Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori speaks to Bill Moyers

Posted by Kendall Harmon

BILL MOYERS: As I read about the conflict in your church, what I find is that both sides treat the Bible as their source, but they come to totally opposite conclusions as to what the Bible says. What do you make of that? As a scientist and a believer.

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: Our ways of reading Scripture shape the conclusions we come to. And often what we go looking for shapes the conclusions about what we read. I'll give you a-- you know, a loaded example. The story of David and Jonathan.

You know, Canonically, the traditional way of reading that has been about the friendship between two men. It says in the Scripture that David loved Jonathan with a love surpassing women. Many gay and lesbian people in our church today say, "This is a text - that says something constructive about the love between people of the same gender." Yet our tradition has rarely been able to look at it with those eyes. I think that's a fertile ground for some serious Biblical scholarship and some encounter from people who come to different conclusions.

BILL MOYERS: If biology, as I understand it does, tells us that homosexuality is-- is a genetic given. And religion says homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God, can those two perceptions ever be reconciled?

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: How do we come to a conclusion that it's a sin in the eyes of God?

BILL MOYERS: Well, you're the-

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: What texts do we read that-

BILL MOYERS: But you know, all of your adversaries say that it is.

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: Well, I would have them go back to the very sources they find so black and white about that, and ask what's the context of this passage? What was it written to address? What was going on underneath it that this appears to speak to? And I think we find when we do some very serious scholarship, that in almost every case, it's speaking about a cultural context that looks nothing like the one in which we're wrestling with homosexuality today.

BILL MOYERS: So how do you read-- Jonathan and David, that story?

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: I think it's got some-- challenging things to say to us who have said for hundreds of years, thousands of years that it's inappropriate for two men to love each other in that way.

BILL MOYERS: Is this a moral issue to you?

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: It's a moral issue in the sense that part of the job of a church is to help all Christians grow up into the full stature of Christ. It's to help all of us to lead holy lives The question is what does that holy life look like?

BILL MOYERS: Well, many conservative, traditional Christians say that the homosexual life is not a holy life.

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: They would say that it's only holy if it's celibate. And I think we've got more examples out of Scripture even to offer in challenge to that.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)* TheologyTheology: Salvation (Soteriology)

Posted June 9, 2007 at 2:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. drjoan wrote:

One little comment may escape attention since it isn’t about sexuality per se.  At the beginning of the interveiw KJS referrs to a theologian who says that God’s body is creation.
I saw this last night and could not sit through the entire piece.  I must admit KJS is well spoken—someone once said she has a pastoral way about her that is somehow soothing.  I guess that is true.
But she is not willing to concede anything.  If anyone is to change, it is those who do NOT believe as she does.

June 9, 2:28 pm | [comment link]
2. Dave B wrote:

Jonathan and David, that story?
“BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: I think it’s got some—challenging things to say to us who have said for hundreds of years, thousands of years that it’s inappropriate for two men to love each other in that way.”  I have another one of my silly questions. I thougth you were born homosexual and it was genetic and you could not change.  Yet if David “loved” Jonathan and they were homosexual lovers how did David change and become a heterosexual, you know that whole thing with Bathsheba etc?  Maybe David was bisexual?

June 9, 2:51 pm | [comment link]
3. rugbyplayingpriest wrote:

She is so very far away from the recevied tradition of the holy Church universal on almost every and any subject that it almost takes your breath away. Having pulled scripture apart and treated it with som much cynicism and doubt- why does she then stand by the rest? Perplexing

June 9, 2:55 pm | [comment link]
4. Sherri wrote:

It’s not challenging to think of two men loving each other as friends. What kind of blinkers are we wearing if we insist that love between two men must necessarily be sexual? Is it materialism that now makes us reduce all love to the plain of the physical? What wonderful things are we losing this way? It’s a common place to talk about how this and that have been “dumbed down” - I think we’re really reducing love to its least.

June 9, 2:58 pm | [comment link]
5. RalphM wrote:

“BILL MOYERS: If biology, as I understand it does, tells us that homosexuality is—is a genetic given”

This is a big part of the problem.  The lie has been told by so many and so often that it has now been accepted as truth.  Shame on Moyers for not researching the facts.  The whole interview is about homosexuality and no critical reporting is employed.

June 9, 3:15 pm | [comment link]
6. Dave B wrote:

Sherri, I agree.  My son is in the army and he has comrades in arms whom he loves.  They are very tight.  The love and care shared between Rusacrola (sp) and Hill in “Heart of a Soldier” is of this nature.  The people that promote homosexuality are so desperate for any scriptural support that they grasp at straws. My comment above was ment to be a little tongue in cheek.

June 9, 3:31 pm | [comment link]
7. David+ wrote:

This world has come to a sad place indeed if two men can not love one another without it being seen in a homosexual context.  Christ tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Some of my neighbors, in fact about half of them, are men.  I will ny shy back from expressions of love out of fear of that being interepreted as homosexual.  Mrs. Shori has chosen the wrong passage to back up her position.  If Scripture said anything about David “knowing” Johnathan, then that would be another matter alltogether.  But it does not so indicate in any manner.  The good bishopess needs to find another argument.

June 9, 3:33 pm | [comment link]
8. john scholasticus wrote:

I thought this was a perfectly decent interview.

June 9, 3:41 pm | [comment link]
9. Enda wrote:

#4 Sherri, You are absolutely right.  As a boy growing up I had boy friends and we even slept together.  The problem with “dumbing down” is that we make everything, as you said, a matter of the physical in a sexually active way.  This whole argument leaves friendship between same sexes much weaker.  Not to mention the KJS rejects the Scripture, rewrites it, and claims that the rewriting is the truth.  Really?  I don’t hear anything about sexual activity between David and Jonathan.  Since the stories of our faith usually tell all, ie. David and his escapades, I can’t believe they would leave out the other.  No.  This is, in a word, universalist balony.

June 9, 3:56 pm | [comment link]
10. Ross wrote:

The story of David and Johnathan is a shifty one to base an argument about homosexuality on, because there’s simply no way to know whether they were physical lovers or not.  It’s not like we can ask them.

Might they have been lovers?  I think the Scriptural story leaves the possibility open; and David was not entirely a model of sexual restraint.  Might they have loved each only with brotherly love?  Of course they might have.  If we talk about context, we have to remember that at that time and place a passionate, non-physical love between two men was nothing to cause a lifted eyebrow.

Neither the people saying “Of course they were!” nor the ones saying “Of course they weren’t!” can prove their claim.  Debating whether homosexuality is sinful based on that particular passage is likely to be even more futile than the discussion usually is.

June 9, 3:57 pm | [comment link]
11. robroy wrote:

There is no Christianity (did she mention Jesus?), just a warm, fuzzy God thing that is as meaningless and impotent as “life force.” I cannot distinguish her from anything coming out of the Unitarian club. Do we need another Unitarian club?

June 9, 4:04 pm | [comment link]
12. FrankV wrote:

I am stunned at this woman’s ignorance and twisting of scripture.

June 9, 4:24 pm | [comment link]
13. Eric Swensson wrote:

Just spoke with my wife about this interview. She wants to know if the Jews can sue Schori for libel (or is it slander, I can never keep it straight). Anyone have an idea? Seems like someone ought to stand up for David.

June 9, 4:24 pm | [comment link]
14. David Fischler wrote:

You know what’s funny? For all her talk about “cultural context,” she is apparently unaware that a homosexual relationship between David and Jonathan would have been considered abominable in ancient Israel (just as David’s adultery with Bathsheba was, the result being the loss of the child of that adultery, God’s judgment on their sin). Nothing—absolutely nothing—in the Old Testament, the Talmud, or any other ancient Jewish writings suggest that homosexual behavior was anything but horrendous sin. So for Jefforts-Schori, or anyone else, to suggest that the OT was hinting at a homosexual relationship between David and Jonathan is a marvelous example of ignoring cultural context.

June 9, 4:25 pm | [comment link]
15. Karen B. wrote:

I’m with #1.  I just started reading through this, and what has first drawn me up short is this:

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI:  Christians talk about the body of Christ. A theologian named Sally McFague talks about the body of God as being all of creation. When one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers. That’s an essential piece of Paul’s theology. If we’re not caring adequately for the other parts of the body, we are not only destroying ourselves, but we’re destroying our neighbors here and across the world.

++Schori is very careful in her words and does not quite come out with a direct statement “I believe the Body of Christ = all of creation”
But that’s what she strongly implies at the very least in the section I’ve quoted (though there is the usual wiggle room there, she can get out of it if challenged “I never said that I believed such and such”  sigh) But assuming that I am correct in what she said and that this is what she believes, it’s just further evidence of her universalism.  If all creation is part of the Body of Christ, noone or nothing is excluded.

And yet the NT is clear that it is possible to be IN the Body of Christ or OUT of the Body of Christ.

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. [these are active verbs: baptized into, putting on Christ.  There is choice and action and separation here.  put on / put off.]

Col 2:8-14
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

[KB’s comments: death & judgment apart from Christ.  Life and the fullness of God’s promises in Him.  I also like the comparison with circumcision, a physical evidence of God’s choosing a people and setting them apart, now accomplished through a spiritual sign, baptism.  But still the theme of a people set apart, those who have entered into a covenant with God]

I Cor 10:14-22
14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

[A comparison of participation in the Body of Christ, signified by Communion, with idolatry, “participants with demons”.  There is a choice.  To participate with one is not to participate with the other.]

I Cor 12:
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

[baptized into one body, means we were once outside the body.  You can’t be put into something you are already in!!!]

Etc etc.
Once again, I’m reminded of Kendall’s Plano speech and how he absolutely nailed ECUSA’s embrace of a theology which denies the cross and need for redemption, denies sin.  Basically jumps from Creation to Redemption…

Anyway, enough to say that ++Schori has no obvious sense that the Church has a distinct identity or a divine calling or mission.  That’s been obvious before in her talk of Shalom and her embrace of a secular agenda (the MDGs) as the church’s agenda.  But this makes it much clearer how she arrives at this point “theologically”—or maybe we should say “logically” instead since the “theo” part seems quite conspicuously absent!

June 9, 4:28 pm | [comment link]
16. Deja Vu wrote:

OK, let’s look at the verses:

Jonathan lies slain upon your high places,
I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
greatly beloved were you to me;
your love to me was wonderful,
passing the love of women. 2 Sa 1:26

For those who argue that these verses from the “Song of the Bow” mean a sexual relationship between David and Jonathan, what happens when the same lens is used to look at the preceeding passage:

Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely,
In life and in death they were not divided,
they were swifter than eagles,
they were stronger than lions. 2 Sa 1:23

Would they also argue that the joining as one undivided of Saul and Jonathan means that there was a sexual relationship between Saul and Jonathan? If they were undivided, then maybe David also had a threesome with the two of them. If not, why not? Where does it stop for those who wish to find Biblical precedent for their erotic fantasies?

June 9, 4:46 pm | [comment link]
17. FrankV wrote:

With her at the helm, the ship is doomed.  It is time for the passengers to take to the lifeboats and row for the shelter of the shore of God.

June 9, 4:49 pm | [comment link]
18. john scholasticus wrote:

I think there is a huge problem about heterosexual people, who have their own sexuality and their own ways of expressing it, having this huge and obsessive problem about how homosexual people express theirs. I’m afraid I don’t care. I’m absolutely certain that Jesus doesn’t care either. I am even more certain that he (He) is puzzled and distressed by the utterly disproportionate emphasis devoted to it by a minority of Anglicans.

June 9, 4:53 pm | [comment link]
19. Shirley wrote:

#17.  So true.  I cannot “read it all”, and if I am true to what I believe, I can no longer be an Episcopalian.  The church I knew is no more.

June 9, 5:00 pm | [comment link]
20. CanaAnglican wrote:

A)  Moyers knows little or nothing about genetics.
B)  KJS knows little or nothing about the Bible.

June 9, 5:44 pm | [comment link]
21. Philip Snyder wrote:

JS (#18) - for once we agree.  I think that Jesus isdestressed by the attention to sexuality paid by the very small portion of Anglicans.  But, I think that the small portion is the group that want’s to change the teaching of the Church without doing the actual work necessary to make that change.
All four instruments of unity asked TECUSA not to move ahead with their changes and we refused to listen.  All of our ecumenical partners asked us to stop and we refused to listen.  The General Convention said time and time again that TECUSA lacked the authority to bless same sex unions on its own and that it was a decision to be made by the whole communion and we refused to listen.

When will we start listening to something other than our own desires at the moment?

Phil Snyder

June 9, 5:47 pm | [comment link]
22. john scholasticus wrote:


But we don’t agree. And you don’t address my point, which is that heterosexual people are far too ready to impose ‘their desires’ on homosexual people. Your ‘our own desires’ is very slippery.

Still, at least I’m glad you didn’t accuse me of interpreting scripture in an entirely arbitrary, selfish, unprincipled, post-modern way.

