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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Buyer Beware! The Episcopal Church is "No Longer Christian"

Did you get the memo to take the cross down?

In today's edition of Fundies Behaving Badly, one Michael Youssef of "Leading the Way Ministries" and the Evangelical Anglican Church of the Apostles in Atlanta (Both? Ambitious guy!) opined in an American Family Association newsletter that the Episcopal Church became officially "no longer Christian" when the Right Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, Bishop of Massachusetts, witnessed the marriage of Katherine Hancock Ragsdale (dean and president of Episcopal Divinity School) and Mally Lloyd (Shaw's Canon to the Ordinary) at St. Paul's Cathedral in Boston, an action which Youssef describes as a "defiance of church cannons" (sic). Right Wing Watch has the full story.

I always thought of 'piskies as peacenicks, actually, and thus was surprised to learn that we had cannons. Nevertheless, if we do, then it was rather brave of these folks to stand up to them.  Assuming he meant canons, at the most recent General Convention in 2009, the decision he refers to -- which we were pressured into by Canterbury -- was reversed and bishops were given "generous discretion" to meet the pastoral needs of their constituents.

Meanwhile, in the business world, a splinter church like this that used the word "Episcopal" or "Anglican" in its name could be sued for trademark infringement on the grounds that the public could get confused into thinking the defendant was an agent of the larger organization publicly associated with those words.  I'm fairly certain no formal communion exists between Mr. Youssef and the Present Occupant at Lambeth, nor our own Presiding Bishop and Flying Ace.  If the famous clothier could make an (ultimately unsuccessful) case of deliberate deception against aberzombie.com, surely the same is true here.

Watch out for those cannons!

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