If you must be a Christian then at least be an Episcopalian.

Given all the headlines the Evangelical Christians manage to capture with their idiocy it sometimes helps to remember that not all Christian sects are full of theocratic nutcases intent on staying as ignorant about science as they possibly can in order to protect their fragile worldview. For a good example take the Episcopalians: Not only do they have a gay bishop and a newly elected woman as presiding bishop of the Church, but they also accept and promote the Theory of Evolution:

EXPLANATION

The theory of evolution is broadly accepted by the overwhelming majority in the scientific community as the most adequate explanation for the emergence of life on earth, and the ongoing adaptation of life to changes in environments. For example, knowledge of how evolution functions is essential in understanding the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, the resistance of insects to insecticides, and the appearance of viruses such as HIV and influenza.

The teaching of evolution is a crucial contribution to the development of scientific literacy among the nation’s youth, yet state legislators and state and local school boards continue to challenge, limit, or seek to supplant the teaching of evolution. Limiting the teaching of evolution in our schools has the potential to compromise students’ ability to understand constantly changing living systems, and may undermine, for instance, the understanding and treatment of diseases of the future.

***Dave will probably be amused to hear me say this, but we could use a few more good Episcopalian’s out there even if they do have some weird billboards. Their slogan should be: We may be delusional, but at least we’re not bigoted idiots like the Evangelists!

So if you’re going to insist on believing in the whole Christ mythos do yourself, and the rest of us, a favor and become an Episcopalian.

66 thoughts on “If you must be a Christian then at least be an Episcopalian.

  1. Wrong Again
    Well, let’s have a look at Episopalian because for me Humanist was a good idea but apparently you have to be atheist or at the very least seriously least agnostic. Other than that they got pretty welll everything right.
    I still maintain that you can’t walk around this world with open (wondering) eyes and flat out say; “There is no God!”
    Everything I have looked at has some great ideas and relly inspired messages, and then all of a sudden they get to one area where you least expect it and totaly fuck-up!
    It’s like you’re doing a check list and you go…. good…. good….  good…. good…. good…. good….. oh shit, where the hell did they get that from?Your ever frustrated scribe;
    Allan grrr

  2. No, they are running #1 right now; If love means never having to say your sorry, being Unitarian means never having to say your wrong! I kind of like it!!!

  3. The Catholics have also affirmed evolution on many occasions.

    But they’re still lacking in the female clergy department.

  4. Not only do they have a gay bishop

    They are the American branch of Anglicanism [(c) Henry VIII].  The whole gay clergy thing is causing quite a stir with the more traditional African branch, and there is likely to be a major split if doesn’t stop going around denying the teachings of the bible (apparently not just Leviticus, but Peter had stuff to say about this too).

  5. I’m afraid I don’t know that quote from the bible. Just what did Leviticus have to say about his peter? LOL

  6. Last Wednesday, US Episcopalians showed how bigoted they really are.

    On Wednesday, Jun 21st, the U.S. Episcopal Church adopted a resolution to avoid the consecration of gay bishops.  This betrayal of the gay members of the US Episcopal Church occured during 75th General Convention.

    Until this act of treachery, US Episcopalians seemed to be a decent group of folks.

  7. At the very least, you have to accept both the pleasant and the not so pleasant, which in total is not compatible with the deity or deities many people like to believe in.

    That’s absolutly right, and that is what started me wondering about what makes people so “nutso” when it comes to religion!

  8. Oooh a unitarian jihad? I like that! I’m in. What dos one wear to a jihad?
    I was married in a unitarian church, biggest mistake of my life. Well not so much the venue, that was actually rather nice.
    The episcopalians seem to be partial to St. Stephen, who was stoned to death. I feel an affinity there.

  9. The Episcopalian Church in the USA ceased to be a Christian church in any meaningful sense years ago.

    Their consecration of a gay bishop has made quite a few headlines recently, but they also continue to offer “blessings” for same-sex couples.  And as of this year, some of the money you put in the collection plate will go to fund the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice—an organization desperately trying to keep infanticide legal here in the United States.

