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Gene Robinson Encouraged High School Students to Engage in Oral Sex/Mutual Stimulation

Thursday, January 8, 2009 • 7:22 am


A reader sent me this sermon (PDF) excerpted below, delivered by Gene Robinson in 1992 at St. Paul’s School in Concord NH. St. Paul’s is a coeducational boarding school for students in grades 9-12. A memo (PDF) attributed to “Paula A. Bibber, Executive Assistant to the Bishop” of the Diocese of New Hampshire was received by our reader along with the sermon. The memo reads:

“Enclosed is a copy of the sermon you have requested. As you will notice when you begin to read it, this sermon was given in conjunction with a month-long focus at St. Paul’s School in Concord on AIDS.

Unfortunately, over the years the context and focus of this sermon has been has been verbally misinterpreted. I hope reading his sermon is helpful.

The focus of the sermon was, indeed, on the danger of AIDS and the context of the sermon was a discussion of how to avoid contracting the same. Robinson, rightly, told the congregation of high school students that total abstinence is the only sure-fire way not to contract the disease.

...choosing not to have intercourse is an honorable, positive and life-ensuring option in this age of AIDS. It’s a choice which allows you to relax and enjoy your safety—not just safety from AIDS and pregnancy. but safety from the kind of emotional hurt that can so easily happen in a sexually intimate relationship. Even if you have already been sexually active, you can honorably return to this choice of abstinence. It’s the only way to be absolutely safe.

But he did not stop there.

...if you are physically. sexually active with someone. whether with a person of the opposite or the same sex, you can remember or discover for the first time all the wonderful ways of being sexual with another person, without having intercourse, without risking your life. We parents and we in the church have been so busy preaching “just say no,” that we have forgotten to celebrate this God-given gift of sexuality and to rejoice in this incredible means of communicating with a beloved. But there are many ways of communicating physically and sexually with another person short of intercourse…

This is not mere pragmatism. I’ve heard health-workers suggest that if adolescents simply cannot hold back that they should engage in oral sex and/or mutual stimulation rather than intercourse for safety’s sake. I think it is horrible advice and, of course, sinful. Teenagers are not animals. But Robinson’s suggestion seems to go beyond a mere concern for health and safety. Oral sex and/or mutual stimulation is, according to Robinson, something for high school students to “celebrate”. The Church, according to Robinson, has just said no far too much, forgetting to “rejoice” in this (referring to oral sex and/or mutual stimulation) “incredible means of communicating with a beloved”.

It is difficult to come to any other conclusion than that Gene Robinson went beyond suggesting that high school kids resort to oral sex/mutual stimulation as a means of avoiding AIDS. He encouraged high school kids to celebrate their sexuality by physically communicating with their “beloved” through the use of oral sex/mutual stimulation. 


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Comments:

Something about millstones comes to mind…. What does one expect of “It’s all about me” Gene? I’ll be darned if I would ever subject one of my kids to his pastoral advice.

[1] Posted by via orthodoxy on 01-08-2009 at 10:17 AM • top

The Man should be defrocked.  I mean for the love of Pete, didn’t President Clinton’s Surgeon General have to step down after making the same suggestions.  V Gene, change your conduct/conversation, or change your title!  And while your at it, go and visit St. Paul’s epistle to Timothy and review the prerequsities for your office.

[2] Posted by aterry on 01-08-2009 at 10:17 AM • top

Dear Matt,
This is very old news.  I seem to remember that it was brought up at GC 2003 when they consented to his consecration.  Apparently it was acceptable by TEC way back then. Could it be less so now?  What’s your point in bringing it up?

[3] Posted by Eric Fenton on 01-08-2009 at 10:23 AM • top

Slow news day.  We’re having to resurrect a sermon from 1992.

[4] Posted by CarolynP on 01-08-2009 at 10:26 AM • top

Well, it was news to me.

[5] Posted by James Manley on 01-08-2009 at 10:27 AM • top

EDF.

What I remember being brought up were allegations that a website for one of Gene Robinson’s organization that primarily focused on gay high school students linked directly to gay pornographic images.

It was a huge blow up, but the links were removed and Robinson won consent.

I could be wrong, but I do not remember this. If it was brought up, it was not publicised to the extent that the website allegations were.

[6] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-08-2009 at 10:27 AM • top

I notice there’s no outcry over dragging up old Che’ speeches from the 1950s on the other thread.

[7] Posted by James Manley on 01-08-2009 at 10:28 AM • top

Sorry CarolynP, I have a lot to do. Too much to resurrect news on a slow news day. This is the first time I have heard of this story.

[8] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-08-2009 at 10:28 AM • top

First time I’ve heard it, too.

Furthermore, some STD’s can, in fact, be transmitted through oral sex and manual stimulation (in cases where there is an open area in the mucosa of the mouth or the skin of the hand).  It’s much rarer than transmission via intercourse (and by intercourse I do mean “both kinds”), but it is not a “safe way” to act on one’s sexual urges at all.

[9] Posted by Florida Anglican [Support Israel] on 01-08-2009 at 10:38 AM • top

I’ve done some google searches and found some of the testimony at his consent hearing…no mention of this episode…still looking

[10] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-08-2009 at 10:45 AM • top

I’ve never heard of this either. 

1992… that is BEFORE Clinton’s Surgeon General, Jocelyn Elders, was FIRED for suggesting exactly what Gene Robinson was suggesting.

[11] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 01-08-2009 at 10:48 AM • top

Okay, if it was reported, I cannot find it anywhere…

[12] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-08-2009 at 10:50 AM • top

Oral sex and/or mutual stimulation is, according to Robinson, something for high school students to “celebrate”.

Oww…. my head already hurt from the “Either/Or/Or” thread.

There are plenty of ways to “celebrate” that the young lady you’re courting is lovely and you find here desirable that stop well short of Robinson’s suggestions. Flowers might be nice.

[13] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 01-08-2009 at 10:51 AM • top

Positive Phototaxis, #13,

Flowers are nice, but chocolate is even better.  Preferably dark chocolate.  wink

[14] Posted by Florida Anglican [Support Israel] on 01-08-2009 at 10:53 AM • top

Matt,

Believe it or not, I actually found it mentioned here.

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/1008/

[15] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 01-08-2009 at 10:56 AM • top

PP - just beat me to it!  I knew I had read it before.

[16] Posted by Paul B on 01-08-2009 at 10:56 AM • top

#13 & 14 - it is strange to think of a high school girlfriend or boyfriend as a “beloved”, isn’t it?  Maybe the GBLT’s assault on our language is actually their greatest sin.

