Episcopalians have first Muslim priest
posted at 2:01 pm on June 18, 2007 by Bryan
No, that’s not just a Scrappleface headline (anymore). The Episcopalian Church, a major diocese of which is headed up by an openly gay bishop who left his wife and kids, now also has a Muslim priest. Or is that imam?
Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill.
On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest.
She does both, she says, because she’s Christian and Muslim.
Redding, who until recently was director of faith formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, has been a priest for more than 20 years. Now she’s ready to tell people that, for the last 15 months, she’s also been a Muslim — drawn to the faith after an introduction to Islamic prayers left her profoundly moved.
“…for the last 15 months…” So she converted or appended or whatever you’d call this well after 9-11. Just sayin’.
Redding, who will begin teaching the New Testament as a visiting assistant professor at Seattle University this fall, has a different analogy: “I am both Muslim and Christian, just like I’m both an American of African descent and a woman. I’m 100 percent both.”
Islam denies the divinity of Christ; Christianity doesn’t function without the divinity of Christ. Redding is suffering from cognitive dissonance. So is her superior in the church.
Redding’s bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting. Her announcement, first made through a story in her diocese’s newspaper, hasn’t caused much controversy yet, he said.
Oh, isn’t heresy exciting!
Next on the Episcopalian agenda: Finding a priest who’s Christian, Muslim, gay, straight, Zoroastrian, Hindu and a practicioner of transcendental meditation while claiming to channel Vanuatu, a sixth-century alien who lived on Saturn (but was actually an illegal immigrant from the planet Xanadu). Won’t that be exciting too!
(h/t Mark Steyn)
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