Baptists, representing the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, were not invited to participate – and neither were leaders from any evangelical Christian organization.

“It’s not surprising,” said Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. “There is a tragic intolerance toward Protestants and particularly toward evangelicals and I wish the president would refuse to speak unless it was more representative.”

Richard Weinberg, the Cathedral’s director of communications, confirmed that Southern Baptists were not extended an invitation to participate.

I wanted to take a break and give you a chance to let this sink in before I print the next section.  Ready?

“The goal was to have interfaith representation,” he told Fox News Radio. “The Cathedral itself is an Episcopal church and it stands to reason that our own clergy serve as Christian representatives.”

The Cathedral itself is an Episcopal church…   I am wondering if they have returned the donation from other denominations such as this one from the Roman Catholics.  Evidently it is only the “Nation’s Cathedral” during fund raisers.

our own clergy serve as Christian representatives… Really?  Do you think he was trying to offend?  Christians around the world are cringing to think that John Chane will be representing the Christian faith.  You may remember these words of wisdom from Mr. Chane on Christmas Eve a few years back:

The angel Gabriel plays a very prominent part as God’s messenger to the Israelites of the Old Testament, in announcing Jesus’ birth in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and in revealing God’s teaching to the prophet Muhammad in the Koran. It is interesting, is it not, that in the three great Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, so often divided by theological interpretation and corrupting political influence, that God would send the same angel, Gabriel, to be the unifier and the intermediary between heaven and earth?

Props to Veritas2007


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41 comments

In other news, a crane being used to repair the earthquake damage collapsed this afternoon, crushing several cars and damaging both the cathedral herb house (quelle horreur) and the headquarters of the Diocese of Washington.

More here.

[1] Posted by Athanasian on 9-7-2011 at 02:06 PM · [top]

Well of course.  That is a Christian Free Zone.  I don’t go there either.

[2] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 9-7-2011 at 02:14 PM · [top]

I am sure many Southern Baptist believers died in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the aircraft which crashed.

The argument that should be used here to counter the Episcopalian attitude is: “You are not allowing us to participate in a national event to commemorate 9/11 in which many of our Christian people died. How can you possibly justify excluding us!”

That may well have some traction.

[3] Posted by Topper on 9-7-2011 at 02:22 PM · [top]

How sad for a denomination that professes catholicity.  But actions do speak louder than words.  Compassion without an understanding of grace offered freely to all is a sad and empty gesture.

[4] Posted by frhutch on 9-7-2011 at 02:30 PM · [top]

“...it stands to reason that our own clergy serve as Christian representatives.”

It does?  This reminds me of those advertisements that use the word “organic” for a product, and while the product may have an organic ingredient of emphasis, the product is not organic overall. 

TEC may have some Christians within it, including some minority of Christian clergy, but it certainly does not “stand to reason” that its clergy serve as Christian representatives. These days, one is safer assuming the alternative.

Pshaw.  False advertising.

rolleyes

[5] Posted by tired on 9-7-2011 at 03:09 PM · [top]

You know—I think I have a different perspective on this.

I think it very appropriate that Obama participate in the interfaith service with Episcopal revisionists, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus.  That seems appropriate to me.

It’s like Perry having that prayer service over in Texas without having Chane or Spong offer any prayers or take the podium.

This is the natural result of the polarity within America and—other than everybody coming over to our side—I affirm and approve of it.  It is good to have the two sides basically segmented off—quarantined, so to speak—and I’m a bit surprised that the Southern Baptists would wish to have any part of such a thing.  I think it’s a good thing to have the two mutually opposing worldviews on display clearly not together in public forums.  All of us need to be able to see things clearly and then decide based on that clarity.

At the end of the day, if the American people like what Obama has to offer—or the interesting little 9/11 service that the Cathedral offers—then they’ll vote for four more years and they’ll watch the lovely service on tv.  [Mind you, none of my friends will watch it, but to each his own.]  And if they don’t . . . then at our next 9/11 memorial services, we won’t have Bishop Chane prancing around on stage pretending to represent the Christian faith.  And I’ll be fine with that, too.

