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Showing posts from May 29, 2012

The General Convention: Straining Gnats, Swallowing Camels

(I'm posting here an article I wrote for the Diocese of Virginia's "The Center Aisle.")


I’m beginning to wonder if “GC” stands for “General Convention” of the Episcopal Church, or “Gnats and Camels.”

You know the reference: Jesus noticed religious leaders who were meticulous about the smallest points of the law – to the point of tithing even one sprig of mint – but who ignored things that really matter.

Using a bit of hyperbolic humor, he says, “Blind guides, you strain out the gnat and swallow the camel.”

Gnats, as insects, were considered unclean. So the religious leaders of Jesus’ day carefully strained


their wine to keep from accidentlely swallowing a gnat.

The picture he paints is that of religious leaders squinting at fine gauze to be sure they’ve captured pinhead-sized impurities, while camels – also unclean animals that were forbidden as food – have been swallowed whole.

It’s meant to be a comical portrayal.

But it’s a painfully accurate picture of the Gener…