Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So Much for "Listening!"

Not sure where you even GET a t-shirt like this but I'm thinking we need to all chip in a buy a crate or two and send them to the Diocese of Southwest Florida.

"Why?" you ask. Because they're not. Listening, that is. Not only NOT listening but not even going to be "allowed" to have the OPPORTUNITY to listen.

Here's what's being reported on Louie Crew's blog:


For weeks this announcement has circulated in a flier:

Bishop Robinson to be
2008 Boniface Speaker

Saint Boniface Episcopal Church, Sarasota, is pleased to announce that the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire has accepted the invitation to be our guest and speaker January 16-20, 2008. We are especially grateful to
Assistant Rector Wes Wasdyke for helping invite Bishop Robinson. Wes is canonically resident in the Diocese of New Hampshire where he served the church and medical communities for many years.

Bishop Robinson is an astute speaker and spiritual leader with a passion for shared ministry and well known for his pastoral support of clergy and congregations in New Hampshire. While he is the focus of much attention in the Anglican Communion, his visit to us is a personal one where he will be able to share his own journey of faith and encourage each of us in ours.

As is always the case in the visit of a bishop from another jurisdiction, The Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith, Bishop of Southwest Florida, was consulted, and has given permission for Bishop Robinson to be our speaker in residence. Bishop Smith has encouraged us by describing this visit as an important part of the listening process which is key to the Windsor and Lambeth recommendations for the Anglican Communion.

The Boniface Speaker series was created to bring the brightest and best in religion to this parish and community. Bishop Robinson will speak at a community wide forum Thursday evening January 17, a clergy study morning Friday January 18, and at the parish services and forum Sunday January 20. Saint Boniface Church is at 5615 Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key in Sarasota.
The Rev. Canon Edward M. Copland, Rector http://www.boniface/.
The flier was replaced today after Bishop Dabney Smith asked Bishop Robinson to decline the parish's invitation, with this new memo:
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
To: Boniface Parish Leaders, and other interested friends
Re: Cancellation of planned visit of Bishop Robinson
From: Ted Copland

Bishop Dabney Smith just called to tell me that he has contacted Bishop Gene Robinson again and asked him to decline the invitation to speak here in January. Bishop Smith said he took this action because of all the heat he is getting. Previously Bishop Smith had given his permission for the visit and said it was not a problem for him although he anticipated a reaction. He told me that it has been more of a reaction than he anticipated. Bishop Robinson is on sabbatical and is out of the country (he was in New Zealand when they talked). I anticipate that we will hear from his office in New Hampshire to confirm this.

Many people will be disappointed about this but we can choose to see this as an opportunity to continue the conversation about what it means to be the Episcopal Church in the 21st century. I believe it may be important for Bishop Smith to hear from people who thought that Bishop Robinson's visit would have furthered the conversation called for throughout the Anglican Communion.
Ted Copland


Here are Louie's comments:

You know opposition is losing when opposition resorts to the tyranny of ideas, afraid to allow anyone even to listen to a point of view not approved by the one in power.

This country was built on strong advocacy for the right -- even the obligation -- of persons to expose themselves to all points of view before holding a point of view themselves.

Probably Bishop Smith is thoroughly within his rights as a bishop to cancel any presentation if doing so helps him save his skin. I hope that he can sleep in that skin.

When you want to know why most young people don't give the church the time of day, you need look no farther. Bishop Smith's cowardice gives me the creeps and makes me embarrassed to be an Episcopalian.

Here are my comments:
What Louie said.


Anonymous said...

"Many people will be disappointed about this but we can choose to see this as an opportunity to continue the conversation about what it means to be the Episcopal Church in the 21st century."

One must have had expectations of a different outcome to be disappointed. There is a long history of homophobia in the Diocese of SW Florida. Those who know that history have few illusions about its behavior.

Anonymous said...

Well, it strikes me that once again, there is no "conversation" because the B of SWF is obviously not conversing with lgbt Episcopalians in his diocese. I'm amazed that "anonymous" places the onus on people who expected a more fair outcome. That's quite a feat of mental and political gymnastics.Since when did hope become an illusion?

