TWISTING SCRIPTURE TO
MAKE TWISTED POINTS
And now from our Stupid-Scripture-Distortions-in-the-Service-of-Dubious-Ideological-Ends Department, we turn to the social news and entertainment website, Reddit. A user identifying him or herself as “Reebok” recently posted a photo of a sign located in front of St. John’s Anglican Church in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
One of those free-standing, illuminated boards to which plastic letters can be affixed, the sign bore a message that sheds a great deal of light on the current state of the Worldwide Anglican Communion…
“Jesus had two dads and he turned out just fine!”
The Huffington Post reported breathlessly (“Well, this is pretty amazing.”) that, as of August 8, the sign had been “viewed by more than 774,271 people.” Just how many more wasn’t noted, but given a number that precise, one assumes it would have to be 774,272. In any event, writer Meredith Bennett Smith effused…
“One church’s hilarious — and effective — statement against Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin has gone viral after a local citizen put a photo of the church signboard online.”
Smith speculated that St. John’s appeared to be “following in the footsteps of the Gosford Anglican Church in Australia, which posted a similar message a few weeks ago.”…
“Gosford made international headlines early in August after putting up a signboard that read, ‘Dear Christians, some people are gay, get over it, Love God.’”
We cannot know if God actually dictated that cautionary note. I think not, but at least the Australian missive has the virtue of honest chutzpah. Despite Smith’s assurance of effectiveness, the Ontario message fails on all counts, none the least in terms of theological accuracy.
Christian doctrine maintains that Jesus was the earthly incarnation of God, who took on human form by being born of a woman through the power of the Holy Spirit. Only one Father was involved. Mary was Jesus’ mother, and she happened to be married to Joseph, who thus became Jesus’ foster father. All of which makes the St. John’s sign “hilarious” in ways Smith can’t begin to fathom.
Up to now, my favorite bit of distorted scriptural tripe was the recurring justification of programs to help the homeless by arguing that the Holy Family was homeless after being denied a room in the inn. Don’t get me wrong, homelessness is a real problem that reflects all kinds of intractable life complications. But Joseph, Mary and the Baby Jesus were not homeless. They were traveling.
It might be possible to argue in favor of programs for granting political asylum to refugees based on the Flight into Egypt — Joseph, Mary and the Baby Jesus being on the run from Herod, after all. But the Bethlehem episode has nothing to do with homelessness, and just demonstrates how much people will twist the Bible to make a point.
The Anglican Church is in the process of dissolving. And one of the reasons is the advocacy behind these cutesy church signs. It’s the Anglican Church that’s telling us to “get over it” — not God. In fact, God seems to be saying something quite different.
On January 1, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI established the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, an ecclesiastical structure designed to ease the way for individual Anglican and Episcopal believers, as well as whole congregations, to become Catholic.
Part of this outreach involved allowing clergy with Anglican or Episcopal ordination to become Catholic priests. Many have already come over, and many more are in the process. A lot of these guys are married, and so we now have rectories populated by wives and children. My own pastor is a married, former-Anglican priest with two kids.
We are enjoying this wonderful infusion of faith and talent because the Catholic Church is holding the line on traditional marriage, traditional morality, and yes, sin. Not without difficulty, to be sure — but at least we know how many dads Jesus had. And trust me, he is doing fine.
For more information about the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, check out the group’s website…