A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I've noticed a number of news items where refusal to share communion is being used as a means express disagreement with others. We have conservative priests refusing to share communion with their liberal bishop in the UK. The anglican primates upset about the US and Canadian church's stance open stance on gay and lesbians refuse to share communion with them. And those who actively support glbt inclusion in the Catholic church are to be denied communion.

Frank Griswold claims that "communion is a gift from God and not something we simply create, communion is about deep relationship created by God." The above examples have reversed this, thinking that human agreement creates this relationship...but I'm not sure how to make sense of a sacrament if they are right. If it actually testifies to a reality beyond itself then the reality is not governed by what we do, recognize, or regulate but is rather dependent on God's work in the world. The only question is whether we'll celebrate this work.

Joe Conason argues that the religious right's backing of Bush, even when he attacks poverty programs is born out some vindictive theolory which seeks to punish the poor. I'm apt to disagree. I think there's a compartmentalization of issues, since Bush is tackling the big issues of abortion, gays, and the courts other issues are simply not important. The result for the poor is the same unfortunately. Thankfully the mainline is challenging Bush's priorities.

Amy Sullivan looks to apathy in explaining why the religious left is not a key factor in today's public arena. Could be, but ignoring the decline in mainline membership and the internal fights in these churches misses something important in this story. Daily Kos has a piece on some of the GOP connected groups and individuals who are funding these fights. They recognize that a silenced mainline is key if religion is not to challenge them.


At 2:48 AM , Blogger simon said...

You are quite right to say that God, rather than human agreement, creates communion. This means that I am in communion with lots of people I disagree with, and lots that I dislike.

The root of this is baptism. In baptism we are given a new family - the people of God. And of course, you can choose your friends ...

At 4:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that liberal Christians always go with the crappy stained glass? This isn't to say that the conservative evangelicals don't put out a lot of schlock too.

At 11:46 PM , Anonymous frank durkee said...

One key is the slow work of organizing from the block level up, to creat political, educational ,and reform efforts that will alter the political calculus. Many of us have done this both locally and on larger scales and have seen some booc outcomes. I's not easy and it works [ note thee 2004 election ].


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