The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, October 15,1991 - Page 7
Controversial bishop will
make speech at Rack ham
by Karen Pier
* Daily Staff Reporter
Episcopal Bishop John Shelb
Spong looks like Billy Graham
sounds like Billy Graham, lived i
the same neighborhood as Graham
and has the same Southern manners.
But theologically they stand i
} Spong will make his view
known when he speaks or
"Questioning the Authority of th
Past" at Rackham Auditoriuir
tonight at 8 p.m.
While Graham is a fundamental
ist Christian, one who takes th
Bible as literal truth, Spong is not.
The only thing Spong does take
as the truth is the "underlyin
themes of the Bible."
"I see God in Jesus Christ whenl
ee the fullness of life and love in
carnate ... If I want to be a discipl
of Jesus, I want to be loving and liv
ink and, being all that I can," Spon
"God is the ground of being, th
source of life and the source o
love," he said.
. Spong strongly supports th
rights of minorities, women an
gays. He has ordained gay priests be
cause he considers homosexualit
"like being left-handed."
"It's silly that the Roma
Catholic Church condemns homo
sdxuals. A good number of it
priests are homosexual," Spon
Other non-traditional views of
- Spong include a pro-choice stance, a
y belief in birth control and a disbe-
i, lief in the virgin birth.
n Not surprisingly, these opinions
1, have made Spong a controversial
'It's silly that the
s Roman Catholic
n Church condemns
e homosexuals. A good
number of its priests
- are homosexual'
e - John Spong'
figure. Spong has made no attempt
I to hide his beliefs, and instead has
i- been very public with them. He has
e written several books and and ap-
- peared on various talk shows such as
g Donahue, Larry King and the Oprah
e Spong's beliefs are not popular
)f among Episcopal priests.
"I think he's in the minority,"
e. said Father Jerrold Beaumont of St.
d Barnabas Episcopal Church in Ann
- Arbor when asked if most Episcopal
y priests do not believe in the virgin
n He added that many Episcopal
)_ priests do not agree with the ordina-
s tion of gay priests.
g And unlike* Spong, Beaumont
does take .some parts of the Bible
Spong said of the thousands of
letters he has received, 12 to 14 have
been death threats from fundamen-
But Spong said, "I don't have any
objection at all (to fundamentalists.
That's their choice. I only object to
fundamentalists...when they tell
me, 'You are not a Christian.'
He occasionally speaks at one of
the churches in his diocese'which is
fundamentalist and said they are ca-
pable of doing good works.
"I can reach some people they
can't reach, and they can reach some
people that I can't," he said
Spong's basic premise is that
there is truth in the Bible once an
individual gets beyond the folk-
tales. "I'm trying to. reclaim the
The supernatural stories about
Jesus mean that the disciples saw
God-like. attributes in Jesus and
therefore invented the stories like
that of the virgin birth, he said.
.Spong said he didn't know of any
scholar who believes in the virgin
Rev. Bill DeJong of the Ann
Arbor Christian Reformed Church
disagreed. He said he considers him-
self a Bible scholar and said he
knows other ministers who, like
himself, believe in the virgin birth.
Spong will be signing books at
the Shaman Drum bookstore from 4
to 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Rainy days and Mondays KENNETH SMOLLER/Daly
North Campus dwellers await the big Bursley-Baits bus as the rain comes again, falling on their heads like a
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- October 18
Monday, October 14
Alcohol Issues Teach-In
7:00 p.m. * Pendleton Room - Union
Panel presentation on Alcohol & UM
Students followed by six short programs
Tuesday, October 15
Alcohol & the Police:
Know Your Rights
7:00 pm " Auditorium #4 - MLB
Wednesday, October 16
Thursday, October 17
Drinking & Sexual
7:00 pm * Anderson Room - Union
7:00 pm * Third For Conference Room -
Friday, October 18
Alcohol & Stress Workshop
7:00 pm * Pendleton Room - Union
Lesbian & Gay Male Concerns
7:00 pm * Michigan Union
9:00 pm * Ruby Tuesday's'- Briarwood Mall
7:00 pm * Rackham Auditorium
Surprise Guest Speakers!
9:00 pm * U-Club - Union
Who's Calling the Shots?
by Health Issues A Commission of
The Michigan Student Assembly