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F. Earle Fox
See other articles on Gene Robinson's "Consecration"
[COMMENT: This article appeared recently on Virtue OnLine at http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6610. It appears here with a few emendations. E. Fox]
The last time Gene Robinson and I were in the same room was in New Hampshire about four years ago. On Sunday, November 2, 2003, Gene Robinson, a man who had left his wife and children to pursue an actively homosexual lifestyle, was consecrated a bishop in the Episcopal Church, in the Diocese of New Hampshire. We were in, as I recall, a skating rink turned into a hall for a consecration. I want to make the same point now that I made then, namely that there is no case whatsoever for the kinds of things Robinson continues to say about homosexuality. According to a recent article by Bill Bowder ( http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=43490 ), nothing has changed.
My case is not against Gene Robinson, it is against the behavior he promotes openly and yet deceitfully. It is my hope and aim to love that man with whom I so fully disagree.
I was rather pointed in my remarks four years ago, and will be here again. But first let us look at what, according to Bowder, Robinson said.
Robinson wants the public to believe that the case against homosexuality is "carefully crafted", meaning deliberately dishonest and without credibility. He wants us to believe that there is no reasonable distinction between homosexual orientation and homosexual behavior, that they are part of the same inherited identity.
1. "Who we are" vs. "What we do".
The Christian faith is built on the distinction between who we are and what we do. Who we are is what Jesus died on the cross to save. Some of what we do, our sinful behavior, is the reason He had to die. We all have an "orientation" toward self-centeredness, we all commonly violate the two highest commandments in the whole cosmos, to love God and one another. We call it the Fall.
But God plans to reorient (and for those who follow Jesus, is reorienting) our gravitational drift toward sin and eradicate our bad behavior and our bad attitudes. He does that precisely because He loves us, and knows that our sinful behavior, not His judgement, is the very thing which is destroying our being. His judgement is there to protect our being -- from the consequences of our bad behavior.
So God has no problem with loving the sinner and hating the sin. He loves who we are (because, after all, He created and sustains who we are, our being, our identity). But He hates the behavior which destroys the very being He created. It is all perfectly logical.
God understands that, as a matter of logical fact, we have only four options in this loving and hating business: 1. We can love both the sinner and the sin; 2. We can hate both the sinner and the sin; 3. We can love the sinner and hate the sin; and 4. We can hate the sinner and love the sin. There are no other choices. So, if Robinson refuses #3, which of the others would he have us choose?
Robinson, of course, gets out of his dilemma by saying that homosexuality is not a sin, so we can love the behavior as well as the person who does it. But if homosexual behavior is indeed a sin, he does not get out of his dilemma.
2. When is a behavior sinful?
How, then, does one decide whether or not a behavior is a sin. A sin, by Biblical definition, is some transgression of the will of God (see "Defining 'Oughtness' and 'Love' at http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/21PbAr/Eth/00Eth.htm ). The law of God defines our purpose for existence. The two highest laws in the whole cosmos are the commandments to love God and one another. They define all other commandments and obligations. And thus, by drawing a line, they also define sin. Sin is any deliberate, culpable failure to love God and one another.
The commandments are about a specific kind of love, agape love, the personal commitment by oneself to do those things which are life-promoting for others, a loyalty to others, even when the other may not want it, and at any cost to oneself. It is the Way of the Cross.
Such love is not about feeling good, or even about necessarily making others feel good. Discipline almost always seems unpleasant to the receiver. But, saying "no" can be the loving thing to do when another engages in self- or other-destructive behavior.
Agape love has little to do with feeling an attraction toward another. We are to love those who repel us. Francis of Assisi was told to embrace the leper on the road.
3. When is Sex Loving?
Gene Robinson is not a stupid man. He is not pursuing homosexual behavior for lack of native intelligence or education. I spent 23 years in the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut. Robinson had become an officer of some sort in the New England Province, so I saw him many times. He is an extremely intelligent person, very good with words. He knows how to organize events, and he knows exactly how to put words together to make the impact he wants. "Carefully crafted" comes to mind.
Robinson, like almost every other successful homosexual advocate, knows how to avoid the central issue facing him and the Episcopal/American/world public.
The crafting in this case involves (among other things) confusing "who we are" with "what we do", and confusing sex with love. Both confusions are smoke and mirrors to avoid the feared issue -- homosexual behavior.
"Having sex" is not the same as agape love, but exactly that conclusion is assumed in almost every homosexual advocate's promotion of the subject. "How can you be against love?" they say or imply. And, astonishingly, most Christians have no answer for them. So the public continues to make no reasonable response to the confusion.
