Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Exodus? :: Letters to the Editor, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Editor, Times-Dispatch (scroll down):

My world view often differs from your editorial staff's, yet I have enjoyed your paper because it's important and fun to be challenged by others' perspectives. But an editorial and a recent column by Ross Mackenzie regarding my beloved Episcopal faith struck a nerve.

In the editorial "Exodus," the church is accused of playing childish games by electing Katharine Jefferts Schori to be our presiding bishop. After reading numerous articles by and about her, including the interview in The New York Times Magazine, I've come to realize that she is brilliant and the right person for the job. The moral and intellectual snobbery you attribute to her may actually belong to those who fear change.

As a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church, and the grandson of Rev. Frank Wilson (a close friend and confidant of President Franklin Roosevelt), I'm aware that progressive changes have challenged Episcopalians in the past. The decision to ordain women created a larger schism than we are currently witnessing.

Another notable moment for the [Episcopal] church occurred after the Civil War when Gen. Robert E. Lee joined a freed slave at the altar to receive communion, right here in Richmond. At the time many considered this to be a heretical act. Those who feared change back then were as misguided as those who fear it now. When we look back at such events and turning points in history we often wonder: What took so long?

Alex Wilson, Mechanicsville
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