[17] Posted by CarolynP on 01-08-2009 at 10:57 AM • top

Positive Phototaxis,

thank you, wow, I had never read that. I am guessing, since it does not turn up on any google search and was not, so far as I can tell, part of the evidence in the consent hearing, that this is the first time his sermon has been published. The SF article seems to be based on the author’s notes taken during the sermon but I cannot find the sermon anywhere else or mention of it elsewhere.

[18] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-08-2009 at 11:03 AM • top

Flowers are nice, but chocolate is even better.  Preferably dark chocolate.  wink

Did my wife put you up to this? smile

She prefers dark chocolate… perhaps because she knows I won’t eat any of it. We even used to “share” Snickers bars (she would nibble the outside and I would get the rest… not THAT’s love). I do love white chocolate but she insists that it isn’t really “chocolate” at all.

We’ve taken to treating other couples to come with us to Melting Pot so we don’t have to sacrifice for each other re: which dessert to pick.

As for the sermon… I just can’t take the incredible harm it could do. I mean… I get it… I was a teenager. I remember how difficult it was to strive for purity while still expressing romantic feelings and making sure that the other person feels desirable (perhaps not the right word)- That just isn’t a language that we are born speaking and many hearts get hurt.

I get that… but THIS is not the answer. Why not explain that intimacy does not have to even be physical? That at this stage the physical may even detract from that?

[19] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 01-08-2009 at 11:18 AM • top

#13 & 14 - it is strange to think of a high school girlfriend or boyfriend as a “beloved”, isn’t it?

Not when you’re in high school. smile

[20] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 01-08-2009 at 11:21 AM • top

Snickers bars (she would nibble the outside and I would get the rest… not THAT’s love).

Major chuckle.

I had remembered, PP’s referenced thread, but the new information is the actual “sermon.”

[21] Posted by robroy on 01-08-2009 at 11:35 AM • top

“Beloved”

This is the worst part of the cultural debate, the equating of a desire for sex with love. It’s ridiculous.
It’s like suggesting scarfing chocolate covered cherries is nutritious.
A distinct pleasure and a strong desire to do something does not automatically, or even often, equal love or goodness.

Many teenagers smoke. Asked to speak on that subject I hardly think Robinson would suggest switching to lights or using extra filters but sex is always a different story.

[22] Posted by Rocks on 01-08-2009 at 11:38 AM • top

I’d say that’s both right and wrong.

You’re correct that society (and certainly a whole mess of teens) will assume that they “love” someone because they are physically attracted to them. And many teens looking for “love” have fallen into the “he must love me because he slept with me” trap - with a broken heart (hopefully) the only thing left weeks later. You’re right; it doesn’t work that way.

It does, however, work in the other direction. Many teens are capable of a genuine emotional intimacy… and that is naturally often accompanied by a physical attraction (which of course does not mean that you must act on it - or act in a particular way).

Another failing of our culture (perhaps the same one) is that we postpone adulthood for so long. The Lord didn’t create us to become men and women at 21. I think your observation is a specific application of a general theme… that teens associate acting “adult” (drinking, sex, driving, whatever) with being fully mature.

I’ve known young teens who are more mature spiritually and emotionally than many MANY “adults”... but it is by no means the standard output from our culture.

[23] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 01-08-2009 at 11:58 AM • top

Re: “the equating of a desire for sex with love”

Come on people, teenage guys have always told girls that “putting out” was a way of showing how much they really loved their guy. As far back as the 50’s that I personally can recall.  This is why up until recently everyone knew that girls had to be protected - by their parents, chaperones and society in general.  Girls make stupid choices left on their own.  We’ve just gotten so far away from a society that encourages kids to grow up first, get married, then have sex.

[24] Posted by The Little Myrmidon on 01-08-2009 at 11:59 AM • top

Nice find, Matt.  Fascinating that this was preached at St. Paul’s. 

I remember the other SF thread.  But as nearly as I can recall this was not an issue at the consent hearings at GC 2003—the issue there—other than of course his being engaged in an immoral sexual relationship with a man—was his connection with the website that had links to bad stuff on it.

[25] Posted by Sarah on 01-08-2009 at 12:04 PM • top

One of my best friends, a very conservative Christian (i.e., otherwise), believes that oral sex is permissible before marriage.  To me, this seems consistent with Bill Clinton’s definition of the word, “is.” 

I think the Church might have been out to lunch on this one, unfortunately.  Abortion and the intercourse version of premarital sex tend to get all the press. 

BTW - my friend and I attended Calvin together.  The college nurse at the time informed me that the rate of premarital sex amongst students was at least 70%  (late ‘80’s).  I was flabbergasted.

[26] Posted by J Eppinga on 01-08-2009 at 12:13 PM • top

FWIW, I too immediately thought I’d heard this report before but perhaps only in the context of a controversial sermon being delivered at St. Paul’s.  What I remember about it was that this was at a high school (and one that I thought about attending back in the day).  I also recall some efforts to castigate those who were making noise about this sermon.

[27] Posted by Widening Gyre on 01-08-2009 at 12:13 PM • top

I’m happy the Diocesan office released this sermon, it shows a transparency I hadn’t expected from TEC.

This is the sermon described by David Hicks who at the time was principal of the school in this thread.  This article created quite a stir - it’s come up on the Episcopal Majority site, and Tom Woodward there claimed that what Hicks said couldn’t be true, since he has a brother in New Hampshire who surely would have heard of this if it were true.  A rather silly remark, since one usually isn’t informed of what goes on within the walls of highschool assemblies.

David Hicks wrote his article on the basis of his own memory - of events more than ten years ago - and some short notes he’d taken.  Indeed, Robinson does call sexuality a “God-given gift.”  He does talk about celebrating sexuality in the same paragraph as where he talks about being able to “discover for the first time all the wonderful ways of being sexual with another person.”

I do agree with David Hicks that this is not the appropriate way of addressing sexuality with youngsters.

However, it is important to understand the mitigating circumstances and read this more sympathetically than is now being done - if we do not do so, we are not specifying what precisely is wrong with this talk.

Gene Robinson probably supposed that many of the youngsters would have already experimented and discovered how stimulating sexual experiences can be.  With quite a few in such an audience, it would be tempting indeed to try to win over the audience, by being “different” from other supposed “Christian” sources, in pointing out what many would already know.  He also brings this up in the context of “if you are ... sexually active.”  He doesn’t explicitly encourage this.  His terms indeed are glowing, and David Hicks is right in seeing this as an encouragement, and as something which would likely prompt youngsters to think more about sex, and for some, to engage in it.