[6] Posted by Sarah on 9-7-2011 at 03:32 PM · [top]

3.  Topper, I doubt that TEC will offer an apology or any explanation beyond what they already said, and in the long run, this will work against them as others see them for what they really are; hypocrites.

[7] Posted by cennydd13 on 9-7-2011 at 03:51 PM · [top]

I’m more than a bit surprised that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington donated $25,000 for repairs to the National Cathedral. Cardinal Wuerl is quite orthodox, and I am surprised that he would give a dime to this excuse for a church. I think he must be very naive and uninformed on matters Episcopal (i.e., he actually thinks the crew at the cathedral are Christians).

[8] Posted by Nellie on 9-7-2011 at 04:29 PM · [top]

Nellie (#8), Cardinal Wuerl is very knowledgeable about TEC, as he is heavily involved in establishing the Ordinariate in the U.S.

I suspect the Cardinal agrees with the Cathedral Dean who reportedly

called the Catholics’ gift “a testimony to the fellowship that exists between people of different faiths.”

Different faiths indeed.

[9] Posted by slcath on 9-7-2011 at 04:46 PM · [top]

It really is not surprising that the Cathedral authorities envision Bp. Chane to represent Christianity. Nor is it surprising that the Cathedral authorities envision “unity” to include Buddhists, Moslems, etc., but evangelical Christians are beyond the pale.

As Sarah said in #6, I generally agree that it is good that the religious polarities are quarantined from each other and that the opposing world views are clearly displayed. But I disagree with her in one respect: the United States president historically has, sometimes, been able to rise above the polarity of the day and represent our whole united Nation. It is truly unfortunate that Obama will not be able to fill that role on this anniversary of 9/11.

[10] Posted by Publius on 9-7-2011 at 04:47 PM · [top]

Two responses:

1) I agree with Sarah’s point, and would point out that generally speaking, evangelicals eschew “interfaith” services of any kind. If there is address to God involved, most evangelicals would consider the occasion an act of syncretism forbidden by Scripture. Maybe Page wanted an invitation so that he could turn it down. Or perhaps he doesn’t agree with the evangelical consensus about such activities.

2) The presence of the clergy from the Cathedral just means that this will be an entirely non-Christian gathering. No reason to interject Christianity into such a meeting.

[11] Posted by David Fischler on 9-7-2011 at 05:03 PM · [top]

What, no Native American smudgers, streamer swingers, vestal virgins and giant Puppets of Doom?

[12] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 9-7-2011 at 05:23 PM · [top]

Just be patient Mr. Puritan.

[13] Posted by Nikolaus on 9-7-2011 at 05:59 PM · [top]

Now, wait a minute.  How did the Southern Baptists know that there was no invitation in the first place?
This is just yellow journalism, and Todd Starnes is the perpetrator.
So, Todd sees the invite list of interfaith dignitaries, and he notices no other Christian denomination invited.  Knowing the Southern Baptists are one of the largest of the Protestant denominations, he calls up the Cathedral Communications officer and says, “Is it true that no invite was given to a leader of the Southern Baptist denomination?”  but not an evangelical Christian, leading the head of the Southern Baptist Convention to ask President Obama to reconsider attending the event.  So Weinberg says “No, we figure we got the Christian faith covered through the cathedral staff.” 
So Todd includes in his article,

“Richard Weinberg, the Cathedral’s director of communications, confirmed that Southern Baptists were not extended an invitation to participate.

But he doesn’t include that line Weinberg in the article until after he’s pasted in Frank Page’s comment.  There is no existing invitation, nor attempt at invitation, nor is there a NON-invitation, mind you.  So Todd calls up Frank and says, “Wow.  The Southern Baptists didn’t get an invitation to the interfaith line-up at the National Cathedral for 9/11.  How about that Frank?”
Frank should have said, “Who is this?”  But instead he’s been quoted with his response,.....

“It’s not surprising,” said Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. “There is a tragic intolerance toward Protestants and particularly toward evangelicals and I wish the president would refuse to speak unless it was more representative.”

.......and that response manipulated into the article, AS IF the Baptists had been breathlessly awaiting such an invitation, and AS IF the Southern Baptists were real concerned about it, and now making a stink!  Which they weren’t, except for Todd.

That’s quite entrepeneurial of Todd to start and create his own buzz.  Journalism is full of this kind of muck; where do they learn this stuff?  Wow.  Bad.  FOX needs to get rid of him before he becomes an expensive liability.

[14] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 9-7-2011 at 06:08 PM · [top]

Silver Lake Catholic[9], if indeed Cardinal Wuerl is knowledgeable about TEC, as I think he probably is, then it was perhaps not the best thing for him to donate that money to repair the Cathedral. Perhaps he should have donated it to one of the RC dioceses that are struggling to pay the many sex abuse settlements, or better yet, he might ahve given it to the starving children in Somalia. Gestures of unity are lovely, but giving that money is like giving the stamp of approval to a bunch that is really not very Christian at all. As the saying goes, wishing doesn’t make it so.

[15] Posted by Nellie on 9-7-2011 at 06:57 PM · [top]

The angel Gabriel plays a very prominent part as God’s messenger to the Israelites of the Old Testament, in announcing Jesus’ birth in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and in revealing God’s teaching to the prophet Muhammad in the Koran. It is interesting, is it not, that in the three great Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, so often divided by theological interpretation and corrupting political influence, that God would send the same angel, Gabriel, to be the unifier and the intermediary between heaven and earth?

Does he realize he has just offended millions of Mormons by not mentioning the angle Moroni?

[16] Posted by Festivus on 9-7-2011 at 07:01 PM · [top]

i agree with prophet micaiah comments. right on!!This doesnt surprise me at all that the tec is doing this. There clergy does not repsresent me or other anglicans. Mr. Richard Weinburg had a lot of nerve saying that his clery serves as christian reps. This really makes my blood pressure go up.

[17] Posted by sheba on 9-7-2011 at 08:07 PM · [top]

The angel Gabriel plays a very prominent part as God’s messenger to the Israelites of the Old Testament, in announcing Jesus’ birth in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and in revealing God’s teaching to the prophet Muhammad in the Koran.

Did it ever dawn on Chane that the voice hissing in Muhammad’s ear was not Gabriel?  Probably not.

It is interesting, is it not, ... that God would send the same angel, Gabriel, to be the unifier and the intermediary between heaven and earth?

Is he freakin’ serious?

[18] Posted by Nikolaus on 9-7-2011 at 08:17 PM · [top]

John Chane and his ilk do not represent my Chrisian Faith, and I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian. He represents the antithesis of my traditional Orthodox faith.  shame on him and his so-called National Cathedral.
rdr. James Morgan
Olympia, WA

[19] Posted by rdrjames on 9-7-2011 at 10:32 PM · [top]

Nellie, since you’ve commented twice about this, may I suggest you visit the Anglican Curmudgeon’s blog and read his recent post about donating to repair the National Cathedral.  It might give you more insight into the situation.
RdrJames, I’m Orthodox too and note that none of our folks are invited either.  Don’t you think somebody from St. Nicholas would be appropriate? Not invited in NYC either, apparently.

[20] Posted by Miss Sippi on 9-7-2011 at 10:55 PM · [top]

Sorry, Miss Sippi, I still think the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington might find better things to give the $25,000 to - including hurricane and flood victims, the Somalian victims of famine, victims of sexual abuse, etc. At the moment, the National Cathedral should be way down on the list. And if Cardinal Wuerl wants to be ecumenical, he can donate to some other very worthy Christian causes - like Samaritan’s Purse or Food for the Poor.

[21] Posted by Nellie on 9-7-2011 at 11:48 PM · [top]

This thread has reminded me of the fact that I made the mistake of watching the Good Friday service from the National Cathedral when they posted it at their website.  I got about halfway through and couldn’t take it anymore.  It made my blood run cold.

