Friday, December 22, 2006

How Long Before They Start Chopping Off Heads?

If there's one thing Virginians do well, it's secede. We certainly proved that during the Civil War. And in effort to maintain that proud tradition, several Episcopalian parishes in the state have voted to secede from the main Episcopal church.

The reason? Well, their cause is quite noble, and this time it's not about preserving the grand institution of slavery (Virginians always pick the right reasons to secede). It seems the national Episcopal Church recently ordained a gay bishop, and has decided to approve same sex unions. Therefore, in the tradition of judgemental religious nuts who have nothing better to do than meddle in the private affairs of individuals, these Virginia parishes have voted to break from the U.S. church.

Oh, and the other thing that has these particular Episcopalians upset is that their national church is now headed by a GASP!!!!! woman. Can't have that!

The decision wasn't easy, and the debate was often bitter. In fact, the photo to the right ran in the Post the next day. It's of the Reverend Martyn Minns of Fairfax's Truro Church, his wife, and vestry member Jim Moulton. It's certainly understandable that they're emotional. Their parish had just made a very bold move.

But should the two guys be hugging? Isn't that the kind of thing that caused this whole mess in the first place?

At any rate, you might think this is all okay. If they want to divorce themselves from the national congregation and go it alone, that's fine. But as with all divorces, it's never quite that simple. For example, who owns the local church property? Is it the local parish, or the national church? Tens of millions of dollars are at stake depending on the answer. The two Northern Virginia churches involved in this mess have a total of $25 million worth of buildings and land. Additionally, five other parishes across the state voted to break away, and more are likely to follow. By the time it's all sorted out, millions of dollars will have been spent on lawyers.

Well, at least that money won't be wasted on something stupid, like helping poor people.

But what really makes this whole thing curious is that these breakaway parishes will NOT be going it alone. They're aligning themselves with--get this--the Episcopal Church of Nigeria, headed by Archbishop Peter Akinola.

I'm not sure, but I think that's the same Nigerian guy who just last week sent me an email asking for my checking account number so I could help him smuggle $30 million out of the country.

By the way, for anyone who doesn't know, the Episcopal Church is the American branch of the Church of the England (A.K.A. the Anglican Church). And why does England have its own church? Well, it all goes back to Henry VIII in the 16th century. In his quest to produce a male heir, he divorced several wives and even beheaded one. To his credit, the Pope didn't approve of this behavior and told Henry to stop acting like a baby. Not happy with the Pope's restrictions at chopping off his wives' heads, Henry decided to start his own church.

Now THAT'S what I call a sound moral basis for a religion.

0 thoughtful ramblings: