Endorsing schism

Ruth Gledhill, religion reporter of the Times of London has endorsed schism. Read it here.

I thought I had gotten used to the British journalistic tradition in which reporters are allowed, or even expected, to voice a few opinions on the subjects they cover. In fact, I’ve come to enjoy it. It’s fun to read the coverage and compare the Guardian’s emphasis to the Telegraph’s and the Times’. But this piece makes me uneasy. That may just be a cultural thing. It is almost inconceivable that a reporter for a major American daily would be allowed to write a piece like this.

For me, it isn’t a question of objectivity as much as it is a question of role. When you express a rooting interest in the outcome of a major story, you become part of that story. You move from audience to stage. Yet somehow you are still allowed to write the reviews. That doesn’t seem fair either to other actors or other audience members.

Anyway, that said, it is a thought provoking read, although I think it misses one key point. The Episcopal Church isn’t trying to force anyone else out of the Communion. We haven’t organized a movement to exclude Peter Akinola from tomorrow’s Primates Meeting, even though we think his attitudes on (and actions towards) gays and lesbians are reprehensible. We are willing to remain in communion with him despite major disagreements about his theology. He could end all talk of schism by returning the favor.

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