I can’t decide if Gene Robinson should be made an honorary member of Herman’s Hermits (second verse same as the first) or just be named Crybaby of the Decade. Sure does a lot of book tours for someone who wants to just be a simple country bishop. Can’t you just hear the heavy sigh?
Robinson is in London to promote his new book, In The Eye of the Storm. It is a spiritual memoir aimed, he says, at showing that he is more than “a one issue guy”.
The last of its five sections, however, sets a course for the Lambeth Conference and beyond. It is, in one way, Robinson having his say, even though he’s not going to be at the event itself.
Or, at least not at the gatherings of the bishops. “I’m going to be there, in the market place,” he says, “making myself available to anyone who wants to talk.”
He won’t, as many Anglicans seem to hope, be allowing the whole issue to go away. It is in this refusal to be silent that I finally begin to see in this otherwise gentle and genial prelate that flash of steely resolve that drives all implacable dissenters forward.
“Jesus never says anything about homosexuality,” he says, the light tone in his nasal voice suddenly darkening, “but he says a lot about treating every person with dignity and respect. All the biblical appeals for a particular attitude to homosexuality can never quote Jesus.”
What, though, of Old Testament condemnations of “men who lay with men”?
“The Church isn’t the same yesterday, today and tomorrow,” he says.
“Only God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The Church has always been changing. The Holy Spirit is leading us into truth. And I believe we have learnt that about people of colour, about women, about those who are disabled and now about lesbian and gay people.”
He would, I can see, be impressive in a pulpit. Perhaps it was his oratory that caused the Anglican electors of New Hampshire to vote decisively for him in 2003, and his fellow American bishops to give him their backing.
But, whatever their motives, their decision has had the effect of bringing to a head Anglicanism’s muddled attitude to sexuality.
“As Anglicans we agree about so many things,” Robinson concedes. “We are not arguing over the divinity of Christ, the Trinity or the Resurrection. We are arguing about a non-essential thing.”
We are not arguing over the divinity of Christ, the Trinity or the Resurrection. Wow! Talk about being in denial.
The entire article can be read here.