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Homoerotic Bishop Fictionalizes the Consequences of His Lifestyle

HOMOEROTIC BISHOP FICTIONALIZES THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS LIFESTYLE

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson predicted recently that the upcoming Lambeth/Eames Commission report judging what his consecration had done to the world's 77 million Anglicans would not lead to a split in the Anglican Communion.

He then predicted that the communion would be a stronger place for having had this conversation, telling a Washington DC parish that it would stay together.

He then went on to say that it was canonically impossible to undo his consecration and that the debate over his sexuality is a mere difference of opinion.

"I don't think this is all about the authority of Scripture," he said. "It's all on our interpretation of Scripture. We believe God didn't stop revealing God's self when the canon of Scripture was closed," he said. "We worship a living God, not one who checked out 2,000 years ago. He then said the Bible had been hijacked by the religious right, and that it was "our Bible" and it was time "we" took it back.

"I keep on saying to gay and lesbian people: Let's reclaim this book. It is our story."

For instance, the Old Testament book of Exodus is the "greatest coming-out story in the history of the world," he said at a Sunday school forum.

"Gay and lesbian people know what it's like to be slaves in Egypt," he said. "We know what it's like to hear of the promise of freedom in the Promised Land; we know how scary it is to step out and leave Egypt [by] leaving the closet; and we know what it's like to wander in the wilderness for 40 years and wonder why it's taking so long.

"We know what it's like to depend on God every day ... and we know what it's like to depend on other people to get to the Promised Land. That's our story. But you can't claim it as your story when you don't know it.

He also said the issue of homosexual bishops will not leave the Episcopal Church because behind him are many homosexual deans of cathedrals, rectors of large congregations and staff members of various dioceses waiting to be elected.

"Do you think that if I had declined to be consecrated, this would have all gone away?" he asked. "That toothpaste isn't going back into the tube. Even if something happened to me, there are gay and lesbian people everywhere waiting to be elected."

Robinson then spiced his theology with two remaining pieces of sexual agitprop. He said his daughter was living with a guy before marriage, clearly with his blessing, and that he couldn't remember marrying a couple who were not living together.

So not only is homosexual behavior okay, so is fornication. The only bit missing is adultery. But it is here that revisionist bishops get downright nasty and moral. I know several good priests who slipped and fell, were forgiven, restored to their wives but these bishops threw them out of the church and deposed them anyway. That sin is unforgivable.

The truth is Bishop Robinson's theology, moral and historical, the concept of unfolding revelation, like his notion of the Biblical story, is as warped as his homoerotic lifestyle.

First of all to say that the Anglican Communion won't split is highly presumptuous of him. He no more knows the mind of the Lambeth/Eames Commissioners, Dr. Rowan Williams or Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola, nor what 350 African bishops will conclude and do, at the end of the month in Lagos, Nigeria. It is a fiction.

Secondly to say that his consecration cannot be undone is too disingenuous by half. In 318 AD a meeting of the Synod was held in Alexandria, Egypt which defrocked Arius and anathematized him, his teachings and his followers. Arius himself was exiled.

Thirdly, to say that the debate over his sexuality is a mere difference of opinion is patently rubbish and lies. That "difference of opinion" is costing orthodox priests their jobs, causing tens of thousands of Episcopalians to flee the ECUSA, of priests trying to flee with their parishes, massive legal fights, the break up of long time friendships, has caused Frank Griswold to be ostracized by the majority of the Anglican Communion, has been the object of at least four Primatial gatherings, three general conventions and may well see the Episcopal Church whither and die over the next 20 years. To say then that it is a mere "difference of opinion" is a terrible, aching lie.

Robinson: "We believe God didn't stop revealing God's self when the canon of Scripture was closed. We worship a living God, not one who checked out 2,000 years ago." Really. Then perhaps Robinson ought to become a Mormon. Joseph Smith claimed to have received a new revelation from God given him by the Angel Moroni on two golden tablets (no doubt mimicking Moses) that he got in upstate New York and started a pseudo-Christian cult that today has nine million followers! They claim progressive revelation as well; should we believe them any more than we should believe Robinson's notion of progressive revelation? Oddly enough Mormons (who once believed in polygamy) make no claim that God has changed his mind about anal sex. They would disavow Robinson's sexual ethic as much as orthodox Episcopalians do.

Robinson then said that the Bible had been hijacked by the religious right, and that it was "our Bible" and it was time "we" took it back. Really, who said that? The religious right are mostly ordinary, faithful Christians who believe in the authority of Holy Scripture, sin and salvation, and it has been the failure of 40 years of liberal Protestantism that washed that "story" away and sold it down the river for a mess of economic and political pottage, and now psychological notions of salvation that has done so much harm to the Christian Church in America.

Robinson: "I keep on saying to gay and lesbian people: Let's reclaim this book. It is our story." For instance, the Old Testament book of Exodus is the "greatest coming-out story in the history of the world."

The seven Scriptural passages about homoerotic behavior specifically condemn it. There is not one verse or chapter in the Bible that supports Robinson's lifestyle. Not one. And to use the Exodus story of "let my people go" with the moral equivalent of "let my people have any kind of sex" is to twist Scripture into a perverse x-rated movie starring Robinson with his lover.

To say that 40-years of Jewish wilderness wandering is like being in a [gay] closet for 40 years is to twist the story of God's promise to his people to find the Promised Land with Robinson's notion of finding a queen sized bed replete with satin sheets and condoms outside the closet door after 40 years of hiding, is sheer sacrilege.

Quoth Robinson: "Gay and lesbian people know what it's like to be slaves in Egypt." Really. Gays and lesbians are slaves to sin, and any bondage they experience, if the American Academy of Religion is to be believed, is self-inflicted. An abstract at an upcoming conference on a "Power and Submission" session says "sadomasochistic or bondage/dominance practice (sometimes also referred to as 'leather sexuality') ... offers a particularly potent location for reflecting on gay men's issues in religion." And another paper offers up "Ecstatic Communion: The Spiritual Dimensions of Leathersexuality."

And this is godly behavior that we should all now be following? Is there a single parent reading this who honestly believes their son or daughter would want or permit an encounter of this sort that could lead to permanent physical and sexual damage, ending, in some cases death itself, after a night of whips, chains, sodomy and 'leathersexuality'? This is the stuff of snuff movies.

Finally, Robinson said the issue of homosexual bishops will not leave the Episcopal Church because behind him are many homosexual deans of cathedrals, rectors of large congregations and staff members of various dioceses waiting to be elected.

He's right about that, and some of those cathedrals are up for sale because they can't draw a crowd any longer to listen to a gang of queer priests and homoerotic deans talk about inclusivity and diversity. The cathedral in the Diocese of Michigan is going on the chopping block and the cathedral in Niagara, New York is emptying out as fast as the cathedral in Philadelphia. The cathedral in Pittsburgh is virtually bankrupt because Dean George Werner, a liberal (and now president of the House of Deputies) had no gospel to proclaim when he was there.

Robinson: "That toothpaste isn't going back into the tube. Even if something happened to me, there are gay and lesbian people everywhere waiting to be elected."

Sure there are, and in time they will be talking to themselves and wondering why the three 80-year ladies from the kneedle pointers guild even understand what the hell diversity means.

No, Mr. Robinson has twisted the Biblical story into his own private understanding of homoerotic activity designed to justify his own lifestyle and behavior. Even if the Lambeth/Eames Commission is a fudge, the Global South bishops may well act on their own, in which case Robinson and all his ilk will find themselves outside the city wall, looking for a way in, and as he, and they, plead in vain for entrance they will hear all too familiar words, "depart from us we never knew you."

END

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