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Opening Arguments

Holy Trinity!

Some changes to beloved traditions of major institutions can be compared to improving the decor of a restaurant -- spiffier waitress uniforms, more soothing colors, better traffic flow -- just to get more customers in, who then find the same familiar food on the menu. I would put the Catholic Church's decision to do away with all the Latin and start using guitar-strumming singers into this category. Some changes are like keeping the restaurant but changing the menu. An example of this (forgive the continuation of the food metaphor) would be some of the Catholic reversals involving the things those faithful absolutely cannot ever, ever do (no meat on Fridays!) because the pope says so, and he has a direct pipeline to God but -- whoops! -- now they can because the pope says so, etc.

But some changes are like turning the restaurant into a biker bar and hoping that by the time the patrons notice they are on their fifth or six beer and really won't care. Into this category I would put the Presbyterians messing with the divine Trinity:

The divine Trinity - "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" - could also be known as "Mother, Child and Womb" or "Rock, Redeemer, Friend" at some Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) services under an action Monday by the church's national assembly.

Delegates to the meeting voted to "receive" a policy paper on gender-inclusive language for the Trinity, a step short of approving it. That means church officials can propose experimental liturgies with alternative phrasings for the Trinity, but congregations won't be required to use them.

I'm a tolerant sort. Let Presbyterians be Presbyterians and Lutherans be Lutherans. There is obviously much room for interpretation in the Bible, and it is up to each individual faith to decide how strongly to stick to the core and how much to stray from it in order to get more members, all the while weighing where the line is, which, having been crossed, means the original values have been so compromised it is pointless to go on. But this is just silly. Presbyterians are in danger of moving so far ahead of the line that it won't even be in view. The Trinity is central to any notion of Christianity. If members of a Christian faith are willing to gut that to acquiesce to some popular notion of "inclusion," they might as well just call themselves a social club and give up all pretense of being a church.

If Presbyterians really want to be modern, and get the kids interested, too, maybe they should change the Trinity to "Rock, Paper, Scissors."

This just in: The new leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church says homosexuality isn't a sin. First it was, and now (whoops!) it isn't. The Pentagon, on the other hand, still lists homosexuality as a mental disorder, "decades after mental health experts abandoned that position."

Posted in: Religion