Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

False prophets

The Bible (Old and New Testaments), warns repeatedly against worshipping idols and following false prophets. And the people repeatedly ignore those warnings and disaster inevitably strikes. Now, I know the Episcopalian Church has gotten increasingly liberal and ever further removed from a traditional Bible based approach to religion, but you'd think someone would heed those words. It seems, however, that if you'd think that, you'd be wrong. How else to explain the American Episcopalian Church's official response to Cindy Sheehan, which seems suspiciously close to idolatry:

More than 1,000 people filled the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City on September 19, 2005, to hear anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and supporters on the "Bring Them Home Now Tour" rally support for a three-day march and anti-war protest in Washington, DC, September 24-26. "We need to show Congress that we mean business when we say we want our troops [to come] home," Sheehan said. Sheehan came to national attention this summer when she camped out near President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, demanding that the vacationing president explain to her in person why her 24-year-old son Casey, an Army specialist assigned to 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, died in Iraq. The effort became known as Camp Casey. In his welcoming address, the Very Rev. Dr. James A. Kowalski, dean of the cathedral, received applause when he likened Sheehan to a "prophet." "In the Bible there are stories about seemingly unimportant, insignificant, seemingly powerless people who out of nowhere landed in the kingdom where the king was out of control and emerged as a prophet and said to the king you have lied to your people and led them astray and Cindy Sheehan is one of those prophets," he said. "It's an honor to have you here," Kowalski told the crowd. “A lot of people told us not to do this, not as a church especially" which didn't "make any sense to us, especially this cathedral." However, he added, "a lot of things haven't been making any sense to us." "We asked a lot of tough questions before we went to war, and I know a lot of people disagreed, but the truth is we weren't told the truth," Kowalski said. He urged those present to not "let people ever persuade you that just because people disagree, that they are not patriots or [that] we're not patriots." He said the "name calling and the mean spirited deception going on in the name of government and in the name of patriotism has got to stop." Kowalski asked "what greater conversation could there be than about stopping war, and returning to peace?" Elliot Adams, of Veterans for Peace, spoke poignantly of "the pain" he kept "inside with alcohol" for 30 years over his part in the Vietnam War. He compared a soldier to a "crystal glass, and if you break it, you can't fix it." Asking the audience to repeat after him, Adams stated the three point message of Camp Casey that will be taken to Washington: first, “bring them home now”; second, “take care of them when they get here”; and third, “never send our love ones to war again on a lie.” The Rev. Osagyefu Uhuru Sekou, of Clergy and Laity Concerned about Iraq, said it was very appropriate to be assembled in this sacred place because there is no more sacred work than the work of peace and justice." Sheehan told the crowd "we will not accept you not being in Washington, DC next weekend." "We have to make the world safer and the only way we are going to do that is to get George Bush out of office," she said.
This may go a long way to explaining the spectacular decline in membership in the traditionally dominant liberal Protestant churches in America. By the way, I got wind of this hagiographic article from a friend -- disgusted by its contents -- who works for a major American school district. She, in turn, received it from a colleague who sent it to everyone on his mailing list, citing it as truly "inspirational" to see how "one person makes a difference." Aren't you glad to know that your tax dollars are being put to good use to support the email systems used to disseminate this kind of stuff?