Support for Bishop V. Gene Robinson

I’ve seen a number of threads denouncing this man, his views, lifestyle, etc. and was absolutely disgusted by the amount of unashamed bashing which is rampant in nearly all of them. I’ve decided, as one of very few around here who takes no issue with him, to create a place where anyone who sees Bishop Robinson and his work as proof of a wonderful step forward in religious tolerance and thought can air their opinions, sans criticism.
There are several video interviews which show Robinson to be a very likable, well-spoken, reasonably minded man. I’ll be posting links in the coming days.

Peace,

Julia

While I have not seen the threads you refer to, a basic tenet of Catholicism (and Christianity) is to respect the person, but point out sinful acts if needed. So you may be right to find fault with those that bash him as a person, but your comments seem to imply that his actions are perfectly moral.

To say that his acts are “proof of a wonderful step forward in religious tolerance” is the problem. We are to tolerate the person, but not the acts if they are sinful.

So should I surmise that you disagree that an active homosexual lifestyle is sinful? That is the crux of this question…

I was raised an Episcopalian, so “sin” as a concept was rarely discussed, let alone laid out in detail by degrees. I still occasionally attend a local Episcopal church when I cannot make it to Mass. While my parents were relatively traditional values-wise, they have had several openly gay friends over the years, and I have been taught and preached to by openly gay choir directors, priests, youth leaders, etc. Now that I am in my 20’s, and have met my own share of happy, well-adjusted, practicing gay and lesbian folks, I cannot, in good conscience, say that this lifestyle is inherently wrong to practice.

Being happy and well adjusted has nothing to do with whether or not something is disordered or sinful.

You seem to imply that you are going to Mass, and are not Catholic. I hope, out of respect for our beliefs if nothing else, you are not receiving Communion when you attend Mass.

There’s nothing wrong with having gay friends, but that lifestyle is indeed inherently wrong to practice. Here’s why: The sexual act is designed by God for two purposes (or “ends”). One is for two people to exclusively share a special love (sometimes called the “unitive aspect” of sex). The other purpose is to keep the human species going (sometimes called the “procreative aspect” of sex).

Surely all Christians would agree with this. But here’s the important part: These two aspects cannot be intentionally separated. So homosexual acts are unnatural because two people wish to engage in the unitive aspect for pleasure, but the two bodies were not designed by God to go together for procreation!

A good analogy is the eating disorder of bulimia. Food also has two inseparable aspects: the pleasure of enjoying the taste, and also the nutritional value to the body. Isn’t it wrong for a young lady to eat a wonderful meal but then throw it up? Most people see the problem with that – she has intentionally circumvented one aspect of God’s design for what a meal should be.

So it is with sex. This is why Catholics see homosexual acts (and also artificial contraception) as sinful. Not because we’re prudes, but because they divorce the practical aspect from the pleasurable aspect.

Hope that helps!

Hi Julia,

I can somewhat relate to your situation, having been raised Episcopalian & now Catholic. Since I also have relatives that are gay, I can also testify from first hand experience about their situation.

You’re at a very vulnerable and impressionable age (forgive me, I’m old enough to be your mother, perhaps even, in some places, your grandmother, so I don’t mean to “preach”, merely to offer a different perspective.) Perhaps now is not the right time to form a fixed conclusion about this subject. I don’t say that to offer some sort of acceptance or belief in the homosexual lifestyle, I merely wish to suggest that this is perhaps not the best time in your life to form a final conclusion about such matters.

Most faiths, including the Catholic faith, as I understand it, preach against sexual relations between persons that are not married. There are numerous reasons why such relations are a bad idea, despite how many persons indulge in such activity. In the final analysis, homosexual relations are just as sinful as any other out-of-wedlock relationship. Many people do not find fault with the idea that unmarried heterosexuals have no business having sexual relationships with others. The situation of homosexuals is no different.

