One Episcopal joke (OK—I'm spoiling the punchline) has an Episcopalian missing out on heaven because of using the wrong fork on a salad.
And it's easy to see our advocacy for gay rights and full inclusion of women in leadership as attempts to "go with the flow" and just be nice to one another.
That's not how we do doctrine. Our process for dealing with truth has sometimes been called a three-legged stool, but that analogy doesn't quite work, for it implies that all three legs (scripture, reason, tradition) are equal. Scripture is the overwhelmingly important one, so the analogy should be more like the old-fashioned stool one used to find at lunch counters: one main pillar embedded in the floor (scripture) and a couple of side supports (your legs) that you use to balance yourself. The good thing about the three-legged stool analogy, though, is that it works against the tendency some have to pluck one verse out of the Bible, read it in modern English without discussing its historical context or linguistic background, and apply it as an unchanging rule. Here are a couple of examples to show what I mean:
Women in the church. We often hear, for example, of I Corinthians 14:34, which says that women should keep silent in the church and 1 Timothy 2:11-12, which says that Paul would not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. But what about all the important women in the Bible, including some who had a great deal of authority? What about the passage that says in the Kingdom of God there is neither male nor female (Galatians 3:28)? What about our own ancient history in which it was common for Celtic Abbesses to be persons of authority over both men and women? What about the modern missionary movement, which would have been impossible without female missionaries? Obviously, some thinking beyond a one-verse proof-text is necessary here.
Gay people and sexual minorities in the church. Once again, we get a lot of one-verse proof-texting. I'll just point out that the Leviticus "anti-gay" verse (18:22) uses the same language that is used for banning the eating of certain food, that the most-quoted New Testament verse in I Corinthians uses very unusual language that a Greek-speaker would not ordinarily use in discussing gay people, and that, by Paul's time, the real sexual transgressions of pagan society included ritual prostitution (some of it forced) in the worship of pagan deities. Forced temple prostitution is not what happens in the USA. I don't know how much weight we can put on it, but when Jesus healed the Centurion's servant, the Greek might indicate that the servant was actually a young slave who had been bought to be a lover. We certainly know, however, that the early church venerated Saints Sergius and Bacchus, who have normally been assume to be a couple.
Taking the heat for being politically correctOn both of these issues (and on several others, including our advocacy for civil rights and for the rights of immigrants), we have actually lost members who preferred the status quo, and pursuing justice on these issues has involved a lot of study, argument, and prayer, so it's not really correct to say we are advocates "just to be nice." We do these things because (after a lot of soul-searching) we're convinced that God is leading us to do the right thing.
Political correctness and the modern debateOK—this is the part you thought I was going to write about. I'm old enough to remember when the default pronoun for a situation in which we were discussing generic humanity was "he." In the early days of the feminist movement, we struggled with a lot of silliness (for example, those who would write by alternating pronoun gender, paragraph by paragraph), and a lot of trivial campaigns (for example, the move to change the helper at a football game from "water boy" to "water person" and changing the name of an access hatch from "manhole" to "person hole").
But consider the roots of all this. How many female doctors, after struggling through medical school and residency, had to point out that they were "real" doctors and not nurses? How many divorced men can only see their children a few days a month because the mother is the "real" parent? How many Africans cringe when a Christian preacher makes reference to a heart that is "black with sin" and needs to be "washed whiter than snow"?
There is something basically loving and Christian about moderating one's language so as to avoid hurting or insulting the listener. And this isn't a matter of being spineless, but of standing firm for the truth that in God's eyes, people matter and we have no right to hurt them.