Jefferts Schori twitches

Print More

Jefferts Schori.jpegSpeaking today at the National Press Club, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori took a stand against the Bush doctrine of government-funded faith-based social service provision:

“The idea that faith-based groups should have special entree to government funding just makes me twitch,” said Jefferts Schori, who leads the 2.2 million-member Episcopal Church. “It makes me twitch when groups funded with public funds will only hire their own members, or use the funds to advance sectarian” views.” (RNS)

Jefferts Schori went on to say she hoped the incoming Obama adminstration would be “asking questions” about the outgoing administration’s initiative.
It will be more than a little interesting to see if this portends a liberal/mainline denominational campaign along these lines. That would indeed pose an interesting challenge for the Religious Industrial Complex. Which side are you on, guys?

  • Good question. It’s an awkward thing to have to choose between two key constituencies–the New-Kind-of-Evangelical movement the RIC keeps trying to make so by saying so vs. the actual liberal Protestants who support them.

  • Asinus Gravis

    Melissa Rogers & E. J. Dionne Jr. recently released some very sensible recommendations for the new administration regarding partnerships with faith-based organizations. It is called “Serving People in Need, Safeguarding Religious Freedom. It is available from the Brookings Institution at:

  • Chris Curzon

    This is just the ongoing tension between church and state which dates back centuries to the time when Henry VIII disbanded the Catholic monasteries and took to himself the title of “Defender of the Faith” and farther back when Constantine made Christianity the religion of the empire — two examples of the state dealing with that tension by controlling it.
    I find it interesting that such an argument would come, however, from a Religious person as the Presiding Bishop! It used to be (centuries ago) that the religious persons spoke with the voice of conscience against the reigning monarch, but in this case a liberal religious is actually voicing concern against the conservative religious. How times have changed!
    All of which must make the government chuckle. “Keep those Christians bickering among themselves and they will have no energy to challenge our ever-increasing sphere of influence, especially on matters of conscience.”
    Screwtape must be pleased.