Sexual engagement may or may not be loving. So we need to ask when sexual engagement is or is not agape love. When is homosexual behavior promoting life and when is it not promoting, perhaps even damaging, life?
4. Identity vs. Compulsion
When AIDS hit the streets in the early '80's, homosexual persons were warned by medical people, by many of their own leaders, and by anyone who cared about them, that if they continued to engage in behaviors which exchange body fluids, they would sooner or later get AIDS and die. There was no known cure. The typical homosexual response was, and with Robinson still is, "You are attacking my being! Homosexuality is not what I do, it is who I am."
As a result, hundreds growing into thousands, and now many millions, of persons got AIDS and died. They could not stop because they had locked themselves into a compulsive behavior. When a person is warned about the lethal behavior in which he is engaged and still will not stop, that is prima facie evidence for a compulsive and addictive condition.
So, homosexuality, the very publicly available evidence shows, is not a benign "orientation", it is a compulsive, lethal addiction.
Anyone who ties a behavior to his identity will be unable to stop the behavior because stopping will feel like suicide. To be set free of a compulsive and addictive behavior, we must break the tie between our behavior and our being.
That is true of any sin. If I think that God is angry at my being (hates me, the sinner) because of my bad behavior, I will probably be unable to confess the sin because it will seem like suicide to do so. My very life seems at risk. But if I understand that God does not tie my bad behavior to my being (loves the sinner), then I am set free to confess. The love of God for my being (not my behavior) means my being is no longer at stake. So, I, like God, can safely hate the sin, and thus repent without loss of self. The title of this piece indicates a case against Robinson's homosexuality, not against Robinson.
But Robinson, apparently having learned nothing from experience, history, or Biblical theology, according to Bowder repeats that same theme. Being a practicing homosexual is "about every moment of the day. This has nothing to do with a genital sexual relationship." Homosexuality, Robinson is saying, is an identity, not a behavior, who I am, not what I do.
Robinson can use words as he likes. But the public has the task of making sense of the situation. Robinson is not doing that.
There is no evidence whatsoever that homosexuality is an identity. To be an identity requires that it is fixed, innate, part of the given of one's life -- such as a leopard's spots, or the color of one's skin. But no evidence for any such givenness has been found, despite numerous tries. There is no homosexual gene, there is no evidence to show that homosexual orientation or behavior is pre-programmed by nature prior to nurture. Neither of the American Medical, Psychiatric, or Psychological Associations are willing to assert that homosexuality is innate. And at least one of them publicly denies that any evidence shows that.
That means that the claim to be inborn homosexual rests solely on the claim itself. But the claim is precisely what needs to be tested, and cannot be offered as evidence for itself. So, the claim fails the test of honest science.
5. Sexual Behavior -- the only real issue
The issues between Robinson and his critics do not involve his non-genital relationships. Homosexuality means, so far as his critics are concerned, simply and precisely genital engagement. The sole issue being criticized is a set of very specific and definable sexual behaviors. That men sing in choirs together, love (agape) one another, do a host of things together is not in question. I love my father, my sons, my brothers, and a great number of male friends. And we do many things together.
For Robinson to take the issue outside the sexuality realm is part of the "careful crafting", to get critics off onto every rabbit trail in the woods so that the hounds do not catch the scent of the real issue -- sexual behavior.
The issue before the Church, America, and the world is not love, it is not marriage, it is not compassion and inclusiveness, it is simply and solely sexual behavior. But that is precisely the issue homosexual advocates cannot afford to discuss in public. All the rest is smokescreen.
So, again, we continue in circles -- which drift ever towards the homosexualist goal: coercively enforced approval of homosexual behavior. Hate-crime laws are being constructed to make disapproval of homosexual behavior a punishable crime. That is inclusiveness? Rather, if that is not tyranny, what needs to be added to make it so?
6. Homosexual Behavior
What is homosexual behavior, and why is it so hard to discuss? Why are people like Robinson so dedicated to preventing that discussion? And, if it is so central, why are their critics incapable of forcing that discussion?
The answer is quite simple. Robinson cannot openly address the issue because homosexual behavior is ugly, dirty, and disease producing. Whatever the personal intentions and attitudes of the participants, there is nothing at all loving about their behavior. And his critics are, one must suppose, too prudish, too cowardly, or too ignorant of the facts. None of this makes for a good discussion leading to resolution. And so, we continue to have none.
As one friend often said to persons she was helping exit the homosexual lifestyle, "If you are fed up with your life, if you want different results, you must engage in different behavior. Same behavior, same results."
In the homosexuality debate, we continue in circles. Most Americans do not favor homosexual behavior, but our leaders keep drifting that way. That is nonsense. If we want a different result, we need a different behavior. As Ayn Rand said, Clarity always favors truth and unclarity always favors falsehood. We need clarity about the ugly and forbidden topic, homosexual behavior.
