...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Monday, August 04, 2003
      ( 4:35 PM )
Episcopal Bishop Sabotaged?

I found this on the front page of the BBC. The bishops' vote on whether to affirm Gene Robinson as the first openly-gay bishop of New Hampshire has been delayed due to 11th hour allegations of misconduct. It's time to play the "Gays are Pedophiles!" game, folks! The ridiculous claim that it is homosexuality that is the main cause of predatory behavior has once again reared its ugly head. One can't but imagine the collective sigh of relief that coursed through the ranks of the bishops when they learned they wouldn't have to vote and potentially throw their denomination into a split along theological lines.

The claim against Bishop Robinson came in the form of an email from someone claiming that the Bishop had "inappropriately touched" him, and another allegation that the Bishop was "involved" with a website that is an outreach to homosexual youths. On the face of it, the website appears to be a very valid idea whose time has come for young gays. Basically, a YMCA for gay kids - often hosted by unitarian churches. The CNN article has more detail about the claims against him.

Without any investigation yet taken place, I find this claim highly suspect and very discouraging. Why did this "victim" not come forward when Bishop Robinson was first nominated to the highest position in the state? What is it that can make a person or people so sure that God is against certain kinds of human beings of His own creation that they cannot see in a man who is committed to his church, his congregation and the message of his faith someone who can only further bring "sheep into the fold" of their denomination, rather than a stain on their reputation? I don't get this.

It is just like these claims that gay couples who want to commit to each other for life cannot enjoy the same legal benefits as heterosexual couples that make the same decision. P and I are married because we went into a courthouse and signed a paper in front of a judge. Because of that certificate, we enjoy a host of rights, especially with regard to eachother and the state's recognition of our family. How is it that a gay couple who does the same thing should not be able to enjoy the same rights? We cannot claim that Marriage has anything to do with God or religion, it is purely a secular, civil arrangement recognized by the government and courts. That some religions find it distasteful for gay couples to be together does not have anything to do with the fact that if your wife of 20 years is sick in the hospital, you should have spousal visiting rights, even if you yourself are a woman. How do gay couples making the commitment to have a life together and families in ANY WAY threaten the institution of marriage itself? Marriage is one of the most mainstream and socially stabilizing lifestyles there is, so why would more couples wanting to enter it be damaging to our society or to the idea of marriage at all?

Clearly there is no logical argument against it, just as there is no logical reason why the president should declare that heterosexual marriage should be "codified." What is going on that our society has to even entertain arguments about denying some of us the same rights as the rest of us? What is going on that a bishop who has shown reverent commitment to his faith and his church should be rejected simply because his committed life is with a man and not a woman? Do the leaders of his church and the leaders of this country believe in such a small god? Of course, seeing the divinity in every human being would require some measure of humility and empathy - something the current leadership of this country cannot possibly hope to model for its citizens.

I hope Bishop Robinson will not be ruined by this, and I hope that every person who wants to be married will have that right in the very near future. What is faith if not hope that things can get better than they are now?

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