Another Beers bungle

She talked about it in her Sunday sermon, without naming any names, but the Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori hasn’t figured out yet just how to reply to a recent derisive e-mail sent to her by Nevada Assemblyman Bob Beers.

“I want to tell him that he’s loved and valued, but his behavior is … obnoxious,” Schori, a Las Vegas-based bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada, said.

On May 6, Schori sent an e-mail to every member of the Nevada Legislature, asking them to “enact legislation that will address the significant state budget shortfall.”

“We have lived in a state that believes tourists should pay for all our residents’ needs,” she wrote. “We need to take responsibility in caring for the least among us. … If that means increased taxes on those who can afford them, then we should be proud to contribute to a better society.”

She ended her e-mail: “You will continue to be in my prayers as you wrestle with these difficult decisions.”

The reply: “Hi Katharine, There’s gotta be more Episcopalian Bishops besides you. Your opinion is pretty far out there and strikes me as an opinion of a woman with no taxpaying parishioners (who would suffer greatly if your advocacy were granted). Sure seems to me an abuse of the Protestant flag. Do you have a church? Are there any other Bishops besides you? Are you suggesting that Episcopalianism supports exporting cash hand-over-fist to invest in Indian casinos and riverboats outside Nevada? You will continue to be in my prayers as you wrestle with these difficult decisions. Bob Beers”

One RAIN board member called the response “over the top … insulting and inappropriate.”

Schori, who came to Nevada from Oregon two years ago, said she hasn’t yet crafted a response to Beers’ e-mail. Beers was actually the only legislator who has so far responded to her original e-mail, she said Tuesday.

She merely wanted to communicate a message that she feels is important for legislators to hear.

"Those who haven’t the economic means or the political means—like children—to defend themselves need others to defend them," she said. "That’s been the role of the church through the ages."