Eulogy For My Father

I was privileged to preach the eulogy at my father’s funeral on January 29, 2007. I needed to take some time before I could share this.

What can I say about my father, Leon Witt?

First, my father was a fighter.

They say that into every life a little rain must fall, and Dad certainly had his share of hard times. He was born in 1930, one year after the stock market crashed. His mother, his father, and his three brothers lived as migrant farmers in the Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression. I have heard him describe being in a tent with the wind blowing, and the dust so thick that during the middle of the day you needed a Coleman lantern to see to the other side of the tent. His father died of a heart attack by the side of the road next to the family Model A when my father was only ten. From then on, Dad’s mother raised four boys by herself in New Mexico, and Dad became the family cook at ten years old. He was in the Navy during the Korean years, although he never saw combat. Later in life, he had to retire early because of what was thought to be arthritis. For many years, he walked with a cane, sometimes two canes. Several years ago, he and my mother lived through a fire in which they both were severely burned. And, as we all know, a year ago Thanksgiving, my father had a stroke that left him unable to speak, and unable to walk.

The amazing thing was that despite everything he had gone through, I never heard Dad complain that his life was hard. He responded to each one of these events other people would call tragedies by picking himself up and starting over. There’s a story he used to tell about when he was a boy, when his family was so poor that he only owned two pair of pants, one of which was a striped pair other kids called his Uncle Sam pants. But apparently only one kid ever made fun of Dad’s Uncle Sam pants. After Dad gave him a good thrashing, the other kids kept quiet.

When the fire happened, Dad got out of the house only to discover that Mom was not with him. He ran back in the flames after her, and brought her out. In the process, both were severely burned, but Mom is here today.

The only time I ever saw Dad discouraged was right after his stroke, when he was in the nursing home. But after we brought him home, he showed his usual fighting spirit. He got a big kick out of Mom learning how to get him out of bed with a hoist. He would laugh and smile when Pastor Danny visited. And he was working hard with a physical therapist right up until the end, learning how to use his muscles all over again.

And, on the day he died, Dad fought to the end. He never gave up.

My father was also a worker.

Of course, before he retired Dad put in his time at the railroad, but he worked just as hard at home. He always had some project going on. He knew how to use a hammer, and he was always making improvements in every house he ever lived in. In fact, it was a safe bet that when Dad was finished remodeling, it was time to move to a new place. Of course, after he had to retire from the railroad, Dad lost his hammer grip. It was a good idea not to stand behind him when he cocked back his swinging arm or you might have to dodge a flying hammer. We were all happy when he found out about nail guns.

He also worked on all the family cars. He helped me rebuild the engine of an old Volvo, and I remember more than once standing outside with him in the freezing cold while we replaced an alternator, or worn out brake shoes. Since he did not have much of a behind, Dad had trouble keeping his pants up, and the neighbors learned to look the other way when Dad was changing a tire or bending over an engine.

When I came to visit right after Dad’s stroke last year I wasn’t surprised at all to find that my father was still working on dozens of projects. There was an old Jeep he was repairing, a grape arbor he had just planted, a pile of gravel he was spreading.

Dad also loved animals, and raising animals was a lifelong hobby. Even when we lived in the city and the zoning laws didn’t allow it, Dad was secretly raising rabbits or chickens in the backyard. When he moved to Bennett, he raised goats, horses, pigs, chickens, ducks, and a steer or two. When I came to visit in Arizona, I found out he was raising goats, and he had a mule on the way. The baby mule was born a week after we brought Dad home from the nursing home, and almost every day I would put Dad in his wheelchair and we would go watch the baby mule play, sometimes for an hour or more in the hot Arizona summer sun. That was my Dad.

If my father worked hard, he also loved to play hard.

Dad loved to have a good time. When we were children, we kids grew up with vacations to Yellowstone, Utah, California. Dad went through several ski boats, and fishing boats, and we three kids and our friends learned to water ski and snow ski. After the fire, Dad surprised all of us by buying a truck and a fifth wheel and spending his time on the road, spending the winter months in Mexico, and the warm months driving all over the United States. If we wanted to hear from him, we just had to wait until he could get to a telephone because a lot of times in Mexico, he couldn’t even use a cell phone. He ended up buying a house in Hereford, Arizona because he wanted to be able to make a quick drive to Kino in Mexico, one of his favorite playgrounds. Dad knew how to have a good time.

