NEW YORK, NY - In a move that has excited some but troubled others, The Episcopal Church yesterday introduced the new winter holiday that it will be promoting - InsertWhateverGodYouChoose-Mas. The clear purpose of this holiday, according to the presiding bishop (The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori), is "to take into account the needs of the members of all our congregations, whether or not they are actually followers of Jesus Christ."
Bishop Schori went on to say, "It seems silly of us to assume that all Episcopalians will be Christians and therefore want to celebrate Christmas. Frankly, that seems a bit narrow. We in the Episcopalian church have a broad tent. We welcome those shunned by others such as Wiccans, New Agers, and the Occult. Because of this, we realize that we need to let each member himself or herself decide what type of winter holiday best fits his or her needs. Thus, the name - InsertWhateverGodYouChoose-Mas.
As mentioned above, while some within the church are excited by this move, others are troubled.
For example, Jackie Gellar of Santa Cruz, CA told TBNN, "This is a great joy and relief to me. I've been an Episcopalian all my life, but lately I've dabbled in a combination of Vishnu-worship, yoga, snake-handling, and palm reading. I'm kind of making it up as I go. Because of this, I just didn't want to celebrate Christmas this year. However, I did want to celebrate something. I don't yet know what I'm going to call it, but I'm so happy that whatever I do celebrate will be acceptable to my Episcopal church."
Dan Belford (Dayton, OH), on the other hand, is not happy about the new ruling. Belford said, "It has been difficult for the past few years to remain in the Episcopal church. I guess my problem is that I keep reading the bible. My local rector tells me this is dangerous, but I just can't help it. Then when I look at my church, well, it just appalls me. Now we have this new 'whatever-it-is holiday.' Quite honestly, I might have to start visiting the PCA church down the street from my house."
Despite the mixed reviews, Bishop Schori is excited about the new holiday, saying, "In order for this to be a truly happy time of year, we need to meet the needs of all people. It troubles me that only a few groups can claim this time of year, such as the Jews, Muslims, Africans, and Christians. In order to, like Paul, be all things to all people, we're going to let all people decide what to celebrate."
Schori summed it up like this, "Who are we to tell people what to celebrate? The important thing is that they are celebrating something. Have a Happy Holiday!"