Just a thought…

This man, Robinson, is a disgrace to Christendom in general and I’m saddened to see you come on here and defend him. He married a woman, had children with her, dumped her and moved in with a gay lover. They “married” each other and brought scandal to a denomination already rife with turmoil and sin.

He has been a lightning rod and a negative force in your denomination. He has encouraged homosexual “marriage,” which is a sin. He has been accused of molesting a young man in Vermont on multiple occasions, he has been connected with bisexual porn sites (allthingsbi.com), he is an alcoholic, he leads gay retreats with homosexual Catholic priests, and even President Obama changed his mind and had him speak at the PRE-show for his inauguration instead of the actual show. If Obama, a raging liberal, is fearful of what Robinson might say, then that is telling.

Gene Robinson was the straw that broke the camel’s back forcing thousands of Anglicans to feel compelled to form a separate province from TEC. He is a sinful and unrepetent man who sees virtue and dignity in the face of homosexuality–a state of living that mocks the human condition and God’s creation itself. Even Rowan “the limp rag wimp” Williams didn’t want Robinson at Lambeth! How you could admire, tolerate, and defend this guy is beyond me…:shrug:

I am sorry, I cannot see this at all.

The man has just about slaughtered TEC with his active and very public homogenital lifestyle. He lives in sin, he is not fit to run a Sunday School, much the less a diocese.

He is not bishop material.

Good post.

Luckily for you, you don’t have to. The Bible, the Early Church Fathers, and the modern Catholic and Orthodox churches all say that it is wrong to practice.

I also know several homosexuals who are, as far as I know, happy and well-adjusted, but I wouldn’t ever second guess the sin of homosexuality, no matter how much I care for the homosexuals who I know. The practice of homosexuality is a sin, and if you do not believe sin is inherently wrong, then I really know what to say. It is.

Growing up as a good Methodist we were always taught ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’

We can agree that VG Robinson is a child of God and that we need to love him but we can also agree that to use his position to promote un-Godly practices is a sin against both God and man. Would you be so quick to support him if he decided to bring back temple prostitutes, human sacrifice or the ritual mutilating of small children? While he is not doing those things, what he does do is just as wrong and disordered.

When I was an aspirant to holy orders in the Episcopal Church, I knew a Priest who was a personal friend of Gene Robinson… he had been for many years. He was very clear that Gene is a terriffic guy to know and a good friend. He was also clear that he disapproved of what he was doing to the Church and that he could never approve of his unBiblibal lifestyle.

It’s amazing that some people think that just because you’re an unrepentant sinner you can’t be a really nice person. Sometimes the nicest people you meet are the ones drowning in sin.

That has precisely ZERO bearing on whether same sex relations are a sin.

Julia, do you accept or reject the teaching that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is disordered and sinful?

What, pray tell, is a “median Episcopal-Catholic”?

Sin has nothing to do with being likeable, well-spoken, or “reasonbaly minded.” There are lots of very likeable sinners in the world.

It is not his personal charisma that is at issue when he is denounced. It is his leadership position as Bishop while engaging in an active homosexual relationship and the erroneous doctrinal position that homosexual sex is not sinful.

One Key:

I encourage you to read other posts I’ve made, whereupon you will discover that I straddle the line, and am presently discerning whether I wish to convert to Catholicism from the Episcopalian faith.
This is one of the teachings of the Church that I cannot currently accept, in good faith, though I intellectually understand the reasoning behind it.
However, this thread is in place to discuss Robinson. If you wish to debate or chalenge me further, please do so via private message.

I went with members of the Meeting I attend to hear Bishop Robinson speak at Trinity Cathedral. He is a well spoken, gentle articulate man. For those of us who support our gay brothers and sisters in their struggle for equality in society and in our religious communities, his struggle and pain in seeking to bring ministry to those men and women whom the church as a whole has rejected is a wonderful breath of fresh air.