Indeed, Robinson is so concerned in talking about the AIDS crisis that the sermon does not make a distinction between love and sex.  It does seem like they are conflated.  He also makes the mistake of talking about sexuality as “communicating with a beloved” to a highschool audience.  This muddles the distinction further by being much less than a robust discussion of what sexuality is.

I agree with Matt’s conclusion here, and that this is very bad advice.  However, I’d like to make more clear where the problem is: it is not so much the words of one who intentionally wishes to muddle the distinction between love and sex to a very susceptible audience, as misguided words from one who, most likely, does not fully understand the Biblical notion of sexuality, and who most likely is himself somewhat muddled regarding the distinction between love and sex.

The muddling here is indeed serious, and deserves to be opposed vehemently - but also understandingly.  In this case, I think part of the understanding is in realizing that Gene Robinson’s main problem was not in having a bad intent - it is rather that he did not embrace the proper intent - that of discussing the seriousness of the bonding that can, and should, occur when people have sex, and terrible consequences when this is done in a fashion which is not honoring God.  It is a sin of commission in that he should have not spoken to this audience on this topic, and certainly not in these terms, without doing so with this proper intent.  But it is primarily a sin of omission, and there, an omission which is not only present in this sermon, but most likely also present in his own life and attitude toward sexuality, preventing him from appreciating the fullest of these gifts, and unfortunately plaguing him with the consequences of gifts not partaken of in a properly thankful and accepting spirit.

I had expected a sermon which lends itself more profoundly to these errors, after having read the Hicks article.  Tom Woodward is in a way right - not that Gene Robinson did not say this, rather that he didn’t say it in such a pronounced way as one might expect from the passion which Hicks brings to condemning the viewpoint.  However, Hicks’s passion is also very understandable, as the guardian of children he dearly loved, whose trust in a TEC clergyman was betrayed when dealing with these issues in a way so very likely to stimulate children to go use these “gifts.”

The sermon is riddled with other errors - blaming the slow response to AIDS on the US government and the church, without addressing the attitude of the community most affected by the virus, comparing the AIDS epidemic to the holocaust, and treating highschoolers to imagined anti-gay invective and indeed the imaginations that some people consider homosexuals to be “throwaway” people.  Indeed, were there any gay children in the audience, what good does it do telling them that they are victims of something akin to the holocaust, that a large segment of the population considers them to be “throwaway” people and hates them?

I sometimes wonder at the vituperative remarks of some gay people regarding “homo hatred” when simply describing some people who don’t agree that gay sex, all considered, is edifying behavior, sometimes who are more than willing to help gay people in everything short of pursuing gay sex.  The invocation of non-existent hatred can, unfortunately, provoke real hatred.  And imagining hatred where there is none only embitters the spirit.

We do well, though, to consider the same, and to be careful in our own remarks regarding those who oppose us.  We must be careful in our qualifications, and not engage in exaggerations or insinuation.

[28] Posted by j.m.c. on 01-08-2009 at 12:21 PM • top

Thanks #11, Jocelyn Elders’ name had slipped me when I was posting earlier…

[29] Posted by aterry on 01-08-2009 at 12:22 PM • top

has anyone ever checked/ asked him to see what his connection to former Rev Bud Vermilia (SPelling may not be accurate )while in seminary.Some folks there know

[30] Posted by Mtn gospel on 01-08-2009 at 12:34 PM • top

What do you know ... It is all about sex with VGR ...

[31] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-08-2009 at 12:52 PM • top

Regardles of whether or not this is old news, Robinson should be formally defrocked, arrested, and charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors.

[32] Posted by Cennydd on 01-08-2009 at 01:00 PM • top

......or moral turpitude!

[33] Posted by Cennydd on 01-08-2009 at 01:01 PM • top

#28

I’m happy the Diocesan office released this sermon, it shows a transparency I hadn’t expected from TEC.

I think you’re giving them far too much credit. They appear to be releasing it as a defense. It’s “see… it was a good sermon… unlike what you heard”.

[34] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 01-08-2009 at 01:08 PM • top

Well, so much for the official line of the LGBTQ lobby that what they’re fighting for is an acknowledgment of “lifelong, mature, committed” same-sex relationships - not teenage forays into the indulgence of lust and making it look like a “celebration” of a God-given gift.  Last time I looked, the standard for ANY sexual behavior (for Christian persons) is within the bounds of marriage. 
If a clergy person tells a group of youngsters that sexual experimentation is OK with your “beloved” - WITHOUT benefit of marriage - isn’t that just scuttling the boat and giving lie to all the claims of the left?  Isn’t it like a cop saying, “I know pot is illegal, but you should give it a try - it is not like heroin or coke or anything like that, and it is a gift from God!”
If I had heard that my kids had been forced (it was a school assembly, right?) to listen to this garbage, there would have been a HUGE fuss at the time.

[35] Posted by GillianC on 01-08-2009 at 01:22 PM • top

#14, Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.

[36] Posted by Bill McGovern on 01-08-2009 at 01:26 PM • top

#36, Bill McGovern,

Very true, but liquor might just bring about the very thing we are talking about getting teens to avoid (sex).  wink  I say, dark chocolate.

#19, Positive Phototaxis,

LOL, no I don’t think I know your wife (as I don’t know you or at least who you are).  But great minds think alike.  Dk chocolate any day, and white chocolate really isn’t chocolate at all.  smile

[37] Posted by Florida Anglican [Support Israel] on 01-08-2009 at 01:46 PM • top

Although the Hicks paper was first published on SF in 2006, it was actually written some time earlier—when, I don’t know.  It was originally submitted for consideration of publication in a journal.  When rejected, the author let the article lie dormant, but it circulated among friends.  It eventually ended up in the hands of a SF board member, and permission was obtained to publish it online.

[38] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 01-08-2009 at 01:46 PM • top

This man is sick and disgusting.  No, it is not all about sex, but any group that accepts-and proclaims-this is as sick as he is.  And that group will not be my church.

I wonder how many parents heard of this at the time.  I know what I would have done had my child been there. Yet it seems to have been kept quiet for a long time. 

Maybe if someone had SCREAMED foul then things would be different now.  But that would not have been polite.

[39] Posted by Elizabeth on 01-08-2009 at 02:24 PM • top

Oh, I see that others have already mentioned the 2006 article on the presentation, “Our Passions and the Promiscuous Church” by David V. Hicks (StandFirm, Aug. 9, 2006). 
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/1008
As Hicks put it: 
“The only time I ever heard the now Bishop Gene Robinson speak was at a Vespers service at St. Paul’s School in the fall of 1992. His topic appeared to be God’s gift of love, a phrase he often repeated in his talk, but his point conflated love with sex, and he urged the girls and boys of St. Paul’s to share their sexual gifts “either with someone of the same sex or someone of the opposite sex.” He said this more than once, and I jotted the phrase down in the book of prayers at my desk. No mention of marriage or even of commitment. He did close his talk, however, with a disarming suggestion that God would be well pleased if His gifts were shared safely. ‘Please use a condom.’”

