Watch Your Mouth

"Church controversies in Britain and Australia focus on a dirty word, the Word of God, and whether premarital sex is really a sin."
Church Times prints the queen-mother of dirty words
Church Times, the 138-year-old weekly Anglican newspaper, has created controversy in Britain through just one little word. To quote a line from A Christmas Story, the paper "didn't say 'fudge.' It said the word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the 'F-dash-dash-dash' word." Editor Paul Handley is defending the article, about growing hostility toward nuns. "It was too good to leave out," he tells The Daily Telegraph. "The anecdote shows how nuns are now exposed to that sort of thing and the days of a cuddly 'Hello Mother' have gone." The word is used to quote an angry bicyclist who shouted, "[Expletive]-ing nun!" to east London's Sister Helen Loder. The quick-witted woman immediately responded, "One or the other, but I can't be both!"

Senior Church of England clergyman banned from pulpit
Whether British churches really care whether Church Times prints a certain word is doubtful. But a Church of England parish in Uppingham, Rutland, clearly puts importance on another kind of Word. And because of this, it has banned local resident Derek Stanesby, a retired Canon who has repeatedly preached in front of the Queen, from ever stepping into the pulpit. "People talk about the Bible as the word of God," Stanesby preached in an Epiphany sermon published in the bulletin of the Society of Ordained Scientists. "That can be so misleading. … In fact, the elevation of the Bible to close on divine status had done more damage to the Christian message than all the slings and arrows of the sceptics. The Bible helps to point to the word of God, but it is not the word of God. … The Church is steeped in superstition and wishful and weak thinking."

Premarital sex off the sin list? Meanwhile, ...

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September
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