As TEC moves into the 21st century may it provide a sanctuary and ministry for those gay men and women who have found that the tired old addage of “hate the sin but not the sinner” is a well worn phrase that allows those who claim good conscience to “hate the sinner”…while the addage is a nice thought…in practicality it rarely is ever practiced.

Human sexuality is diverse and complex, the scriptures no more condemn commited gay and lesbian relationships than it does straight relationships. When the scriptures were composed, NO ONE thought of homosexuality as “sexual orientation”…as with so much of Western history, we have cast off much of the ideas of bygone eras. Slavery, equality of the sexes, women as property, ideas of the make-up of the cosmos and medicine and psychology were all unknown to those who composed the five or six verses that appear to condemn homosexuality on the surface…but what they condemn is violent same sex rape, pagan rites of sex-magic and pedastry of the ancient world…nothing more.

I applaud Bishop Robinson and I admire TEC and it’s struggle to bring Christianity into the 21st century.

If this is true, then doesn’t your criticism of “hate the sin, love the sinner” apply to those verses? How does one hate the sins of rape and pederasty while loving the rapist and pederast?

This is a tricky question to bring up, because of course many people have the false stereotype that homosexuals in general are pederasts. I am emphatically not endorsing this stereotype. But I don’t understand the line of argument in your first paragraph (which I have heard many times before), because clearly there are *some *things that are sinful. So how can you criticize the approach of “hate the sin, love the sinner”? Unless, of course, you’re willing to say that people who do really wicked things should not be loved. But I doubt that you are saying that.

If homosexual behavior among consenting adults is sinful, it is clearly far less grave than violent or exploitative sexual behavior. We don’t need to hate the sin as vigorously, and so it should be easier in practice to “love the sinner” (e.g., we don’t run the kinds of risks of opening the innocent to exploitation that we run when our charity toward rapists or molestors “tempts” us toward leniency). That’s my disagreement with many conservatives. Given how destructive on all levels prejudice and violence against gay people are, we should be very careful not to open the door to such behavior by our defense of orthodox Christian sexual morality. But I don’t think we can simply abandon that morality.

In Christ,

Edwin

There’s nothing wrong with having gay friends, but that lifestyle is indeed inherently wrong to practice. Here’s why: The sexual act is designed by God for two purposes (or “ends”)


There is more to one’s “lifestyle” than sexual behavior.

Friend Edwin,

In the lives of those gay men and women that I know…and have read and heard their experiences…they cannot tell by the way they are treated where “love” begins from fellow Christians and where “hate” ends.

I do not believe homosexuality is a sin…is is benign…just as heterosexuality is.

Heterosexual sex can be manipulative…violent…and remove choices away from lives when sexual predators prey on children…that is sin…it does violence to hearts, bodies and minds. It is not “loving”…it is predatory and viscious.

Those relationships, both gay and straight, built on mutual respect and love and compassion. Those relationships which seek to embody grace and charity and seek each others benefit and growth as human beings and provide safety and care for one another are not sinful.

I believe you can see the difference between the two…the violence and the rape and the removing choices of innocent lives that have not had the chance to make adult choices and have those chocies “made for them by a predator” versus two adults who seek to have God in the center of their lives and decide to commit themselves to one another under His care IS what makes the difference…not the sex act in and of itself.

Equating “leniency” toward two adults who love each other and can make adult decisions with pedophilia and child exploitation just doesn’t seem to “speak from that Center of Light and Truth” to me.

I was using that as a euphemism for the sexual act itself.

To Publisher: You wrote that “I do not believe homosexuality is a sin…is is benign…just as heterosexuality is.”

Heterosexuality is DESIGNED into the human person by our Creator. Homosexuality is an aberration of that design. Now, if you are merely referring to same-sex tendency, we would all agree that that is not sinful, since it is not (usually) a conscious choice.

But to act out on those tendencies IS sinful, because that is a conscious choice.

Sexuality is a gift from our Creator. In the infinite diversity of creation male and female were created to exemplify that diversity. Sexual orientation is God’s gift to humanity in all it’s diversity.

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