Return of the Episcopagans!

Traditionalist Anglican site “Stand Firm” (believe me, my head flooded with phallic humor as well) has an article about the influence of modern Paganism on the Episcopal Church.

“Many of us have taken solace in humor whenever we read of Episcopal clerics and prominent lay activists heavily involved in paganism, but it has not been without the knowledge that there is a sinister core to these peoples’ alternative beliefs. Many pagans and Wiccans insist that they don’t worship the devil, and that may be true as far as it goes, but it’s small comfort to those Christians who have put their spiritual trust in those who, at best, profess contradictory beliefs and, at worst, are willing to serve up a potion of part Christianity, part Wicca to unsuspecting seekers.”

They ruminate over the Women’s Eucharist / W. William Melnyk scandal and wring their hands over the influence of pagan belief in the churches. Stuff I usually ignore. But it looks like the “traditionalists” have found fresh meat in their ongoing heretic witch-hunt. This time the virtual pitchforks and torches are chasing down an Anglican writer by the name of Maury Johnston, author of “Gays Under Grace: A Gay Christian’s Response to Homosexuality”.

It seems Johnston is a Wiccan (and a published one at that); to be more precise he is practicing some form of Christo-Wiccan hybrid. All of this might have gone unnoticed except that he raised the ire of the Anglican witch-finders by writing a much-distributed essay on a possible schism over gays in the Anglican Communion. Now those brave Anglicans who are “standing firm” (snerk) are hoping this is the precursor to defeating the gay/pagan “agenda” in the ECUSA.

“It is time for Episcopalians everywhere – especially those in the “middle” who may just now be waking up to the crisis in their church – to know that there are more than a few pagans among the left, and that they are uniformly in support of the gay/lesbian/transgender agenda. There is much overlap between pagan views of sexuality, and the LGBT agenda; and while it’s incorrect to assume that one who supports the LGBT agenda also supports paganism, it should give reasonable Episcopalians serious pause when they ponder why it is that the opposite is true – that it’s safe to assume that if someone supports paganism, he also supports the LGBT cause in the Episcopal Church.”

Funny how the first impulse isn’t to question how an intolerant institutional structure may have made Wiccan religious ideas appealing to a gay Anglican. Instead it is more kindling for the fire. Another person’s private history dug up because they dared to question traditionalist notions of how things are within the Episcopal Church. No doubt the blogger generals of the traditionalist inquisition may find a few more souls who thought they could straddle Christianity and modern Paganism. But instead of empathy, once the secret is out, those who gave them comfort and counsel are harassed into disavowing the heretic.

I will say again what I have been saying in my Episcopagan reporting. If and when you get tired of struggling within these structures, come and help build the modern Pagan community – the kind of community that wishy-washy bishops and angry traditionalists will never give you. Our faiths, as they grow, will need those who have the experience and depth of spirit to help us realize their potential. I wish Johnston (and any others like him hiding in plain sight) good luck and good journey.

Related posts:
3.04.2006 More Episcopagans
4.19.2005 The Effects of Christian Love
4.15.2005 Episcopagan Scandal Update

Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Mam Adar

    I’m getting really tired of struggling.I appreciate the invitation. 🙂 I wonder what would happen if those of us who keep on struggling would, in fact, just *leave*. Let the Right have the Church, and see how far the Holy Ghost lets them get.

  • The Zero Boss

    Why don’t you folks quit the ECUSA and become UUs? 🙂

  • Chas S. Clifton

    Speaking as a polytheist, which of course Episcopalians are not supposed to be, I don’t have a real problem with someone representing different deities as an initiate/priest at different times.In the ancient world, this sort of thing happened all the time.I am not so sure, though, how it would work out if the one deity is actively hostile to the others–unless he really is not, and it’s only his followers who say so.But polytheistic theology has not really tackled this issue, has it?