Exodus spokesman Randy Thomas waxes
sweetly poetic with his subhead about the Episcopal Church in today’s
“Pro-homosexual advocacy cracks a denomination’s scriptural
foundation by choosing social blindness instead of eternal truth”
As someone with lifelong connections to the Episcopal Church, I think it’s worth remembering what just happened there.
Merriam Webster says that to “advocate” is “to plead in favor of”. The implication that confirming Bishop Robinson’s election came as a result of a few within the church pleading in favor of it to the majority is misleading at best.
The relationship between Robinson and his partner Mark Andrew has been no secret to the people of the diocese of New Hampshire. Many Episcopal dioceses do not consider being openly gay or lesbian to be a hindrance to entering seminary, being ordained, or serving in any capacity. This summary of facts about the heresy trial of Walter Righter, published in 1996 on the website of Louie Crew, says:
13. How many of the clergy in the Episcopal Church are lesbian or gay?
A. Up to 40% (6,000).
14. How many of the clergy of the Episcopal Church are out of the closet?
A. A reasonable estimate is approximately 1000.
15. How many were out to their bishops at the time they were ordained?
A. Kim Byham has maintained a list… At present, this list includes 120 individuals who have been ordained or received by 50 bishops…
To the extent that some perceive a crack in the denomination’s scriptural foundation, surely that occurred years ago.
Bishop Robinson was selected by the people he had served for years and confirmed by a majority of the Episcopal laypeople and clergy at the convention. While the process has aroused controversy and received worldwide attention, the result is no surprise. Heartfelt advocacy was used in an attempt to prevent the confirmation, but was hardly necessary to support it.
Is “social blindness” an accurate description of people choosing a person they respect as their leader? I suspect the people of New Hampshire might answer “No” patiently and gently, mindful and tired of answering patronizing questions.
— Steve B.