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‘The Spiritual Hope of the Nation’

The Very Rev. Gary Hall, a former professional joke writer, is still making us laugh in his new role as dean of Washington’s National Cathedral, an Episcopal institution. From Sally Quinn’s favorable profile in the Washington Post:

“If the Cathedral wants to survive as institutional,” he goes on to explain, “it has to be transitional. It has to be the spiritual hope of the nation. It has to be about faith in public life and interfaith collaboration.”

Okay, but here’s the funny part:

“… I describe myself as a non-theistic Christian.”

And he goes on to expand on the concept.

“Jesus doesn’t use the word God very much,” he says. “He talks about his Father.”

Hall explains: “Where I am now, how do I understand Jesus as a son of God that’s not magical? I’m trying to figure out Jesus as a son of God and a fully human being, if he has both fully human and a fully divine set of chromosomes. . . . He’s not some kind of superman coming down. God is present in all human beings. Jesus was an extraordinary human being. Jesus didn’t try to convert. He just had people at his table.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the dean of the National Cathedral, the spiritual hope of the nation.

Makes me nostalgic for Evil Vicar:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRujuE-GIY4?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

UPDATE: A reader points out that this story is old, and that I poked fun at it when it first came out. Mea maxima culpa. Russell Moore tweeted it this morning, and when I read it, it sounded ever so slightly familiar, but I didn’t check the date. Amazing how often that happens to me, and to other people. Anyway, the points here still stand, and I’m going to leave this post up because the Evil Vicar skit is funny.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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