The “reflection” from the Dean was about what you’d expect.  Something dreadful must have happened on Good Friday.  Heaven fell silent and continued to keep its mouth such while Jews suffered in the Warsaw ghetto.  Like Jesus, we are still free to call out: “My God, why have you forsaken me?”  But we have an advantage over Him because we can read The Brothers Karamazov in an effort to feel better about the whole thing.  Whatever works, I guess.  Oh, and God will probably get back on the clock one of these days.  Here endeth the lesson.

At least I think that’s what he was trying to say.  Are you really supposed to understand a sermon that’s being delivered by a liberal Episcopalian?  Since there was no mention of atonement, sin, or sacrifice, perhaps they could just have Rob Bell show up next year and leave the congregation with a vague impression that things have somehow gone wrong, but who knows how or why, or exactly what can be done about it now.  Only I’m not going to watch it again in order to find out.

The worst part was actually the liturgy itself.  The thing is, it was letter perfect, right out of the Prayer Book with no funny stuff thrown in at all.  But what gnawed away at me was the question of how many people at that rather sparsely attended service truly still believe the merest fraction of what was being read from the printed page?

It called to mind a story I once read by John Warwick Montgomery about a young Lutheran seminarian who was assigned to serve as an intern at a remote parish where things were a bit out of the ordinary.  The small church had a ghostly quality about it and, while outward forms were still in place, everything was slightly off center.  The congregants were quite peculiar too, a little on the otherworldly side, and less than enthusiastic about much of what he had to say.  The aspiring preacher ended up wondering what plane of existence he was on and was very glad to be out of there when it came time to leave.

I agree with the gist of Ms. Hey’s comment.  Let the imam and the Buddhist nun do their thing, along with our esteemed President.  And if The Chane Gang wants to show up and give their rendition of “Smoke on the Water, Fire in the Sky,” I think that would be OK too.  I don’t care anymore.

[22] Posted by episcopalienated on 9-8-2011 at 08:25 AM · [top]

#22 episcopalienated,

The charade of playing dress up and reading the BCP liturgy while professing something completely foreign to the apostolic faith is obvious to us, and judging by the numbers, becoming obvious to most Christians as well once they witness a service at a revisionist “church.”

[23] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 9-8-2011 at 08:35 AM · [top]

Undergroundpewster:

Yeah, it lacked even the entertainment value of what they did out in LA when Ms. Glasspool got promoted.

I didn’t think I’d ever miss the sight of Apache warriors in loincloths (or whoever they were) at a church service, but I sure did.

Bless their hearts, the folks at NatCat acted like they were at least trying to take something seriously on Good Friday.  They just didn’t know how.

We’ll see which way things break on 9/11.  Maybe the Buddhists will show up in colorful outfits and the imam can bring some giant puppets to put things back on track.  Anything more “profound” can be left to Mr. Obama.  That should work. tongue wink

[24] Posted by episcopalienated on 9-8-2011 at 09:08 AM · [top]

[22]-[23] To us, the inconsistencies, contradictions, and illogic are glaring: clergy deny scripture, traditional church teaching, and the even the framework or context of prayers.

However, ISTM that ‘right thinking’ reappraisers believe that most of Christianity is simply made up - perhaps with some cloudy truths here and there - so it is OK if it is inconsistent or illogical.  It need only conform to the right thinking world view.

Meanwhile, anyone looking for something more should move along - why bother - (hopefully they will continue to do so.)

[25] Posted by tired on 9-8-2011 at 09:14 AM · [top]

It is really hard to find a Christian group that ignores scripture, promotes homosexuality, and is informed by culture.I think this is the real reason.

[26] Posted by Pb on 9-8-2011 at 09:54 AM · [top]

You reported that the greenhouse was damaged. What about the bookstore, with its section of New Age and witchcraft books?

[27] Posted by sophy0075 on 9-8-2011 at 10:28 AM · [top]

Perhaps, we should see it for what it truly is:  A nonchristian gathering in a post-Christian facility.  I do find just a sniff of irony in the fact that this was only one of two structures suffering measureable damage from the recent quake.