And don’t forget Robinson’s strong public support of the abortion agenda.  Objection to him need not be all about the “gay” thing, after all.  He’s unfit on many grounds.

[40] Posted by Paula on 01-08-2009 at 04:28 PM • top

Sorry.  I wrote my note earlier in the day but now I see the Hicks article is here for all to see.  I hope the Anglican Communion leaders are reading all this.  Of course, Robinson represents a whole mindset that is directly defiant of the church’s wisdom of the ages on doctrine and morals.

[41] Posted by Paula on 01-08-2009 at 04:39 PM • top

Now that he thinks he’s a bishop, perhaps he would like to spread the good news to kindergarteners in a children’s sermon. I still can’t believe that GC approved him for the office of bishop. His own bishop should have taken him out of public ministry when he divorced his wife. Not to mention preaching this sermon. It brings back chilling memories of Safeguarding God’s Children. If a youth minister did something like this with our EYC group…

[42] Posted by Ralph on 01-08-2009 at 04:56 PM • top

I’m seeing a strange parallel between Gene Robinson and Michael Jackson.

[43] Posted by The Templar on 01-08-2009 at 05:33 PM • top

One more bit like this, and this confirmed Protestant might just swim the freakin’ Tiber!

[44] Posted by elanor on 01-08-2009 at 07:06 PM • top

Moot #26
My daughter and son-in-law (who happen to be sitting in the room here with me, each on their own computer) also attended Calvin, although MUCH more recently. wink  They say if there was that much premarital sex going on THEY did not know anything about it!  Maybe the nurse was a liberal trying to convince students it was OK?  Or maybe she just saw a lot of those students.  I suppose a student knows only about what s/he and his/her immediate friends are doing.

[45] Posted by old lady on 01-08-2009 at 07:09 PM • top

“Teenagers are not animals.”
I do not know of any animals who do the things described.
Maybe more accurate to say, “Animals are not teenagers.”

[46] Posted by RealityCheck on 01-08-2009 at 07:10 PM • top

Of course, you are right that a priest or bishop has no right to commend sex outside marriage. Taking the sermon at its best, Robinson is reflecting the C. Everett Koop condom dilemma: how does one help those who will not remain abstinent from killing themselves. Note this article by William McGurn on faith-based virginity. Sorry to by cynical, but I suspect boys and girls at an Episcopal boarding school may more likely be in the non-faith-based category likely to have sex before age 18.

But even conceding this dilemma, Robinson’s moral equivalence is skewed. Abstinence is honorable, positive and life-ensuring (boring!); sex play is exciting, life-enhancing, maybe even spiritual (after all, Bp. Gene does it!). If you are a hormonally challenged young man or woman, which choice would you make?

[47] Posted by Stephen Noll on 01-08-2009 at 10:03 PM • top

Thank goodness my folks didn’t send me to school there.  The prep school I went to was certainly “liberal”  but a chaplain couldn’t say something like that in chapel without there being a firestorm from parents and the chaplain getting the boot.  The alumni and descendants of the Puritan founders would also have gone nuts.

[48] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 01-08-2009 at 10:42 PM • top

Read St. Jude 4-7. That says it all.

[49] Posted by physician without health on 01-08-2009 at 11:58 PM • top

The traditional Christian notions of sexuality come to us from the purity codes of Leviticus (adopted to differentiate the people of Israel from neigboring tribes) and from the noticn that women were mere property. Jesus substituted love for legalistic prescriptions of purity and treated women with respect. With the reason for the rules gone, the rules should go, as well. Single people, as contrasted with married, should be free to engage—- or not engage—- in any sexual activity of their choosing, taking care to prevent pregnancy and disease.

What bothers me about these debates on both sides is the lack of interpersonal respect. I realize my views are not popular on this board. But unlike some of my brother and sister progressives, I respect the preferences of those who differ with me and their right to express their opinions and to disagree with me. I am not God and do not pretend to have a monopoly on the “correct” interpretation of scripture, tradition, and reason. All of us need a bit more humility on the sexuality issues

[50] Posted by DesertDavid on 01-09-2009 at 12:36 AM • top

Jesus substituted love for legalistic prescriptions of purity and treated women with respect. With the reason for the rules gone, the rules should go, as well. Single people, as contrasted with married, should be free to engage—- or not engage—- in any sexual activity of their choosing, taking care to prevent pregnancy and disease.

Thank you for your comment Desertdavid. You’ll get no ‘hate’ out of me - I’m all for respect here.

However, Jesus did no such thing. I would want to point out that Jesus, rather than using the purity codes, went even further back than Sinai, all the way to Genesis to get his teaching on Sexuality and Marriage. As a result of this, there is not an abandonment of rules as you describe it, but rather a tightening up of rules with Him. Sex is seen as only for one man and one woman, in a life-long relationship that can only be ended in death, and not the divorce courts.

Now of course we can argue that the Church in all its forms has let some (or all) of these standards slip over the years. However, we still have to deal with Jesus, for whom ‘sexual immorality’ (a catch-all phrase for all forms of sex outside of marriage) is a damnable offence, but I am guessing that you don’t believe that Jesus would send anyone to hell - let alone for sex as a single person.

The problem is, as has been stated before, is that we really have two religions trying to coexist in one organisation - and this fault runs through many expressions of Christ’s church.

I too am not God, and I appreciate your reluctance to be dogmatic. I too am a very live-and-let-live sort of person. But I believe Jesus is God. Don’t you? Did he really mean what he said? I mean really mean it? Do you see why we have such a hard time with some of the stuff that your side of the aisle comes out with?

[51] Posted by Derek Smith on 01-09-2009 at 01:29 AM • top

Jesus substituted love for legalistic prescriptions of purity and treated women with respect…Single people, as contrasted with married, should be free to engage—- or not engage—- in any sexual activity of their choosing, taking care to prevent pregnancy and disease.

These statements seem almost oxymoronic together! If Jesus made love the primary consideration, is that not a HIGHER standart?  How does that give single people freedom to act as lust and hormones dictate? 

He respected women….no record of him in serial sexual relationships with single women! How are women respected by simply being the object of sexual pleasure ...? The cheap imitation of love without attachment or commitment which is all too common among liberated singles in our society is certainly no respect.