    In other words, they have joined a long tradition of people who wish to commune with God on their own terms, rather than God’s.  Here is what the Bible has to say about these people:

    Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20

    Hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy about you when he said: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.

  10. Les, I think there is a general concensus that the bible is not to be taken literaly, so why do we continue to let people quote from it to make a point.
    There is a term for it in physcology that I don’t remember but it means starting with a false assumption or statement and running with it from there as if it were the truth, and then use it to prescribe a logical train of though from there.
    Pretty hard to describe, let’s say you use a true and logical line of reasoning to justify a statement that’s flawed to begin with so it makes the whole thread irrelevant.
    Sort of like how some of the threads here go!  LOL
    know what I mean. Don’t quote scripture to justify bullshit!

  11. Moses,

    There is a term for it in physcology that I don’t remember but it means starting with a false assumption or statement and running with it from there as if it were the truth, and then use it to prescribe a logical train of though from there.

    The word you’re looking for is theology raspberry

  12. In other words, they have joined a long tradition of people who wish to commune with God on their own terms, rather than God’s.

    Being a mackeral snapper instead of Episcopalian, I’m not generally inclined to rush to their defense.  Nevertheless your certitude about the “judgment” that shall be passed upon Episcopalians brings to mind this:

    If anyone supposes he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.

  13. The word you’re looking for is theology

    Well, then I think someone should have a serious talk with Theo.  grin

  14. Awwww, Daryl . . . even if we accepted the premise that the bible tells anything remotely resembling the truth, makes you think you have the right to pass judgment on other people’s (e.g., the episcopalians/anglicans) interpretation of it?

    As a former fundie myself, I can toss a bunch of verses right back at you but you’d only come up with some garbage about how YOUR verses should be interpreted literally but mine metaphorically. The inconsistencies kill any argument you might make based on the bible.

    The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man [sic] looketh well to his going. Prov. 14:15 [/i}

  15. Moses writes…

    Les, I think there is a general concensus that the bible is not to be taken literaly, so why do we continue to let people quote from it to make a point.

    I’d be inclined to argue over whether there is really a general consensus that the Bible is not to be taken literally, but my opposition is purely based on my supposition from past experience. In other words, I don’t have anything in the way of a survey or study to back myself up with.

    I think among some groups of Christians this is the general consensus, perhaps even among certain sects, but as a whole? I think there may be more literalists out there than a lot of people realize. Of course some folks are quasi-literarists in the idea that they’ll interpret it literally when it suits their purposes and interpretively when it doesn’t.

  16. Hardly anyone interprets it all literally.  They have to pick-and-choose.  As Reverend Lovejoy said to Flanders, “technically we’re not even supposed to go to the bathroom!”

    But I do recommend everyone read the Bible in its entirety, if only to know what all the fuss is about.  It can be tedious, however – the constant harping on homosexuality and abortion to the exclusion of all other concerns.  Oh, wait…

    And, what Consi, Moses, and Shelley said.

  17. My mom is a black Episcopalian priest who served in the confirmation of Gene Robinson, the gay bishop. If I had to pick a Christian denomination, Episcopalian would be a pretty strong contender; it´s got all the high ceremony of Catholicism without any of the guilt. Most Episcopalians I´ve met also have an unsurprisingly British attitude towards religion- it´s all well and good for a Sunday, but no reason to get your knickers in a twist. Plus, it still amuses me to say “Father Mother”.

  18. Oh, and sorry to double dip, but I just found this list on the official website of my mom´s church:
    Top 10 Reasons to Be an Episcopalian:

    10. No snake handling.

    9. You can believe in dinosaurs.

    8. Male and female, God created them; male and female, we ordain them.

    7. You don’t have to check your brains at the door.

    6. Pew aerobics.

    5. Church year is color-coded.

    4. Free wine on Sunday.

    3. All of the pageantry – none of the guilt.

    2. You don’t have to know how to swim to get baptized.

    And the Number One reason to be an Episcopalian:

    1. No matter what you believe, there’s bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.

  19. Ulfrekr: 1. No matter what you believe, there’s bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.

    I like the other ones too.  smile

  20. Thanks for the kind words, Les.

    It’s a pity a church has to go on public record, in 2006, that evolution isn’t in conflict with Scripture, to not sound like a bunch of flat-earthers.

