+Gene is an amazing man. If aliens landed their spaceship in my yard and demanded that I show them a Christian, I would without hesitation take them to New Hampshire and introduce them to him.
Yep. Yep. Yep!!!
Here's some of the press follow up:
Riazat Butt in The Guardian:Gene Robinson goes but rift remains
The Reverend Susan Russell, former president of Integrity USA, which works for inclusion of gays and lesbians in the life of the church, called his retirement "the beginning of the end of an era".The Boston Globe: Episcopalians react with sadness
She told the Guardian: "We're moving towards a time when electing a gay bishop will be increasingly normative. We have just elected a lesbian dean at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral. While much of the rest of the communion struggles with issues around women, gay clergy and the covenant, we are moving forward.
"Jesus said to 'take up the cross and follow me'. He never said it would be easy. We are paying the price for being prophetic."
The last seven years "have been a great gift for all of us," said the Rev. Robin Thomas Soller, rector at Trinity Episcopal Church in Meredith, N.H., and a member of the search committee that selected Robinson. "In some ways I think it's been more of a challenge for the rest of the world, because they haven't had the opportunity to meet Gene Robinson . . . to see how genuine he is, to see his love for God and the people here."Giles Fraser, also in The Guardian: Churchgoers are inspired by Gene Robinson
There is no doubt in my mind that Robinson has been a prophet in the Anglican communion, recalling the church to its best instincts of inclusion and commitment to those who are excluded and marginalised. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, rich nor poor, black nor white, gay nor straight. Some day this will be as obvious to the church as the fact that slavery is evil. But the forces of reaction remain strong and are getting stronger.Fraser goes on to offer quite a stunning indictment of the ill-conceived Anglican Covenant proposal, ending on this great note:
The Church of England – and by that I mean the ordinary man and woman in the pew – is considerably more progressive, on women bishops and gay marriage, than its conservative and often overly fearful leadership. Churchgoers know that the time for change is overdue. And many have come to see this because of the inspiring and compassionate faith of people like Robinson.Not much to add to that other than Amen. Amen. AMEN!
For too long Christianity has lent the bigotry of homophobia a cloak of respectability. Robinson is, of course, quite right to shout loudly about those "tragic stories of teenagers who have taken their own lives because religion tells them they are an abomination before God, and who believe their lives are doomed to despair and unhappiness". These days the alibi for this sort of prejudice is called unity – that we mustn't do anything that might upset our conservative brothers and sisters. Indeed, had the covenant existed in the era of the prophets of the Hebrew scriptures, it would have provided a perfect way of muzzling them too.