Perhaps there’s hope.

June 9, 5:54 pm | [comment link]
23. Deja Vu wrote:

Surely, Jesus wants everyone to be express their sexuality in what ever way they find most erotic satisfaction—- NOT!
Has Jesus been reduced to God of Erotic Satisfaction?

June 9, 6:10 pm | [comment link]
24. Pb wrote:

I did not know that we had access to the Sacred despite our sin. I thought we needed a Redeemer. I wonder what Jesus thinks of the insignifance of His sacrafice. This interview was embarrasing and even Moyers seemed surprised. I am surprised they did not get around to Joseph Campbell and Luke Skywalker.

June 9, 6:12 pm | [comment link]
25. JGeorge wrote:

#18. The problem is not with the heterosexual people - the story of David and Jonathan, outside the Western world, is viewed as a story of friendship and love (non-sexual). The TEC, in order to justify its pro-homosexual views and modern scholarship, insists that the love between David and Jonathan was sexual. So the obsession with sexual expression is more on the part of the homosexual Biblical lobbyist to repudiate and circumvent Christian teaching and norms. When has 2/3rds of the Anglican membership been a “minority”? What TEC has done in the name of inclusivity, is to ensure that they appeal to a higher income group of people, to make up for their irrelevance (declining trust funds) and declining membership among the common people. It is mostly about the money, which of course enables them to thumb their nose at the rest of the Anglicans in the Anglican Communion.

June 9, 6:15 pm | [comment link]
26. Enda wrote:

#18 John, How are you so utterly certain?  Where is the authority for your certainity?  I’d like to know because I’ve been studying this a long time, as you have, and I don’t find it.  Obviously, a whole lot of others don’t either.  Maybe you can enlighten us?  Me?

June 9, 6:15 pm | [comment link]
27. young joe from old oc wrote:

John Scolasticus:

You appear to be very sincere, but the way in which you left the main discussion of this thread behind to focus specifically and intently on sexuality is a very good piece of evidence that the “utterly disproportionate emphasis” on this issue comes from those in your camp. 

Regarding PB Schori, this interview demonstrates well how deeply the progressivist episcopal vision offers nothing new, but is simply trapped in the late modern/post-modern neosocialist movement and sexual revolution that overtook so much of mainline protestantism in the early ‘70’s.  That she would mention Stonewall as an important moment in social history betrays a worldview and social philosophy that is a rival to anything that is authentically Christian.  But in the mythology that she has bought into,  it (Stonewall) is part of an historiography that sees a whole series of “liberating” political acts from the early ‘60’s on as the “new consciousness” coming into being, and breaking the chains of the attitudes of her parents and grandparents generation, and tries to connect any significant leftward social change to the civil rights movement.  Stonewall, and one only has to watch any one of a handful of PBS documentaries that have been made about it to learn, was simply an extension of the sexual revolution to cosmopolitan homosexuals, and what followed, was first and foremost about hedonism, promiscuity, and indulging in every kind of sick sexual fantasy.  That people would then demand the right to continue with this madness and call it justice is satanic.  Don’t be fooled - that PB Schori identifies with it is evidence of a fundamentally non-christian vision and belief system.  In her virtues, in her character, she may be, in the minimalistic sense of the term, a Christian, but that she is the PB of the episcopal denomination reveals with the brightest of colors that it has fallen from grace.

June 9, 6:42 pm | [comment link]
28. deaconjohn25 wrote:

Wow! My condolences to orthodox Christian Episcopalians.
Two points.
The bishopess accuses Third World Christians of being affected by the presence of Islam in their areas. However, she gives no evidence of having the slightest inkling of being affected (brainwashed, actually) by her immersion in a Western Secular culture.
    And second, the insistence that there is an obsession with sex in the Church. Yet most Church historians agree that the Church comes on the strongest when defending orthodox doctrine which is under attack. During the Reformation and post-Reformation years it was the doctrines involving the papacy and the Blessed Virgin that were most under attack—so the Catholic Church came on like gangbusters on those issues. At the turn of the millenia centuries earlier the True Presence in the Eucharist was the challenged and then strongly defended doctrine, on back to the doctrines involving the Incarnation in the first 6 or 700 years. Today it is traditional Christian morality to do with some sexual issues that is bringing the strong defenses forward on behalf of Christian orthodoxy involving those issues.
    Between the bishopess and Moyers it is like reading an interview of Minnie Mouse by one of the Three Stooges on issues involving nuclear physics. Sorry to be so harsh sounding, but this is the level at which the secular media operates to smother orthodox Christianity and thus lead people to accept lies as truth and moral decadence as virtue. And it is this worldly media power (aligned with other worldly powers of corruption) that those who believe in orthodox Christianity, whether Catholic, Evangelical Protestant,  traditional Anglican, or Eastern Orthodox are up against.

