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On Religion

As probably everyone knows by now, I read a mailing list that has a fairly broad scope of what is acceptable to discuss, thanks partly to an off-topic marker and a system for encouraging good use. It is my primary source of news and social commentary, and one of my best sources of general information. I find that they tend to discuss things about a day and a half before it comes up in my offline life.

They brought up a term yesterday that, while I had seen it in previous discussions on-list, I had never really thought about clearly.

Episcopagan.

Defined alternately (depending on the person it is applied to) as a liberal, open-minded Episcopalian; or as a pagan with an Episcopalian upbringing and world-view. Or, in some cases, as an active and intentional blend of the two. Or anywhere in between... religion, analyzing individuals instead of groups, shows even more of a spectrum effect than sexuality.

Now, I could fit into the first part of that definition. I am decidedly Episcopalian, although I don't necessarily believe all the official doctrines. (Incidentally, in the parish and diocese I grew up in, we are encouraged to consider what we really believe - even if that means people leave the church. In some ways Episcopalian may be the next thing to Catholic, but not in all ways.) But God knows (irony noted) I'm not very conventional, and I certainly don't object to other people doing or believing things I wouldn't, unless they try to force it on me.

My mother, on the other hand, comes very close to the middle ground. I talked to her once about what she really believes. And honestly, in some ways she is considerably closer to my Gay Pagan Crusader friend than she is to the views of our home church, which is pretty liberal itself.

And I have one or two friends who I think could embrace Episcopaganism whole-heartedly. Or perhaps they already have - after all, what you call something doesn't matter as much as what it really is.

Comments

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turtle_morn
Feb. 6th, 2003 05:23 pm (UTC)
I really like saying the word episcopagan.
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