Monday, July 21, 2008

Gay Bishop blames America for his woes

You know, between today’s multiple earnings reports and the headlines regarding Obama’s scavenger hunt in the Middle East, I was left with no blogging inspiration.

Don’t fret - I remembered an interview that I heard this morning while I ran around Pleasure Bay in South Boston (picture). My running show, the Takeaway with Adaora Udoji and John Hockenberry, interviewed Gene Robinson, New Hampshire-based gay Bishop. It was an interview that could have been inspirational, but ended in a tone of resentment and anger.

Beware: There is no economic content in the blog whatsoever!

Gene Robinson was the first openly gay man to be made Bishop in the Episcopal Church U.S.A. in 2003. At his consecration ceremony, Gene Robinson said: ''It's not about me; it's about so many other people who find themselves at the margins. Your presence here is a welcome sign for those people to be brought into the center.''

In the same article, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams released the following statement:

''The divisions that are arising are a matter of deep regret; they will be all too visible in the fact that it will not be possible for Gene Robinson's ministry as a bishop to be accepted in every province in the communion,'' the archbishop said in his statement. ''It is clear that those who have consecrated Gene Robinson have acted in good faith on their understanding of what the constitution of the American church permits. But the effects of this upon the ministry and witness of the overwhelming majority of Anglicans particularly in the non-Western world have to be confronted with honesty.''

Clearly, there is some contention between the gay Bishop and the international Anglican community. I am certainly not opposed to Gene Robinson’s being gay, but to fight the church on this one? I am not really seeing an upside. But he did, and he is.

Five years later, he is still being punished for his sexuality. His name was left off of the Archbishop’s invitation list to the Lambeth Conference that takes place once every ten years.

  • It is my opinion, as you will see below, that Gene Robinson has become hardened and resentful – not the humble or bubbly personality that is typical of a man of Christ.

Gene Robinson's interview on the Takeaway

I am not a stenographer, so I will do my best here. But you can hear the morning’s interview, “Sex in the Church,” on the Takeaway website. Start on time stamp 14:50 for the July 21 show. I will add my own commentary in blue between the italicized interview of John Hockenberry, a truly offensive reporter, with Gene Robinson, the first “openly gay man made Bishop.”

John Hockenberry: Is there some personal dimension to not being invited to Lambeth? Some tactical reason for doing that? Have you become a distraction??

Gene Robinson: I think that the Arch Bishop had it in mind that if he were to not invite me then he might win the participation of the most conservative elements of the Anglican Communion…ah, in fact that did not satisfy them and they are boycotting the conference anyway….ah, it, it does seem some times to us that the s-called traditionalists um can never quite get enough to be satisfied, and yet I’m here to witness to the joy I know in my life because of following Jesus Christ and if that is an affront to people, then it will just have to be.

I really don’t understand the point of him being on the show. From my understanding of Christianity, God says to turn the other cheek. Shouldn’t he simply be happy that he can worship God as a Bishop? More below….

Oh, in other words: Yes, I am a distraction.

John Hoceknberry: Do you think the splits that came following your consecration were inevitable and based on issues more demographic, linguistic, and ethnic than sexual and if so, how do you reach out to these groups that feel so alienated from the mother church?

Gene Robinson: I think this controversy started quite some time ago and I would date it certainly with the American church’s beginning to ordain women. Um the same people who were unhappy about that are unhappy about me…uh, I also think that in terms of the international ub, ub rowe (sp???, don’t know this word) of this, I think we have to understand that some, at least some of this energy behind it is comes from America’s place in the world right now…uh, in many parts of the world America is seen as a kind of drunken cowboy swaggering around the world and everyone else be dammed..and, and I think um there were there were people in the communion who saw my consecration as just another example of America doing America’s thing and so this is uh the it may seem like a simple uh controversy on the surface, but in fact beneath it are many issues.

No, Gene, I assure you that Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, does not think that it is a simply controversy.

In fact, Gene Robinson never answered Hockenberry’s question about reaching out to “these groups.” Before he was saying “It's not about me; it's about so many other people who find themselves at the margins.” Now he is blaming it on Bush and America’s reputation around the world. It sounds tacky and not becoming of an Anglican Bishop. He is clearly angry.

John Hockenberry: Well, uh Bishop, thanks so much for joining us and that’s a very interesting uh sort of depiction of the complexity. I never really thought to put it in those terms, America uh slash this sort of sexual issue being about our sort of swaggering reputation in the world. It’s really quite interesting……….

Why John, do you try to make the man sound credible? It was a bitter and resentful remark, unfounded in any religious context. I am not fooled.

I do apologize for this completely non-economic discussion today. However, I was simply appalled that this interview was broadcasted nationally. Shouldn’t the Takeaway be more concerned with other issues, like how Denver is planning a vacation for its homeless during the Democratic convention?

I am happy to hear your comments. Best, Nontruths

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