[28] Posted by aterry on 9-8-2011 at 11:10 AM · [top]

Looks like somebody got the message…http://www.lex18.com/news/sept-11-commemoration-moved-from-damaged-dc-cathedral/

[29] Posted by The Pilgrim on 9-8-2011 at 11:11 AM · [top]

Perhaps we should all contribute to the repair of the National Cathedral to ensure that this magnificent neo-Gothic edifice outlives its current occupancy by TEC.

[30] Posted by slcath on 9-8-2011 at 11:30 AM · [top]

“The collapse of a crane brought in to repair earthquake damage at the National Cathedral has forced a Sept. 11 commemoration with President Barack Obama to move.” - from the link provided by The Pilgrim.
Well, isn’t that deliciously ironic!

[31] Posted by Nellie on 9-8-2011 at 11:59 AM · [top]

It is now been moved to the Kennedy Center.  I hope there are no lightining storms in the vacinity! We don’t need another DC landmark damaged. BTW—Weren’t the Kennedys pretty big suppoters of the (excluded from the ceremony) Roman Catholic Church?

[32] Posted by David Keller on 9-8-2011 at 02:05 PM · [top]

It is now been moved to the Kennedy Center.

Ironic in so many ways. What’s that about a 5th?

[33] Posted by Festivus on 9-8-2011 at 02:24 PM · [top]

Ouch…looks like the Nat Cat just unincluded itself on 10 more minutes of fame (and chances to raise money).

[34] Posted by Robert Lundy on 9-8-2011 at 02:41 PM · [top]

The Kennedys are Catholics in name only. They don’t support Catholic teaching - they’re big abortion proponents, for one thing, Teddy especially having been a rabid abortion fan. (I believe he was even in favor of partial birth abortion, but don’t quote me on that - would have to double check.) Teddy was divorced and remarried but so what? He was a Kennedy. The Kennedys were probably the first - or at least the most visible - of Catholic politicians to go to great lengths to prove how little their Church’s teaching influenced them in public life. I remember the time Teddy “celebrated” Good Friday with his nephew in Florida (accused of rape at the time) by going out to dinner.

[35] Posted by Nellie on 9-8-2011 at 02:49 PM · [top]

Whoa Nellie—it was a literary device not a theological statement.  You know—hyperbole, irony—stuff like that.

[36] Posted by David Keller on 9-8-2011 at 04:21 PM · [top]

Ah! I see. Sorry! I just meant to correct what I thought to be your misconception - since there are people who actually do think the Kennedys are “devout Catholics.” Love that term! I guess it means that they go to church once in a while, and call themselves Catholics. You may have gotten the (correct) impression that I can’t stand the Kennedys - especially good old Teddy!

[37] Posted by Nellie on 9-8-2011 at 05:35 PM · [top]

SPEAKING OF THE KENNEDYS, How the Church of the Good Shepherd, your Parsonage and Family are doing in the Binghamton flood?
Hope you are all staying safe, dry with no leaks anywhere.  The Lord be with you all.

[38] Posted by St. Nikao on 9-8-2011 at 06:17 PM · [top]

There is an old joke about Teddy being asked by an aide what about the abortion bill.  He replied that he thought he had paid it.

[39] Posted by Pb on 9-9-2011 at 09:48 AM · [top]

I suspect the Kennedys have given huge sums to the RCC… to buy dispensations.  The National Cathedral is where you can pray Buddhist but NOT use the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.  God deliver us.

[40] Posted by Long Gone Anglo Catholic on 9-9-2011 at 12:17 PM · [top]

I lived in Palm Beach County, FL for nearly 20 years, where the Kennedys have their winter compound, and much of their bad behavior was local news.  Never understood how MA could keep electing them!  There is some delicious irony to the deselection of the Nat Cat and movement to the Kennedy center, especially given Teddy’s resoundingly warm embrace of BHO ...

[41] Posted by elanor on 9-10-2011 at 06:55 AM · [top]

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