From a letter to the editor in the local paper:
I was saddened and appalled, but not surprised, by the vindictive and mean-spirited language Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori used in her sermon on Saturday.I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Alluding to Bishop Mark Lawrence as a "tyrant" and comparing him to "citizens' militias deciding to patrol ... the Mexican border for unwelcome visitors" was unconscionable.
And to say, "It's not terribly far from the state of mind evidenced in school shootings, or in those who want to arm school children, or the terrorism that takes oil workers hostage," was despicable.
That any Christian, much less a presiding bishop, would use such invective and incendiary words says more about the speaker than the person she is attempting to vilify.
However, she is the same person who has spent over $22 million to sue churches over their property, who refused to sell a church back to its congregation and instead sold it to a Muslim organization, and who sued beloved, retired bishops because they challenged her authority.
It is not surprising that the fruits of Bishop Jefferts Schori's leadership of TEC are a significant decline in members, controversy and confrontation with the majority of the Anglican Communion, and financial problems resulting in the need to sell prized land in Manhattan.
"They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love" has been a favorite hymn of mine for over 50 years.
It is also a good barometer of a person's Christian character. The language used by Jefferts Schori from the pulpit is as unloving and un-Christian as it gets.
Still, as one who believes in a forgiving God and in spiritual transformation, I will continue to pray that TEC and Jefferts Schori may be inspired and imbued with the Holy Spirit and in the process may rise above petty name-calling and invective and embrace the love of Christ in what they say and do.
Dr. Peter T. Mitchell
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© 2013 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.
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