Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

woo woo Episcopalians

That is what I call Episcopalians and others caught up in the current fad of the “spiritual life.” My own seminary, GTS in NYC peddles courses on spirituality and vestries and many other areas not including carpenters and plumbers. Why not? I say. Gad! I may have given them new ideas.

The Episcopal Church has never had a broad base of social activist clergy and congregations. In the sixties there was an outpouring of Episcopal involvement in the civil rights movement and the anti-war in Vietnam cause. Even in the fight for full rights for gays and lesbians there were a few leaders from the Episcopal Church but very few outspoken ones. Larger numbers of churches give good soup kitchen and small homeless shelters.

The Episcopal Church, clergy and congregations are virtually silent on social action. The church has no voice or action in urging proper medical care for all, legislation to provide low cost housing and programs to wipe out hunger at home and abroad.

Benjamin Franklin said it well. “Serving God is Doing good to Man, but Praying is thought an easier Service, and therefore more generally chosen.” Episcopalians pray about things as part of our spiritual life but the doing of things is too hard.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said it very well. “Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion.”

woo-woo adj. concerned with emotions, mysticism,
or spiritualism; other than rational or scientific;
mysterious; new agey. Also n., a person who has mystical or new age beliefs.

When woo woo piety produces social action the church will move to a church that has spiritual depth that produces vigorous commitment to change the injustices of our society.



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