Saturday, September 10, 2011

Protestants as Victims of Discrimination? Oh, Give Us a Break.

Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus to speak at National Cathedral’s 9/11 service, but no evangelicals

posted by Rob Kerby, Senior Editor | 3:25pm Wednesday September 7, 2011
The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., has scheduled “A Call to Compassion” interfaith prayer vigil on Sept. 11 — however not a single protestant or evangelical has been invited to participate.
Who was invited? A Roman Catholic bishop, a Jewish rabbi, Buddhist nun, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America and a Muslim musician.
Notably excluded are 16.6 million Southern Baptists, America’s largest protestant denomination. Completely left off the program was anybody represented by the National Association of Evangelicals: No Prebyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Congregationalists, Wesleyans or Mennonites. Nobody from the Church of Christ or the Assemblies of God.
“It’s not surprising,” said Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. “There is a tragic intolerance toward Protestants and particularly toward evangelicals and I wish the president would refuse to speak unless it was more representative.”
Richard Weinberg, the Cathedral’s director of communications, confirmed that Southern Baptists were not extended an invitation to participate.
“The goal was to have interfaith representation,” he told reporters. “The Cathedral itself is an Episcopal church and it stands to reason that our own clergy serve as Christian representatives.”
There is the small problem that the Episcopal church is tiny these days — barely 2 million members nationwide. However, Weinberg said the Washington National Cathedral serves as the “spiritual home for the nation” and as such, he said that “diversity was first and foremost” a factor in the planning.

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The Practical Buddhist Responds: Give Us a Break

The practical Buddhist  must confess that he had to take many cleansing breaths after reading the article above.  He was disgusted that an Evangelical Christian would  sow bitterness and division over a 9/11 Call to Compassion. It seems the Episcopal national cathedral invited Jews, Muslims, Catholics and Hindus, but no Baptists.  Apparently Catholics and Episcopals aren't quite the right kind of Christians. He quotes a Baptist leader as bemoaning the "tragic intolerance toward Protestants, especially Evangelicals."

Please give us a break. Classifying Protestants in the US as victims of discrimination and marginalization is just plain silly and not worthy of a response.

If even  9/11 memorials can't make church leaders drop their sectarian chauvinism for five minutes, nothing can.

Clearly, the Practical Buddhist needs to pay attention to his anger, and some meditation is in order. 

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