Comments: Easter in New Hampshire

Thanks to Riazat B for doing what Canterbury and conservative realignment campaign leaders still largely fail to do, give us a portrait of church life in New Hampshire at Easter Day as the real context for VGR and TEC. Good to see that, obviously, these are all just the sorts of awful, dirty people that nobody in their right minds would ever intentionally invite to Lambeth tea time. You go, Rowan Williams. Are we scapegoating yet, ooops.

But you can't actually keep queer folks out of the church for real, any more than you can really wish them out of your immediate or extended human families. God prepares a table before us in the presence of any and all who tell us we cannot show up. Imagine that, not very much like a proper ancient near eastern deity, who would have sacrifice and obedience and offerings instead of a mercy seat, no, not at all.

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 24 March 2008 at 3:10pm GMT

I thought that the telling comment in the article was "As the first bishop to speak openly about having a homosexual relationship....."

The Church is about truth. Yet the bishop who is truthful about how God created him gets excluded, but bishops who are in same-sex relationships behind closed doors are therefore not truthful get invited. This provides a great model for us laypeople about how to be Christians!

Posted by Caoilin at Monday, 24 March 2008 at 6:24pm GMT

Gene found out two weeks ago that he was the only one not invited?

Does mean that those invitations did come from Lambeth? We were getting conflicting advice two weeks ago:

So no press release to clarify the truth? Pontious Pilate didn't have to explain himself to the masses either.

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Monday, 24 March 2008 at 7:41pm GMT

Rejoice and be glad, +Gene---for great is your reward in Heaven! 0:-)

Posted by JCF at Tuesday, 25 March 2008 at 1:18am GMT

After the applause for Gene Robinson has died down I will only say it seems this cause also needs a martyr (so all actions will be dramatized and even action according to expected norms and long agreed standards will be interpreted as "against the dear bishop"). This case has not become either my great concern or celebration (I thought Easter was about something much more than that!).

Coherent thinking might lead one to ask here if a bishop acknowledged he was living in an "open marriage" with two women (until yesterday that was called adultery) would we want to applaud that? That is the equivalent in Biblical and moral terms that seems to be expected here. If you want to keep applauding do so, but perhaps you should not be surprised if not everyone joins you.

Ben W

Whatever you think, it would be helpful to operate with integrity. Do you really think and want to say that RW knows specific people who are living as homosexuals behind closed doors but invites them to Lambeth anyway? Then show it. Otherwise stop the slander.

Ben W

Posted by Ben W at Tuesday, 25 March 2008 at 3:19pm GMT

"Coherent thinking might lead one to ask here if a bishop acknowledged he was living in an "open marriage" with two women (until yesterday that was called adultery) would we want to applaud that?"-Ben W.

Then let us marry. That's coherent thinking. That's fighting bigotry, by expanding and allowing a stabilized life style to be offered to all people.

Offends your reading of Scripture? Then stop reading it as such.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 25 March 2008 at 5:20pm GMT

But there are parts of the Communion that accept polygamy. There are other parts that accept existing polygamous marriages, but ask that souls refrain from taking on more wives once they are part of the Communion.

There's been several threads on TA reminding us of this. Sometimes with unfortunate glee as they are often from the countries whose leadership is agressively homophobic.

The phrases "Physician, heal thyself" or "Remove the log from your own eye before you take the splinter out of your neighbours".

Isaiah 42:16 "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them."

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Tuesday, 25 March 2008 at 7:08pm GMT

"stop the slander".

Missed that one. Yes please.

Sick of accusations, destruction and death?

Stop accussing, destroying and killing.

Or is it that accussations are okay as long as they are directed and women/GLBTs? Destruction is okay, as long as it is directed at non-Christians? Death is okay, as long as it is not in your family?

Malachi 2&3 "“...I have sent you this admonition so that my covenant with Levi may continue... a covenant of life and peace... this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name... you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the LORD Almighty. “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.” Have we not all one Father ? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?... the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant... I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment”... You have wearied the LORD with your words... the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years. "So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty."

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Tuesday, 25 March 2008 at 7:48pm GMT


You and others want to talk about people who spout Bible verses, often unrelated to context, and I have seen a lot of that but you take the prize for it of all I've seen!

If you want to say we need to stand up for the thoughtfull independence of people whether they be women or Christian leaders in Africa I am with you. Meanwhile, after all the bravado and blatant talk we have had from you and others, I am still hoping that I might get an answer to the actual question I asked? "Do you really think and want to say that RW knows specific people who are living as homosexuals behind closed doors but invites them to Lambeth anyway? Then show it. Otherwise stop the slander."

Ben W

Posted by Ben W at Wednesday, 26 March 2008 at 2:22am GMT

You cannot expect Cheryl, or anyone else here, to out Bishops who for perfectly valid reasons want to remain closeted.

As you said on a different thread "is the Anglican tent big enough to include a measure of understanding or even generosity?"

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 26 March 2008 at 8:45am GMT

"Do you really think and want to say that RW knows specific people who are living as homosexuals behind closed doors but invites them to Lambeth anyway? Then show it. Otherwise stop the slander."

We won't. It would put their future career, not to mention the slight possibility of their lives in jeopardy. Look at Jeffrey John. You should know this. Stop asking questions that you surely know the answer to.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Wednesday, 26 March 2008 at 12:26pm GMT


It is not a question of exposing people, but of stopping empty talk or even the slander. Easy enough to say all kinds of things and then say "but we can't show it." Some are quite willing to make outrageous accusations that cast people in terrible light?! And against people who are trying to lead and care for the church (RW is not trimming roses in a garden!).

As I understand the case of Jeffrey John, he was living a celibate life and wanted to go on in that way as he served. R W was seeking to deal with him in a caring manner. That showed his shepherd's heart. We can affirm that.

Ben W

Posted by Ben W at Wednesday, 26 March 2008 at 1:10pm GMT

Uh, it would seem to me, Ben, that when it comes to "outrageous accusations that cast people in terrible light?!" conservative homophobes have cornered the market. There's the 'gays are pedophiles', 'gays live 30 years less than straights', 'gays can choose their sexuality', 'homosexuality can be 'promoted' (as though heterosexuality is so unstable), 'TEC is being taken over by people of no faith whose only concern is to court public approval', 'the PB of TEC is Unitarian' 'she denies the Trinity/Gospel/Resurrection(pick an accusation this week)'. The list is quite long. I could cite some pretty horrible lies made against the bishop of this diocese. Compared to these, I would think making the suggestion that some bishops are closeted homosexuals is a pretty mild thing. I have never heard a conservative in any way oppose the kinds of slanderous things I mentioned above, however. "Outrageous accusations" only ever seem to come from 'liberals'. Interesting, that. Also interesting is that you consider saying someone is gay to be an "outrageous accusation". That speaks volumes for your understanding of gay people and your compassion for us. And as to JJ, can you also affirm that he is not a bishop because, despite his celebacy, the hostility of certain Evangelicals meant he had to back down, like St. Chad, for the good of the Church?

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 26 March 2008 at 2:55pm GMT

"It is not a question of exposing people,...." Ben W.

YES IT IS!!!! Thanks to "loving" your ilk in Nigeria, people are being beaten up for this. Stop trying to re-set the parameters. You are wrong. Now stop asking questions that you d--- well know the answer TO!!!

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Wednesday, 26 March 2008 at 4:01pm GMT


Stop for at least a minute, you are on this track where you can not think or hear what anyone else is saying.

I suppose if you are looking for garbage you can dig it out. On this list stuff has been said against people all the way up to abc RW that can only be called slander. The question is have you seen that from me? (We have been around this bush before, you love to go to Africa and find examples of stuff. Could we stay with things that we are responsible for right here and can check?).

If you read again you will see:
1. I said nothing for or against "closeted homosexuals."
2.Nothing about gays as pedophiles.
3.Nothing at all about the PB.
4.Nothing about someone being gay as an "outrageous accusation."(What I referred as an outrageous accusation was that abc RW has specific knowledge of people in a homosexual relationship as bishops and he invites them as long as they do not talk about it!).
5.You do not see what I affirm in the post to you and come back with a rant and misunderstanding. Even the fact that in times past I myself have spoken against abusive language - no matter the source - you skip by to say "conservatives" have not spoken out against this. People who do this ... where is the crediblity or point of conversation? There is a better way.

Ben W

Posted by Ben W at Wednesday, 26 March 2008 at 5:29pm GMT

It's not only being beaten up in Nigeria. They want to jail us, and given the state of prison life anywhere, and the hysteria this kind of behaviour is fuelling in places like Nigeria, how long would anyone jailed for homosexuality expect to live? I really get upset when those who claim to have "listened" talk about us as though there is no threat to us, even in Western society, as though what the average gay person goes through WRT self acceptance and the threat of violence is simply non-existent. It shows the superficial "understanding" people have. I wonder what their response would be if someone on the other side of the planet wanted to jail straight people who got remarried after divorce. Rather more strident, I expect.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 26 March 2008 at 5:47pm GMT

"R W was seeking to deal with him in a caring manner. That showed his shepherd's heart. We can affirm that."

It showed his wolf's teeth, Ben.

Can't you think before you speak?

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 26 March 2008 at 7:01pm GMT

The context is showing justice for ALL of creation. One prophetic role is to break down barriers and restore what has been lost.

"The authorities" aren't going to lead to the forgotten ways, are they? When was the last time you heard a sermon including these passages?

Malachi 4:6 A prophet is meant to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents.

John the Baptist ““Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. ALL mankind will see God’s salvation… out of these stones God can raise up children...” (Luke 3:4-8)

Isaiah 58:7-14 “… your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land… Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”

Isaiah 49:9-26 “Say to the captives, “‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill… I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up…. the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” The Lord says to Zion “…your walls are ever before me. Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you. Lift up your eyes and look around… I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples… ” See also Revelation 3:7-9

Isaiah 22:17-25 God summons servants to act as parents. On their shoulders God has placed the key to the house of David. Isaiah 45:1-9 repeats and continues with God’s promise to go before and level mountains; to break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. God says “I form the light and create darkness… You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it …”

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Wednesday, 26 March 2008 at 7:24pm GMT

Ford, what is truly dis-heartening is to read about a teen suicide in the paper, and have it revealed that the kid knew he was gay and had broken up with his girlfriend. The parents then continue to live in their biblically-oriented denial dreamworld and blame the poor girl (You're a "northern" American, go read "Dear Abbey" a few days ago).

Then on tonight's hews comes the story of a child born with Juvenile Diabetes dying because her parents wanted to "just have a prayer vigil" for her and not properly take care of her medically.

What is it that people take the Bible and automatically turn off their God-given brain????
This nonsense is out of control, for it is nothing but the Christian Taliban, pure and simple, a mark of the devil.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Wednesday, 26 March 2008 at 10:12pm GMT

Amen Choirboy

Revelation 3:9 "I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you."

God's love being demonstrated for women, GLBTs, non-Christians and non-humans.

See also Jesus' words at Matthew 23:15 "“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are."

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Thursday, 27 March 2008 at 9:42am GMT

Oh grow up Ben , please ! Of course Robinson is not the only gay bishop. As the media, including Church media constantly say, without shame, 'the openly gay bishop.' His crime in Anglicans eyes lies in the word 'openly'.

For heavens sakes the bishop who ordained me was gay --and hardly the first.
You slander Robinson and slander some.

'After the applause for Gene Robinson has died down...' Ben W

The applause will never die down. He will be commemorated in the Kalendar along with Newman, Keble and all the brothers, ans sisters.

Posted by L Roberts at Thursday, 27 March 2008 at 3:43pm GMT

Sorry, Ben, I thought I'd responded to this. My point was, given the amount of bile, half truths, out and out falsehoods, reviling, and on and on coming from the Right, it is a bit much to have a conservative claim it is outrageous to suggest the Church turns a blind eye to closeted gay bishops. I admit to not having read every one of your posts, so I missed your opposition to the things I mentioned. I apologize. But even on this list you can see the kind of half truth, untruth, and pseudoscience against which we have to defend ourselves daily, and which guides the thinking of some in the highest levels of the Church. When the unofficial leader of the "orthodox" says I am no more than an animal, a cancer on the Body of Christ, and that not only I but also those who are compassionate to me deserve 5 years in jail for such a horrible sin, all the while leading a group of people whose behaviour is anything but Christian, it is very hard not to see that someone on "his side" does not also feel the same way. I would ask you to consider though that when you defend the behaviour of people like the Network, you are likely to be seen as supporting their behaviour. I'll be blunt. Despite my misgivings over the whole SSB issue, I think the light of the Gospel is far more evident in those who support it than in the Network et al. I honestly don't understand how people can look at the Network leaders and consider them to be good representatives of the Gospel. Sorry. Perhaps you feel as I do but in the reverse, misgivings over their behaviour, but feel the issue is so important you have to throw in your lot with them.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 28 March 2008 at 3:17pm GMT
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