Anglican Samizdat

December 10, 2009

Rev. Gretta Vosper and the evolution of the Babel Fish

Filed under: United Church — David Jenkins @ 3:10 pm

Gretta Vosper likes discussing The Evolution of Religion and is the minister of West Hill United Church, a church which is so inclusive and diverse that it is desperately seeking someone who would not be welcome, so that it can find a way to entice them in; I am writing this from a hiding place in my basement, trying to look inconspicuous.

The inclusiveness of West Hill United doesn’t just extend to sexual diversity, it extends to every kind of diversity one can imagine.

“As soon as we recognize a group there that is not identified as being welcome, we will change that,” she said.

Inclusive though it might be, the West Hill United Church doesn’t actually have much room to include God; in fact, just in case he shows up by mistake, to encourage his rapid departure no-one talks about him:

In order to not have any confusion about what “God” means when said at a service, it was decided not to use the word at all, because each individual sitting in the pews could have a different belief about who or what God is to them.

Ms. Vosper doesn’t have much time for “truth” preferring, instead to be “open”; after all, what is truth?

The concept of truth is an elusive one.  As we open ourselves to exploring it, we always find that, just when we think we know it, something else needs to be explored.  But one of the “truths” about the truth is that we need to be completely open to whatever it may be.

She doesn’t believe in God, but may believe in god, depending what you mean by “god”, which is a bit confusing – depending on what you mean by “is”.

Ms Vosper is the author of “With or Without God”, a title she came up with after attending a U2 concert. The book’s sub-heading proclaims that the way we live is more important that what we believe – which appears to be a statement of belief that, if true, could be disproved by living as if it were not true.

Ms. Vosper’s theology is difficult to pin down, but this sums it up adequately:



  1. They stopped using the bible at all in 2005. I’d guess that is when the ceased to be Christian.

    Comment by Kate — December 10, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

  2. I saw this on a bumper sticket some time ago:
    “No God No Peace – Know God Know Peace”
    I have to wonder what Gretta Vosper would say about that. Probably some more non-committal hope to make everyone feel good about whatever sin they live in type of crap.

    Comment by AMPisAnglican — December 11, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

  3. Thank you for that insightful mumbo jumbo. I’d laugh if there weren’t people being led astray – or should I say, willingly joining up to be led astray. I love that section about the babel fish. I remember reading it years ago. Thanks for the reminder.

    Comment by Sam — December 13, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

  4. i see Gretta’s sign on the lawn today (Sunday, Feb 28 ) states :”The Spiritual Implications of ‘ Inglourious Basterds’ as the topic du jour. Yes,THAT movie ,which I went to see as the result of losing a friendly bet – a violent, nasty,brutal stupid …..o.k.,no more adjectives-it’s a QUENTIN TARRANTINO film-meretricious garbage, totally devoid of any ‘sprituality’ . I met this lady a year or so ago at a workshop entitled ,”A Conversation with Gretta Vosper “…turrned out to be a 53 min.(yes, I timed her) monologue, touting her book and her’progressive christianity’ outfit .When I wrote to the Moderator of my church I got a slap on the wrist response.
    Maybe Gretta’s next topic could be, “The Spiritual Implications of Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion of The Christ’ ?????? No,guess not- that would be too controversial.

    Comment by tom hanson — February 28, 2010 @ 9:14 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: