Yeah, my favorite part is picking the title. I figure I'm the only one who gets my joke sometimes, but when I don't see your distressed faces I can blithely assume everyone enjoys 18 syllable alliterations.
But this particular title is not a joke.
I am a subscriber to Touchstone Magazine. It's an ecumenical publication (meaning they want to bring all Christians together under one big tent) that seems to be primarily Roman Catholic in tone, financing and authorship. I read a lot in it by the different protestant denominations, and a good bit by orthodox clergy, but it still jolts my ear to hear the occasional Catholicism spoken like that good-ol' religion.
As I have read the mag, I have found about 30% of the articles are challenging and profitable (and yes, the Catholics are doing a good job, too), 10% of the articles are misguided, and the remaining 60% are the usual fluff. I mostly keep the subscription to keep my finger on several pulses at once, and it works well for me that way.
(Some day remind me to comment on a pair of articles they wrote concurrently on Anorexia Nervosa if you're interested - WOW stuff.)
There is one subject on which they regularly offend me, and I mean regularly and I mean offend. The world's ecuminicists all agree together that the only group they can bash as one are egalitarians (those who hold that women are often called by God to minister the gospel, and should be allowed to do so). People who agree to respect each other's opinions about 1) the elevation of the virgin Mary to veneration, 2) whether the Lord's Supper is the real body and blood of Christ (about which subject hundreds chose to die at the stake scant centuries ago), and 3) whether salvation can be found within each others' respective churches AT ALL have - [get this] - united in disdain for anyone who shows the slightest sympathy to the possibility that a woman might not pollute a pulpit if she spoke truth from behind it.
(I'm sorry if you had to read that sentence more than once to follow it. It takes a sentence like that for me to even begin to nibble at the edge of how truly irked I am.)
But I have said nothing until now, because I might be a little thin skinned on the subject. I happen to suspect an anti-egalitarian under every frock, so I gave them the benefit of my silence, if not my doubt.
Allow me to quote a paragraph from an actually quite nice lead editorial of the October 2007 issue (I looked for a link, but they only displayed one article. I will comment on that soon, and much more favorably.):
We draw a firm line between us and the skeptics, modernists, liberals, relativists, and others whose adherence to their own traditions is partial or corrupt, and a thin and flexible line between us and those conservative believers who accept some apparently worldly ideology opposed to the shared Christian heritage, egalitarianism being the most obvious example. Hence our ability to draw together people who disagree about whether infants can be baptized but our mutual decision to leave outside the circle (if often just outside the circle) those who declare that women can be ordained.
This paragraph is more irenic than most, but peace-loving though it may be it simply makes explicit the mutual decision of the Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox editors of this ecumenical effort to exclude those who hold with firm conviction that the bible requires women to preach the good news when so called.
And that brings me to my fourth E, Ethics. (My sole, lonely two syllable E.) I should not be surprised to find ecumenicists pandering like this - they need to beat up on someone after all, or they might not feel like a religious organization at all. And beating up on girls has been a politically safe move for millenia, so why not continue it in this fine example of their "ability to draw together people who disagree about" all manner of less important matters - like how people are brought to know God.
I cast shame on Touchstone Mag for taking pride in the ethics of heaping abuse on the abused in order to fudge - I mean forge - unity.