Anonymous said...

Dear Rev. Russell:

As one from across the divide, I find it sad when any view is cut off.
I didn't like it when our AAC chapter was denied access or publicity in our diocese newspaper. (We were told the news from "our" side did not elevate or forward the cause of Christ or the Episcopal Church) and I don't like it when it is denied to Bp. Robinson or any other person.
A free exchange of ideas is always a good idea. By God's grace we live in a country that allows freedom of speech and anyone is free not to listen, so I deplore any action that lessens that exchange.
A large part of my family's decision to leave the Episcopal Church was that in our home diocese our point of view was rejected and stifled. A lack of listening, unfortunately, is not the province of any one side.
But in this case the bishop was wrong to bow to the pressure.

A sinner saved by God's Grace

Jim from Michigan

Anonymous said...

Gee, whatever happened to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly? What is this weak-kneed, spineless, pathetic man of the cross afraid of if he were to consent to Bishop Robinson, a duly elected colleague to speak? He gives the church a bad name. He gives his diocese a bad name. He makes himself look timid, manipulated and without conscience. I'm with Louie and Susan....I'm embarrassed and ashamed to be in the same church as this bunch. Bring the schism on! Let's get rid of these homophobes.

Anonymous said...

There is another way of looking at this incident. Maybe Bp Smith is doing the Dio of New Hampshire a favour by giving Robinson an opportunity to spend more time in his own diocese - which I recall Robinson promised to devote himself to doing prior to his consecration, but seems to have done anything but since.

Anonymous said...

Note that Bishop Smith is the bishop with jurisdiction over the parish. By - in Anglican terms - "asking Robinson to decline the invitation" - what he has done is to rescind his permission for Robinson to speak in the parish in his (Smith's) diocese

If Robinson accepts the invitation to speak, then he will be doing as much "boundary crossing" as anyone else in the communion: in fact rather more, since both he and Smith are technically still within ECUSA and in commion with each other - while the Global South most assuredly are not in communion with ECUSA and so do not accept the jurisdiction (or even the consecration or salvation) of ECUSA "bishops".

JimB said...

In the depression, Bp. Anderson delivered a homily on social justice calling for equity for African Americans. Josheph Ryerson a major force in the local steel industry and major contributor sent him a letter saying he did not want to hear such "Marxist" preaching from "his" bishop. Bp.Anderson responded:

Dear Mr. Ryerson:

You and your money may go to hell.

+Anderson Chicago.

Ryerson made good on the implied threat and crossed the Tiber. I have a friend, a retired RC priest, who thinks we got the better part of the deal.

Bp. Anderson was selected to be PB.

Here in Chicago, we think Bp. Anderson should be on the list of remembrances and saints. An object lesson, were he to consider it, for the bishop of SW Florida.


Peter J. said...

I have to disagree with Mr. Crew. This country has no obligation to hear any point of view. This country was founded on the notion that we could not silence a person when expressing their point of view, but we certainly have the freedom to walk away and not listen to them.

I am under no obligation to hear any point of view BEFORE making up my own. Mr. Crew has got it wrong.

It is also a fallacy to assume that disagreement with a person on the moral rightness of homosexual behavior equates to homophobia. That's just silly.

The Pilgrim said...

Freedom of Speech?

Let's see your Church calendar, Susan. Show me where an any representatives of National Right To Life have spoken to your young people lately. Have you invited Frederica Matthewes-Greene to speak to your Daughters of the King chapter about the proper role of a christian woman in the home? Any VFW of Amvets brought in to lead discussions on "The Rightness of the Iraq War?"

Show me where Dobson has been to your church to discuss the benefits of heterosexual parents to your youth groups.

Anyways, the Bishop of SWF took an oath to protect his flock from false teaching. It's only sad that he had to be reminded of that before he disinvited the gay bishop.

Anonymous said...

What would be the purpose of more listening?

Do you really think that people have not made up their minds yet about this?

You can't equate 'listening' with believing. You guys seem to think that if people would just LISTEN then they would agree with you.

What happens when we've listened and we disagree?

Anonymous said...

Everybody is tired of listening to you and Louie Crew and nobody is buying your selfish crap. Go get some help!!

RonF said...

Gee, whatever happened to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly?

Those are guarantees that Congress (and by extension, any government body) will not make laws that improperly restrict them. But this was a private venue and action was taken by the private party in charge, so there is no violation of such freedoms.

Bp. Robinson is quite free to fly to Florida, hire a hall, and talk for as long as he wants on any topic. The fact that Bp. Smith has been prevailed upon to not give official sanction to Bp. Robinson's views does not restrict Bp. Robinson's right or ability to express them. And it does not restrict anyone, whether or not they are a member of TEC, from listening to Bp. Robinson or anyone else who shares his views.

I must say that my recent participation in the Diocese of Chicago's annual convention opened my eyes a bit about the listening process we are called to. There's plenty of presentation of and listening to the proponents of such as Bp. Robinson. There was no presentation of or listening to opponents thereof. Nor was there any representation of that viewpoint among any of the 8 candidates presented for election as Bishop of Chicago. Quite a throttle was exercised there. "Listening". Sure. Only if you agree to one particular viewpoint, though.

Unknown said...

Hmm, hmm -- bishops from other Provinces come into ECUSA parishes and do stuff, and ordain priests and bishops for ECUSA parishes and say they're perfectly withiin their right. +Gene is asked not to come, and he complies with the Ordinary's wishes. Who's misbehaving here?

Anonymous said...

Who are these people commenting on your blog? Neocons & homophobes, it seems. They don't believe in the freedoms our country was built limit freedom of speech to only those who beleive the way they not only wrong but immoral. I am forever disapointed by the unChristian acts and beleifs of so-called Christians. This is shocking and really, really sad!


This isn't about a bishop "protecing a flock" ... it's about a bishop caving to a bunch of bigots.

+Smith rescinded his permission for Bishop Robinson to visit the parish that invited him NOT because of a firmly held principle but because of a missing backbone.

As for freedom of discourse, no, I would not invite Dobson to my parish ... but neither would I blackmail my bishop into keeping another parish with a different perspective from having him speak to them.

Finally, for all those saying there is no reason for them to "listen" to those with whom they disagree I point them back to the Lambeth 1.10 they're so fond of hurling about.

Anonymous said...

Finally, for all those saying there is no reason for them to "listen" to those with whom they disagree I point them back to the Lambeth 1.10 they're so fond of hurling about.

But, why? How long must one listen after one has made up ones mind?

I'm sure that you would agree that there has to be an end to the listening at some point. When is the end? Is it after a certain time frame, or can we all stop when there is nothing new to say?

JimB said...

Rev Elizabeth if I may,

RonF, you are half correct. The 'freedom of expression' clauses of the Constitution bind Congress, and by extention including the 14th amendment, other units of government. They do not apply to a church.

However, Bp. Robinson is as are all bishops (even the terminally holy Peter Akinola) bound by other laws. Canon law back to Nicea (the council that published the creed) is that a bishop may not undertake liturgial actions in another's diocese without permission. So, no, Gene does not have that option. Of course we know the canon does not apply to ++Akinola.

Mr. Dobson is not, praise heaven, a member of this church. He may speak where he will.

No one I know of has forbidden conservative groups to speak. If someone knows where that has happened, I should like to know.

One of the problems with 3 year old argument (He did it TOO!) is that it requires some real equivilancy. The fact if it is one, that a particullar group has not been invited is not equivilant to the bishop of SW Florida playing the coward and withdrawing an already granted permission.

And as every mom (yes including the lesbians) has told a child for centuries, two wrongs do not make a right. Sheesh!


Anonymous said...

