The Episcopalians do something impressive


They've elected a new presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori. You have to look at her biography to see why I'm even mentioning a new religious leader:

As a scientist and an Episcopalian, I cherish the prayer that follows a baptism, that the newly baptized may receive "the gift of joy and wonder in all God's works." I spent the early years of my adulthood as an oceanographer, studying squid and octopuses, including their evolutionary relationships. I have always found that God's creation is "strange and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139). ...

The vast preponderance of scientific evidence, including geology, paleontology, archaeology, genetics and natural history, indicates that Darwin was in large part correct in his original hypothesis.

I simply find it a rejection of the goodness of God's gifts to say that all of this evidence is to be refused because it does not seem to accord with a literal reading of one of the stories in Genesis. Making any kind of faith decision is based on accumulating the best evidence one can find what one's senses and reason indicate, what the rest of the community has believed over time, and what the community judges most accurate today.

It's a good thing that article is loaded with Bible quotes and other religious nonsense, or I'd be tempted to become an Episcopalian. Oh, well, even with all the wacky mythological stuff, she still looks like one of the good ones. Congratulations, Dr Jefferts Schori! While I'm not about to join a church, you do exhibit the kind of sensible perspective on the real world I'd like to see much, much more of in religious leaders…although, looking at the comments here, some Christianists are less than thrilled with the election of a rationalist to head a church, while others seem to be enthusiastic.

(via Kynos)