Monday, March 16, 2009

Anne Holmes Redding sings, "I am flaky, hear me roar."

"I am both Muslim and Christian and Flaky and on the verge of being dumped by the Episcopalian Church."

By Janet I. Tu [with additional help from Dag and the MSM.]

Seattle Times religion reporter

The Rev. Ann Holmes Redding attends the Sunday morning service at St. Clement's of Rome Episcopal Church in Seattle. Redding has been an Episcopal priest for 20 years and a Muslim for 15 months.

Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill.

On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest.

She does both, she says, because she's Christian and Muslim.

Ann Holmes Redding update. "Bishop orders Episcopal priest to renounce Islamic faith," from USA Today, March 15:

Her announcement has provoked surprise and bewilderment in many, raising an obvious question: How can someone be both a Christian and a Muslim?

PROVIDENCE (AP) — An Episcopal priest in Seattle is fighting attempts by Rhode Island Episcopal Bishop Geralyn Wolf to defrock her for practicing Islam and Christianity at the same time.

Redding, who until recently was director of faith formation at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, has been a priest for more than 20 years. Now she's ready to tell people that, for the last 15 months, she's also been a Muslim — drawn to the faith after an introduction to Islamic prayers left her profoundly moved.

But it has drawn other reactions too. Friends generally say they support her, while religious scholars are mixed: Some say that, depending on how one interprets the tenets of the two faiths, it is, indeed, possible to be both. Others consider the two faiths mutually exclusive.

‘Isa’s mother Mariam was the daughter of ‘Imran, (Âl 'Imran 3:34,35) — cf the Amram of Exodus 6:20 — and the sister of Aaron (and Moses). (Maryam 19:28) She was fostered by Zachariah (father of John the Baptist). (Âl 'Imran 3:36) While still a virgin (Al-An’am 6:12; Maryam 19:19-21) Mariam gave birth to ‘Isa alone in a desolate place under a date palm tree. (Maryam 19:22ff) (Not in Bethlehem).

‘Isa spoke whilst still a baby in his cradle. (Âl 'Imran 3:46; Al-Ma’idah 5:110; Maryam 19:30) He performed various other miracles, including breathing life into clay birds, healing the blind and lepers, and raising the dead. (Âl 'Imran 3:49; Al-Ma’idah 5:111) He also foretold the coming of Muhammad. (As-Saff 61:6)

Wolf has told Redding that her conversion to Islam constitutes an abandonment of the Christian faith and she must recant by March 30 or lose her status as a priest.

Christians and Jews have corrupted their scriptures. (Âl 'Imran 3:74-77, 113) Although Christians believe ‘Isa died on a cross, and Jews claim they killed him, in reality he was not killed or crucified, and those who said he was crucified lied (An-Nisa’ 4:157). ‘Isa did not die, but ascended to Allah. (An-Nisa’ 4:158) On the day of Resurrection ‘Isa himself will be a witness against Jews and Christians for believing in his death. (An-Nisa’ 4:159)

"There are tenets of the faiths that are very, very different," said Kurt Fredrickson, director of the doctor of ministry program at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. "The most basic would be: What do you do with Jesus? I mean, other than play cards?"

Christianity has historically regarded Jesus as the son of God and God incarnate, both fully human and fully divine. Muslims, though they regard Jesus as a great prophet, do not see him as divine and do not consider him the son of God. "The word Christian is not a valid word, for there is no religion of Christianity according to Islam," writes Mark Durie at

"I don't think it's possible" to be both, Fredrickson said, just like "you can't be a Republican and a Democrat and a flake."

Redding, who will begin teaching the New Testament as a visiting assistant professor at Seattle University this fall, has a different analogy: "I am both Muslim and Christian, just like I'm both an American of African descent and a woman and a flake. I'm 100 percent both of all three."

Redding says, "I am woman, hear me roar."

There's more:

Or go to Jihad Watch: Ann Holmes Redding update. "Bishop orders Episcopal priest to renounce Islamic faith," from USA Today, March 15.

And to Dr. Mark Durie at

Or you can just take my word for it that I really improved this story.


Anonymous said...

Now that this flake has been unfrocked, it is time for bishops to reexamine the duty to defend the historic creeds.

Individual Christians can and do diverge from historic doctrines of Christianity, but they do not teach in the name of the Catholic church, but in their own name.

That is where this women is 'a flake'. She believes in creating her own reality, as Mohammed did.

Dag said...

Those who feel that they can create their own reality are in a position to alter it at their whim, demanding reality's conformity to their individual desires, regardless of anyone else. Thus, if one is of superior wisdom and morality, as one might assume this woman considers herself to be, she has a moral obligation to change reality to the better, if not to the perfect.

AA writer whose work I admire more by the day, Eric Voegelin, writes that such people are "Gnostics." That makes them, if his point is true, non-Christians. I'm not as smart as Voegelin, so I call them flakey.