A "virtuous pagan" looks at the priesthood
The author, daughter of a Catholic priest, interviews the daughter of a man who applied to become an Episcopal priest. I found this via Crowhill.net and found the interview interesting. The one thing that amazed me though was the sense of incredulity from the person being interviewed that any "religious" people would actually be normal. I have read this in other places, usually written by people who sound like they have never left the island of Manhattan. This type of bigotry is so common today but it always stuns me.
"I was amazed when the bishop of Indianapolis said, "Of course the church messes up. We have to mess up or else we would have to believe the Inquisition was a good thing." I had thought that the church, any church, was an absolutist organization, and it's not. Religion is constantly evolving, and I think that's a cool thing about it. Not all of them, and the ones that's aren't are either favored for that or in trouble for that, but there's a tremendous diversity. I was surprised at how open and thoughtful and considerate people were, because I had this idea that they were fanatics, and fanatics don't change their opinions. I don't think anyone said anything that shocked me in a negative way. I don't think anybody said anything hateful. " [emphasis mine]
Can you imagine someone being shocked, shocked! that the "religious" people are not wacko fanatics?? They were found to be nice!