LOVE, as defined by Jesus himself and S. Paul in 1 Cor 13, is a higher standart than “purity rules”! That is unless we are defining love what is dictated by teenage hormones, and Sex in the City episodes. That is not progressive at all its the same old stuff!

Blessings

Seraph

[52] Posted by seraph on 01-09-2009 at 07:55 AM • top

#28 What a very thoughtful comment.  My favorite on this thread.

#47 Great article.  Thanks for the link, and it is as I have always suspected. Always nice to read your comments on SF.

[53] Posted by heart on 01-09-2009 at 09:12 AM • top

j.m.c., thank you for your very well considered post at, I believe, #28. You have summed it up very well and also offered some words to live by for the rest of us.

[54] Posted by oscewicee on 01-09-2009 at 09:37 AM • top

The traditional Christian notions of sexuality come to us from the purity codes of Leviticus (adopted to differentiate the people of Israel from neigboring tribes) and from the noticn that women were mere property. Jesus substituted love for legalistic prescriptions of purity and treated women with respect. With the reason for the rules gone, the rules should go, as well.

This is damnable nonsense.  With the William Countryman “purity code” hypothesis having been thoroughly demolished time and time again, one would think that revisionists would be embarrassed to keep beating this dead horse.

But just in case DesertDavid is not aware of nor read Robert Gagnon, I would refer him to shorter texts, specifically:

Christopher Seitz, “The Ten Commandments: Positive and Natural Law and the Covenants Old and New—Christian Use of the Decalogue and Moral Law,” and Markus Bockmuehl, “Keeping It Holy: Old Testament Commandment and New Testament Faith,” both in Carl Braaten and Christopher Seitz, I Am the Lord Your God: Reflections on the Ten Commandments (Eerdmans, 2005).

The chapter on “Homosexuality” in Richard Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament (HarperSanFrancisco, 1996).

Hays states correctly: “What the New Testament means by ‘love’ is embodied concretely in the cross. . . . The content of the word ‘love’ is given fully and exclusively in the death of Jesus on the cross; apart from this specific narrative image, the term has no meaning. . . . The biblical story tells us that God’s love cannot be reduced to ‘inclusiveness’; authentic love calls us to repentance, discipline, sacrifice, and transformation. . . . We can recover the power of love only by insisting that love’s meaning is to be discovered in the New Testament story of Jesus—therefore, in the cross.” (202)

[55] Posted by William Witt on 01-09-2009 at 10:00 AM • top

Aside from all the theological, philosophical and historical rhetoric, fact is, this man should be kept away from impressionable children.

[56] Posted by The Templar on 01-09-2009 at 10:22 AM • top

DesertDavid #50…
No hate, animus, or mallice here, but I have to take issue with your position. You are correct in your assessment that the Gospel did more to liberate and enfranchise women in afirming them as joint heirs and co-equals with the menfolk.  This said, Christ, the Gospel and codex of the New Testament didn’t abolish the call and command for sexual purity.
Consider the three requirements levied on the converts to the faith by the Jerusalem Church, avoidance of sexual immorality was one of only three requirements.  Additionally, the proscription against fornication (i.e. sexual activity outside of the marriage bond) is soundly repudiated all through the Pauline corpus.
It is what it is; I didn’t write it but as a follower of the way, I’m called to defend it.

[57] Posted by aterry on 01-09-2009 at 11:24 AM • top

For Gods sake, defrock this guy.  He’s an embarassment.

[58] Posted by The Templar on 01-09-2009 at 12:15 PM • top

Poor Gene Robinson.

A clergyman asked to speak to young people about sex knows that many of his audience are already having sex, and in the case of those who aren’t it is usually not for lack of trying. He has two options.

One option is for him to say something absurd and utterly pointless like “Don’t have sex until you are married”, which the young people expect him to say and will duly ignore.

Or he can say something which may actually make sense to the young people and is rather good advice. This may do some practical good. But he must pay the price of being criticized for not having wasted his breath advocating for abstinence—something that almost no-one (including many in the church, and most of those who now advocate it) actually practiced when they were young.

I’d rather have honest commonsense, which is quite rare, than pious hypocrisy, which is cheap and plentiful.

[59] Posted by Paul Stanley on 01-09-2009 at 01:41 PM • top

Paul, 59

He was clergy.  If he couldn’t uphold Church teaching he should not…wait, never mind.

[60] Posted by Elizabeth on 01-09-2009 at 01:45 PM • top

I’d rather have honest commonsense, which is quite rare, than pious hypocrisy, which is cheap and plentiful.

Behold the new Official Line on the rehabilitation of VGR.  What was once a viscious slander by knuckle-dragging conservatives - that this Wonderful, Pious Man would never, ever in a million years utter such vile recommendations to impressionable kiddies - is now received wisdom, pure “honest commonsense” that any reasonable person would dispense.

[61] Posted by Jeffersonian on 01-09-2009 at 01:48 PM • top

I’d rather have honest commonsense, which is quite rare, than pious hypocrisy, which is cheap and plentiful.

Oh, how many places could I go with this…
1)  honest commonsense:  sex before marriage, without the covenant commitment that marriage entails, is damaging and has life-long negative consequences.
2)  Pious hypocisy:  God thinks that it is wonderful for you to share the gift of your bodily functions with your “beloved”, as long as you are safe about it.

See, I made it work.

[62] Posted by GillianC on 01-09-2009 at 02:01 PM • top

Paul(59), would your response to the Sermon on the Mount be that it was absurd and utterly pointless?  I suspect it was duly ignored too.

[63] Posted by phil swain on 01-09-2009 at 02:03 PM • top

It’s sad that you can see even in the words of Paul Stanley, one of the most thoughtful and gracious commenters on the Left, the complete capitulation to the culture, and the implied notion that it’s from this cesspool that the church should take her lead.

[64] Posted by Phil on 01-09-2009 at 02:07 PM • top

#55 - William

Hays states correctly: “What the New Testament means by ‘love’ is embodied concretely in the cross. . . . The content of the word ‘love’ is given fully and exclusively in the death of Jesus on the cross; apart from this specific narrative image, the term has no meaning. .

This is entirely correct and very well put. Unlike most of the NT Greek, “Agape” had virtually no (recorded) usage prior to the NT… certainly nothing that provided a context for how it should be understood when interpreting scripture. We are thus entirely “limited” in our understanding of the word by how we find it in the Word. It is impossible to understand this “love” apart from the saving work of Christ.

I wonder if it would be correct to say that (for humans) this kind of love was not even possible prior to the Cross? It certainly means that our Christian relationships are/should be different in substance and not just in degree.

