Alice C. Linsley
Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson delivered a speech on March 30 at Emory University titled “Why Religion Matters in the Quest for Gay Civil Rights.” In an interview about that speech, Robinson made these claims:
1. "..beliefs about homosexuality amongst Jews and Muslims and Christians are actually affecting the secular debate over gay civil rights. If you factored out the religious opposition to our civil rights, I think we would be there..."
2. "..what I perceive in the secular movement towards equal rights for gay folk is that we have an instance where the state is impinging on the secular society."
Robinson insists that progressive Christians need to "rescue" the Bible from the religious right. He is quoted here as saying, "It will take religious people and religious voices to undo the harm that has been done by religious institutions … It’s time to start demanding separation of church and state."
Now there's clear thinking! The religious right holds the Bible captive and the solution is to separate church and state. Could someone clarify this for me?
Robinson attacked anti-gay arguments based on the Bible, citing the example of eating pork and wearing two types of cloth as also being classed as "abominations".
Eating pork is a dietary restriction of the first order for devout Jews and Muslims, most of whom consider homosex an abomination. Could someone explain Robinson's reasoning to me?
The prohibition against mixing types, be they fibers or blood, is like the prohibition against confusing the holy with the unholy, or blurring the distinction between life and death, such as happens when a baby goat is boiled in its mother's milk (also forbidden in Scripture). Robinson obviously doesn't understand the binary distinctions that frame the biblical worldview. Or if he does, he rejects them, whereby necessarily rejecting the whole of biblical revelation.
Gene and other activists seem not to recognize that the biblical consideration of homosex is not restricted to a few verses in Genesis and Romans. It is fundamentally part of the binary framework of the entire Bible.He said: "You can’t take a 20th century word, stick it back into an ancient text, and expect it to mean something entirely unknown to the authors of the text. These verses are quoted as if our world has never changed."
The Anglican Primates don't agree. Last month, the Archbishop of Sudan, Dr Daniel Deng Bul, said "we cannot have a different Bible for the 21st century. We can’t change our Bible because of changes in human rights."
Gene, you might note that Archbishop Deng Bul, for whom you have so little respect, is actually a century ahead of you!
Beside that, the world hasn't changed in any essential way. Nothing ever really changes. That is what Plato understood and why he is still the greatest of the philosophers! There is one Reality and all people, in all times and places, exist in that one cross-shaped Reality. Things can only become more what they were created. They can't become less what they were created without rebelling against God's design.
You may say that the ancients didn't "understand homosexuality", but that's a deception and contrary to the evidence. They understood it all too well and tried to keep it hidden. The only verified evidence of homosex in ancient Egypt is a painting hidden on the wall of a cave in the mountains.
Robinson has said, “Although I believe the New and Old Testaments to be the word of God, I do not believe it is the words of God."
Gene, why don't you just admit it? You don't believe that the Bible is the authoritative written word from God. You reject the Bible as an authority for your life and you encourage others to foolishly do the same.
Robinson also cited verses in the Book of Genesis that are used to argue against homosex, saying they should be taken in the context of their time.
I fully agree with that statement. When we take Genesis in historical and cultural context we see clearly why homosex was considered an abomination. It blurs the binary distinctions by which God orders our thinking to preserve our lives and souls.
According to Gene Robinson, the verses which forbid the spilling of a man's seed (onanism) should be considered in light of the ancient Hebrews, who as a minority struggling to multiply, saw the waste of semen as murder.
Wrong. The spilling of seed should be considered in the context of the older tradition of the Afro-Asiatic peoples to which the semitic peoples belong. Onanism is still regarded as an unrighteous deed among Afro-Asiatic tribal peoples. It is a violation of the order of creation. The seed that should fall to the earth is the seed of plants, which spring forth from the earth. The seed of man should fall on his own type (the womb), from which man comes forth. Clement of Alexandria wrote, “Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted” (The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2 A.D. 191).
Further, Abraham's people were quite fruitful. The ruler-priests among his people had two wives and concubines as well. Abraham had eight sons. Jacob had twelve and Jesse had eight. And the Bible doesn't list their daughters. So the struggling minority interpretation doesn't fit the facts.
Evaluation of Robinson's crusade "to take back the church" makes it apparent that it is driven by ignorance and misrepresentation of the Church and of the Bible.
He said, "I am doing everything I can to undo the harm that has been done by churches... "
"I have tried to bring God's voice to the struggle we are all in. God's voice has been abused in the name of hatred and bigotry for far too long and it is time we took Scripture and the Church back from those that would use it to hurt us."
Gene, it would be easier to start your own church. Oh! You and Louie already did that. Its called "The Episcopal Church."
And were your ego to permit you to work with others, you could help Max Mitchell write his gay bible. Yes, that's the logical thing to do, and ultimately much safer than messing with God's Book.
Related reading: Genesis on Homosex: Beyond Sodom; Is Opposition to Homosexual Activity Irrational? by Thomas Stork; Some Thoughts on Sex; More Thoughts on Sex; Gay Agenda Must Destroy the Priesthood; Sweeping Away Gender and the Biblical Worldview