One can read about homosexual behavior quite easily. The growing literature is surprisingly candid amongst themselves. If you read, for example, The Gay Report, by Karla Jay and Allen Young (1979, two homosexual authors), you will be quickly and candidly enlightened about the specific behaviors. It is one of the largest studies on the subject of homosexual behavior, over 800 pages of detailed descriptions, much of it by homosexual persons who responded to requests for their personal testimonies. You will glean, e.g., the following information:
Around 99% of homosexual males engage in oral sex; 91% engage in anal sex; 82% engage in "rimming", touching the anus of one's partner with one's tongue and inserting the tongue into the anus;22% engage in "fisting", inserting one's fist into the rectum of the partner; 23% engage in "golden showers", urinating on each other; 4% engage in "scat", the eating of feces, and in "mud rolling", rolling on the floor where feces have been deposited.
These figures vary depending on who has done the study and the methods used, but it is clear that most homosexual behaviors entail intimate contact with human waste. It has been learning to isolate such waste from ourselves which, as much as anything, has led to improved health and longevity. So the homosexual agenda wants the Church and the public to approve reversing several centuries of health advances -- and thinks that God does.
Without going into details concerning specific diseases, one can convey the picture with the fact that practicing homosexual persons will not likely on average live into their 50's, losing anywhere from 30% to 40% of the lifespan expected in Western society -- well into the 70's.
Homosexual behavior is lethal, so neither a loving God nor a loving Gene Robinson would promote it, and Gene Robinson does not get out of his dilemma.
(See http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/22SxSo/PnSx/HSx/00HoSx.htm#Life%20Span )
Karla Jay and Allen Young tell us all about homosexual behavior. They do not spell out the terrible consequences of that behavior. And neither are any of the major health organizations. That is betrayal worthy of a malpractice suit.
No person has the right to introduce death into the life blood of a society, no matter how good it feels. Promoting homosexuality has meant the deaths of millions of persons who would today be alive had they obeyed God. God did not make a mistake in the Bible by condemning homosexuality, nor did Paul and others mishear God. Our loving God condemns any behavior which kills His people. The easily available empirical evidence tells us that indeed homosexuality is a compulsive, lethal addiction. Homosexual behavior is not a loving act, it has no connection with agape, only with lust and rebellion parading as love. Homosexual advocates are pushing their agenda on the wheels of love, but it is love itself which condemns their program. Homosexuality is not an identity, it is an addiction trying to parade as one.
I was at the skating rink in New Hampshire four years ago to object to the consecration of Gene Robinson, a person who embraced such a lifestyle and wanted the Episcopal Church, indeed, the whole Christian Church and the world, to approve as well. I began by reading the above list of behaviors, and was, of course, shut down by the then Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold. The circumstances made it impossible, but I would like to have addressed my remarks to Gene Robinson directly, and let him respond. "Is this the behavior you want the Church to bless?"
Others objected on other grounds as well, and the Presiding Bishop responded that these issues had already been discussed at General Convention. He lied. Homosexual behavior and its consequences had never gotten significantly to the floor of debate at the Episcopal General Convention. I was cut off by the chairwoman for trying to bring it up at a 1994 General Convention committee meeting in Indianapolis.
7. Winning the Battle for Sexual Sanity
But I went home ecstatic. I knew that God had pointed to a strategy which could shut down the homosexual program -- forcing clarity about homosexual behavior. If we will use it.
The strategy is simple, logical, and can be done with truth and grace. There must never be hostility toward any person. Behavior is the target. And we must be bulldogs, not allowing the conversation to proceed until we have clarity from homosexual advocates concerning what they really want the Church and the State to force (not ask) us to believe and support.
For more details on the strategy, see these three urls:
Though I have little hope for the short run (our conservative leadership has not shown itself capable of conserving anything), yet the battle for truth is always a winnable battle because truth and the power of being well up from places that the world cannot touch (read John 4). But that works only among those who know how to die well, who are willing to lay down their lives for truth, who pick up their crosses daily and follow Jesus. The only question is whether the people of God value their loyalty to truth and to the Lord of Truth more than their own comfort. There is no power on earth which can stand against a mature, healthy Body of Christ. (Ask Rome, or more currently, China.)
So, dear reader, stand up, at any risk to yourself, for truth and for the Lord of truth. We are in for a long and nasty war. The longer we wait to take the offensive with the sword of the Spirit, speaking truth in love, the longer and nastier -- for our posterity. Therefore, get equipped now -- intellectually, morally, and spiritually.
See articles on Gene Robinson's "Consecration"
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