A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Friday, August 15, 2003

I've noticed a lot of negative reactions being posted by the press and through other blogs concerning the confirmation of Gene Robinson to be bishop of New Hampshire. So I've found a number of positive responses which are not given the same amount of time these days.

"Reconciliation happens when Gene is present; the movement of grace is apparent in every dimension of his ministry."Bishop Knudson- Maine

"[I]s a step forward in the full inclusion of all people in the life of the church." Bishop Shaw- Massachusetts

"Robinson's election is, not merely might be of the Holy Spirit." Bishop Jelinek-Minnesota

"... Christ keeps breaking down barriers that religious people once thought were sacred."-Bishop Moody-Oklahoma

"Speaking for myself, I see no obstacle whatever in his [Robinson's] sexual orientation or in his dedicated relationship to serving faithfully as a bishop of the church, just as I would not with reference to women, people of color, or varying backgrounds in education for example."- Bishop Irish- Utah

"In some ways, Gene is a reluctant symbol of the church's need to reach out to those who have often experienced themselves on the margins of the church."- Bishop Ely- Vermont

I've noticed also that there has been a tendency to pit the developing world churches versus the US and western world in this debate. But this ignores the many churches in the southern hemisphere who are not with the right wing in this issue. Some articles worth looking at

Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane heads a church which includes the several million Anglicans in South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola and the island of St Helena.

  • The need for dialogue

  • The need for addressing the issue of homosexuality

  • On the misuses of scripture on the homosexuality debate

  • Thursday, August 07, 2003

    "Yes, there's a lot of fear, but I happen to believe the love of God can overcome that," Rev. Susan Russell in response to Gene Robinson's election as bishop of New Hampshire

    Dang, I'm sorry about taking so long to post. I hopped in my geo from Minneapolis and spent the whole day driving home on Tuesday. I heard the news on NPR that Robinson was cleared of the charges and his election as bishop of New Hamsphire was consented to by the House of Bishops.

    In the meantime there has been some other news. The House of Bishops decided to not go forward with same sex blessings. It seems like any step forward, includes a step backward as well. *sighs* But it should be noted that the bishops did affirm that dioceses will vary on their approach and gave them leeway to individually pursue same sex blessings and at the same time recognized the legitimacy and sacredness to be found in loving, committed same sex relations.

    I'm delighted by the comments, including one who left a blog which is worth checking out. Actually there are two blogs who have followed this debate closely which deserves one's attention.

  • Natalie Davis's All Facts and Opinions has done some work both covering events and reactions surrounding Gene Robinson's election as bishop.
  • Hugo Boy Has followed the convention and the events as well surrounding Robinson

    I plan to post tomorrow some reflections about my experience at the convention and where the state of the Episcopal Church might be. And to wrestle with the question that one person raised in the comments section...can liberals and conservatives live together in a worshipping community?

    In other news, I have to state my excitement aboutArianna Huffington's decision to run for governor. She'll not just add flavor but actually put forward a progressive alternative to Davis and the Terminator.

  • Monday, August 04, 2003

    Well this is a second post on the same day. Apparently literally a last minute allegation sent by e-mail was made against Gene Robinson, which has produced the affect of calling off the vote in the House of Bishops. Apparently they've set up an investigative committee to see if there is any warrant to the charges. While there is no basis for making any claims either way, one does find the timing awfully suscipious. It certainly produced a desired result for the rightwing in the church. We'll have to see how this pans out.

    Well this is my second day at the convention so far. And again I'm posting from the Every Voice table. Yesterday was a great day for the church, when the House of Deputies in the Episcopal Church by 2 to 1 voted to confirm Gene Robinson as the bishop for New Hampshire. Now the issue moves to the House of Bishops this afternoon where I've heard it's likely he will receive confirmation, leading to the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican communion. I was surprised that even though I was not an elected delegate I and other visitors were allowed to sit in during the discussion and vote.

    There's a definite sense that this church is dedicated to inclusion and the promptings of the spirit of God, which gives one some hope. In other news, I'm getting weighed down with literature from some unbelievable number of groups who are here at the convention. Lots of great conversations, meetings, getting info, and a Claiming the Blessing worship. I may or may not be able to post tomorrow, because I'm not sure if I'm headed back home tomorrow or Wednesday.

    Sunday, August 03, 2003

    I apologize for my abscence in the last few days. I have driven up to Minneapolis to attend the 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. I'm actually posting on this blog from the Every Voice table. I had a chance to attend this morning's worship service, and it was incredibly powerful. A huge sounding orchestra and choir and thousands of people together probably helped. But there was an odd address by the head of the Nigerian Anglican church, which tossed about notions such as Christian separation from heathenism and being a general in God's army. And while the homosexuality word was never mentioned, it was hard to miss the subtext of the sermon. That and I discovered my own theological issues coming up with some of the language of the liturgy, so I set my mind to ignore such things and to be carried away with the aesthetic moment, the music, the warmth of many of the people I've already run into, the orchestra, and so forth. I'll post later on and things progress for me at the convention.

    On a side note, while I was in Minneapolis, I picked up a copy of the City Pages, which had the most concise and articulate discussion of Bush and his deceptions which started a war. It's worth checking out.

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