Saturday, August 02, 2003

Christian Studies 101 - Final Exam 

SCSU�s Summer Church School is winding down this month. Within the next week, please submit below your answers to this honor-pledged, open-book, take-home examination in the comments section. Remember, there are no �right� or �wrong� answers - only those that are �right� or �left.� Each of these five questions is worth 20 points. If nothing else, this summer�s readings have made us think.

Question 1: Does the dissent of Justices Scalia, Rhenquist, and Thomas in this summer�s sodomy case, brought by Lawrence & Garner vs. Texas, reflect homophobic and un-Christian attitudes? Why or why not?

Question 2: Where do you draw the lines between fiction and fact, and between theory and truth, in this summer�s required-reading, blockbuster novel by Dan Brown, �The Da Vinci Code?� Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene?

Question 3: Compare and contrast the views of the Vatican and Andrew Sullivan vis a vis the case for homosexual marriage? Which view is more �Christian,� and why?

Question 4: Contrast the values reflected by �Ozzie and Harriet,� �Ozzie Osbourne,� and �Will and Grace.� Which is most �Christian,� and why?

Question 5: Assume that you are a delegate to this week�s 74th General Convention of the Episcopalian Church (hosted in Minneapolis by my home parish, St. Mark's). Now suppose that you were ready to vote for the establishment of a liturgical blessing of a couple of committed gays or lesbians. How would you answer critics who might then ask, �Well then, why not bless the union of a menage a trois? What would be the spiritual, philosophical, or intellectual difference between a relationship involving any two - versus any three, or even more - �committed� individuals?