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The Historical Jesus as a Model for an Un-Sacred Holy Land

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Last night, a religious friend told me about an interesting exchange between Bill Moyers and the female Episcopal bishop, in which the bishop justified discriminating against gays as bishops by saying they would be "crucified." Here’s the exchange: 

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: I think God is asking us
to build a society where people can live together in peace with a sense
of justice. Where people can develop their gifts to the fullest, where
people can, in some sense, recover their presence in the garden.

MOYERS: You’ve even been criticized by some of your
liberal colleagues in the American fellowship because you have called
for a moratorium for a season on ordaining more gay Bishops. Why did
you do that?

SCHORI: It was a very painful
thing to do. My sense was that there might be hope of some kind of
broader understanding if we were able to pause. Not go backwards, but
pause.

MOYERS:
Is it fair to ask some aspiring gay or lesbian person who wants to become a Bishop, like Gene Robinson did in 2003, to wait?

SCHORI:
Is it fair?  No.  It’s not fair.

MOYERS:
But it’s necessary?

SCHORI:
It’s a crucified place to stand.

MOYERS:
There are some of your dioceses that do not accept your ordination because you are a woman.

SCHORI:
There are three [female] Bishops, three diocesan Bishops.

MOYERS: Out of how many?

SCHORI:
A hundred and ten.

I find this exchange moving for the following reasons: The bishop is saying that we all live in the world, even religious officials, and though the world has partly accepted women as bishops it hasn’t accepted gays. But it will some day. And, Christ was not the only martyr. The crucifixion happens again and again. She is talking about Jesus as a historical figure, and then sharing that Christ story with gay people now.

From my own liberated Jewish perspective, I would call on Jews to share the Passover story with the Palestinians and share the Israel story with liberal western democracies. We’ve come to a great spot here. Can’t you feel it?

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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