It was poor form for Bishop Smith to be tardy in his decision. He should have been more decisive from the start and not have embarrassed everyone, including Bishop Robinson. Bishop Robinson should go back to his own flock and show every single parish how revisionism can grow that group of Episcopalians. Four years have passed and his numbers continue to decline. Isn't there enough to do there with so many thousands to convert and bring in?
How about spending quality time with each parish and visit the unchurched door to door throughout New Hampshire. BE the model - show the results - don't abstract it through talks. It won't be a media-attracting venue, but it's what bishops used to do. I'll eat my kneeling hassock (in front of camera) if Bishop Robinson will actually do this.

and Susan,

What about "The Pilgrim's" question to you?

Peter J. said...

Susan please...

The definition of a bigot is not "Someone who thinks homosexual behavior is morally wrong."

The Bishop of SWF has only "caved" to people YOU think are wrong.

But that is the crux of this whole argument isn't it. The difference between OUR judgements of right and wrong and SOMEONE ELSE's judgement. The relativeistic worldview will simply not last long because it is completely self-defeating.

RonF said...

jimB, were you at Convention this last weekend? I stood up and made a couple of comments about a couple of resolutions - I apparently memorably called the question on the pet funeral liturgy resolution.

I was just told about +Ryerson at that Convention. He was quite right.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering , by definition is everyone who holds to traditional teaching on homosexual behavior a bigot?

RonF said...

Well, it strikes me that once again, there is no "conversation" because the B of SWF is obviously not conversing with lgbt Episcopalians in his diocese.

Why do you think that the Bishop is not listening to homosexual Episcopalians in his diocese? Is it not conceivable that he did listen to them but found their viewpoint wrong? Is it your belief that "listen to" must equal "agree with"?

Perry Lee said...

"Finally, for all those saying there is no reason for them to "listen" to those with whom they disagree I point them back to the Lambeth 1.10 they're so fond of hurling about."

Listening does not equate to agreement. Dialogue does not automatically result in capitulation. Everyone who disagrees with your universalist theology is not a bigot. For the left to label everyone who disagrees with them a homophobe is ludicrous stereotyping. If I were to state that "all gays are promiscuous sl*ts," there would be howls of indignation all over the blogosphere, and rightly so.

Thoughtful, intelligent caring people, many of them moderates, liberals, conservatives and centrists simply find you wrong, and all the yalking in the world will not convince them that 4,000 years of biblical writing, interpretation and tradition are either in error or outdated. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

None of the prospective speakers mentioned by “the pilgrim” are Episcopal priests and/or bishops and have nothing to do with the listening process currently going on within TEC. I have heard Bishop Robinson preach twice. Those who choose to reject this opportunity are missing out on the chance to hear a wonderful preacher.

All of us who support full inclusion for the LGBT community were taught Leviticus. We listened, we learned, we prayed, and we were led by the Holy Spirit to believe differently. Is the Holy Spirit now calling us to stand with the man who wore a bullet proof vest to his ordination, or are we being called to continue to demonize those perceived as too different to be Christians?

Anonymous said...

After ten years in the diocese of SW Florida as both curate and rector, I can attest that there are a sizable number of people and clergy who are not homophobic. Unfortunately the homophobic, some who are very sincere Christians, in that category carry bigger sticks. There was a yearly AIDS retreat at DaySpring Conference Center when I was there as well as a fairly active chapter of Integrity. The bishops had been invited to and responded to the group by visiting. Poor Dabney (Bishop Smith) is a great guy. I was with him in seminary. However I chose to go to a gay friendly diocese because on a clerical level, the progress was not significant enough for me. Bishop Smith is newly consecrated and knowing the loving man he is, I can only implore some understanding for him. I think he will be more stalwart later in his experience. As far as the uncharitable and dare I say "unChristlike" remonstrances of some of the people on this blog, let us hope that Christ is more merciful with them than they are with an issue that is complicated, a matter of exegetical disagreement but pertains to real human people with feelings, issues and emotions. Despite what some of the comments here reflect, yes Christ died for the LGBT people too. In essentials UNITY, in non-essentials, DIVERSITY, in all things CHARITY.