Dad was what some people would call a “character,” and there are lots of great stories about him. Each one of us three children has a great story about how Dad first met the person we married. My wife Jennie had met Dad earlier, but when we got involved I took her out to the family property in Bennett, Colorado. Dad tested her out by teaching her to milk a goat. When she milked the goat, she passed muster. My brother-in-law Don first met Dad when my sister JoAnn went bowling with some friends and Don offered to drive her home. At the front door, she found out she had forgotten her car keys, so she went around back and kicked the window to my sister LaDonn’s bedroom, trying to wake her up. When LaDonn didn’t get up, they went around to the front door, and there was Dad, in his underwear. Don jumped off the porch, and took off running. Dad met Stewart when Dad went over to Stewart’s place where Stewart was changing a flat tire on my sister LaDonn’s car in a snowy day in his bare feet. “Doesn’t that boy own any shoes?,” Dad asked LaDonn.

Another one of my favorite stories is about the time when Dad and Mom were at a party, and Mom was talking to Judy Leslie, one of their friends, about Judy’s husband Bobby’s new overcoat. The problem was that Bobby was not very tall, and Judy was worried that Bobby might not look right wearing a coat that was too long. At this moment there was a lull in the conversation, and Mom said loud enough for everyone to hear: “Leon’s short, and he’s got a long one.” Everyone looked at Dad, and he just raised his eyebrows in that special way of his.

My father loved to take care of people.

He had what might be called a gift of hospitality. When my sisters and I were children, we didn’t think twice about it, but we always seemed to be sharing our house with people who needed a place to stay. My uncle Leonard lived with us when I was a tyke. When I was a teenager, we took in a couple of sisters whose parents had kicked them out their own home until they could get jobs and their own apartment. My sisters and I had friends, some of whom came from families that only had one parent, or who didn’t have the greatest home life, and Dad always made them welcome. Some of them, like Robbie Allender, and Gene Wolf, and Phil Smith, keep in touch with my Mom and Dad more than they do with us.

Dad could strike up a conversation with just about anybody, anywhere. He would pull over to the side of the road and help push you out of a snow drift, or change a tire, or jump start your dead battery. When he was in Mexico, he adopted a local family and helped them build a house. When the husband admired Dad’s electric screwdriver, Dad gave it to him.

Even in the nursing home, when Dad couldn’t even speak, he became a favorite of the nurses and the nurse’s aids. I’m not surprised when I look around that I see so many of the people who became Dad’s friends in the few years he has been here in Arizona–Danny and Denise, Francisco and Natalie, Jack and Kate, Gary and Sandy–and many others here today. And one of the last things Dad did was to make it clear that he wanted to go with my mother to a Christmas party. So she and his new friend Levi loaded him into the car and went to the party, where I’m told he had a great time, and was a bit of a cut-up. My father knew how to make friends.

Finally, My father was a man of faith.

Pretty much all of his life, Dad went to church, and he drove our family with him on Sunday mornings. When he was in the Navy, his fellow soldiers gave him the nickname Deacon. Dad taught us to believe in God, and he taught us to have faith in Jesus Christ.

Dad’s faith was also very much a masculine faith. There wasn’t anything soft or weak about it. He didn’t talk a lot about his faith, but I think it showed in lots of ways. I mentioned that he loved people, and he’d always give a hand whenever it was needed. He like to build churches–literally. When my parents lived in Bennett, Dad and Mom helped start a little church I liked to call Donut Baptist because it met in a Donut Shop. When he visited Mexico, one of the things Dad did was to help some of the local people build their new church building. When they moved to Hereford, Mom and Dad were going to a local church in Sierra Vista. But then they met Pastor Danny, who was starting a new church that meets in a school building in Palominas. So Dad knew what he had to do, and Mom and Dad became some of Danny’s first members.

But Dad also had a great sense of humor about his faith. Leon’s granddaughter, and my niece, Courtney reminded me just yesterday that whenever Dad would say the blessing over dinner, he would always finish the prayer with the words “Amen. Dig in.”

