The governing body of the Episcopalian Diocese of Washington, D.C., approved measures to adopt gender neutral pronouns for God, embrace transgenderism, and a push for open borders.
The 123rd Diocesan Convention of the Episcopal Church in D.C. passed a trifecta of resolutions Saturday to replace all gendered pronouns referring to God with gender neutral pronouns, oppose laws against illegal immigration, and open traditionally gender restricted congregational roles and facilities, like bathrooms, to transgender individuals. The convention, held at the Washington National Cathedral, passed the resolutions within an hour, according to The Institute On Religion & Democracy.
The resolutions, entitled “On Becoming a Sanctuary Diocese: Offering Sacred Welcome to Immigrants,” “On the Gendered Language for God,” and “On Inclusion of Transgender People,” garnered support from Rev. Kimberly Lucas, who sponsored all three, and Rev. Alex Dyer, who proposed two of the resolutions. Lucas serves as rector of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in D.C. and Dyer serves as rector of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Parish in D.C., both of which have suffered a massive decline in member participation within the last decade, according to parochial reports.
Dyer also garnered attention for installing banners around construction fences depicting Jesus face-palming with sarcastic quips like “The President said what?” and the tagline “a progressive church for a progressive city.”
The D.C. diocese resolved, in their “Sacred Welcome To Immigrants,” to “oppose the policies of the incumbent Executive Branch that target undocumented immigrants for deportation while also placing undue restrictions on refugees seeking safe haven in the U.S.” Those who drafted the resolution said they intended it as a message of solidarity to illegal immigrants within the diocese.
The diocese also agreed, via the gendered language resolution, to replace all references to the Father and the Son in the Book of Common Prayer with gender neutral pronouns, a move which some theologians decry as undermining the theology of the Trinity, that is one of the central tenets of Christianity. The resolution’s authors argued, in contrast, that “our current gender roles shape and limit our understanding of God.”
Rev. Linda R. Calkins, a diocesan delegate and proponent of the resolution, also urged the diocese to consider adopting the “The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation,” that removes all gender specific pronouns for God from scripture.
Calkins attempted to justify her position by arguing that El Shaddai, one of the Hebrew names for God in the Old Testament, really means “God with breasts.” The actual meaning of El Shaddai is widely debated among biblical scholars, as the most popular interpretation is “God Almighty,” though other historical translations come out to “God the Destroyer,” “God of the Mountain,” or “The God who is sufficient.” Scholars adhering to the “breasts” translation actually interpret the name as a depiction of God giving blessings of nourishment and fertility, rather than literally ascribing feminine qualities to God.
Parishes within the diocese will also “remove all obstacles to full participation in congregational life by making all gender-specific facilities and activities fully accessible, regardless of gender identity and expression,” according to the resolution on embracing transgender individuals. Those who wrote and proposed the resolution asserted that gender definitions had become fluid in modern society and that, rather than adhere to a biblical view of God’s intended natural order for creation, the church needed to adapt to the whims of culture.
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