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[COMMENT: Robinson is good at what he does. The problem is that he is either ignorant of the facts, or he is deliberately lying and manipulating. The test is, always, if he (or we) were wrong, would he want to know? Is he willing to get into honest discussion, debate, and testing to find out? If he is not, then he is morally immature or morally corrupt. Few in the pseudo-liberal (do not liberate anyone) camp are interested in being truth-seekers. But also few in the pseudo-conservative (do not conserve anything) camp.
See comments below in CAPS, and also
other article on responding
to homosexuality. E. Fox]
A Response to: A Season of
Fasting: Reflections on the Primates
the Presiding Bishop's message to the Church
FROM: The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, [homosexual] Bishop of New Hampshire
I have the utmost regard and respect for our new Presiding Bishop.
Her leadership in these difficult times, not to mention her sheer
courage, continues to inspire me. As I vowed at her investiture as
Presiding Bishop, I will do everything I can to support her in this
ministry. That includes disagreeing with her views when I think it
would build up the Body. What follows are my responses to those
portions of her communication to the American Church dealing with the
demands/threats made to The Episcopal Church related to those members
of Christ's Body who happen to be gay. Allow me to offer a different
reading/critique of our Presiding Bishops words, and then propose a
different way forward.
[COMMENT: THE PHRASE, 'WHO HAPPEN TO BE GAY' IS MEANT TO UNDERLINE THE INNOCENT NATURE OF BEING "GAY". BUT -- HOMOSEXUALITY IS DEMONSTRABLY A COMPULSIVE, LETHAL ADDICTION. E. Fox]
What is being asked of both parties is a season of fasting from
authorizing rites for blessing same-sex unions and consecrating
bishops in such unions on the one hand, and from transgressing
traditional diocesan boundaries on the other.
I am reminded of the joke about the chicken and the pig, each asked
to contribute to breakfast the chickens eggs require a significantly
smaller sacrifice than the pigs bacon! Let us be clear: what is
being asked of both parties is a season of fasting from accepting the
Church's gay and lesbian people as full members of the Body of Christ,
a season of fasting from respecting the dignity of every human being.
If The Episcopal Church decides to do that, lets call it what it is:
a sacrifice borne most sacrificially by its gay and lesbian members.
[COMMENT: ROBINSON, LIKE MOST HOMOSEXUAL ADVOCATES (AND MOST PSEUDO-LIBERALS -- WHO SAY THEY BELIEVE TRUTH TO BE RELATIVE), REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO. HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT AN IDENTITY, IT IS A BEHAVIOR, A COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR MASQUERADING AS AN IDENTITY TO GAIN THE ACCEPTANCE IT WOULD NEVER GAIN IN A RATIONAL AND LOVING SOCIETY. E. Fox]
[In citing the early church's debate over dietary laws] The needs of
the weaker members, and the real possibility that their faith may be
injured, are an important consideration in making the dietary
If there ARE needs of the weaker members, and the real possibility
that their faith may be injured, they belong to the faithful members
of the Church in The Episcopal Church AND around the Anglican
Communion who are being denied full membership in the Body of Christ
because of their same gender love.
[COMMENT: NO ONE (ON HONEST BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES) IS BEING DENIED FULL MEMBERSHIP. HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS ARE INVITED INTO THE CHURCH AND THE KINGDOM ON THE SAME GROUNDS AS ALL OTHERS -- REPENT OF YOUR SINS, GET (AND COOPERATE WITH) THE HELP YOU NEED TO CHANGE COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR. WHAT IS BEING DENIED IS THE RIGHT TO BRING SIN (DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD) AND PERSONALLY AND SOCIALLY DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR INTO THE COMMUNITY. E. Fox]
Is there even a single instance in
which Jesus was willing to forego ministry, love and inclusion of the
marginalized in order to protect the sensitivities of the Pharisees
and Sadducees?! What would Jesus reaction have been to those same
Pharisees and Sadducees if THEY had claimed to be the victims of Jesus
[COMMENT: HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS ARE OFTEN THE VICTIMS OF EARLY SEXUAL ABUSE AND OFTEN OF FAULTY PARENTING. BUT EACH OF US IS REQUIRED TO STAND ON OUR OWN FEET, ADMIT OUR OWN FAILURES, AND STOP BLAMING SOCIETY OR ANYONE ELSE FOR OUR OWN REFUSAL TO DEAL WITH REALITY. HOMOSEXUAL PRACTITIONERS ARE MARGINALIZING THEMSELVES BY REFUSING TO ACCEPT THE EASILY DEMONSTRABLE TRUTH OF THEIR CONDITION. E. Fox]
The current controversy brings a desire for justice on the one hand
into apparent conflict with a desire for fidelity to a strict
understanding of the biblical tradition and to the main stream of the
ethical tradition. Either party may be understood to be the
meat-eaters, and each is reminded that their single-minded desire may
be an idol. Either party might constructively also be understood by
the other as the weaker member, whose sensibilities need to be
considered and respected.
There are MORE than TWO parties here. I would maintain that NEITHER
the Episcopal Church NOR the vast majority of the Churches represented
by the Primates are the weaker members. Rather I would say that the
weaker members are those gay and lesbian members of the Church of
Nigeria, whose Church is supporting the criminalization of all
association between them in their country.
[COMMENT: ROBINSON HIGHLIGHTS NIGERIA BECAUSE THE ANGLICAN BISHOP THERE HAS TAKEN THE LEAD AGAINST THE HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA IN THE WORLDWIDE ANGLICAN COMMUNION. AND NIGERIA IS CONSIDERING (PERHAPS PASSED) CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR. IT IS DEBATABLE AS TO WHETHER CRIMINALIZATION IS THE BEST WAY TO HANDLE HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR. BUT SOCIETY DOES HAVE THE RIGHT AND THE OBLIGATION TO DEFEND ITSELF AGAINST BRINGING DEATH INTO THE COMMUNITY. PRACTICING HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS DIE AT A MUCH YOUNGER AGE THAN THE AVERAGE POPULATION. E. Fox]
The weaker members are the
gay and lesbian members of the Episcopal Church, who have to go
looking sometimes in vain for a congregation who will accept them as
full members of the Body of Christ. The stronger/weaker dichotomy is
NOT between The Episcopal Church and the rest of the Anglican
Communion, but between the Anglican Communion in all its
manifestations and the gay and lesbian Christians around the world
trying to find a place within it. For the first time in its history,
and at the hands of the larger Communion, The Episcopal Church may be
experiencing a little taste of the irrational discrimination and
exclusion that is an everyday experience of its gay and lesbian
[COMMENT: ROBINSON WANTS TO ASSUME THE VERY CONCLUSION WHICH SHOULD BE BEING OPENLY DEBATED (BUT NEVER HAS)-- THAT HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR IS GOOD AND RIGHT IN THE EYES OF GOD, AND THAT IT IS A HEALTHY WAY TO LIVE ONE'S LIFE. NEITHER OF THOSE HIDDEN (BUT NEVER DISCUSSED) ASSUMPTIONS ARE TRUE, AND BOTH ARE PREVENTED FROM DISCUSSION BY THE DELIBERATE (AND THEREFORE EVIL) STRATEGY OF HOMOSEXUAL ADVOCATES.
BUT THE FACT THAT THEY ARE NEVER DISCUSSED IS AS MUCH THE FAULT OF THE PSEUDO-CONSERVATIVES (WHO CANNOT CONSERVE ANYTHING). THEY ARE PATHOLOGICALLY POLITE, PRUDISH, COWARDLY, OR DELIBERATELY IGNORANT. FEW CAN CLAIM NOT TO KNOW THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER -- BECAUSE SOME OF US HAVE SPENT A GOOD DEAL OF TIME AND ENERGY TELLING THEM. THE EVIDENCE CONCERNING HOMOSEXUALITY WAS PASSED OUT TO EVERY MEMBER, BOTH CLERGY AND LAY, AT THE 1994 GENERAL CONVENTION IN INDIANAPOLIS. AND THE BOOK, BIBLICAL SEXUALITY & THE BATTLE FOR SCIENCE WAS MAILED LIKEWISE TO EVERY MEMBER OF THE 1988 CONVENTION IN DETROIT. IN NEITHER CONVENTION, OR ANY THEREAFTER, DID THE RELEVANT INFORMATION MAKE IT TO THE FLOOR OF DEBATE. E. Fox]
Each party in this conflict is asked to consider the good faith of the
other, to consider that the weakness or sensitivity of the other is of
significant import, and therefore to fast, or refrain from eating
meat, for a season. Each is asked to discipline itself for the sake
of the greater whole, and the mission that is only possible when the
community maintains its integrity.
[COMMENT: HOW DOES ONE TEST THE GOOD FAITH OF THE OTHER?
EASY. ASK, "IF YOU WERE WRONG, WOULD YOU WANT TO KNOW?" and "ARE YOU WILLING TO ENGAGE IN THE HONEST DISCUSSION OF THE FACTS WHICH IS NECESSARY FOR ANY LOVING AND RATIONAL RESOLUTION TO THIS CONFLICT?" E. Fox]
I certainly believe Paul when he says that no part of the Body can
say to another, I dont need you. On the other hand, I dont ever
recall Jesus saying that the greater whole is the be all and end all.
Doesnt Jesus challenge the greater whole to sacrifice itself for those
on the margins? Preaching good news to the poor, binding up the
broken hearted, releasing the prisoners and proclaiming the year of
the Lords favor involves SACRIFICE on the part of the greater whole.
Thats part of what angered his own hometown synagogue when he preached
these powerful words from Isaiah. Touching the leper required
SACRIFICE of ancient and firmly held beliefs. Eating with sinners was
a SACRIFICE of the greater wholes sensitivities. I would humbly
submit that such sacrifice is the only way that our community
maintains its integrity.
[COMMENT: JESUS DOES NOT SACRIFICE THE GREATER WHOLE, IF THAT MEANS HE PUTS THEM IN PERIL OF THEIR SAFETY, THEIR LIVES, OR THEIR SALVATION. LEAVING THE FLOCK TO FIND THE LOST SHEEP IS HARDLY MEANT TO IMPLY THAT. ROBINSON, AND HOMOSEXUALISTS IN GENERAL, HARP ENDLESSLY ON THE VICTIM STATUS OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS. THEY ARE, BY A WIDE MARGIN, VICTIMS MOSTLY OF THEIR OWN SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR AND OF THE BEHAVIOR THEY INFLICT ON ONE ANOTHER.
THEY ARE RICHER, HAVE BETTER JOBS, TRAVEL MORE, ETC., THAN THE AVERAGE AMERICAN. ALL THIS SMOKE SCREEN ABOUT VICTIMIZATION IS TO OBTAIN ONE THING AND ONE THING ONLY -- PUBLIC APPROVAL FOR THEIR SELF-CENTERED, LUSTFUL, ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR.