Anonymous said...

Fred, let's not resort to name calling. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a neocon or homophobe. A phobia is an irrational fear of something. The folks on the other side of this debate don't fear gays and there's nothing irrational about them. Their position is firmly rooted in their belief, irrational and un-Anglican as it is, that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, dicated verbatim by the Almighty Himself, with 5,000 years of bigotry to back it up. Wait... I didn't just call someone an irrational bigot, did I? Darn. I wonder how many of them are neocons, too.

Anonymous said...

Well I wonder if we could invite Bishop Robinson as a private citizen to a discussion not related to the institutional church?

Anyone want to start the process for this to happen?

Jim Payne

Jack Sprat said...

I'm saddened by the vitriol in today's comments.

And, yes, to say that gay people are
"immoral"--simply for being who we are-- is an example of bigotry.


Anonymous said...

Really, conservatives, you are hardly an advertisement for Christian charity.

It sounds like this:
People who wanted to hear from Bp Robinson invited him.

Bp Smith overruled them because he was taking some heat from those who think Bp Robinson is evil and shouuld not be allowed to step one gay foot in Florida.

Now, being afraid to hear another point of view is hardly democratic, and it is hardly courageous. It smacks of politics and totalitarianism. And yes, conservatives, YOU may not want to hear from Bp Robinson but you know what?

YOU DON"T HAVE TO GO. And neither do those who don't approve who pressured Bp Smith.

And the poeple who invited Robinson, presumably DID want to hear from him.

Fear does not become a Bishop. And by capitulating, Smith does his future tenancy in this post no favors.

A coward, and a politician, is perhaps the best we can say of him. Uneasy sits the mitre, I think.

Bp Robinson received death threats before his consecration. What sort of threats do you suppose made Bp Smith back down?


Anonymous said...

No need to be rude, folks.

+Smith just looks foolish for inviting (OKing an invitation), then disinviting, +Robinson. No startling new revelation has occured - no excuse material - so +Smith looks like he got pushed around, or like he didn't research it well in the first place.

Everyone can agree with the above, whether or not they support +Robinson.

Anonymous said...

Susan – it is pretty hard to listen to anyone when they are calling me a “bunch of bigots” Such language is not at all helpful in communicating a point of view and to being heard and understood. If that really is your honest view of anyone who disagrees with you then I am not hopeful of any resolution and reconciliation between the 2 sides. I have a brother who is gay, and I have heard him rant at me, but I still listen to him and still love him, but that does not mean that I agree with him or will capitulate to his point of view. Lambeth 1.10 did not require anyone to agree with the GLBT (sounds like a sandwich filling doesn’t it?: gherkin, lettuce, bacon and tomato) position, only to hear their experience. You hurtle that resolution around yourself without understanding what it actually required. It seems to me as if by “listening” you mean capitulation, and that if after having listened, we still not agree, then you accuse us of not having listened enough.

I have heard all the revisionists interpretations of the key Biblical texts on human sexuality, and understand where they are coming from, but I am still not convinced by their special exegesis by twisting around the meaning of words based on an innovative historical and cultural perspective. Integrity seems to want to argue only from the personal experience of GLBT’s, assuming that personal experience is the measure of holiness and godliness, which I know from my own personal experience is anything but holy and godly. Paul seemed to have the same view of his emotions and motivations (Rom 7:7-25); but he knew his Saviour and exercised self control.

Therefore your theological arguments seem to be very weak and unconvincing to the vast majority of us. Integrity really does need to develop a much more cogent theological system based on the whole of the Bible to engage us more in the listening process, otherwise we will simply continue to rehash old ground ad nauseum without any progress.

Anonymous said...

well, brian F, I will look forward to hearing you explain the theology of divorce as well.

Now, you can't get away with "but I don't personally believe in divorce" because you aren't promoting schism over divorce and divorced bishops and calling them heretics. You may personally disapprove, but you apparently find it quite possible to co-exist in a church that allows divorce.