[65] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 01-09-2009 at 02:54 PM • top

Paul, is the mission of a priest or bishop speaking to young people to just tell them to “keep on keepin’on”????

[66] Posted by oscewicee on 01-09-2009 at 03:04 PM • top

Schori, Robinson, Crew, Sprong should get down on their knees every day and thank God that they weren’t born during the Middle Ages.

[67] Posted by The Templar on 01-09-2009 at 04:13 PM • top

Funny.  Loutibelle; Gene Gene The Traveling Machine (and company) love to stop debate by asking why anyone is interested in what goes on in their bedrooms.  Yet here’s a perfect example of the filthy rotten “doctrine” of their church being brought out of the bedroom and right into a school.

Was Craig Anderson the Rector when this happened, or had the board kicked that lib thief out already?

[68] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 01-09-2009 at 06:01 PM • top

It dawned on me as I read all this that Gene Robinson at the time was Canon to the Ordinary of NH - Did the Bishop he worked for approve of this speech?

[69] Posted by vrmjws on 01-09-2009 at 06:17 PM • top

I’m wondering if Gene Robinson is only a sample of what’s going on underneath the surface?

My cousin has a long time girlfriend (both are in their 50’s) who started in an Austin Episcopalian seminary in last fall to become a priest. Some diocese on the east coast is paying for her tuition.

My cousin is a staunch agnostic and they sleep together, smoke pot, drink alcohol to excess, and etc. He used to think that homosexuality is unnatural. Now, he thinks it’s fine because of her influence. She is rabid pro-homosexual and rabid anti-African bishops and etc. I am a conservative Lutheran (LCMS) so you can imagine how my eyes keep crossing over this situation.

What is the deal? Is there no screening process for becoming an Episcopal priest? I mean no offense to ya’ll and I am rooting for all of you who seek to remain orthodox. But please help me understand what the requirements are for the priesthood! Is Gene just a visible manifestation of what is already running rampant among the priests and who they accept to become priests?

[70] Posted by Lily on 01-09-2009 at 07:12 PM • top

J.M.C. #28’s very thoughtful post included this statement: “...Gene Robinson’s main problem was not in having a bad intent - it is rather that he did not embrace the proper intent…”

Any VGR statement only has one intent - to glorify homosexuality and himself,  NOT Jesus Christ.

[71] Posted by Theodora on 01-09-2009 at 07:26 PM • top

And, j.m.c., there are no ‘gay’ children or ‘gay’ adults in God’s book.  I Corinthians 6:9-11 can clarify that for you.

The terms ‘gay’ ‘lesbian’ ‘sexual orientation’ are propaganda terms concocted for agenda purposes and are also attempted exemptions which God does not grant us.

There are people who are conditioned to same sex desires as children most often due to relational dynamics in their families, something (absence, rejection, disrespect, shaming, inappropriate behavior and/or abuse by a parent or caregiver, conflict between parents, death or divorce) somehow preventing their identification or a healthy relationship with their same-sex parent.

The more intelligent and sensitive the child, the more likely it is that their identities as male or female will become disoriented. 

The child or teen’s same-sex peer relationships get sexualized due to the emotional force of their unmet needs.  These ‘hungry for love’ children are also easily identified and become easy targets for molestation.

[72] Posted by Theodora on 01-09-2009 at 07:37 PM • top

What is the deal? Is there no screening process for becoming an Episcopal priest?

Indeed there is, and your cousin passed through it easily.

[73] Posted by Jeffersonian on 01-09-2009 at 07:58 PM • top

Indeed there is, and your cousin passed through it easily.

Ouch. That really stinketh. I had no idea.

Thank you for answering my question Jeffersonian.

[74] Posted by Lily on 01-09-2009 at 08:46 PM • top

AT LEAST GENE HAS THE baseBALLS TO SAY WHAT HE MEANS TO SAY W/O HIDING WHO IS SAYING IT…  UNLIKE MOST SF COMMENTERS WHO HIDE BEHIND NAMES LIKE “OSCEWICEE”

[75] Posted by MyFlamingBush on 01-09-2009 at 09:10 PM • top

Not so fast, #76,

As a bishop in Christ’s Church, Gene should be preaching Christ and Him crucified, not teaching adults and children to crucify themselves with sinful harmful lifestyles.

It is outrageous and ludicrous for a Christian, lay or clergy to promote sin.
That’s like a physician giving patients unhealthy advice.

Actually, Gene’s doing both.  All honest evidence supports that life is healthier when sex is confined to a monogamous heterosexual marriage, moreso than homosexual or promiscuous heterosexual lifestyles.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

[76] Posted by Theodora on 01-09-2009 at 09:40 PM • top

#76 Hang on you flaming bush, there maybe an irony you’re missing….

[77] Posted by driver8 on 01-09-2009 at 09:50 PM • top

Mr. and Mrs. Bush should be smacked for naming their child “My Flaming” but at least they raised someone that has the courage to use their real name on blogs!

[78] Posted by AndrewA on 01-09-2009 at 09:52 PM • top

#77,
dont be blurred by my “not-so-fast” fastball-
I agree with you about all the hetero sex stuff.  The question is, do you believe yourself?  Gene is reaching out b/c the reality is that most people have sex ‘before’ marriage. 
#77, shall you cast a stone at yourself?

[79] Posted by MyFlamingBush on 01-09-2009 at 09:57 PM • top

I wasn’t the one criticizing anonymity. FWIW I think there may be all sorts of good reasons to remain anonymous and I take it you do too.

[80] Posted by driver8 on 01-09-2009 at 10:00 PM • top

#81 (perhaps- #79, #77- whoever you are)
“FWIW I think there may be all sorts of good reasons to remain anonymous and I take it you do too” 

Nope.  I was taught that Honesty is the Truth that must flow from ones lips…  then I got kicked off some rAnDoM blog that didnt like what I had to say.  So much for blogs wantin’ honesty.

[81] Posted by MyFlamingBush on 01-09-2009 at 10:22 PM • top

“FWIW I think there may be all sorts of good reasons to remain anonymous and I take it you do too”

Nope.

We are no longer amused, Flaming Bush.  So you do not believe we should be anonymous (or in my case, pseudonymous) but its OK for you and you alone- or did you legally change your name to “My Flaming Bush”- or are you just some TEC priest or bishop masquerading?

[82] Posted by tjmcmahon on 01-09-2009 at 11:02 PM • top

There are occasions when anonymity aids speaking honestly. My experience, is that the real danger of anonymity is not lack of honesty but lack of love (which is itself of course a failure to understand and will what is truthful).

