Thank God for small favors

Well, there’s some good news on the religious front, as far as I’m concerned:

: The Presbyterian Church USA opened up a loophole to allow the ordination of gays. This was one of the reasons I left the Presbyterian Church. Though the morally noxious rule against gays stands, local congregations are now allowed leeway. Even gays’ opponents are tired of the fight:

But Marj Carpenter, a former moderator, or elected leader of the denomination, told the assembly: “The middle — the big part of the church — is worn out with this 28-year-fight. It’s starting to affect missions. It’s starting to affect what we do for youth. It’s starting to affect evangelism. It’s killing us.” Carpenter, who said she opposes ordination of gays and lesbians, said she is “ready to compromise.”

: Meanwhile, American Episcopalians found balls and fended off pressure from Anglicans elsewhere on the issue of ordaining gay bishops, refusing to recant.

Canon Martyn Minns, a conservative leader and rector of Truro Church in Fairfax, Va., said the deputies’ vote showed the impossibility of reconciling Anglicans with different views about the Bible and homosexuality.

“It’s too hard. It’s a gap too wide,” he said.

“Unhappily, this decision seems to show that the Episcopal church has chosen to walk apart from the rest of the Anglican Communion.”

But Rev. Susan Russell of Integrity, the Episcopal homosexual caucus, said she felt proud the church was willing to affirm its commitment to fight injustice.

“The vote says we’re not willing to make sacrificial lambs of our gay and lesbian sisters and brothers and that has to leave me feeling pretty grateful and very proud,” she said.

: And back at the Presbyterian ranch, the General Assembly backed away from its — let’s call it what it is, antisemitic — push to divest Israeli investments. Now they just want peaceful investments. Drat, they’ll have to sell those Hamas futures.

The issue had divided the church, where some members thought the divestment threat was anti-Jewish, and it damaged the church’s relationship with Israel.