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Can a person belong to two religions?

Reactions within the Episcopal Church
to Rev. Redding's acceptance of Islam

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Rev. Redding's harmonization of Islam and Christianity:

As noted elsewhere, Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, 55, was ordained as an priest of the Episcopal Church, USA in 1984. She has since accepted Islam and regards herself as following both religions.

Some within the Episcopal Church, USA had a neutral or positive reaction to her decision:

bulletOfficials at the denominational headquarters do not know of any other of their priests who believes in a second faith along with Christianity. They indicated that it is the local bishop's responsibility to decide whether she can continue performing the functions of a priest. 1
bulletAccording to The Columbian newspaper:

"Redding's bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting. Her announcement, first made through a story in her diocese's newspaper, hasn't caused much controversy yet, he said." 1

bulletDoug Thorpe was a member of St. Mark's faith-formation committee with Redding. He has noted how her decision has deepened her spirituality. He feels that Redding is being called:

 "... by her very presence, [to be] a bridge person. And we desperately need those bridge persons."

Postings by conservative Anglicans to the blog at the VirtueOnline website -- "the Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism" -- were universally negative. 2 Some were quite vicious:

bulletRailbirdbc wrote on 2007-JUN-17:

"My God, where does the Episcopal Church keep digging them up from? Of course, we should not be totally surprised by this ridiculous notion that one can be a Christian and a Muslim, a Christian and an atheist, or a Christian and a mass murderer. We've seen it all in the last century with totalitarian states embracing Christianity while murdering millions of helpless people, and with liberal theologians like Tillich speaking about God in impersonal and pantheistic terms of reference, which ended in the 'Death of God' theology in the 1960s. But it's only in a spiritually dead church that such nonsense is tolerated. I'll go out on a limb here and state without reservation that Ms. Redding is not a Christian, nor is she anything close to a Christian. Without a Divine and eternal Jesus, who was and did everything the New Testament claims he was and did, then you have no salvation. And where there's the absence of salvation, there's the absence of genuine Biblical Christianity. So, good luck, Ms. Redding! Believing as you do, you're going to need it."

bulletIsaac wrote on 2007-JUN-17:

"Apparently, Ann Holmes Redding has gone mad. But what about the people at Seattle University who hired her to teach, and what about Bishop Vincent Warner?"

"Sin and stupidity both seem to be running amok."

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bullet on 2007-JUN-17:

"If TEC had one minute shred of theological integrity, or any integrity of any kind for that matter, Redding would be inhibited, defrocked and caste out in about two seconds but that won't happen, of course. Inhibition and defrocking are reserved for the faithful who are so 'unenlightened and un-inclusive' as to preach the gospel and to call out the heresy of TEC."

"I have a suggestion. If Redding thinks Islam is so wonderful and so inclusive and so understanding and that it is possible to be 'both Muslim and Christian,' go to Saudi Arabia, to Riyadh, stand next to the wall in 'chop-chop' square and declare loudly 'I am a Muslim and a Christian'. It will be a short lesson in what the lovable Muslims use chop-chop square for."

"This woman belongs in an institution with rubber walls. Yet another example of why WO is a really bad idea."

bulletFrankV wrote on 2007-JUN-17:

"I think Anton LaVey lives on in the Episcopal Church." 3

bulletSentinel wrote on 2007-JUN-18:

"You know, if this was mere satire, it would be hilarious. But since this is all too real, it is sad to see such a confused, hell bound, soul."

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Janit I. Tu, "Reverend drawn to Muslim faith," The Columbian, WA, 2007-JUN-17, at: http://www.columbian.com/

  2. David Virtue, "SEATTLE: "I am both Muslim and Christian," VirtueOnline, 2007-JUN-17, at: http://www.virtueonline.org/

  3. The late Anton La Vey was the founder of the Church of Satan.

As of 2007-JUN-18, A Google search for redding islam christianity returned about 2,800 hits.

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Copyright 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2007-JUN-20
Latest update: 2007-JUN-20
Author: B.A. Robinson

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