YES, HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS ARE OFTEN ABUSED, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUNG. OFTEN UNMERCIFULLY BY THEIR PLAYMATES, AND SOMETIMES BY FAMILY. NO FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN WOULD ALLOW SUCH BEHAVIOR AGAINST ANYONE. BUT THAT DOES NO MORE TO JUSTIFY HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR THAN IT DOES ALCOHOLISM. E. Fox]
Justice, (steadfast) love, and mercy always go together in our
biblical tradition. None is complete without the others. While those
who seek full inclusion for gay and lesbian Christians, and the equal
valuing of their gifts for ministry, do so out of an undeniable
passion for justice, others seek a fidelity to the tradition that
cannot understand or countenance the violation of what that tradition
says about sexual ethics. Each is being asked to forbear for a
[COMMENT: HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS ARE ALREADY FULLY "INCLUDED" IN ANY HONESTLY FAITHFUL CHURCH. WHAT IS EXCLUDED IS REBELLION, BEHAVIOR WHICH IS MASSIVELY DISEASE PRODUCING, AND WHICH IS DESTRUCTIVE OF THE IMAGE OF GOD (- IN WHICH WE ARE MADE MALE AND FEMALE), AND OF THE STABILITY AND SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE. E. Fox]
Where is the justice, (steadfast) love, and mercy for the Churchs gay
and lesbian people in this threat from the primates? While the vast
majority of the Anglican Communion AND the vast majority of
Episcopalians may be willing to forbear for a season, the worlds gay
and lesbian Anglicans long to hear the words spoken to Jesus at his
baptism: You are my beloved. In you I am well pleased. Who will
speak those words to them, while the rest of the Church forbears for a
season? How will we explain this forbearance to all those gay and
lesbian Christians who have come to The Episcopal Church because, for
the first time ever, they have believed that there is a place for them
AT Gods table, not simply BENEATH it, hoping for fallen scraps? Are
THEIR souls not worthy of salvation too? Does anyone relish the
notion of trying to explain all this forbearance to GOD?
[COMMENT: ROBINSON IS RIGHT -- THERE ARE MANY HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS (WHOM I HAVE MET ON THE FRONT LINES...) WHO, MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, LONG TO HEAR THAT WE CHRISTIANS, THE CHURCH, LOVES THEM. SADLY, MOST CHURCHES DO LITTLE TO REACH OUT TO THESE PEOPLE. BUT IT IS ALSO TRUE THAT HOMOSEXUALIST LEADERSHIP DELIBERATELY PROMOTES THE NOTION THAT ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS HATE HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS.
CHRISTIANS IN EVERY CHURCH MUST REPENT OF THEIR REJECTION OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS (NOT HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR), AND THEMSELVES TO MAKE A CLEAR DISTINCTION BETWEEN "WHO I AM" AND "WHAT I DO". WHO I AM IS WHAT GOD IS SAVING. WHAT I DO IS WHAT HE IS CORRECTING, AND ABOUT WHICH WE MUST OFTEN REPENT. NEVER, HOMOSEXUAL OR OTHERWISE, SHOULD I REPENT OF WHO I AM. E. Fox]
Allow me to offer an additional reading of scriptural references to
fasting. In addition to St. Paul's pastoral fasting, should we not
also consider Isaiahs notion of prophetic fasting?
4Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
will not make your voice heard on high.
6Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin? (Isaiah 58: 4,
Fasting that focuses only on the self is not, in Isaiahs mind, the
most pleasing to God. For the past many months, the Episcopal Church
and the Anglican Communion has spent far too much time and money and
focus on this debate. I believe that the majority of us certainly in
The Episcopal Church, and possibly in the Anglican Communion as well
want to set this aside and get on with the work of the Gospel. What
would it be like if we fasted in the way that God, through Isaiah,
suggests: to fast from our internal squabbling for a season, and turn
our focus to the worlds homeless, hungry and poor, in this and every
land? What if we focused on what we say is our top priority ministry
to a world in pain through the achievement of the Millennium
Development Goals and simply fasted from this self-focus?
[COMMENT: IF GENE ROBINSON IS NOT ABLE TO SAY -- THAT HE WOULD WANT TO KNOW IF HE WERE WRONG, AND THAT HE WANTS TO PARTICIPATE IN AN OPEN AND HONEST PUBLIC DISCUSSION OF THESE ISSUES, MOST ESPECIALLY OF HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR, THEN HE IS NOT ON THE SIDE OF CHRIST AND HE IS NOT CAPABLE OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL.