    And, yes, Ulrekr, I like the list, too.  All high on my list of liking hanging with the Episcopalians.

    Itdontmatter, I haven’t read in detail all the outcomes of the General Convention.  They did elect a female (and pro-gay marriage) Presiding Bishop, and the day before the resolution you mention, they also formally declined to ban such further consecrations.  I suspect the resolution you’re pointing at was a wishy-washy compromise to try to stay at the table with the rest of the Anglican Communion for at least another few years; it’d disappointing, at the very least (being luke-warm is rarely satisfying nor, in fact, moral), but it’s part of the dialectic of wrestling with changing times and understanding.

  21. but it’s part of the dialectic of wrestling with changing times and understanding.

    lot of truth in that statement and it could be applied in a lot of places and situations as well
    AWJ

  22. This sounds exactly like the sort of church atheists are always complaining about.  In fact, haven’t I seen something a lot like this on the SEB home page?

    Episcopalian, n. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.

    Ulfrekr: All of the pageantry – none of the guilt.

    All the pageantry – none of the spirituality.

    All the pageantry – none of the sacrfice.

    All the pageantry – none of that pesky “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” talk by that Jesus guy.

    If all you care about is pageantry, why not stay home and watch the Oscars?

    Ulfrekr: Most Episcopalians I´ve met also have an unsurprisingly British attitude towards religion- it´s all well and good for a Sunday, but no reason to get your knickers in a twist.

    Ulfrekr, anyone can be religious for an hour on a Sunday morning.  If you will not carry your convictions out into the world, then what good are they?

    “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.  Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

    Here is what Christ had to say about this “leave it in the pews” approach to religion:

    “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either cold or hot.  So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

    Note that the word translated as “spit” is actually “vomit” in the latin (“evomere”).  Lukewarm faith is nauseating to Christ.

  23. The Unitarians are cool, too. I hear they believe in life before death.

    lol it true. 

    I am a big fan of the Unitarians, considering that if you’re a member of the church, you have freedom to believe in what you want.  That is extremely rare for any religion.

  24. moses: I think there is a general concensus that the bible is not to be taken literaly, so why do we continue to let people quote from it to make a point.

    And here we have the logical conclusion of atheism’s war against the Bible.

    First, they didn’t want anyone talking about the Bible when the subject was science.

    Then, we were supposed to keep our mouths shut when the subject was good governance.

    Then, they wanted us to keep quiet about the Bible’s lessons in matters of ethics and morals.

    And now here it is at last: Moses wonders why Christians insist on quoting from the Bible when the subject at hand is.. I kid you not.. Christian Theology!

  25. Listen, everyone believes in exactly what they want and nothing more. If that were not the case then we would all supposedly be as holy as Jesus, or Muhammad, or the Dali Lama.
    Instead we are all like the Dali Lama’s cousin Fernando!

  26. Daryl, everyone, including you, picks and chooses.  You just choose the parts that let you feel superior to all those sinners.

    “Atheism” is not at war against the Bible, but we are not too fond of people using the Bible as a bludgeon with which to defend the darker centuries of man’s existence.

    The Bible is not a science book.  It supports the governance of kings and the legitimacy of slavery.  Yet, on the subject of mercy to the poor, you Christianists seem to be reading a severely edited version.

    Funny that God hates all the same people you do.

  27. Daryl, please, I can only take so much giggling in one day. Who would’ve thought my little atheistic endorsement would bring out so much jealousy from you?

  28. Wow, Daryl, I have to hand it to you—you do the True Believer schtick very well.

    You begin by pulling the No True Scotsman card:

    The Episcopalian Church in the USA ceased to be a Christian church in any meaningful sense years ago.

    And several posts later you end with a revelation of the Christianists’ war fetish:

    And here we have the logical conclusion of atheism’s war against the Bible.

    By the way, out of perhaps morbid curiosity, what denomination or sect do you consider yourself a follower of, Daryl?

  29. Episcopalian, n. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.

    Gee Daryl . . .How arrogant of you to set yourself up as judge and decide that you know what is in people’s hearts!

    “Who are you to judge another?” James 4:12

    “. . . be not wise in your own conceits.” Romans 12:16

    Here’s what Jesus had to say about people like you:

    “Judge not . . .” See Matthew 7:1-5

    See, this is one of the difficulties I have: You fundies claim the high ground and yet your sublime arrogance would be contrary to Jesus’ teachings.

  30. Ulfrekr, anyone can be religious for an hour on a Sunday morning.

    Not me.  When I had to go, usually with the one grandmother or the other, I was bored to tears.  I now enjoy going to church, because I only do so if I’m performing there.  But I’m not religious, unless blissing out on Bach or Josquin counts.

    Note that the word translated as “spit

  31. ***Dave—  There were two different votes regarding gay bishops.  The first vote declined to ban the consecration of gay bishops, pretty luke warm, but a reasonable compromise. 

    Just hours before the end of the nine-day meeting they voted to “exercise restraint” in the consecration of gay candidates for bishop. The second vote was timed so that any further debate on the issue would not be possible and it had the effect of slapping the gay members of the US Episcopal Church in the face in order to appease the homophobic conservatives. 
    aren’t allowed to get lo
    The only xtian churches that don’t have influential conservative elements are the MCC (Metropolitan Community Church) and the UCC (United Church of Christ). 

    The Unitarian-Universalist Churches are very cool too, I think that about 20% of UU’s would identify themselves as being xtian.  UU’s welcome athiests, however an athiest may be asked why he believes that he is an athiest and not an agnostic. 

    UU joke: Fellow goes to a UU service for the first time, and later is asked what he thought of it. “Darndest church I ever went to,” he replies, “the only time I heard the name of Jesus Christ was when the minister spilled coffee on her robe.”

    Another UU joke: A young Unitarian was visiting a Christian church when the pastor asked if she were saved. She whispered, “In my church, we don’t get lost.”

  32. From the book The plain truth about God-101

    “The Bible is full of so many stories of a contradictory nature and moral purpose that every generation can find scriptural justification for nearly any action it proposes, from incest, to slavery and mass murder, to the most refined love, courage and self-sacrifice.  Indeed, this has surely contributed to its survival.

  33. Daryl
    moses: I think there is a general concensus that the bible is not to be taken literaly, so why do we continue to let people quote from it to make a point.
    And here we have the logical conclusion of atheism’s war against the Bible.

    This appears to say the whole bible is literally true.

    Is this bit true?

    Genesis
    1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 
    1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 
    1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 

    Day one – night and day

    1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 
    1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.  “He made the stars also.” 
    1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,  “And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.” 
    1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 
    1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 

    Sun and moon fourth day.  The position of the Sun does not cause night and day.  The light is independent.

    Note also the use of the word DAY. We’ve measured stuff. The universe is old.  Far older than the bible allows for. We have measured stars 1000s upon 1000s of light years away.

    Now some will tell you a day isn’t 24 hours, but thousands of years.  Not what a stone age Jew would have understood by the word day.

    Some say God just made the universe look old.  Where in the bible does it say that?

    Some say the measurements are wrong. Every mathematical means we have seem to confirm what we have.  No creationist has ever shown one of these starts to be less than 6000ly by any verifiable means.  If you could you would be on the money train, no matter what your belief. Hell, an athiest who could prove a young universe would go for it.

    Some say the laws of physics changed.  See comment above.

    How do we know the bible is accurate?  Who actually said that it is?  How do we know they are telling the truth?

