The Democratic takeover on Capitol Hill provides new energy and aggressiveness for the nation’s Religious Left – that faction of clergy and activists who seek to associate organized faith with the liberal agenda in cultural, economic and foreign policy debates. While deriding Christian conservatives for their alleged “intolerance,” “ignorance” and “fanaticism,” the religious leftists manage to turn off most religious believers of even moderate outlook with their own displays of arrogance and radicalism, and their smug dismissal of traditional values.
The controversial new leader of the Episcopal Church in the United States provided a prime example of these alienating attitudes in a startling interview in the New York Times Magazine on November 19th with Deborah Solomon. When Solomon asked about the current numbers of Episcopalians, for instance, Bishop Jefferts Schori took it as a point of pride that her church experienced declining membership.
Q: How many members of the Episcopal Church are there in this country?
A: About 2.2 million. It used to be larger percentagewise, but Episcopalians tend to be better educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than other denominations.
In other words, it’s just those uneducated, unsophisticated Evangelicals and Catholics and Mormons and Orthodox Jews who are bothering with the messy, dirty work of producing and raising kids. Naturally, the Presiding Bishop defends the low Episcopal birthrate as a sign of enlightenment:
Q: Episcopalians aren’t interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?
A: No. It’s probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth, and not use more than their portion.
In other responses, Bishop Jefferts Schori showed far more sympathy for Muslim extremists than she did for “fundamentalists” within the Christian tradition:
Q: As a scientist with a Ph.D., what do you make of the Christian fundamentalists who say the earth was created in six days and dismiss evolution as a lot of bunk?
A: I think it’s a horrendous misunderstanding of both science and active faith tradition…
Q: Pope Benedict…became embroiled in controversy this fall after suggesting that Muslims have a history of violence.
A: So do Christians! They have a terrible history… I think Muslims are poorly understood by the West, and it is easy to latch onto that which we do not understand and demonize it.