Friday, May 27, 2005

Bishop Spong and his Clerical Collar

I finally saw Resurrection: Searching for Answers, a 20/20 special on ABC. For a secular report, I found it balanced. I’m so relieved that ABC did not once again display their collection of hackneyed "scholars" from the Jesus Seminar, peddling their Nineteenth Century observations as new and enlightened. For those interested in that dog and pony show, 20/20 did give air time to Bishop John Shelby Spong.

On the ABC special, like every television appearance of him that I’ve seen, Bishop Spong was dressed in his clerical collar. The clerical collar symbolizes being chained or enslaved to Jesus Christ. Such language bothers the bishop. One might wonder why Spong chooses to display such backward and primitive symbols. My guess is that Spong wishes to gain media attention. Put any old critic of Christianity in a clerical collar, and you have an exciting scandal on your hand. He uses the instant credibility gained from wearing the collar to deny cherished truths of the faith, such as the resurrection. Whether he intends it or not, the clerical collar serves as a Trojan horse allowing his every attack to score greater damage. Interestingly, the retired right reverend who rails against the hierarchical church has no qualms about benefitting from his rank. Hypocrisy, plain and simple.

No comments: