Statements by the dean of the National Cathedral as it hosted Muslim prayers on the 100th anniversary of the last Caliph’s call for Jihad against nonbelievers have led to a closer look at the ideology of the Episcopal Church in the United States.
As Breitbart News’ National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka reported, co-organizers of the Muslim prayer event at the Episcopal National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., included the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the All-Dulles Area Muslims Society (ADAMS) Center – all of which have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Breitbart News’ Jordan Schachtel interviewed Gary Hall, dean of the National Cathedral, who said he was not aware that the Muslim prayers took place on the 100th anniversary of the last Caliph’s call for Jihad against nonbelievers, or the infidel.
“I did not know that it was that anniversary,” Hall told Schachtel. “But knowing it now, it actually seems to be more appropriate to have an event that is on an anniversary of a hard time. …There have been atrocities on both sides. There have been extremists on both sides.”
The Episcopal church, as the Huffington Post reported in September, has been leaning leftward for over a decade, with greater emphasis on “diversity,” particularly in the area of human sexuality and now, in its outreach to Muslims.
In 2003, the church elected its first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, who, in May, announced his divorce from his “husband,” Mark Andrew. Robinson’s consecration led to hundreds of parishes exiting the church in protest. Currently, the 66-year-old bishop is a fellow at the left-wing Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, D.C., which was founded by John Podesta in 2003.
Katharine Jefferts Schori is about to end her nine-year tenure as presiding bishop, the first woman elected to head a national branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. In announcing her decision not to seek re-election, Jefferts Schori said, “I will continue to engage us in becoming a more fully diverse church, spreading the gospel among all sorts and conditions of people, and wholeheartedly devoted to God’s vision of a healed and restored creation.”
As the Huffington Post reported, though her predecessor, Bishop Frank Griswold, chose not to litigate against parishes that left the church over its new emphasis on sexual “diversity,” Jefferts Schori spent millions of the national church’s funds in litigation against five dioceses, winning most of the legal battles.
Over Jefferts Schori’s term, however, Episcopal church membership has dropped by 12 percent. In 2009, the conservative Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) broke away from the Episcopal church over substantial issues regarding human sexuality and the authority of the Bible.
During the summer, ACNA elected Atlanta Bishop Foley Beach as its new archbishop, and has been embraced by conservative Anglicans from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Also in 2009, Jefferts Schori condemned what she called “the great Western heresy – that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God,” a statement that created a firestorm among traditionalists.
In that same year, under the leadership of Jefferts Schori, the Episcopal church adopted a provisional rite for the blessing of same-sex unions.” Three years later, “gender identity and expression” were added to the church’s “nondiscrimination canons,” which prohibited exclusion of transgender individuals from ordination for that particular cause.
Similarly, in 2010, Jefferts Schori presided over the consecration of lesbian Suffragan Bishop Mary Glasspool of Los Angeles.
The Episcopal church’s emphasis on promoting LGBT issues has won the attention of one of the top gay philanthropists in the country – Jon Stryker, heir of Stryker medical technology company – who was also one of Barack Obama’s top bundlers for his 2012 re-election campaign. In March, Stryker’s Arcus Foundation, created primarily to promote the LGBT agenda, announced that the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago’s Chicago Consultation would be a recipient of the foundation’s Social Justice grants.
According to Arcus:
Several organizations will use funding to empower Christian leaders to promote full inclusion of LGBT members in their religious communities and larger societies. The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago’s Chicago Consultation plans to use funding to build LGBT understanding and acceptance by organizing a third gathering for LGBT activists and high-level Anglican leaders from Africa and elsewhere.
In addition to the LGBT agenda, the church has taken on outreach to Muslims. Partnerships between local Episcopal churches and Muslims have been encouraged. The Episcopal church in Connecticut (ECCT), for example, under the direction of Bishop Ian Douglas, sold one of its church properties to the local Muslim community several weeks ago.
According to the Episcopal News Service (ENS), Christ Episcopal Church in Avon, Connecticut, was sold on October 21 for $1.1 million to the Farmington Valley American Muslim Center, Inc. (FVAMC).
Douglas, who, according to the Huffington Post, is considered to be a potential successor to Jefferts Schori, met with other ECCT staff, community leaders, and residents in the spring of 2013 to discuss how Christ Episcopal Church could be used “as an asset to God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation” in the local community and beyond.
According to ENS, in September of 2013, ECCT entered into an “interfaith partnership” with the Muslim Center. The new relationship involved renting the Avon church to FVAMC to allow local Muslims a place to gather for “prayers, teaching, youth programs and interfaith work.” Since that time, ENS states the Muslim community has expanded and grown its programs, particularly those for youth.
ECCT committees concerned with the sale gave it wide support and noted that the purchase of Christ Episcopal Church by the Muslim community is the start of a new era of collaboration.
“I thank God that through the stewardship of our property in Avon we have come into relationship with our Muslim neighbors in the Farmington valley,” Douglas said. “Together we are learning about what it means to be people of faith working together for peace and understanding.”
“It is a blessing to cooperate with the FVAMC in the development of their new home,” Douglas added.
“We are grateful to our brothers and sisters in the Diocese for their partnership,” said Khamis Abu-Hasaballah, president of the Board of Trustees of the FVAMC. “This house of worship will serve as a foundation for our efforts to continue building bridges with our neighbors, the local community, and other faith traditions.”
“Our relationship with the ECCT serves as a shining example in our region, and as a beacon of hope for inter-religious understanding and cooperation the world over,” Abu-Hasaballah added.
A press release about the partnership between ECCT and FVAMC states, “The initiative builds on and expands the interfaith work that is taking place in other areas of the Diocese that include special educational programs, guest speakers, refugee resettlement, and shared space, as well as participation in interfaith coalitions.”