Or perhaps you are divorced youreslf, so have some experience of modern interpretation.

And you are being pretty snarky yourself, so don't go claiming that all the rudeness is on one side. There's pleny of frustration to go around.

I wonder how your brother feels being tolerated but disapproved of. My partner has a brother who disapproves of her but I'm sure would claim he loves her as a Christian. It's a bit much to take.



Dear Brian "sounds like a sandwich filing, doesn't it") F ...

I was tempted to "moderate" this comment, but decided to let it stand as an example of how every time I think I can't be surprised by the arrogance of those who believe they have sole access to the "absolute truth" I get a comment like yours.

For the record, the "bunch of bigots" are the ones who blackmailed Bishop Smith into recinding the invitation to Bishop Robinson. If the shoe fits, wear it.

As for "you're "not convinced" by our exegesis" what I have say to that is:


I;m not convinced by yours, either.

So where do we go from there?

I go back to the altar rail and receive the bread and wine made holy with "all sorts and conditions" -- including those whose hermeuntic I don't find compelling.

Capitulating to a point of view isn't the issue. Insisting on capitulation to yours in order to be included at the table is.

And that would be your bunch.

And I would be over them.

Anonymous said...

Susan - Thankyou for listening to my point of view and responding to my comments, but do you see where it got us? nowhere really. And that is the problem, when we have two irreconcilable theological positions. It is almost as difficult as reconciling Muslims and Hindhus, which has not worked so well in the subcontinent. And yet Lambeth 1:10 required us to listen to one anther, or more correctly for the conservatives to listen to the GLBT's.

I'm not sure that sharing communion is the answer either since we have such different theological understandings of the Eucharist. And just doing it with our minds switched off as to what we are doing and why is kind of a hollow religious ritual that God deplores.

And anonymous (IT: 8:45pm): I'm not sure what the issue of divorce and remarriage has to do with anything, but since you ask, my theology of divorce is that God hates it (Mal 2:16) but permitted divorce through Moses because of the sinfulness of human beings and our failings in relationships (Matt 19:8). Remarriage seems to be permitted only in cases of sexual infidelity by one party against the other, (Matt 5:31-32, 19:8); oherwise remarriage is not permitted (1 Cor 7:10-11). Personally I am happily married to a lovely godly woman, by the grace of God, and intend to remain so for the remainder of my life. Even if my marriage broke down for some unforseeable reason in the future, that would not mean that I have to get divorced. My sister's marriage tragically failed and she has separated from her husband, but she is rightly refusing to be divorced. Just because a marriage breaks down does not require the 2 to get divorced. In God's sight the 2 remain married regardless of the decree of a human court. Nevertheless I have not refused communion to any divorced and remarried people, nor would I refuse to remarry a divorced person provided they have completed a suitable Christian marriage preparation course and shown signs of repentance from their first marriage. But that is a long way from accepting a divorced and remarried person as the leader of a Christian congregation. This is not a matter of human rights and freedoms but of God's righteousness.

I would not be willing to vote for a man to become bishop if he was divorced, since that is contrary to God's standards for Christian leadership. (1 Tim 3:1-7; Tit 1:5-9). If he was divorced then how could we trust him to keep his consecration vows when he was unable or unwilling to keep his marriage vows to the person he loved most in the world; and how could he possibly be an example of God's fidelity?

But really this is kind of a red herring - because the divisions are occuring not over divorce and remarriage or even over human sexuality, but over our understanding of divine revelation, the nature of God as revealed in the Bible, the nature of humankind and the means of salvation. The issue of human sexuality is really only the lightning rod for those deeper issues.

Anonymous said...

Jack Sprat said --"And, yes, to say that gay people are "immoral"--simply for being who we are-- is an example of bigotry."

Sometimes this sounds like a conversation between two toddlers in a school yard talking right past each other all the time. If you keep talking about what people do, they won't address that and keep talking about what they are. -- J

Anonymous said...

"And, yes, to say that gay people are "immoral"--simply for being who we are-- is an example of bigotry."