JESUS HAS ONLY TRUTH TO OFFER, SO ANYONE NOT INTERESTED IN BEING A TRUTH-SEEKER AT ANY COST TO HIMSELF NEED NOT SIGN UP FOR DISCIPLESHIP TO JESUS. E. Fox]
The changes in our polity proposed by the Primates can only properly
and canonically be responded to by the laity, clergy and bishops
gathered in General Convention in 2009. The Primates demands can be
seriously, prayerfully and thoughtfully considered at that time. What
if we stated, simply and calmly, that the Primates September deadline
is impossible under our polity, and pledge ourselves to feeding,
housing, and clothing the poor and binding up the physical and
spiritual wounds of the worlds neediest for this season, until 2009?
What if we gave up our internal squabbling for a season, took no
precipitous action, and turned our focus to the world that Jesus
Christ gave his life for?
This way forward may not be acceptable to many in the Communion who
want this settled now, once and for all. So be it. Nothing we do
will settle this once and for all. Does anyone believe that our full
compliance with the Primates demands, our complete denunciation of our
gay and lesbian members, or my removal as bishop would make all this
go away?! We cannot determine what the response to our actions will
be. We can only decide what our faithful response will be to the
demands made of us.
If the response of the Archbishop of Canterbury to our prophetic
fasting should result in our not being invited to the Lambeth
Conference, then let us offer that denial as part of our fasting. Let
us dedicate the diocesan and personal resources that would have been
spent on Lambeth to projects involved in furthering the Millennium
During the debate over the consent to my election, I am told that the
Bishop of Wyoming noted that not since the civil rights movement of
the 60s had he seen the Church risk its life for something. Indeed, I
think he is right. This is such a time. A brief quotation hangs on
the wall of my office: Courage is fear that has said its prayers.
Now is the time for courage, not fear.
[COMMENT: HOW ABOUT RISKING OUR LIVES FOR THE TRUTH OF THIS MATTER? HOW ABOUT HAVING THAT OPEN, HONEST, UN-MANAGED, UN-MANIPULATED DISCUSSION, WHICH ALONE CAN BRING SANITY TO THIS ISSUE? SEE DIALOGUE IN DARKNESS... ON THIS WEBSITE FOR THE STORY OF HOW THE HOMOSEXUALIST COMMUNITY SUBVERTED THE DISCUSSION RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING -- AND HOW THE CONSERVATIVE FORCES FAILED TO RISK TAKING A STAND ON TRUTH.
ROBINSON IS CAUGHT BY WHAT APPEARS TO BE A BETRAYAL BY KATHARINE SCHORI, THE ALLEGED NEW PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH (ALLEGED BECAUSE MANY DO NOT ACCEPT HER ELECTION...). SHE SIGNED THE DOCUMENT AT DAR ES SALAAM REQUIRING THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH TO HAVE A MORATORIUM ON ORDAINING HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS. HE WANTS TO SUPPORT HER, SO HAS TO CLAIM A THIRD PLACE FOR HIS OWN HOMOSEXUAL CONTINGENT IN POLITE OPPOSITION TO HER LEADERSHIP.
AS I SAID, ROBINSON IS GOOD AT WHAT HE DOES. HE IS A SUPERB WRITER (APART FROM LEAVING OUT APOSTROPHES). BUT HE PUTS THE PUBLIC IN A POSITION OF HAVING TO CHOOSE BETWEEN BELIEVING HIM TO BE EITHER IGNORANT OR DISHONEST, A FOOL OR A KNAVE. E. Fox]
I pray that in the days ahead, as the Executive Council meets in
Portland, the House of Bishops meets in Texas, and the General
Convention (the ONLY body which has the authority to respond to the
demanded changes in our polity) meets in 2009, that we contemplate our
call to proclaim the year of the Lords favor to those who have been
denied it for so long and commit ourselves to the kind of fast that is
pleasing to the Lord.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *