Tuesday, May 6, 2008


This is an interesting article by Deb Price. It is about Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Church, a gay man who is continuing to seek to work from within the church to have LGBT people fully accepted in the Anglican Communion.

He has just written a book entitled, "In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God," that deals with difficulties as an out gay man within the church.

Bishop Robinson says: "The changes we've seen in our understanding of the Scripture over the 19 centuries since it was written have happened through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.... Things that seemed simply 'the way of the world'-- like slavery, polygamy and the lower status of women -- in retrospect seem like examples of humankind's flawed, limited and mistaken understanding of God's will. Our ability to better understand God's will has improved with time, prayer and reflection."

"Instead of giving up on our religious communities, let's think about taking the risks and bearing the burdens of transforming them."

Although I don't agree with him that those who have left the church should come back and fight from within it, as I feel that most of the institutional Church is toxic to the spirit, and it has been a major vehicle for spreading hate against LGBT people, I do respect him, and his book seems well worth reading.

For a Christian who believes that a church is to embrace all of God's children, I think that the "religious communities" of which he's speaking are well beyond the possibility of anyone "taking the risks and bearing the burdens of transforming them."

These institutions will only be "transformed" when LGBT people are granted full and equal civil rights by secular authorities, as only then will most churches follow suit. In civil rights issues, churches have shown themselves to be far more "reactive" than "proactive!" (The clergy who were in the vanguard of the civil rights movement for African-Americans, such as Martin Luther King, were active apart from any given denomination or church organization!)

We saw this phenomenon occur regarding women's and African-Americans' civil rights, and I see no reason why it would be any different regarding LGBT people.
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John said...

Good job Jerry, as usual.

I can't help but notice that you are now using the term, "African-American". leaving me as the only person left who still says Afro-American.

Not because I want to, but it is a hard habit to break.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, John. There's nothing wrong with using "Afro-American." I just got used to the term "African-American" and, like you, out of habit I use it. Have a wonderful day!