[83] Posted by driver8 on 01-09-2009 at 11:04 PM • top
[84] Posted by Sarah on 01-09-2009 at 11:32 PM • top

tjmcmahon,

I expect it’s merely another revisionist activist who can’t bear not having the attention—and who’s not able to stay away from this blog.  It’s an OCD thing, is my bet. 

“We . . . Complete Them.”  ; > )

[85] Posted by Sarah on 01-10-2009 at 12:21 AM • top

“if you are physically. sexually active with someone. whether with a person of the opposite or the same sex, you can remember or discover for the first time all the wonderful ways of being sexual with another person without having intercourse”

Although Robinson is speaking about AIDs, he also seems to be advising young people to develop a distaste for marital sexual intercourse as it is commonly understood. This is not a healthy or Christian way to mentor young people.
Much is written about understanding Robinson but little is written about the destructive effect this type of mentoring has on young people, my sympathy and prayers are with the unfortunate high school students who were subjected to this sermon.

[86] Posted by Betty See on 01-10-2009 at 02:17 AM • top

I have a question about Gene Robinson’s consecration as Bishop of New Hampshire. As I understand, he suggested in a sermon that young people engage in Oral Sex or Mutual Satisfaction as a practice of good health and this was sritten in 1992.  Before General Convention even considered his ability or credentials to be Bishop, did they research his views on this subject of oral sex for young people before considering him for Bishop of New Hampshire? No wonder my family left the Episcopal Church and joined the Anglicans.  I have a teenage daughter and if Gene Robinson suggested that to her, I would have sued him or bring him up on charges of perversion and hopefully he would be sitting in jail instead of the cathedral house.

[87] Posted by The kat on 01-11-2009 at 03:01 PM • top

The kat,

In some states, adults can be charged with registerable offenses for discussing the topics Gene Robinson discussed with any minor other than your own.  In some states, there is no statute of limitations on such charges.

[88] Posted by Florida Anglican [Support Israel] on 01-11-2009 at 03:22 PM • top

Thank you Florida Anglican for your suggestions. I also support Israel!  I think Gene Robinson is a perverted, dirty old man.

[89] Posted by The kat on 01-11-2009 at 04:56 PM • top

Gene Robinson spoke at my daughter’s high school before Christmas -to the whole school through all four blocks.  I don’t know the details of his talk but essentially it was his “I’m a simple country bishop and I want to explain my position to you’ talk.  My daughter stayed home as did some of her friends.  She spoke up about homosexuality and Robinson’s upcoming talk in her AP English Lit class.  Almost everyone in her class gave her blank or disapproving looks, including, especially, her teacher.

[90] Posted by Bill C on 01-11-2009 at 05:04 PM • top

General Convention didn’t give a gnat’s eyelash what VGR did or said.  They are inebriated, their minds twisted and confused.  Without the framework and foundation of God’s truth, they become unable to think straight (pun intended) Isaiah 51:22-23; Romans 1:18-32

God’s Truth makes theology, philosophy and science possible.  Without it, there is only chaos and futility and bondage.

[91] Posted by Theodora on 01-11-2009 at 05:17 PM • top

Way to raise a strong daughter, Bill C!

[92] Posted by Branford on 01-11-2009 at 06:18 PM • top

I think I should point out the obvious.  No one should raise their children or themselves in ECUSA.  Any argument?
There just aren’t words of contempt any more harsh than “Gene Robinson”.

[93] Posted by nwlayman on 01-11-2009 at 08:31 PM • top

I talked to my daughter about Gene Robnson’s comments about oral sex and mutual stimulation and she said that the practice of oral sex brings on AIDS because of the exchange of body fluid between partners. I’m wondering if Mr. Robinson knows what he is talking about concerning teenagers and sexual activity.  Oh wait a minute. May-be it’s to the gay kids he’s talking to.

[94] Posted by The kat on 01-11-2009 at 11:16 PM • top

In fairness, that’s not what the man said.

He said:
...there are many ways of communicating physically and sexually with another person short of intercourse…

at which point the poster went on to say:
...I’ve heard health-workers suggest that if adolescents simply cannot hold back that they should engage in oral sex and/or mutual stimulation rather than intercourse for safety’s sake. I think it is horrible advice and, of course, sinful….

I’m assuming that there must be some other source of information about what Gene Robinson meant because what’s being imputed to him here doesn’t come from the snippet of the sermon quoted.

It’s a terrible testimony to the quality of the love lives represented amongst all you young calvinist types here on Standfirm that physical/sexual communication between young people falling ‘short of intercourse’ must necessarily involve oral sex and groping.  Hows about a kiss Matt?  Hows about the warm body held close to yours on the dance floor?  Were you ever young?

Raspberry Rabbit
Scotland

[95] Posted by Raspberry Rabbit on 01-12-2009 at 08:35 AM • top

heh, I’m sure that’s what he meant by “being sexual with another person short of intercourse…” kissing…right.

[96] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-12-2009 at 08:40 AM • top

I don’t know what he meant.  Neither do you.

[97] Posted by Raspberry Rabbit on 01-12-2009 at 08:45 AM • top

Heh, sure rasberry…

[98] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-12-2009 at 08:48 AM • top

Raspberry if you can read this

...if you are physically. sexually active with someone.

and this

there are many ways of communicating physically and sexually with another person short of intercourse…

topped off with a

Love thy neighbor as thyself - wear a condom

and think he was talking about dancing and kissing - well, let’t just say I am really, really hoping you’ll make an appointment to see the bridge in Florida that has your name all over it.

[99] Posted by JackieB on 01-12-2009 at 08:58 AM • top

Well you’ll all be pleased to hear this from +Gene, no doubt: grin

I am writing to tell you that President-Elect Obama and the Inaugural Committee have invited me to give the invocation at the opening event of the Inaugural Week activities…

http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/faith_and_politics/breaking_bishop_gene_robinson.html

[100] Posted by laud on 01-12-2009 at 09:02 AM • top

Jackie and Matt—such comments are homophobic, hurtful and, most importantly, divisive, since they . . . divide . . . uh, people when you point out things like that.

Please limit such divisive comments in future.

[101] Posted by Sarah on 01-12-2009 at 09:02 AM • top

RE: “I am writing to tell you that President-Elect Obama and the Inaugural Committee have invited me to give the invocation at the opening event of the Inaugural Week activities… . . . “

Heh heh.  All the desperate finagling and red-phone calls paid off, huh?  ; > )

Oh that the Simple Country Bishop could just live a quiet life.  But circumstances beyond his control have forced him—nay hurtled him—reluctantly back into the public eye again.