Jack Sprat:

I am a bigot for what I believe, but gay people are not immoral for what they are?

I can't remember when I didn't think that gay acts were immoral. I think I've always suspected that I believed that way. I think it's wired into who I am. It could be partly about my upbringing, but I can't remember a time I didn't think gay acts were wrong. This is who I am. Why can't you respect that? How dare you call me a bigot for being who I am?

Anonymous said...

Because it IS about WHO THEY ARE, not what they do. Just as there are promiscuous straight people, straight people in faithful monogamous relationships, and celibate straight people, there are also promiscuous gay people, gay people in faithful monogamous relationships, and celibate gay people. They are still gay, just as straight people are still straight. What part of BEING WHO THEY ARE don't you understand? It's simple really, and you're making it not so convinces that you have an agenda that is judmental and exclusive. -- Denise

Anonymous said...

But Brian f there are divorced Bishops in your church.

And you did not schism over that.

This leads inevitably to the conclusion that you find fags ickier than divorced people because a divorced bishop is okay to live with (as long as not in your diocese, one presumes) and a partnered gay one isn't.

And you seem to have a pastoral response to divorced people who want to get married. Yet somehow I doubt you grant the same benevolence to your gay parishioners.


RonF said...

We listened, we learned, we prayed, and we were led by the Holy Spirit to believe differently.

I'll certainly accept that some spirit led you to believe differently. On what basis do you think that it was definitely the Holy Spirit?

Bill said...

As a member of St. Boniface in Sarasota, I and many others here were excited at the prospact of hearing Bp. Robinson preach, and were especially grateful to our new bishop in granting the invitation. I am now utterly horrified to learn that this invitation has been rescinded. I can not believe that Bp. Smith would ask Bp. Robinson NOT to come and preach the word of God! Shame on my fellow Christians who asked for the withdrawl of the invitation, and shame on Bp. Smith for caving in to their bigotry!

Anonymous said...

On what basis do you think that it was definitely the Holy Spirit?

Because it’s the same voice in my head that tells me that water boarding is torture. It’s the same voice that tells me that a woman who is divorced by her adulterous, alcoholic, raging, wife beating husband DOES NOT require “signs of repentance” from God before marrying again. It’s the same voice that tells me that the cowards who threaten the life of Bishop Robinson are not on the side of the angels.

But I could be wrong. It could have just been some bad potato salad.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

On what basis do you think that it was definitely the Holy Spirit?

Because my Lord and Savior said that you would know his followers by the fruits of the spirit in their lives.

Because He said "Those who are for me are not against me."

I think of my partnered gay and lesbian friends---some of whom have been together far longer than I managed to stay married to my opposite-sex spouse. They are kind, holy people who do the work of God in the world. Their partnerships bring them joy, and that joy spills out on all who are privileged to know them.

God told Peter that he must not call unclean what God had shown him to BE clean. Unless you dispute that God can do a new thing in the world (and then you had better go back to being an Orthodox Jew), you have to at least consider that God has, indeed, shown us a "new thing" for our faithful gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

Perry Lee said...

Wormwood's Doxy said...

"God told Peter that he must not call unclean what God had shown him to BE clean.

Where in scripture, or in the writings of the early fathers, or in any of the Seven Councils (including both Councils of Nicea), in the writings and teachings of the great reformers, or in the teachings and pronouncements of the overwhelming majority of Christian teachers today, has God shown - or told - us that homosexual activity is no longer "unclean???"

Oh, that's right; someone said a voice in their head told them.

So on the one hand I have four millenia of God's proven constancy, all of the writings of Christian leaders over the last two thousand years, plus the beliefs and faith of two billion Christians in the world today. On the other, I have the feelings and stories of a comparative handful of Episcopalians and Unitarians with a social agenda.

It's a no brainer to me.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Pilgrim, right along there with your slaves, your multiple wives, your wives as property and the Sun moving around the Earth. After all, 4 millenia of church teaching can't be wrong.