Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gay rites: 'Bishop' Gene Robinson

From The Times
April 29, 2008
Gay rites; New Hampshire's Bishop Gene Robinson is about to enter into a civil union
In a new book the Anglican clergyman explains why he wanted to formalise his 20 year relationship

[The article is by Gene Robinson]

“I always wanted to be a June bride.” [great start!] As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I knew there'd be trouble. I'd just delivered an hour-long lecture on the relationship between religion and public discourse, and why religious fervour over homosexuality plays such a large and negative role in the securing of full civil rights for gay people.

During the question-and-answer period, someone asked me about the forthcoming civil union between me and Mark, my partner of 20 years. The audience had been welcoming and sympathetic, full of laughter and understanding, and for one moment, I forgot that the C-SPAN cameras were rolling and that every word I said would be parsed by my critics. Within hours, those eight words had made it around the world, thanks to conservative bloggers and the magic of the internet.

No context; nothing about the preceding hour of carefully constructed comments; nothing about my defence of - and love for - the Scriptures; nothing about the loving God to whom I constantly pointed. Just this one sentence.

Surely no one thinks that I'll don a wedding gown and wear flowers in my hair. But I suspect that a lot of people are uncomfortable with me using the word “bride” - a word associated with women as property - to describe a man. For many centuries marriage was about the transfer of property (the bride) from one man (the father) to another man (the groom), in some places accompanied by the payment of a dowry or bride price. Is calling myself a “bride” offensive because it relegates a “privileged” man to the status of a woman? I'll be the first to admit that it would have been better if I'd never uttered those eight words - not because they aren't true, but simply because they gave the conservative forces something else to use against me. It was a stupid thing to say, and I should have known better.

Read the rest...

Here's what online readers said (I love the St. Paul, MN guy!)

"Not my will thine be done," prayed Jesus, the Good Shepherd. He surrendered. Men like Gene Robinson do not. He has a docile manner yet is defiant, forcing his own will above God's. Unfaithful. Scripture warns about leaders intentionally sinning and encouraging others to do the same.

Cheryl, Foothill Ranch, USA

I want my daughters! I want my boyfriend! I want to marry him! I want to be Bishop with all its trappings! I will lead my flock astray! I will go to Lambeth even if I've been uninvited! I want, I want! Me, me, ME! Where is CHRIST in your life? You are bereft of self-sacrifice and self-denial.

Aileen, London, UK

To live free from criticism? To live without having to think about what you say before you say it? Who lives life in that way, gay or straight? [HA!] From weakness of character, Gene Robinson is demanding of the world more than any reasonable adult would expect; certainly any religious leader.

christopher menzhuber, St. Paul, USA

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