June 9, 6:47 pm | [comment link]
29. Tom Roberts wrote:

Two things I’d note about this interview in its historical context:
1. Schori at least is 10 x more coherent than Griswold ever was. (coherence does not equate to correctness, however)
2. When Schori was elected PB my diocesan said that she was the only putative candidate that had a chance to accommodate the reasserting wing of ecusa. Now this interview shows that she has been radicalized during her tenure at 815. In fact, she is tripping out whatever ecusa talking points 815 has prepared on any given issue and nothing in scripture or Tradition is too sacred to treat with deference. The issue with David is just one of this type of really silly things she now puts out. Suppose for reasons of argument that homosexual love was acceptable to Yahweh. Then was a David-Jonathan relationship celibate? If not, why is Schori using it as something to be considered favorably? If anything, she should be condemning it in the same terms as David and Bathsheeba. But her radicalization prevents her from seeing her theological marginalization.

June 9, 6:47 pm | [comment link]
30. moheb wrote:

1. Regarding Sally McFague’s theology of the “Body of God” that Ms. Schori subscribes to: I know of Paul’s “Body of Christ” theology, I know of Jesus’ call for all of us to be one as He and the Father are one”.  I do not know of a single reference to the “Body of God” that Sally MaFague invented.  To paraphrase the evil spirit in Acts 19:13, I would say to Ms. Schori: ” Jesus I know, and I know about Paul.  But who in the h… is Sally McFague?”.
2. A marine Biologist may be familiar with only one kind of “love”: physical love.  And this comes out very clearly in her use of the Jonathan and David story.  She cannot conceive of the kind of love developed between soldiers who faught side by side and saw friends killed. Those who have served in combat- not in Federal research labs- would undersatnd the bonds that develop betwen them.  I highly commend C.S. Lewis’ “The Four Loves” to Ms. Schori- there is more to “love” than sex.

June 9, 7:44 pm | [comment link]
31. William Witt wrote:

KJS has forgotten to read the playbook.  TEC’s current talking point is that the biblical writers knew nothing about loving committed same-sex relations, and so could not have condemned them.  But, of course, if David and Jonathan were lovers . . . well, that throws a wrench in the whole argument.  And so maybe Paul really was condemning something he knew about . . .

June 9, 8:00 pm | [comment link]
32. Anonymous Layperson wrote:

If one buys into the absurd suggestion that the friendship of David and Jonathan was a homosexual love affair (as KJS clearly does, why else bring it up in this context?) it surely is even more absurd to hold it out as an example of appropriate behavior for Christians (as KJS clearly does, why else bring it up?).  Married men both, having sex with each other, that’s all she’s got?

June 9, 8:13 pm | [comment link]
33. Dick Mitchell wrote:

The PB says at one point that we can all get along if we “hold our positions a little more lightly.”  But then she also compares the issues of homosexuality with the historical issue of slavery—but I don’t think she would have urged that abolitionists should have held their position “more lightly.”  No, what she means is that her position is the moral and upright one, and those who do not agree should themselves “hold their position more lightly.”  If folks did not disagree with her (and with the general revisionist positions), we would all live happily together.  I have been in TEC for 40 years, and have heard this time and time again from leadership:  “Let’s dialogue—my position is sound and yours is up for discussion.”

June 9, 8:47 pm | [comment link]
34. Brian from T19 wrote:

I did not know that we had access to the Sacred despite our sin. I thought we needed a Redeemer. I wonder what Jesus thinks of the insignifance of His sacrafice.

1. Of course we have access to the Sacred despite our sin
2. A redeemer? You thought incorrectly.
3. What Jesus thinks about the insignificance of His sacrifice?  Well, that’s the whole point isn’t it?

June 9, 8:50 pm | [comment link]
35. Brian from T19 wrote:

I’ll give you a—you know, a loaded example. The story of David and Jonathan.

This view has been around for ages.  I don’t see why this surprises people.

My son is in the army and he has comrades in arms whom he loves.  They are very tight.

The question isn’t whether men can love each other - the question is whether their love is wonderful, passing the love of women.

Now while I do not necessarily believe that David and Jonathan had a sexual relationship, it is indeed possible.  For those who say that it could not have happened because the Scripture says it is a sin - well, did David commit adultery? Did he murder?

June 9, 8:56 pm | [comment link]
36. Anonymous Layperson wrote:

the question is whether their love is wonderful, passing the love of women

If the Bible said their love was wonderful, like the love of women, I would say there is maybe some evidence of a sexual relationship.  To me it seems like this quote is making it quite clear that the love was something different than the typical male-female sexual relationship.

Now while I do not necessarily believe that David and Jonathan had a sexual relationship, it is indeed possible.  For those who say that it could not have happened because the Scripture says it is a sin - well, did David commit adultery? Did he murder?

David committed adultery.  The Bible condemns it.  David committed murder.  The Bible condemns it.  David had a homosexual affair with a married man.  The Bible…  oops.  Come on, why is KJS even bringing this up as a positive “challenge” to us?

June 9, 9:22 pm | [comment link]
37. Militaris Artifex wrote:

If the Presiding Bishop is a biologist as well as a priest, then she should be interested in ensuring that the truth, whether scientific or religious, is not misrepresented. If this transcript is correct and complete, she let stand the following implied biological conclusion by Mr. Moyers which is patently false:

If biology, as I understand it does, tells us that homosexuality is—is a genetic given.

Disregarding the fact that this is not even a grammatically complete sentence, biology tells us very clearly that homosexuality is not genetic. Nevertheless, the PB does not, however gently, correct Mr. Moyers. The only reasons that I can reasonably surmise that she did not correct this implicit assertion, are (1) she is ignorant of the genetic research on the subject, or (2) she deliberately wishes to leave this fallacy unchallenged. If someone can offer another explanation, I would be pleased to consider it. At times, by her statements to those outside TEC, I am left wondering whether she might be either epistemologically or ethically challenged.

June 9, 9:34 pm | [comment link]
38. Ralph wrote:

David and Jonathan…again. At least she stopped short of the centurion and his son (or slave). Yikes!

Also, see 1 Samuel 18:1-5. The nephesh (not the ruach or the neshamah) of Jonathan was bound to that of David, and Jonathan loved him as he would love his own nephesh. Saul took him (David). They made a covenant, and Jonathan gave him some of his clothing.

Clearly, they were more than friends. It looks to me as if they became blood brothers (almost twins) by the union of the nephesh. There is nothing there, nothing whatsoever, even to suggest a sexual relationship. Nada. The Hebrew Scriptures don’t hold back. It would be there if it were so, and it wouldn’t be disguised.

Friends, in psychoanalysis this is called projection.

Now, let’s see if anyone can make sense of the following statement from the interview. I’ve read it again and again, and just keep scratching my head.

KJS: “It’s a crucified place to stand.”

June 9, 9:37 pm | [comment link]
39. Dave B wrote:

My tongue in cheek question remains.  If Daivd and Jonathan were sexual lovers as suggested by +KJS how did David change?  I thought the cry was we are made by God this way and can’t change. If David was homosexual he had to change. It could not have been just a change for social acceptance since he lusted after Bathsheba?

June 9, 9:39 pm | [comment link]
40. Nikolaus wrote:

Brian, please expand on your points in #35.

June 9, 9:42 pm | [comment link]
41. young joe from old oc wrote:


Me thinks thou and Scholasticus doest protest too much.

Mr. Moyers and Ms. Schori discuss the homosexuality question at length in the interview.  Therefore, it is central to what is being discussed on this thread.  However, most of us are looking at it in an effort to “get behind it”, to use Ms. Schori’s language.  If you will look carefully at posts nos. 1, 4, 6, 9, 10, 15, 21, 27-31, 34,  35 and 38, yes, sexuality is mentioned, but it is only included as part of a larger argument about the source of episcopal progressivist ideologies and theological method.  After that, about 7 or 8 posts address it exclusively, and 10 or 11 just barely, or not at all.  The rest appear to be from a postmod/progressivist or very liberal perspective, like yours, and are focused solely on the sexuality question. 

Now, I approached the matter very reasonably and practically by assuming that most Christian people do care about how they communicate with others and generally mean what they say, and so I simply took a count.  But you, like so many other reappraisers or progressivists that I encounter on these blogs seem to know better.  Since you have had your consciousness raised, you are able to discern the real motives of traditionalists, or do mass psychoanalysis from afar, and tell us what we really mean.  So please, enlighten me.  First, explaining how the posts on this thread by reappraisers and progressivists demonstrate that they are not focused on sex, and then how you are able, just as you do with God, divine revelation, human beings all through history (especially men), supposedly scary rural and suburban Americans with traditional values, the American founders, and of course, Republicans, to put us into your laboratory, dissect us semantically, and determine, without bias, what we’re really about - how we’re plagued with phobias, hang-ups, and ignorance, and can’t help but get freaked-out about sex.

June 9, 10:18 pm | [comment link]
42. Mike Bertaut wrote:

Don’t you love way she backed Moyer’s down on the Bible saying homosexuality is a sin?  Don’t get wrapped up in the platitudes, the lady can be really pushy behind that fake smile.  I’m beginning to believe that the only thing she really cares about is being right. 

But I have to agree with many above.  There is nothing new here.  Just more secular revisionist claptrap that continues to ignore the actual purpose of the church, to bring people to Jesus, so He can bring them to God.  Nothing about Him again. 

Look closely, is that the beginnings of a millstone I’m beginning to see around her neck?

Sad….so sad…..


June 9, 10:33 pm | [comment link]
43. Brian from T19 wrote:


Point 1 - We must have access to God in order to confess our sins.  Even if you buy into the ideas of election and substitutionary atonement, most Christians do not believe that we live ongoing sinless lives.  So, if our sins actually cut us off from the Sacred, we would need a new “redemption” each time we sinned.

Point 2 - too far off thread and we wouldn’t agree anyway

Point 3 - if you reject the idea of substitutionary atonement (as I do), then the sacrifice needs to be seen in a different light.  His death and resurrection take on new meanings.

June 9, 10:41 pm | [comment link]
44. BabyBlue wrote:

Love that passes the love for a woman is agape love - the kind that Jesus describes as laying down your life for a friend.  That’s the kind of love Jonathan and David had - akin to the kind of love Jesus had as He went to the cross.  I just can’t believe the paganism that’s taken over The Episcopal Church. 


Live Blogged on the on the interview here: BabyBlueOnline: 815 Media Offense Continues: Rowan Williams on the Cover of Time and now KJS on Bill Moyers

June 9, 10:55 pm | [comment link]
45. Alice Linsley wrote:

Schori is the best thing that has happened to TEC. Every time she opens her mouth she reveals the spiritual blindness that has taken hold of Episcopal Church leaders.  I wonder who is paying for TEC’s media campaign to sway opinion?

June 10, 12:13 am | [comment link]
46. rugbyplayingpriest wrote:

Even IF the David/Saul argument was sound (which it most certainly is not) so what? We live by Christian law revealed in Christ Jesus. we are a people of the new covenant.

After all Abraham used a servant for sexual purposes whilst he was married- would Schori honestly say this example makes it ethically resonable for me to sleep with our cleaner?

Honestly - she is meant to be a ‘defender of the faith’. Has ever such flimsy whimsical argument been heard from a prmiates lips…oh sorry there was always Grissy

June 10, 2:36 am | [comment link]
47. Eric Swensson wrote:

I think perhaps we can move on from the particulars of this interview (sad as it is) and viewing it as completely consistent with she has been saying since her enthronement, is it not basically a secular program? The point is this is such an uncompelling message. Why should we worship her God? Why should we give our lives in “wonder, love and praise”?
What has she to say about the incarnation, about the crucifixion, about Christ’s resurrection or about our new birth?

June 10, 7:16 am | [comment link]
48. Pb wrote:

I can not wait to see what insight she will gain from the David and Jonathan story after she has dialogued with NAMBLA?

June 10, 1:40 pm | [comment link]
49. mathman wrote:

There is little to be added here.
For all of her protests about comprehending and analyzing a text in the context of the time and the place and the culture from which the text arose, PB Schori appears to be ignoring her own scholastic counsel in her approach to this text.
For her analysis to have any scholarly merit, she would have to first establish the context: how did the world of the priest Samuel and the king Saul view itself? It was in the context of Samuel and Saul that the friendship of David and Jonathan arose.
I have no sense of a proper framing of the context in her conversation with Mr. Moyers.
I agree with Ms Schori that, were the relationship between David and Jonathan to be reported on today, we would come to certain understandings about that relationship.
What about Ruth and Naomi?
What about Job and his three interlocutors?
How would we understand those relationships, given Schori’s pre-determined framework?
Schori’s analysis appears to be the modern approach to scholarship. One first identifies with and establishes an underlying philosophy and point of view. Then one uses that pre-defined worldview as a lens with which to view everything in the world.
Should one’s worldview be Marxist, everything is understood in the context of a Marxist dialectic.
Should one’s worldview be Feminist, everything is understood in the context of the Feminist dialectic.
Should one’s worldview be Darwinist, everything is understood in the dialectic of survival of the fittest.
One can read a text in any way that one chooses. To lift a text from a given context and read it in another, completely different, context is just pseud-scholarship, and proves nothing.
Now this modern approach to scholarship may be trendy. But it did not gain Schori the access which she craved to grant money to further her investigation into the behavior of cephalopods.
Nor does it commend her to us as a serious scholar.

June 11, 7:23 am | [comment link]
50. Vicar of York wrote:

Sallie McFague is the author of “Models of God” which trots around panentheism.  Pantheism says that God is in all and all is in God - thus the creation/universe and God are identical.  In panentheism, creation/the Universe is in “God,” but “God” is not exhausted by the universe - there is something of ‘God’ outside of the creation.  This of course, negates Creatio ex nihilo and, since we are birthed from God, we are just as divine as Jesus - congratulations on your ascension

June 11, 12:05 pm | [comment link]
51. NWOhio Anglican wrote:

We must have access to God in order to confess our sins.  Even if you buy into the ideas of election and substitutionary atonement, most Christians do not believe that we live ongoing sinless lives.  So, if our sins actually cut us off from the Sacred, we would need a new “redemption” each time we sinned.

Brian #44, you don’t seem to have any understanding of the theology of sin or the sacrament of Reconciliation. Individual sin, repented, does not cut us off from the Sacred. But habitual, unrepentant sin does. Repentance restores access.

You also seem to have a crabbed idea of the Atonement. Do Paul’s words “once for all” mean anything?

June 11, 12:32 pm | [comment link]
52. NWOhio Anglican wrote:

Ignoring +KJS, has anyone else noticed how theologically naive Bill Moyers’ questions are? They call for a good fisking, which we don’t have room to do here.

He is supposed to be a trained and ordained Baptist minister.

June 11, 1:53 pm | [comment link]
53. john scholasticus wrote:

The reason actually is: I have a job. I work. I often work in the evenings. It’s not always possible to go over the same old arguments again and again from the beginning. Perhaps some day when I’m less tired and have a bit of space from my family, I’ll set out a full defence.

June 11, 2:45 pm | [comment link]
54. The_Elves wrote:

CStan, the tone of some of your comments is not appreciated.


June 11, 3:21 pm | [comment link]
55. NWOhio Anglican wrote:

WRT my #57 complaining about Bill Moyers (who supposedly had a theological education), see Mollie Hemingway’s post at GetReligion.

June 11, 3:29 pm | [comment link]
56. Barry wrote:

NWOhio Anglican wrote:
You also seem to have a crabbed idea of the Atonement. Do Paul’s words “once for all” mean anything?

I’m uncertain as to what your meaning is here.  Can you help me understand? 


June 11, 11:57 pm | [comment link]
57. NWOhio Anglican wrote:

Barry #64,
The idea that every new sin requires a new atonement (#44) seems to me to trivialize Christ’s work; more specifically to remove the “once for all” aspect that is scattered broadcast through the New Testament (see especially Hebrews 9-10, which specifically addresses Brian’s objection and contrasts the work of Christ with animal sacrifices; see also Rom 6:10, 1 Pet 3:18 which explicitly cite Christ’s sacrifice as “once for all”). I grant that many early Christians were under the impression that sin after baptism could not be forgiven; but the idea that all sin is mortal is not part of the catholic tradition.

As for substitutionary atonement, it’s warp and woof of the New Testament, so much so that I don’t have space even to cite all the relevent passages. That doesn’t mean that substitutionary atonement exhausts the work of Christ, but to deny that it is an important part of how Christ saves us is to deny the validity of Scripture.

June 12, 12:41 pm | [comment link]
58. john scholasticus wrote:


I’m also in a different time zone (I’m British).

June 12, 2:16 pm | [comment link]
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