THE MARYKNOLLERS & THEIR SOUL MATES
Is God a Cloud? Does She Have Breasts?

March 1998By Mark Tooley

Mark Tooley is a Research Associate at the Institute on Religion & Democracy in Washington, D.C. A different version of this article appeared in The Presbyterian Layman (Nov.-Dec. 1997).

An ecumenical film consortium has produced a new video series in which noted “experts” grapple with the great questions about God and man. The set of 30 video cassettes, entitled Questions of Faith, is aimed at both children and adults and is widely publicized, so it may be showing up in your church’s adult study group or your child’s parochial school. From it you and your children may learn such fascinating things as that we are perfectly free to envisage God as a cloud, or a black woman, or the cosmos, and that God’s nature is such that while She or It does not listen to prayer (and is, frankly, somewhat inept), She is quite concerned about the environment.

The consortium, called EcuFilm, includes the National Council of Churches, most liberal Protestant denominations (United Methodist, United Presbyterian, Episcopal, etc.), the World Council of Churches, and the Maryknoll Missioners (affiliated with the folks who put out that ubiquitous, glossy Maryknoll magazine).

The qualification for appearing in the nearly 15 hours of videotape in most cases appears to be either a rejection of historic Christianity or a firm endorsement of politically correct causes.

Here are some of the people you — or your children — will meet up with in Questions of Faith: Catholic feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether, who wants to replace Yahweh with Gaia, the earth goddess; Katherine Keller of Drew University, who advocates a deity with breasts and a “eucharistia” involving milk and honey; Delores Williams of Union Seminary, who has declared that, “We don’t need folks hanging on crosses and blood dripping and weird stuff”; Matthew Fox, a former Catholic priest and New Age mystic who advocates worship of the universe; Sallie McFague of Vanderbilt Divinity School, who believes that the earth is a part of God; James Forbes of New York’s famously liberal Riverside Church, who advocates the acceptance of homosexual practices; Joan Chittister, a politically outspoken nun who defended Marxist movements in Central America during the 1980s; Tex Sample of St. Paul’s Seminary in Kansas City, who is a leading proponent of ordination for practicing homosexuals within United Methodism; Hyung Kyung Chung, who advocated the worship of ancient Korean gods and goddesses at a recent World Council of Churches assembly; Madeline L’Engle, a writer based at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where pantheism has displaced traditional Episcopal worship; and James Lawson, a United Methodist pastor who is a strident abortion-rights activist.


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