A few months ago while discussing some now-forgotten rhetorical antic of Francis, a friend wondered: So why not then have a muslim pope? To which I responded honestly: It might offend the jews.
Viewed ecumenically, the Christian church has largely become untrammeled from original intent and now seems to find its purpose keeping God in man’s good graces. It does this mostly in the manner of all modern Western social institutions: through conspicuous marketing to out-groups. The more hostile or incompatible these groups are to the institution’s own core constituency, the more frantic its expressions of fealty. Whether the sons of hinduism, judaism, or islam, it seems the Christian God most covets his neighbor’s flock.
One extreme example comes from the nation whose preening suicide has been most flamboyant in providing them. That, of course, would be Sweden. And you will be relieved to learn that its church approaches dissolution with no less alacrity.
The Bishop of Stockholm has proposed a church in her diocese remove all signs of the cross and put down markings showing the direction to Mecca for the benefit of Muslim worshippers.
Eva Brunne, who was made the world’s first openly lesbian bishop by the church of Sweden in 2009, and has a young son with her wife and fellow lesbian priest Gunilla Linden, made the suggestion to make those of other faiths more welcome. The church targeted is the Seamen’s mission church in Stockholm’s eastern dockyards. The Bishop held a meeting there this year and challenged the priest to explain what he’d do if a ship’s crew came into port who weren’t Christian but wanted to pray. [Correct answer: Embrace Christ as your savior and worship here in fellowship, or fuck on off to whatever minaret Allah may provide]
Calling Muslim guests to the church “angels“, the Bishop later took to her official blog to explain that removing Christian symbols from the church and preparing the building for Muslim prayer doesn’t make a priest any less a defender of the faith. Rather, to do any less would make one “stingy towards people of other faiths”.
The bishop insisted this wasn’t an issue, after all airports and hospitals already had multi-faith prayer rooms, and converting the dockyard church would only bring it up to speed. Regardless, the announcement has aroused protest.
Father Patrik Pettersson, one of the priests in her diocese and active in the same parish as the Seaman’s mission church has hit back in a blog of his own, complaining there is no way you could equate a consecrated church with a prayer room, remarking “I should have thought a bishop would be able to tell the difference”.
Do you imagine clerics like Ms. Brunne fly to such positions as a result of God’s fickle fashion…or man’s?
There is a way in which people would behave who genuinely feared crossing the designs of an omniscient creator whose judgement defines eternity. A much different behavior would be expected from those who use “God” as a blank screen upon which to project their own virtue for social status. Observe current Christian leadership and determine which model of conduct you are witnessing. As always, men lie with their tongues and speak the truth with their feet.