Kathleen Parker

Verily, I say unto you - Whatever.

No, wait, how about this: "Yo, Christ Buddy!"

Wait, wait: I believe in God the (blank) Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ his only offspring, our sorta-Lord, who was conceived by artificial insemination, suffered under Pontius Pilate, etc., etc.

Sorry to offend, I'm just practicing my new Presbyterian catechism. The preceding was the modernized, gender-neutral version of the Apostles' Creed as it may read some day soon.

Before you call me blasphemous, take it up with the Presbyterian Church (USA), home to the "sometimes whatevers," previously known as the "eternal verities."

Ever attentive to the world's evolving feelings - I guess - delegates to the church's national assembly recently voted to "receive" a policy paper on gender that would allow a little flexibility on the Holy Trinity.

Make that the sorta-holy (lowercase) trinity.

The father-son-holy ghost triad, long a chafing point for feminists who prefer the good old days when goddesses ruled the Earth, has about played itself out, it seems. Under the improved sensibility, parishioners are now permitted a little flexibility with their liturgies, especially that pro-guy Trinity thingy.

Among acceptable alternatives to the dad-boy-ghost scenario are: "Mother, Child and Womb," or "Rock, Redeemer, Friend." No rock, paper, scissors. Yet.

I confess to some disappointment, as I was hoping for something a little closer to the bone, such as, say: Two moms, sperm baby, artificial womb. Those Presbyterians. Always so white bread and grape juice.

Before the church unleashes its version of hellfire and brimstone and cancels my magazine privileges, I confess to being a lapsed Presbie, a compromise between my Catholic father and Baptist mother. I joined the church at age 12 following weeks of catechism classes and tests on the Apostles' Creed, doxology, and so on.

When I wasn't in school, it seemed, I was in church: Sunday school, choir practice, piano lessons from the organist, Summer Bible School. The church was central to our lives, a home away from home, our hangout and recreational center. What can I say? We were nerds. More than a physical place, the church was - as the Catholic Church almost exceptionally remains - a reliably stable spiritual oasis that stood for something in a time that stands for nothing. The rules and players didn't change on a whim, which is something children love even if adults find it boring.

Or, as today, politically incorrect.

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.
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