Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bishop John Shelby Spong on 2012 Elections: U.S. in a "New Place"

And yet more post-election commentary, this from noted Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong, who maintains that the 2012 elections move the United States to "a new place."  Frank Douglas at the Voice from the Desert blog helpfully provides the entire statement from Spong's site, which requires registration to access the text.

Bishop Spong reads the signs of the times represented by the recent elections as indicators that the long, hard struggle of people of color and immigrants, women, and gays and lesbians in American society for equal rights has finally reached a decisive turning point in American culture.  And so this means the following:

The idea that a white, male establishment can direct women on issues of abortion and contraception has been broken.  By 2016, the candidacies of women, Hispanics, African-Americans and openly gay people will be normal.  Both parties will seek their votes.

I wonder if the elderly white male establishment running the Catholic church is listening to what the Spirit might be saying as the moral arc of history moves in the direction of human rights for people of color, women, and LGBT persons.  I wonder how those men imagine they can continue to claim credibly that they channel the voice of the Spirit in a unique way to the Catholic community if they do not listen to the voice of the Spirit in the election results.

But listening takes the moral and personal maturity to admit that one's wrong, even when one does happen to enjoy the gift of infallibility.  Or am I wrong in thinking this?

The graphic of a rainbow over Maretai Beach in New Zealand is from Wikimedia Commons.

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