The Episcopal Church, bowing to pressure from vocal animals within the denomination, elected a horse as Bishop at their triennial convention which is currently meeting in Minneapolis.
The horse, Sunflower, has lived on several ranches in the Midwest.
"This is a breakthrough for the Equine-American community," stated one church spokesman. "No longer will the mainstream of American society be able to point an accusing finger at us because we've been insensitive to the needs of animals." The Episcopal Church is the first mainline U.S. denomination to elect a farm animal to its ruling body. "This is an important step," stated Moonbeam Trees-With-Snow, a convention delegate from the Lezbyterian community. "It's time we stopped excluding animals from positions of leadership just because they're animals."
A vote on the Sunflower election was stalled (!) when accusations were made of unbiblical behavior by the candidate. Claims were made that Sunflower once threw a rider to his death, and had trampled innocent orphans and nuns. After an investigation lasting several minutes, the allegations were discredited, and the election proceeded.
"I think it's only a matter of time before we see cats and dogs in high leadership positions in the Church," stated Robert Johnson, a bishop of the denomination from North Carolina. "After centuries of closing our doors to animals at all levels of participation in the Church, we're reaching out to these beasts, we're being inclusive, and inviting them in. We can no longer justify excluding a ferret from the episcopacy merely on the basis of her genetic predisposition to be a ferret."
Opposition groups from rural western states expressed their dismay with the horse's election. "What's now to keep a sidewindin' rattlesnake from becoming a bishop?", queried one member of the opposition.
Bishop Johnson, speaking during the church's Convention, remarked to the assembled delegates, "A horse is a horse, of course, of course."
Bishop Sunflower will initially serve as an assist ant bishop in Wyoming.
The Church of England, sister church to the Episcopal denomination, is two decades ahead of its U.S. counterpart. During the 1980's, the Church of England elected an ass to serve as Bishop of Durham.
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