A Rift Among Episcopalians

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Seven Virginia Episcopal parishes, opposed to the consecration of a gay bishop and the blessing of same-sex unions, voted to break from the U.S. church [front page, Dec. 18].

I am unmoved by "shaken" Truro Church member Katrina Wagner's rhetorical question, "Are we going to follow Scripture?"

This same Truro vestry member seems unshaken by Saint Paul's admonition for women to be quiet in church. Some who get carried away with interpreting Scripture argue that Paul's position was for the unruly Corinthian Church and not today's church. And I suspect the souls at Truro have managed to see their way through the thicket of Levitical dietary strictures and dress codes, so that it is not uncommon to witness a woman with short hair in a red dress eating pork at a restaurant. In any case, that presumably would no longer be a stoning offense. And I suspect most of the shaken souls at the Falls Church have managed the tangle of biblical exegesis so that they no longer support slavery, which has a long pedigree in Scripture.

But try to bless and recognize the commitment of long-term, monogamous same-sex couples, and the literalists come out of the woodwork.

MARTIN LAWSON

Arlington

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The Rev. Martyn Minns of Truro Church in Fairfax City was quoted as saying that although the dissident Virginia churches believe that homosexuality is banned by Scripture, they do not support criminalization of gay sex.

This came amid reports that the head of the organization that the Rev. Minns's church is affiliating with supports legislation in Nigeria that includes prison sentences for gay sexual activity. So, the Rev. Minns is taking his church from one governing body with which he disagrees to join another with which he disagrees.

The Lord truly does work in mysterious ways.

JON S. OLSON


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