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Showing posts from May 13, 2011


I want to raise a complex, but very important, issue that’s been on my mind a lot lately. It has to do with leadership, particularly religious leadership. Daniel, a colleague in ministry and close friend of mine (and godfather to our son, Will) got me thinking about this during one of our frequent conversations. Daniel says that there is a tendency in many religions to create a sense of “the group,” “the faithful,” and “the enemy.” Now read carefully: This tendency, Daniel writes, “…becomes the toxic element in religion. It is certainly toxic for the ‘other’ and over time for the group itself.” Why? Because some religious groups increasingly need “to purify by finding an ‘other’ to vilify .” We all need to be on guard against this tendency to “purify” ourselves by “vilifying” others. Let me be specific: My frustration with all the controversies rolling around in the Episcopal Church is not so much with the controversies themselves: whether women should be allowed to be priests