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By Lydia Goodman
November 18, 2014

Question for the Day: If I invite you to turn your back on the Cross of Jesus Christ in my house of worship, is that the same as if I had also turned my back?

By now, many of you have heard of the invitation extended by the church and accepted by Muslims to hold Friday prayer services at the Washington National Cathedral, a cathedral of the Episcopal Church. At the prayer gathering this past week, with rugs spread out facing Mecca, dozens turned their back on the Cross of Jesus Christ in an area described by planners to be “in the north transept, an area of the cathedral with arches and limited iconography (in other words, that offensive Cross) that provide an ideal space — almost mosque-like — with the appropriate orientation for Muslim prayers...” “...Leaders believe offering Muslim prayers at the Christian cathedral shows more than hospitality,” according to a cathedral media advisory. (all emphasis mine)

“It demonstrates an appreciation of one another’s prayer traditions and is a powerful symbolic gesture toward a deeper relationship between the two Abrahamic traditions.” The prayers, organized by the Rev. Canon Gina Campbell, director of liturgy for Washington National Cathedral, and attended by the South African Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, Masjid Muhammad of The Nation’s Mosque and representatives from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Islamic Society of North America, and Muslim Public Affairs Council, have Christians concerned across the country, to say the least.

“Washington National Cathedral is called to serve as the spiritual home for the nation...” “...This is a place for spiritual enrichment above all, whether you come here for worship, a concert, a pilgrimage, or an insightful program. It is a place open to all...”

No thank you.

This was no inter-faith service. This was no community outreach program. This was the beginning of a systematic implementation of a a long-term plan developed by leaders of the Cathedral to be more inclusive of all faiths:

From the Strategic Plan FY 2015-2017, found on


Offer visitors of all faiths and backgrounds opportunities to explore spirituality and experience the Divine.

a- Provide guidance for people on their spiritual journeys by expanding offerings in prayer practices, reflections, and pilgrimages through the Cathedral Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage (ccpp).
b- Build awareness of the Cathedral as an open and safe space for people seeking quiet reflection and prayer.
c- Create and implement online resources to assist spiritual journeys and mutual interfaith understanding.
d- Invite more leaders from other faith traditions to participate in worship services.
e- Consider spaces at the Cathedral for a designated interfaith chapel.

It appears that the actions of the Washington National Cathedral in its decision to open its doors to Muslim prayer services would be in direct contradiction to the cited mission statement found in “What We Believe” of the Episcopal Church:

According to, the church is “Christ-Focused”:

“In him you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 368).

As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, and both our worship and our mission are in Christ’s name. In Jesus, we find that the nature of God is love, and through baptism, we share in his victory over sin and death.”

However, read the words of Rev. Campbell, who welcomed the religious gathering of Muslims, saying the Washington National Cathedral was a place of prayer for all people. “Let us stretch our hearts and let us seek to deepen mercy for we worship the same God," she said.

Not everyone would agree with Rev. Campbell. Christine Weick, a 50-year-old woman living out of her car, drove from Tennessee and managed, by what some would consider divine providence, to infiltrate the by-invitation-only event to deliver her own powerful symbolic gesture. Amid calls for security, she was unceremoniously thrown out of the Muslim prayer vigil because of these courageous words:

“Jesus Christ died on that cross. It is the reason we are to worship only Him. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior,” she said. “We have built enough of your mosques in this country. Why don’t you worship in your mosques and leave our churches alone?”

Watch the video:

I differ with Ms.Weick on one point. Her admirable stand taken in the name of Jesus Christ should not have been directed to the praying Muslims. Remember, they were invited. It was not as if they were going to say, “No”. Her outrage, her pubic stance, should have been directed towards the church hierarchy and those members who supposedly represent Christ as the one and only true way to God the Father.

Not one, as clearly evidenced in the video, stood in support of the lone Christian woman, in a church that can claim nearly 1700 members in attendance each Sunday.

Franklin Graham, in a Facebook post, voiced these words that so eloquently describe how many Christians have reacted to this warm and fuzzy doctrine of inclusiveness, diversity, and yes, political correctness that can be found in our “nation’s spiritual home”:

“It’s sad to see a church open its doors to the worship of anything other than the One True God of the Bible who sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to earth to save us from our sins,” said Graham. “Jesus was clear when He said, ‘I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ (John 14:6).”

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Bible-believing Episcopalians, let me reassure you. It is not just your denomination that is experiencing a radical perversion of scriptural doctrines in an effort to “tickle the ears of men”. More and more, Christians are being indoctrinated by church leaders in various denominations in an effort to make the work of the Cross through Jesus Christ appear “less offensive”. No matter their efforts--it is not going to happen. The Cross will always be offensive to those who don’t believe. There can only be one outcome for those who fall victim to the shallow words of men said in the name of inclusiveness--scriptural truths will become less important and many will lose their Biblical foundation because of the twisting of God’s Word in a vain attempt to appease the masses.

Those of us who claim to be Christian have a choice to make:

Whose words will you stand by? The Reverend Canon Gina Campbell or a homeless woman from Tennessee? Biblical truths or the theology of political correctness? Do all faiths worship the same God or is Jesus Christ, as He claims, the only true way to God the Father? Your call.

© 2014 Lydia Goodman - All Rights Reserve

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As a writer and commentator, Lydia Goodman is passionate about speaking out against progressive policies that threaten to erode our personal rights, freedoms, and traditions. Lydia has also written numerous articles on world human rights issues, in an effort to focus attention on the atrocities perpetuated against people of faith.

Follow Lydia on Twitter @lydiawgoodman




Bible-believing Episcopalians, let me reassure you. It is not just your denomination that is experiencing a radical perversion of scriptural doctrines in an effort to “tickle the ears of men”.