My father spoke the last words he spoke to me in a telephone call the weekend before he was going to have the surgery that was supposed to prevent his having a stroke. Unfortunately, the stroke happened anyway, and Dad never was able to speak again. But the last thing he said to me was that he wasn’t worried. “Whatever happens,” he said, “is in God’s hands, and I trust God. I’m not worried.”

I have to admit that there were times after Dad’s stroke when I found it hard to trust God in this, but I don’t think Dad ever did. In the time right after the stroke, when it wasn’t clear that Dad was aware of what was going on, I noticed that Dad would always respond when Pastor Danny would pray for him by closing his eyes until Danny was finished. One of the things that has most impressed me over this last year were the number of people who were praying for my father, not only all over the country, but even in Mexico and Canada.

One of the last things Dad got to do was to go to church again a few Sundays ago, where he sat with my mother in his wheel chair. Of course, at one point as Danny’s sermon went on, Dad reached over and looked at Mom’s watch. “Did I go on too long?,” Danny asked afterwards. Dad nodded “yes.”

So, although I’m sad my father is no longer with us, I’m also happy for him. I have faith in God, and I believe that my father is in God’s hands now. My mother said to me on the telephone the morning after he died. “We’re sad, but he’s probably up there riding a mule.” He probably is, unless he’s looking for a new project to start working on.

Is God Our Judge? A Sermon

With Holy Week soon upon us, I thought this an appropriate sermon to repost.

The Judge JudgedIn the epistle which we read this morning, St. Paul introduces the metaphor or image of “justification” to describe what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. “Since we are justified by faith,” he says, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:1). The doctrine of “justification by faith” utilizes legal language and draws upon the metaphor of God as our “Judge.” This language appears throughout Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, which is in many respects one long meditation on the meaning of the justice of God and of God’s role as Judge of sinful humanity.

This metaphor of God as Judge is perhaps one that has left an unfortunate legacy to the Western church. (The Eastern churches have largely focused on other metaphors, like that of re-creation.) This juridical language, combined with the Western heritage of Roman law, has left us with an overly legal understanding of what it means to say that God has saved us in Jesus Christ. We Western Christians have too often interpreted God’s work in Jesus Christ as a juridical process in which we sinners deserved the punishment of eternal damnation, but God let us off by punishing his innocent Son Jesus instead. I remember that as a child I liked Jesus very much, but I wasn’t too sure about God the Father. He was a bit too rigid, I thought.

For several reasons, we find this image of God as Judge to be an unfortunate one. First, of course, we can all bring to mind those who have used this image of God as Judge to brutalize and instill fear in others. A number of years ago, the country was mesmerized by the ongoing drama of the leader of a fundamentalist religious cult in Waco, Texas who, after gunning down several law enforcement agents, announced himself to be the new messiah. David Koresh spoke with the certainty of divine judgment in this way: “If anybody dares to go against the truth of God and tries to hurt Christ because they know not and they refuse to know, well then we’re talking something serious.” Those who confuse their own megalomaniac delusions with God’s judgment cause us rightly to be suspicious.

Second, our own fear of judgment and of being judged makes this an extremely unpleasant image for us. Everyone has known at one time or another the feeling of being looked down on, of being disapproved of, of not measuring up, of not being good enough, of not fitting in. When I was growing up, I was the classic nerd: good at studies, terrible at sports. I was always the kid who was picked last for basketball, and put in the far far outfield in softball. Far worse than not being able to compete was my awareness of the disapproval of my classmates.

When we hear that God is our Judge, we can’t help but be reminded that we don’t measure up to his standards, that we’re not good enough for the divine team. For those like myself, who were brought up in restrictive Fundamentalist versions of Christianity, this fear of God’s judgment can still be paralyzing. I have spent much of my adult Christian life trying to find a good God. In the broad light of day, of course, I can affirm that God is a God of love. However, there are still those times when I awake in the middle of the night, trembling in a cold sweat, overwhelmed by my own sinfulness, and by the certain conviction that I have been cast into the outer darkness.