  34. Daryl: And here we have the logical conclusion of atheism’s war against the Bible.

    Mate, I doubt many here are at ‘war against the bible’ per se.
    It’s just a bit of a mystery, to me anyway, that True Believers™ can’t see the glaringly obvious contradictions dotted throughout a piece of work put together, and voted on, a little over 1600 years ago, by mortal men with their own agenda.
    True Believers™ hold the book up as the ‘word of god’ because it says so in the book which even you will have to agree is typical circular logic.
    I’m currently reading the Jesus Papers by Michael Baigent. It’s interesting.
    One quote he mentions from the bible is from Luke 17:20/21 – The kingdom of god doesn’t come with observation. Behold, the kingdom of god is within.
    I take that to mean we are all gods and meditative peace, love and tranquillity is anywhere I am.
    I shared some time over the weekend with different family members and friends.
    When asked what I do, I said that, amongst other things, I played on the SEB site. What is that?
    I started by saying SEB was a bunch of atheists who knew the bible better than most xians.
    It sounded a little all-encapsulating and severely limited so I padded it a bit with: a bunch of people who practice a Search for Truth and Fun, Honour, Integrity, Justice for all, for its own reward because it’s the right thing to do, not because of some threat of hell.
    Well, it sounded good to me. LOL

  35. It’s just a bit of a mystery, to me anyway, that True Believers™ can’t see the glaringly obvious contradictions dotted throughout a piece of work put together, and voted on, a little over 1600 years ago, by mortal men with their own agenda.

    They are actually well aware of it. I hear that you buy tons of books in Christian bookstores that try to reconcile these contradictions.

    I started by saying SEB was a bunch of atheists who knew the bible better than most xians.

    That’s not really all that hard. I get the feeling that if you open the Bible and read a page at random, you already know more about it than many True Believers.

    Come to think of it, it’s pushing 40 years since I last peeked in one.

  36. I’m just sitting here wondering what the hell the point was that “Last Hussar” was trying to make! Well they do say to keep your mind exercised as well as your body as you get older so thanks to Last Hussar, I got my workout today!

    One quote he mentions from the bible is from Luke 17:20/21 – The kingdom of god doesn’t come with observation. Behold, the kingdom of god is within.

    From http://www.God-101.com

    One of the core sayings of Jesus was “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’  For behold, that kingdom of God is in the midst of you.

  37. Daryl, you seem to have missed that I was explaining why I would choose Episcopalian if I had to choose a denomination. Of course the things that would appeal to me, as a non-religious person, would be the aspects of the church that could hold some secular appeal. This doesn´t imply however that actual members of the church don´t find a real spiritual aspect to all of the same stuff. The “pageantry”, for example, might not mean anything to me beyond the pretty colors and sounds, but that doesn´t mean that it can´t hold some deeper significance to someone else.

    Ulfrekr, anyone can be religious for an hour on a Sunday morning.  If you will not carry your convictions out into the world, then what good are they?

    I apologize for making it sound like Episcopalians can´t carry their convictions out into the world. I made it sound as though they believe something different on Sunday than they do the rest of the week, when in fact I think it´s the opposite: their experiences during the majority of the week tend to dictate what they believe on Sunday. I´m aware this might sound like watered-down spirituality to some, but I think many Episcopalians would contradict that assumption more passionately that I can be bothered to.

  38. A.  Holy War – convert or kill all non-believers
    B.  Intimidation – threaten and discriminate against unbelievers!
    C.  Social isolation or “death to apostates.

  39. It’s just a bit of a mystery, to me anyway, that True Believers™ can’t see the glaringly obvious contradictions dotted throughout a piece of work put together, and voted on, a little over 1600 years ago, by mortal men with their own agenda.
    True Believers™ hold the book up as the ‘word of god’ because it says so in the book which even you will have to agree is typical circular logic.
    I’m currently reading the Jesus Papers by Michael Baigent. It’s interesting.

    A good rule of thumb: books that say “Exposing the greatest cover-up in history” on their cover should be left for the candy aisle at the supermarket. Stay away from the DaVinci code “scholarship” because all you will do is damage your own credibility. If you want some reputable skeptical scholarship, check out the Jesus Seminar instead.

    There is an evidentialist case for the historicity of Jesus and the New Testament. Check out N.T. Write or Gary Habermas. Or read one of the debate books if reading the arguments of people that you disagree with is a gloomy thought. William Lane Craig and Gary Habermas have both participated in published debates with Jesus Seminar skeptics.

  40. Justin it’s absolutely true that Christians have more children than ahtiests so I would not be too worried about them.
    Eventually the athiests will will dwindle away to nothing while you propogate and prosper. Wait my friend, all you have to do is out-fuck them!! raspberry

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