Just as the Religion Newswriters Association declares Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson‘s consecration the number one religion story of the yearThe New York Times weighs in with a Big Important Magazine Piece (BIMP) by Michael Massing. It’s a tale of two priests – Peter James Lee, who is also bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, and Martyn Minns, rector of a major church within that diocese. Haunting the story, of course, is Robinson. You could call it a trinity, or you could say this is the story of a threesome.

Which doesn’t leave a whole of room for the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost, all of whom are curiously absent from this saga of moral anguish and political maneuver. Bishop Lee, who shocked his longtime allies by voting to confirm the ordination of Robinson, cites Martin Luther King, Jr. as his inspiration; Minns, eyeing a break from the Anglican Communion over what he sees as its embrace of homosexuality, takes his cues from Bishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria.

But the reader is left to pick up this worldly twist for him or herself, since Massing leaves the absence of God uncommented on — which has The Revealer wondering whether these two priests are really so earthly. Did Massing take the reporter’s traditional road? The facts, and nothing — not even God — but the facts?

Many Episcopalians like to joke about themselves as “God’s frozen people,” but that’s no reason to ignore the slower-burning passions of belief. Reports on the Catholic Church’s priest problem haven’t shied away from questions of faith and faithlessness, fear and trembling. But the closest most coverage of the Episcopalian schism gets to the abyss is pseudo-Freudian speculation about the anxiety provoked by gay sex.

With real respect for all involved, The Revealer has to ask: Is that all there is?

If the Anglican Communion actually crumbles, the biggest story of 2003 could end up a bigger story in 2004. The best way to report it, though, may be through small stories, those of individual faiths, lost, found, and transformed.

Read the story.

Some individual faiths: Father Jake Stops The WorldThinking AnglicansThe Blinne BlogAKMA’s Random Thoughts.