"Look at me," the 61-year-old prelate protests when I repeat the charge that he is single-handedly driving Anglicanism to its death. [you may stop reading if you wish...he hath spoken truthfully and fully and that's it...look at me]
"I'm a little guy and I don't have that much power. Now if someone chooses to leave the worldwide [Anglican] communion because I'm a bishop, then that's their doing, not mine."Or, at least not at the gatherings of the bishops. "I'm going to be there, in the market place," he says, "making myself available to anyone who wants to talk."
He won't, as many Anglicans seem to hope, be allowing the whole issue to go away. It is in this refusal to be silent that I finally begin to see in this otherwise gentle and genial prelate that flash of steely resolve that drives all implacable dissenters forward.
"Jesus never says anything about homosexuality," he says, the light tone in his nasal voice suddenly darkening, "but he says a lot about treating every person with dignity and respect. All the biblical appeals for a particular attitude to homosexuality can never quote Jesus."
What, though, of Old Testament condemnations of "men who lay with men"?
"The Church isn't the same yesterday, today and tomorrow," he says.
"Only God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The Church has always been changing. The Holy Spirit is leading us into truth. And I believe we have learnt that about people of colour, about women, about those who are disabled and now about lesbian and gay people."
He would, I can see, be impressive in a pulpit. Perhaps it was his oratory that caused the Anglican electors of New Hampshire to vote decisively for him in 2003, and his fellow American bishops to give him their backing.
But, whatever their motives, their decision has had the effect of bringing to a head Anglicanism's muddled attitude to sexuality.
"As Anglicans we agree about so many things," Robinson concedes. "We are not arguing over the divinity of Christ, the Trinity or the Resurrection. We are arguing about a non-essential thing."
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Look at me! Look at me!
~Good grief! Such preening self-worship...."It's a sin to treat me this way" Gene Robinson. From The Telegraph