06-11-2007, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Bill Moyers and Bishop Jefferts Schori
Excellent interview by Bill Moyers of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA:
I found it via "Walking with Integrity,"
the blog of Integrity USA. Here's an excerpt:
BILL MOYERS: What is it about religion that provides that radical certainty for the people who are often on the other side of the issue from you on most or many things.
BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: Religion is at its best, I think, an invitation into relationship. It's not necessarily a set of instructions for how you deal with every challenging person you run across in the world. It has that at its depth, but it does not give one permission to say, "This person is out, and this one's okay and acceptable." And it continually invites us into a larger understanding of that relationship.
BILL MOYERS: And yet so much of religion is about excluding, not connecting, not including.
BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: Connection with the sacred is something that gives people a sense of what is beyond themselves. And the desire to control that I think is one of the basic human failings. If we can control access to the sacred or control how the larger world understands those we like or those we do not like-- we have the ability to change things in creative or destructive directions.
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 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 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.
There's a lot more. Worth the read
When you can transform the war and violence in yourself, then you can truly begin to help others find peace. Thich Nhat Hanh
Last edited by BenL; 06-11-2007 at 11:58 AM.
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