When will enough be enough.  When will the adoring throngs allow him to simply live a quiet, peaceful life, being the bishop of that beloved little place, New Hampshire.

But [hand to brow, heavy sigh] . . . Duty Calls.  One must totter forth from one’s chair to re-enter the yoke of labor again.

[102] Posted by Sarah on 01-12-2009 at 09:05 AM • top

Uh Jackie,

Different paragraph.  The reference to condoms begins in a paragrph where he says “...if you *are* having intercourse or oral sex…..”  It does not belong to the preceding paragraph which seems to be under discussion here.

It just seems that if you dig up a fifteen year old sermon because you’re outraged that someone would accuse you of twisting words around and fabricating a point that some American bishop didn’t actually make you’d better make sure that you’re not going to go ahead and immediately twist those words around again. 

I’m sure the Bishop of New Hampshire will oblige and provide you with actual words that you can take issue with.

RR

[103] Posted by Raspberry Rabbit on 01-12-2009 at 09:08 AM • top

RE: “It does not belong to the preceding paragraph which seems to be under discussion here.”

Oh no, RR, we didn’t limit discussion to one paragraph at all.  It’s you who are attempting to do that.

RE: “I’m sure the Bishop of New Hampshire will oblige and provide you with actual words that you can take issue with.”

He already did—see above post where the sermon in question—so long denied by others—is there in all of its resplendent tawdry glory.

[104] Posted by Sarah on 01-12-2009 at 09:10 AM • top

No, #101, as believing Christians, we are not pleased when VGR is allowed to speak in the Name of Jesus Christ or for the Church.

Robinson’s mission is consistently to pander the false gospel of homosexual orientation which is in opposition to the True Gospel of Redemption in Scripture. 

Jesus did not come to leave people dead in sin or to reconcile sin to God. 

Jesus died to give us the power OVER sin, so we may know and confess the truth and harm of sin, crucify sin and be reconciled to God.

[105] Posted by Floridian on 01-12-2009 at 10:38 AM • top

And what am I to apologize for????? For not twisting the context and wording of Bishop Robinson’s sermon?? Sorry, Matt, but +Gene is not saying what you seem desparately to need him to say.

As I understand the core of his argument or counsel here is that a sexual relationship is much broader than sexual intercourse—in fact, it runs the gamut from looks to holding hands to hugs and non-erogenous zone touching and on and on to sexual intercourse.  He is talking, as well, within a specific context.

My guess is that you, Matt, as well as most who post here have had limited experience, at best, with men and women with AIDS.  As a pastor I have worked with hundreds and I have listened prayerfully to their experience and to the ways they have loved God—and I have prayed for days through the Isenheim altar piece by Grunewald—so my hearing of the words of Jesus and His compassion and all embracing love is probably different from yours.

Talk to Greg, who apparently has a great interest in what I and others write at HoBD, and he can tell you and others how often I apologize, with great sincerity, when I have been wrong. I apologized recently for the hurt a satire I wrote caused a few people here at SF (only to be greeted with even more sneers and derision). From everything I’ve seen on this string, there is nothing for which I should apologize, though much for others to apologize for.

[106] Posted by TBWSantaFe on 01-12-2009 at 12:56 PM • top

AIDS is precisely the point, TBWSantaFe.

By not preaching the saving truth, you and your fellows are assuring the perpetuation of that very suffering and much more.

May your eyes be opened.

[107] Posted by Theodora on 01-12-2009 at 01:10 PM • top

Floridian, I am appalled by your comment. It is based on total ignorance of my own ministry and others’ with people with AIDS and their families. It is based on total ignorance of the real people involved—and even on what seems to be pretty complete ignorance of the make-up of the community or group of those who have died with AIDS or who are now living with AIDS.

I am not writing to condemn you—but to urge you to get good information and thus to be less rejecting and judgmental.

I’m sure you are well aware of the contribution to the contracting and spreading of AIDS made by the Christian church in their damning and isolating. Sf’ers will have their justifications and rationalizations, but that attitude (shared for centuries by almost the whole church) does not reflect the heart of Jesus.

[108] Posted by TBWSantaFe on 01-12-2009 at 01:20 PM • top

I know of no way in which the church has “spread” AIDS.

[109] Posted by oscewicee on 01-12-2009 at 01:28 PM • top

No, TWBSantaFe,

People spread AIDS due to lack of sexual continence, some maliciously intentionally spread it by continuing to have sex, by needle pricks from drugs, by tainted blood…all of which factor down to moral and spiritual offenses. 

The innocent victims may be those whose husbands bring it home due to breaking the marriage covenant and children born with it due to their parents’ having it or those who get it due to tainted blood tranfusions.

In a sane world, sexual gratification would not trump safety.  Having grown up in the 50s, I was shocked right after Rock Hudson admitted having AIDs that AIDS patients were not somehow quarantined and that the disease spread so rapidly among the homosexual community afterward.  ‘Where is the love’ and the wisdom in that?  Even sports hero Michael Jordan didn’t get it from his own wife, but through an adulterous relationship. 

At one point, researchers had about conquered the disease when a single homosexual didn’t take his meds right and had sex and passed a new mutation along. They had to start over to create a new anti-AIDS drug.

Sin always harms us and on those whose connected with us.  Any departure from God’s word, love, truth and life is sin and harms us.

[110] Posted by Theodora on 01-12-2009 at 01:46 PM • top

Floridian,

Of course grown adults are responsible for their own decisions, but if a religious organization endorses a baseless rule as binding on its votaries, and if that endorsement has predictably disastrous consequences, then the religious organization is guilty of wrongdoing. Since the rule against contraception is obviously groundless nonsense, and since the Catholic Church’s endorsement of the rule has predictably disastrous consequences, it follows that the Catholic Church is guilty of wrongdoing.

Admittedly, individual Catholics are responsible for their own decisions, but that doesn’t absolve the Church of guilt.

[111] Posted by ffnjfjff on 01-14-2009 at 10:23 AM • top

Um, ffnjfjff, who gets to decide what is “groundless nonsense” - you?

[112] Posted by oscewicee on 01-14-2009 at 10:29 AM • top

#111 - just a correction - it is Magic Johnson who has AIDS, not Michael Jordan, and you are correct that Magic did admit that he contracted the disease from relationships outside his marriage.

[113] Posted by ripzip on 01-14-2009 at 10:55 AM • top

Um, ffnjfjff, who gets to decide what is “groundless nonsense” - you?

No, whether something is groundless nonsense is a fact that stands independently of anyone’s decision.

[114] Posted by ffnjfjff on 01-14-2009 at 11:34 AM • top

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