Washington National Cathedral to marry same-sex couples

Such great news!

The Washington National Cathedral has announced that it will begin celebrating weddings of gay and lesbian couples inside the historic church.

In a released statement from the cathedral, its leadership states the church has a “long history of advancing equality for people of all faiths and perspectives. The Cathedral is called to serve as a gathering place for the nation in times of significance, but it is also rooted in its role as the most visible faith community within the Episcopal Church.

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Top Ten Religion News Stories of 2012

Catholic bishops testify against Obamacare

According to the Religion Newswriters Association, the top religion news story of the year was the way that religious leaders responded to the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. But they’d already voted on their Top 10 prior to that. So, here are the Top 10 Religion Stories of the Year, from the RNA:

1. U.S. Catholic bishops lead opposition to Obamacare requirement that insurance coverage for contraception be provided for employees. The government backs down a bit, but not enough to satisfy the opposition.

2. A Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey shows that “nones” is the fastest-growing religious group in the United States, rising to 19.6 percent of the population.

3. The circulation of an anti-Islam film trailer, “Innocence of Muslims,” causes unrest in several countries, leading to claims that it inspired the fatal attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya. President Obama, at the U.N., calls for toleration tolerance of blasphemy, and respect as a two-way street.

4. Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith turns out to be a virtual non-issue for white evangelical voters, who support him more strongly than they did John McCain, in the U.S. presidential race.

5. Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia becomes the first senior Catholic official in the U.S. to be found guilty of covering up priestly child abuse; later Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Mo., becomes the first bishop to be found guilty of it

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Church of England Decides that Silly Clothes Aren’t the Only Thing They Want To Keep from the 16th Century

According to the Church of England, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori doesn’t exist.

The Church of England has decided to continue an archaic and oppressive policy that only individuals with penises are allowed to be bishops:

Church of England Rejects Appointing Female Bishops

LONDON — The mood of crisis in the Church of England deepened on Wednesday when bishops scheduled an emergency meeting to discuss the repercussions of the ballot at a synod a day earlier that rejected the appointment of female bishops, a change that has been debated intensely and often bitterly for the past decade.

Do You Really Think We Have To Dump Everything?

Photo by Courtney Perry (All rights reserved)

So asks Mariann Budde, my friend and the Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C. to Wednesday’s post, Why Liberal Christianity (Too Often) Sucks. There were lots of great comments to that post, and some other questions that I hope to answer, but Mariann’s was the most pointed, and it’s one I want to respond to.

At the end of that post, I wrote,

Finally, mainline Christianity is committing suicide, plain and simple. By gathering every summer at their national conventions and killing each other with friendly fire, they are rapidly precipitating their own demise. No one gives a shit about the survival of your denomination.

By “no one,” I don’t mean the people who go to those meetings and fight and argue and vote. Those people care. But they can’t see the forest for the trees. No one back at home cares.

No. One.

So the faster that progressive Protestants can give up on their denominations — like conservative Protestants did 20 years ago — the more likely they can turn things around before it’s too late.

I really do believe what I wrote there. I may be prone to overstatement, but I think that my predictions about the death of progressive Christianity being precipitated, in part, by denominational infighting is profoundly accurate.

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