Friday, April 3, 2009

Anna of the two religions

Turns out even the Episcopal Church, widely known for its tolerance and understanding, can get a little impatient when its ministers can't make up their minds about the religion thing. Just ask the Rev. Anna Holmes Redding. She's been with the church for 30 years. When she converted to Islam and accepted Muhammad as the prophet in 2006, it raised some eyebrows. But she kept showing up for work, so the church waited to see how this thing would play out.

And waited -- for three years. Talk about tolerance. But even Episcopalians have their limits; Redding was finally defrocked this week. Tough break. Losing a fulltime job is going to hurt in this economy, even if you've got Allah pulling for you. Redding expressed regret at such narrowmindedness. "It simply hasn't been my experience that I have to make a choice between the two," she said.

I wish her all the best. But maybe she'll want to rethink the career track. I don't darken the doorway of a church very often, but when I do I like to think the person up there preaching knows exactly what she believes. I've got enough vagueness and doubt to fill every pew; I don't need any more of it emanating from the pulpit. If you believe everything, after all, you really don't believe anything.

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