Thursday, December 08, 2005

nice to see christianity still scares (tucker carlson)

I got this from my room mate. I don't have any idea what the original source was. Google didn't help.

People often make jokes about Episcopalians being boring, and unfortunately they're usually right. I know this because on most Sundays I sit through an Episcopal Church service with my wife and children. It's a reassuringly predictable experience, always exactly an hour long. And you'll never meet nicer people. If you needed someone to hold your wallet, or if you were lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood and had to duck into a stranger's house to use the bathroom, you could do a whole lot worse than to meet up with an Episcopalian. No one has better manners.

And that may be the problem. There's a notable lack of urgency in most Episcopal churches. Jesus may have promised he'd come back someday, but in the Episcopal Church you don't get the feeling he really meant it. Nor do you hear a lot about sin. Lust, hatred, gluttony, pride, envy -- those are dramatic emotions. Drama makes Episcopalians uncomfortable. The typical sermon leaves the impression that all would be well in this world if only people could manage to be reasonable with each other. Gentlemanly. Thoughtful.

There's nothing necessarily bad about any of this. (I remain an Episcopalian, with no plans to change.) But every once in a while, as I shift in my pew listening to one of our unusually well-educated preachers expand on the Aramaic understanding of discipleship, I do wish Jesus would come back, preferably in a massive ball of fire through the ceiling of the church. Spiritually, I'm nowhere near ready to face something like that. But it'd be worth it for the shock value.

All of which is to say, I welcome the controversies this season over Christmas. Every time a school district bans Christmas carols, every time the ACLU dispatches a busload of lawyers to fight a nativity scene, every time the ADL declares the Christian Right "dangerous," it's a reaffirmation that the faith is not dead. Dead religions don't give people the creeps. They don't make atheists mad. They don't keep Alan Dershowitz up at night. But Christianity still does. What a relief. It's nice to see that our faith still scares people.


Anonymous said...

The article was posted on the MSNBC website, where the author's television program is highlighted with the title to this piece.

The Ranter said...

That is very thought provoking. Episcopalians are very mannerly. Once, I mentioned to a friend of mine who is an Antiochian Orthodox priest that a visiting priest blessed us in the name of the "Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer" and I remarked I didn't know whether to cross myself or throw up.
My friend said, "You should have stood up and shouted 'Go to Hell!'" at that priest. Of course you'd never do that, because shouting 'go to hell' is so un-Episcopalian.

Anonymous said...


Who the hell cares about Tucker Carlson!? What we care about is you posting interesting things to take us away from the otherwise stagnant malaise of our lives.

Hurry up and Blog more! IW and MM are out pacing you by miles...unless of course you are the IW. In which case: keep it up.

Plus, don’t re-imagine your male identity! You don’t need anymore pink Polos.

Come to England!

Anonymous said...

Tucker Carlson's high school, and mine, is Episcopalian (St. George's School - ) founded by an Episcopalian priest (who then converted to Catholicism and founded Portsmouth Abby). They have gone from having chapel 7 days a week to 2 days a week -- Sun. and Thurs. -- to finally two days a week but not Sun (Tues and Thurs) and with no Nicene Creed. Beautiful building though at the top of a hill. Most Episcopalians are going that way or are already that way. That is why I am a Roman Catholic (Anglican Use).