God bless the Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C. John Bryson Chane is an interesting and ostensibly brilliant man. But he seems to forget that a bishop of an Anglican church used to be expected to believe in his liturgy. Consider this extract from the reliably liberal “On Faith” at the Washington Post:
What some may believe, that a Hindu chaplain opening a session of the United States Senate with prayer has somehow violated the notion of “One Nation under God,” is absurd. It points to those who hold a view that fails to understand the theological complexities and make-up of the current religious population of the United States. It is a point of view that is theologically intolerant, xenophobic, religiously narrow, and dangerous. It borders on the heresy of an American theocracy that could lead to a totalitarian view of acceptable religious expression. It is a failure to understand that there are more than just one set of religious constructs and beliefs that can provide pathways to enlightenment for some and for others a personal relationship with a living God. (emphasis added)
One may be a Christian; one may not. But if one is a Christian, this, by definition, makes you “theologically intolerant.” Meaning, in simple terms, you believe in one truth, truth that excludes other points of view that deny this truth.
If you don’t believe that Christ is your savior, and that it is only through His atoning death on the cross that you shall be saved, then fine. But if you do, you can’t also agree that Christ wasn’t necessary for salvation. This point of view would be understandable from a secular humanist. Expected, even. But from a bishop of a Christian denomination? It defies reason.
I would not-so-respectfully suggest that one of two things is going on: One, Bishop Chane is unfit for episcopal office; two, the Episcopal Church is no longer Christian.
Perhaps some of both.