But then of course, we must admit that for many of us the tables have turned. For ancient and medieval people, God (or the gods) were approached with fear. Human beings approached God as the accused. For Martin Luther, the key question was, “How do I find a God who is gracious to me?”(1) But we modern people are generally not so easily intimidated as was the young Luther. We’re tired of being bullied, and we’re not going to take it anymore! As C. S. Lewis has pointed out, for modern people, the situation is reversed. We are the judges. God is on trial. If God has a reasonable excuse for creating a world in which there is so much pain and suffering, we might be willing to hear it. But the important thing to remember is that God is on trial, not us.(2)

But before we simply dismiss this image of God as Judge perhaps we should not presume so quickly that we know what we mean when we are talking about divine judgment. It is important to remember that all of the images and metaphors with which Scripture portrays God’s work in Christ are symbolic, including that of divine judgment. We must not presume that we know ahead of time what the symbols mean. Above all, we must not interpret divine judgment in terms of our own limited experiences of judgment. The problem with the three attitudes toward divine judgment I just mentioned is that each presumes that, based on our own previous experiences of human judgment, we already know what it means for God to judge us. All of these objections presuppose an overly literal view of the divine judgment. It may be that divine judgment does not mean what we think it means, and that God has chosen to judge us in his own way, not ours.

If we are going to know what God’s judgment means, we must learn it from listening to God’s story, not our own. To hear God’s story, we must listen once again to the story of Jesus, for that is where God meets us in judgment. The Christian story is the story of how God has come among us in the person of Jesus Christ to be our Judge. But what a strange Judge he is. In his teaching, Jesus gives us an impossible standard to live by, a standard which tells us to love our enemies, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Jesus says that motives are as important as actions, that we are to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. At the same time, Jesus tells us that this perfect God embraces in love those who fail to meet these impossible standards. In his parables, Jesus tells us of a God who seeks out the lost sheep, of a Father who waits longingly for the prodigal son.

And the impossible standard Jesus proclaims is the standard by which he lives. As the Son of his Father, he is the good shepherd who has come to find the lost sheep, the physician who has come to heal the sick, not those who are already healthy. In the gospel reading this morning, we see how Jesus acts as our Judge. This nameless woman who meets Jesus at Jacob’s well, who has had five husbands, who comes to this well in the heat of the day—perhaps because she is a social outcast and wants to avoid the crowds of the cooler morning—this Samaritan woman to whom a Jewish man would normally not even speak (because she was a Samaritan and because she was a woman), this woman has no reason to expect anything but the most severe judgment from this Jewish rabbi, a holy man. However, the judgment that Jesus gives to this woman is not condemnation but rather the living water of eternal life. The rabbi who had asked her for a cup of
water now invites her to come and drink: “those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty; the water that I shall give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” (Jn. 4:14).

The standard by which we are judged is the standard of the life of this Jewish rabbi, not that of an arbitrary deity, and of course we all fail. We do not love our enemies. We judge others, even though we would rather they not judge us. We all fail by Jesus’ standard, even as those of Jesus’ time failed.

And those of Jesus’ time did fail. For as we know, an even more peculiar thing happened to God when he came among us to be our Judge. Rather than God judging us, we judged him. We put God on trial and found him guilty.

Jesus proclaimed himself to be the representative of God’s coming kingdom. When he healed the sick and told sinners that they were forgiven, he pronounced God’s peculiar judgment on them. “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more,” (Jn. 8:11) was that judgment. Jesus’ claim to be the representative of God’s strange judgment was rejected by the religious and political leaders of his time. “Who can forgive sins but God alone?,” they demanded to know (Mk 2:7). So they had Jesus crucified as a blasphemer and political subversive. The divine Judge was judged and found guilty, and died abandoned by his followers, and even by his God. When Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?,” (Mk. 15:34) the divine verdict was clear to all. In judging Jesus, those who crucified him declared him to be in the wrong and to be condemned by God.

The divine verdict on Jesus was not pronounced on Good Friday, however, but on Easter morning. By raising Jesus from the dead, God vindicated his Son’s role as Judge and reversed the guilty verdict by which he had been crucified. So we see the importance of Jesus’ resurrection. If Jesus had simply died, his case would have been lost. The verdict of his judges would have stood. But because he is alive, Jesus is proclaimed to be the divine Judge, and so the one who alone has the right to pronounce on our own guilt or innocence. In vindicating Jesus, his Father demonstrated that Jesus alone was the one who had the right to pronounce the divine verdict, the verdict of the good shepherd who seeks for the lost sheep, the verdict of “not guilty.”

