The Reverend Hall, America Hero
Comes word that the National Cathedral, an Episcopal Church, will start to perform same-sex marriages. Says the Very Reverend Gary Hall, the Cathedral's dean:
"I read the Bible as seriously as fundamentalists do," Hall told the AP. "And my reading of the Bible leads me to want to do this because I think it's being faithful to the kind of community that Jesus would have us be."
Rock on, Rev. I love that first sentence. Of course he does! In fact he reads it far more seriously than reactionary fundamentalists do.
The decision is drenched in symbolism because the Cathedral is of course a highly symbolic place, in whose nave we the people hold various important rites--funerals of presidents and others of high rank, official ceremonies in the wake of events like 9-11, and so on.
On regular Sundays, it's also just a regular church, where lots of Important People worship (including Ted Olson, the conservative lawyer who's been an outspoken gay marriage proponent). That same-sex couples will be able to walk down that aisle is a great sign of progress and is bound to infuriate some bigots, so bravo.
More generally, I do wish that more religious liberals would invoke the good book in public life to defend progressive positions, as the good reverend does here. When average Americans hear right-wingers invoke Jesus and Scripture all the time, while liberals never do so, they (in all likelihood churchgoers themselves, of course) decide that liberal positions have no ethical mooring. Nothing could be further from the truth, but publicly, liberalism became far, far too secular starting in the 60s. So I hope more public figures follow Hall's shining example.