What to do if your religion is disrespected: Sing or Riot?

Last Sunday at the Green convention I was trying to find the breakout group about Iran. Since the website with the convention schedule had mysteriously disappeared from the blogosphere, I relied on memory to tell me which room it was in.

As I slipped into the back of one room, the speaker was saying, “That’s the right thing to do and that is what history will respect..” Then the speaker started talking about how his group had offered to pay the $1500 fine if only the municipality would perform marriages….oopsie, wrong room, isn’t that the LGBT agenda? Later the same guy told me a heckler had started an outburst in the session and I had missed the fireworks.

Must be something going around. It seems last Sunday the world’s only openly gay Episcopalian bishop was heckled in England, where he is traveling in spite of C of E’s having misplaced his invitation to their big fancy bishop convention they have every ten years. (Do they really think those stories about vengeful Fairy Godmothers are for children?)

How did the Episcopalians treat the intruder? They listened for about two minutes, then as the heckler started shouting “repent, repent,” they sang. They sang a famous, and in my opinion not very rousing Episcopalian hymn that I have never heard of: “Thine Be The Glory, Risen, Conquering Son.”

But maybe rioting is a more effective means of dealing with information you don’t want to process, at least in the long run. The Anglicans seem to be dying out as a breed (as an anti-gay Anglican publication says pointedly), while the Muslim population is increasing. Oh I know I’ve ignored a few minor points here, like not all Episcopalians support their church’s decisions to accept gay bishops, or for that matter, female bishops as they did in 1992, and the fact that not all Moslems riot and burn embassies. But if you see a bunch of people burning an embassy and waving a flag, chances are it won’t be an Episcopalian flag.

But in Asia, the Christians are finally starting to catch on. Last Sunday, at the same time as the dwindling Episcopalians were singing their forgettable hymn, Christians across Asia were rioting at newspaper offices that had published an image of Jesus with a cigarette in one hand and a can of beer in the other. Yes, I’m predicting a resurgence of Christianity in Asia.

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