Doing God's Work
1) At Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the seminary mascot Chapel Mouse "came out” in celebration of “Queer Week” on campus. Mark Tooley goes on to describe what is happening at American seminaries:
In a column for the seminary newsletter, the mouse sock puppet announced that he was changing his name to Ms. Chapelle Mouse. But do not assume that Chapelle will accordingly be dressing as a female mouse! If you do, you have succumbed to society’s artificial and restrictive gender expectations.
Chapelle, though now professing to be female, will remain male in appearance, to protest the false “construction” of a “binary gender system” by a “dominant society” that assumes that everyone must be male or female in appearance.
“Gender is a fluid and mutable category, open to a range of emotion and identity,” explains the sock puppet mouse. “We cross the boundaries of the traditional binary gender system all the time in our daily lives. In short, Ms. Mouse is a transgendered mouse.”
Chappelle Mouse helpfully explains that how you look to others doesn’t matter. Social constructions of gender may “trap or free you.” She will not be “going high fem” any time soon but reminds us that “female identified” people look great in trousers too. So while her name has changed, her photo has not.
The sock puppet at Episcopal Divinity School has probably been reading Omnigender: A Trans-Religious Approach, by Episcopal writer Virginia Ramey Mollenkott. Omnigender denounces the artificial and harmful static gender assumptions that force transgendered persons, and other curious people, to choose permanently between male and female identities.
That the secular entertainment industry would employ children’s characters to tout new visions of a genderless society without sexual boundaries was probably inevitable. That churches would be far more bold in claiming the promises of the sexual revolution and of a new omnigender utopia is perhaps a little more surprising.
2) With "Justice Sunday" just a distant memory, James Dobson says that Christians must make their voices heard on the judicial filibuster issue. Dobson says, "It will not come to pass without a response -- a massive response -- from people of faith and those who hold to conservative views." I heard recently that 95% of Christians will never share their faith with another person--so much for The Great Commission. Instead, we are being urged to get Dick Lugar's office on the horn and make sure he knows that we are demanding "an up-or-down vote on the president's judicial nominees."
3) In Connecticut it looks like six Episcopal priests may be removed because they disapprove of homosexuality.
4) Here's a thigh-slapper for you. A lesbian Methodist minister defrocked last year after admitting to living with a woman won an appeal against the church's decision. Evidently, the Methodists had not defined what it means to be a "practicing homosexual." Do they need a picture? Here is a little more from the story:
In a 14-page decision, the committee reversed both the conviction and the penalty on the technical grounds that the church has not properly defined the term "practicing homosexual". The committee also held that the church law under which the charges were brought was a new standard that had not been formally ratified by the church authorities and so could not be used to convict Stroud.
Stroud, 34, was originally found to have violated the church's Book of Discipline, which forbids the ordination and appointment of "self-avowed practicing homosexuals."
Stroud told the hearing she was in a committed relationship with another woman and had decided to be open about her sexuality because it was the honest, Christian thing to do.
Her stance was backed by many members of her Philadelphia congregation.
The committee said it recognized that "practicing homosexual" may involve engaging in "genital sexual activity" but that the term had not been clearly defined by the church and so it could not be used against Stroud.
5) Lesbian pastorette Nancy Wilson--no, she wasn't in Heart--has been tapped to lead the world's largest gay spiritual group, Metropolitan Community Churches.
6) Lest you think such nonsense confined to the Protestant, or miscellaneous, wing of Christendom, here is a story from Ohio about Catholic clergy abuse, and there is also evidence that as a Cardinal, the new Pope attempted to obstruct the abuse investigation.
Well, I'm off to church. Hope you have a blessed Lord's Day.