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01/13/2009

Unifying vs. Divisive: Anti-gayness is inherently in latter camp

by Jeremy Hooper

This from the Family Research Council:

While the choice of [Bishop Gene Robinson] may be designed to placate angry liberals, the irony of it isn't lost on religious conservatives. The ballyhoo over Pastor Warren's selection was in large part because he was "divisive" in supporting Prop 8. Yet if there was ever a pastor whose actions were divisive it was Gene Robinson who almost single handedly devastated one of America's oldest Christian denominations. Robinson's confirmation in 2003 as the first openly gay Bishop shattered the once-conservative Episcopal Church and created a painful split between the liberal leadership and faithful Anglicans that cost it hundreds of thousands of followers. Robinson says, "I believe in my heart that the church got it wrong about homosexuality." This view, which he emphasized in at least three private meetings with Obama, may be reflective of the next president's ideology, but it's far from mainstream. While liberals may not appreciate Warren's position on marriage, a majority of voters happen to agree with him. Far more states--including California--have banned counterfeit marriage than have ratified it.

Okay, first off: Can we PLEASE stop the lie that we are all upset about the Rick Warren fiasco because of his Prop 8 support? True, we would have raised a "WTF?" if the president-elect had extended an invite to a mer Prop 8 supporter. However, what caused the Warren situation to enter into the national consciousness in such a loud way was the other, more personal stuff. The incest/pedophilia/polygamy comparison. The belief that gays should just bottle up their feelings. The subsequent denials that were, in some ways, more offensive than the earlier comments. There is a body of queer-slighting work that went WELL beyond Prop 8!

Now, that out of the way, let's move on to look at the clear difference between one who causes controversy because he slights a rich and vibrant population set, and one who causes "controversy" because he stands up for both his faith and his sexuality. The former is divisive because he, well, DIVIDES. The latter is divisive only because of the mindsets of groups like the Family Research Council, who refuse to give LGBT people their proper place at the table! In one endgame there is a level playing field and in another there are forced "ex-gay" camps. That is the difference that the anti-gay side cannot see, or at least will not admit.

Is this FRC writer (either Tony Perkins or a ghostwriter) accurate in saying that a majority of Americans are against same-sex marriage. Yes, unfortunately that fact is still true. However, that point does nothing to add merit to Pastor Warren's queer-exclusive views, or pull merit away from Bishop Robinson's pro-equality outlooks. Even in areas wherein 99% of the local population stand against every single gay rights proposal on the table, it is still the 1% who hold the keys to peace.

Obama Levels the 'Praying' Field [FRC]

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Your thoughts

Jeremy, you know they are not going to stop repeating the lie about our objections to Rick Warren. Repeition of an incorrect talking point is a hallmark in religious right propaganda.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Jan 13, 2009 12:43:41 PM

The telling point, "split between the liberal leadership and faithful Anglicans". These people see the terms liberal and faithful as exclusive terms. If JC walked the earth today they'd be the first to cry, "Crucify him!"

Posted by: SammySeattle | Jan 13, 2009 2:03:10 PM

There was article in my little local paper about Rev. Gene Robinson giving invocation for something Sunday at Lincolna Memorial.....any idea what this is about?

I am just most upset that RW will not allow known gays to belong to his church...talk about divisive!!

Posted by: LOrion | Jan 13, 2009 2:06:05 PM

Jeremey, Just heard that on today's NPR's All Things Considered, Bishop Robinson will be a guest and will be talking about this and his take on the Rick Warren thing. Here in Phialdelphia, the program begins @ 4 p.m. probably also else where. They do list on the ATC website that they have the broadcast available on line later today.

Posted by: Bob Miller | Jan 13, 2009 3:51:31 PM

follow to previous comment re: Bishop Robinson on NPR's All Things Considered. It was a bit of a let down, nothing really heavy or deeply profound. The teaser I heard made it sound like it was going to be a major story.

Posted by: Bob Miller | Jan 13, 2009 4:41:26 PM

There's actually another irony involved in the FRC's statement. The Episcopal/Anglican schismatics have spent the last year loudly and vehemently denying that their choice to divide is not solely -- or even primarily -- over the issue of Bishop Robinson. They claim that the schism has been a long time coming due to The Episcopal and Anglican Churches' abandonment of "the true faith" and that Bishop Robinson's consecration was merely the final example of this abandonment. And there is certainly some truth in that statement, as some of the bishops who have left the TEC for other Anglican Provinces have been planning such a schism for decades -- long before Robinson was even considered for bishop of New Hampshire.

Posted by: Jarred | Jan 14, 2009 10:56:37 AM

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