In Praise of Dead White Men | First Things

Upon entering my former church, the first things one noticed were ten framed photographs displayed in a line on the opposite wall. They were all of white men in clerical collars, displayed to honor every reverend who had pastored the parish since its founding in 1887. I always found it interesting to see the societal transitions reflected in the photos. Arranged in chronological order, the first was of a stiffly Victorian-looking fellow, with each subsequent pastor looking more casual than the last. The final photo, the only one in color, was of the current pastor, who has been leading the church since 1982.When I arrived on the scene, circa 1995, the church was a vibrant and progressive parish with a strong outreach to the gay community and all others who felt wounded by what most viewed as the wrongful moralism of orthodox Christianity.

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