SEATTLE, WA - Rev. Jamie Burns, priest at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, announced Sunday to his/her congregation that he/she is both a man and a woman.
Rev. Burns began his/her sermon this way, "Brothers and sisters, I have recently been inspired by the actions of Rev. Ann Holmes of our fair city. As you know, she announced last month that she is both a Christian and a Muslim. In fact Rev. Ann said, and I quote, 'I'm 100% both.' Well, the same is true for me, but in a different way. I am also 100% both - both male and female that is."
Kelvin Willis, a member at St. Paul's, told TBNN that he was shocked at first by Rev. Burns' statement. Mr. Willis said, "I think I gasped. I hope no one heard me. The last thing I would want is for anyone to think that I am intolerant of this sort of thing. We have been taught for a long time to be accepting of other people, so I think this must be an O.K. thing."
In the sermon, Rev. Burns went on to say, "I've been dealing with this issue for most of my life. As a child, other kids would ask me, 'Is Jamie a boy's name or a girl's name?' I would respond by saying, 'Exactly.'"
"Now that our society has become more tolerant of this sort of lifestyle, and after Rev. Holmes' announcement, this just seemed like the correct timing. Some may question how I can be a man and a woman. Well, I just know it to be the case. Sometimes I feel more one way or the other, but for the most part I'm right in the middle."
Soon after the sermon, members of different religious communities in the country responded. Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY, quickly had an answer for Rev. Burns. According to Mohler, "Some issues in our society are complicated, but this is not. What Rev. Burns is claiming is an impossibility. You can be male or female, but you cannot be both. There are physical differences that make it clear, but I'd rather not get into that right now."
Rev. Burns quickly responded to Dr. Mohler in this manner, "Like most Southern Baptists, Dr. Mohler sees most issues in black-and-white, and thinks he has all the answers. He does not know me at all. The reality is that I know how I feel, and I know that I am 100% man and 100% woman. I'm not 50-50, but 100-100."
We at TBNN were curious about Rev. Burns' future at St. Paul's. We, therefore, called Dr. Susan Green, who is Bishop of the Diocese of Washington state. Dr. Green told us, "We have not fully looked into the situation. However, it's not like Rev. Burns said he/she was also a member of another religion. Rev. Burns still lives for Jesus in all he/she does. He/she hasn't spoken out against the faith at all. Therefore, I believe Rev. Burns will remain where he/she is. We hope the St. Paul's congregation will be accepting of his/her announcement."
Dr. Green closed the phone call by reminding us of this, "Somewhere in the New Testament Jesus said, 'Treat others like you want to be treated.' You would want to be accepted by others. Please be kind to Rev. Burns. Please accept him/her. That would please Jesus."
The only question remaining: what did Rev. Burns say in the rest of his/her sermon? Our sources at St. Paul's tell us that the primary text was Genesis 1:27 which says, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." According to Rev. Burns, "If God himself created them 'male and female,' then I must be O.K. because I'm 'male and female.'"