So the cross and resurrection of Jesus do not mean that now we must be judged as those who have crucified God. By a strange paradox of the divine logic, what the cross means (in the evocative expression of the Protestant theologian Karl Barth) is that our Judge has now been judged in our place.(3) By allowing himself to be crucified, the God who has come to us in Jesus Christ has now born in himself our judgment so that we do not have to be judged.

This then is the strange paradox of the divine judgment. God’s way of judging us is to take our judgment on himself in Jesus Christ. This is the great insight of Paul’s doctrine of justification by faith. By a strange reversal of logic, those who have judged the divine Judge are themselves now judged but pronounced not guilty. This is why Paul can say that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Rom. 8:1) and that “since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:1).

This is also why it is so important to affirm that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, the one who existed “in the form of God,” but “emptied himself” and was “born in human likeness” for our salvation (Phil. 2:6-7). If Jesus were not God, then he could not bear the divine judgment; if he were simply a God-filled man, then his suffering and abandonment by God would be just one more example of the inscrutability of human suffering and would raise once again the question of divine justice. How could God allow this to happen to one who was so good? It is however because Jesus meets us as God incarnate that he is able to judge us without condemning us. The paradox of the cross becomes the mystery of the God who has met human evil and suffering in its full force and has borne it and been judged by it. As Karl Barth has pointed out, the question then becomes not that of how God can allow this evil to take place in a world which he has created good, but rather that of the “humiliation and dishonoring of God himself . . . the question whether in willing to let this happen to him he has not renounced and lost himself as God, whether in capitulating to the folly and wickedness of his creature he has not abdicated from his deity.” And the answer, Barth says, is that “in this humiliation God is supremely God, that in this death He is supremely alive, that He has maintained and revealed His deity in the passion of this man as His eternal Son.”(4)

The point of Paul’s message of justification by faith is that we no longer have to fear God’s judgment. The purpose of the divine judgment is to bring us life, not death. We might find ourselves alone, we may feel forsaken by God, we may even find ourselves confronted with our own wickedness and staring at what seems to be the slammed door of divine judgment. But because the crucified one has already been abandoned by God, we do not have to be. Because Jesus was forsaken, we cannot be. Because our Judge has been judged, we will not be.

Because God has judged us in Christ, we no longer have to judge ourselves. We do not have to face the frustration of our own self-condemnation, the despair that we just do not measure up. Neither do we have to engage in the ultimately self-defeating project of self-justification, of trying over and over again to convince ourselves that we really are okay, in the hopes that someday we might believe it. And, of course, and this is perhaps even more difficult, we do not need to enjoy the luxury of judging and condemning others. God is their Judge, as he is ours, and we know his verdict. In the apostle Paul’s words: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8).

1. Jaroslav Pelikan, Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300-1700) (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983), p. 138.

2. C. S. Lewis, “God in the Dock,” God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), pp. 240-244.

3. Karl Barth, “The Judged Judged in our Place,” Church Dogmatics 4/1 The Doctrine of Reconciliation (Edinburgh: T & T Clark,

1956, 1985), pp. 211-282.

4. Barth, C.D. 4/1: 246-247.

Should We Blame The Seminaries?

From a comment I put on StandFirm, which was later picked up by Anglican Mainstream:

In the late 1960’s the focus of Anglican theology  shifted dramatically — and so did the seminaries:

Liberal Protestantism (in the sense represented by Diocese of New Westminster, Canada, Bishop Michael Ingham) did not exist at all until Friedrich Schleiermacher, and did not exist in Anglicanism until the late nineteenth/early twentieth century.

Historic Broad Church Anglicanism was not Liberal Protestantism. (F.D. Maurice and William Temple, for example, believed every article of the creed.) Additionally, until the last twenty years or so, liberalism was never considered at the center of Anglican identity, but was tolerated as a kind of protest movement in the church with the understanding that Reformed catholic orthodoxy was the heart of Anglican identity. Anglican authority was defined by the sufficiency of Scripture, the creeds and the theological content of the (1662) BCP , as well as the 39 Articles, all understood fairly literally.

I have seen little evidence that “historic Broad Church Anglicanism” still exists. What used to be called “Broad Church” seems to have morphed into Liberal Protestantism. Perhaps it still exists in the C of E some place.

Wherever I have found acceptance of same sex-unions, I have also found theological compromise on other issues as well. In TEC these days, the dominant theology seems to be either blatant Liberal Protestantism or an “Affirming Catholicism” that is really “Unitarian Dress-up,” a love of “smells and bells” with minimal commitment to Catholic Theology.

Certainly the seminaries are largely responsible. If one reads the theological literature of the last century, one notices a sudden change in Anglican theology that took place beginning in the 1960s. In the first half of the century, the dominant Anglican theologians were people like William Temple, Michael Ramsey, Oliver Quick, Eric Mascall, Austin Farrer. Biblically, the scholars were people like E. C. Hoskyns, C. H. Dodd (an English Congregationalist), and C. F. D. Moule. The most widely read Anglican authors were probably C. S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, and Evelyn Underhill.

Beginning in the 1960s, we have Bishop John A. T. Robinson’s Honest to God (warmed over “Tillich”), Norman Pittinger’s process theology, Bishop Pike, and the standard Systematic Theology text is John Macquarrie’s Principles of Christian Theology. (Macquarrie’s chief influences were Heidegger and Bultmann.) Donald M. Baillie’s immensely popular Christology, God was in Christ: An Essay on Incarnation and Atonement (1948) is twentieth century Nestorianism, although Baillie seems to have thought he was defending orthodoxy. Joseph Fletcher, author of Situation Ethics, taught Christian ethics at EDS. The dominant biblical scholars in this period were people like Dennis Nineham, John Knox (not the Reformation figure, but a Presbyterian NT scholar), W. H. Lampe (advocate of “Spirit-Christology”), and, of course, J.A.T. Robinson, all of whom were adoptionists of various sorts.  The notorious volume The Myth of God Incarnate appeared in the late 1970s. The most widely read Episcopal author during the late twentieth century was likely Bishop Spong.

My colleague, Leander Harding, has been writing a book on the ordained ministry, and did some research at Sewanee on the literature that had been written by Episcopalians over the last century. In the early twentieth century, the primary content of the writing was theological. The main biblical text discussed was the Letter to the  Hebrews. The writers discussed issues like the relation between Word and Sacraments, eucharistic sacrifice, etc. After mid-twentieth century, there was a shift to the therapeutic. Episcopal writers on the priesthood now talked about ministry in terms of counseling, management, parish leadership. The previous theological and biblical content simply disappeared.

So there is a sense in which [those self-proclaimed “Episcopal Majority” clergy] who express  shock at the questioning of their orthodoxy is not surprising. If they were educated in TEC seminaries sometime during the 1960s or early 1970s, they likely would not have been exposed to historic Anglicanism, but rather to a liberal Protestantism that was new to Anglicanism, but had blossomed almost overnight, a kind of theological kudzu. I would imagine that most of the current bishops in TEC would have been indoctrinated in the new theology during their seminary days.

It is also interesting that many Anglican/Episcopal theologians who started out fairly orthodox shifted ground later on. J.A. T. Robinson was initially fairly orthodox , writing some good books on biblical theology in the 1950s. James Pike wrote a moderately orthodox systematic theology volume in the original Church Teaching Series.  Australian bishop Peter Carnley wrote some good material on the historical reliability of the gospels early in his career, but in the 1980s wrote a book on the Resurrection that was, to say the least, squishy. Richard Norris wrote some good material on Christology in the early 1980s, as well as a pretty good volume on Systematic Theology for the 1970s Church Teaching series. Toward the end of his life he endorsed same-sex blessings.

So certainly the seminaries deserve much of the credit (or rather blame) for the dominant Liberal Protestantism that is rampant in TEC these days.  Just as an aside, the vast majority of these Anglican/Episcopal Liberal Protestants who created this theology were straight white men, and they had already given away the goods before either the Prayer Book was revised or the ordination of women had been approved.