Vetting the Theological Elites, e.g Bishops?
Pro-Gay Episcopal Bishops come out in support of Obama's stance on gay marriage
By David W. Virtue
May 14, 2012
In the intensively divided America of 2012, being against gay marriage can now be seen almost as an act of political rebellion against a faraway elite which fears and loathes anyone who is not like them.
The Episcopal Church's leading lesbian (the Rev.) Susan Russell called the vote a "shameful exercise of ballot-box bigotry in North Carolina." She looked with disgust upon the people of North Carolina for voting in favor of Amendment 1 by an overwhelming 61 per cent. The amendment to the state's constitution says, "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state."
Her racist remarks, equating being gay with being black, are highlighted by the fact that most blacks in the state supported the Amendment. So much for conflating "homophobia" with racism. Of course, gays and lesbians will stop at nothing to import their behavior into the church. They don't mind who they trample on to get their way. Anyone who opposes their behavior is, of course, homophobic and should be consigned to their version of hell - presumably, with no partner at all. Anyone who opposes their agenda is automatically a bigot and full of hatred and subject to much ridicule.
Take the case of Pastor Sean Harris of Berean Baptist Church who called effeminate behavior "ungodly". Russell would have none of it. She accused him of being "the bully in the Bully Pulpit." She said he was advocating child abuse when all he was doing was trying to give an illustration, very poorly it seems, of a father with a son showing effeminate tendencies and urging him to nip it in the bud. Russell accused him of turning religion into a weapon of mass destruction aimed at LGBT people.
The Episcopal organization Integrity USA joined Equality North Carolina in describing the amendment to gay marriage in the state as discrimination in its highest form.
Following the vote, the Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, said he opposed Amendment One because he believes all people are created in the image and likeness of God and that all are, therefore, to be accorded the rights and dignity that befit a child of God. Why people with same sex attractions should be given special treatment he did not say bearing in mind that for 2,000 years such "attractions" were viewed as soul destroying and kingdom denying.
"My concern for the hurt and harm that this amendment may cause remains," said the bishop. "That includes hurt and harm to unmarried victims of domestic violence, unmarried couples - gay or straight, senior couples and children."
The bishop did not say why domestic violence should suddenly rise because single people or those with same-sex attractions cannot marry must remain a mystery. VOL explored this position here http://tinyurl.com/c25cvtr
At least 24 Episcopal priests in the Diocese of North Carolina signed a letter opposing the anti-gay-marriage amendment.
EPISCOPAL BISHOPS & GAY LEADERS RESPOND
Not surprisingly, a slew of bishops, gay clergy and laity emerged from the Episcopal woodpile to express their support for President Obama's new found "evolutionary" stand on gay marriage.
"The President's change of heart will come as no surprise to Integrity members who have seen miracles of transformation as those close to us and in the wider Church have had their hearts and minds touched by the Holy spirit working through LGBT people and our allies," noted The Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall, Integrity President.
Interim Integrity Executive Director, Rev. Harry Knox opined that the leader of the free world has finally endorsed what Louie Crew and Ernest Clay began to model on behalf of gay and lesbian Episcopalians when Integrity was formed in 1974. "Beloveds, we LGBT folk and our allies taught him (Obama) to do that. Our struggle is not over, but today is a very good day".
Integrity Vice President, the Rev. Jon M. Richardson said he was grateful to President Obama for his vocal support of marriage equality. "This growth and forward movement in his thinking is particularly heartening after the unsurprising, but disappointing vote yesterday for continued discrimination in North Carolina. Integrity remains committed to realizing full marriage equality both in our church and in the wider society, and we are happy to welcome the President's support. While some churches and local governments are holding fast to socially irrelevant and outdated political positions, we are proud to lift up the Episcopal Church as a growing beacon of hope for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people of faith and our allies."
Washington Bishop Mariann Budde, commenting on President Obama's "evolution" on marriage equality, stated, "I want to thank President Barack Obama for his forthright description of how he came to change his mind on the issue of marriage equality. While some commentators are dismissing the President's "evolution," the fact is that many of us have a similar story to tell. We grew up in social and spiritual traditions that taught us that same-gender orientation was a perversion, was a sin. Yet over time, and in relationship with people whose lives and examples contradicted our assumptions, we came to a different conclusion. Eventually, we came to realize that the sacred traditions we thought were opposed to same-gender relationships had much to say in support of them.
She indicated she will "allow and encourage" clergy to officiate at civil marriage ceremonies. Not surprisingly, the three bishops of the Diocese of Los Angeles, The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, The Rt. Rev. Diane Jardine Bruce and the Rt. Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool came out saying "they fully endorsed marriage equality and welcomed the growing public understanding and appreciation of same-sex couples living as faithful families worldwide. We particularly applaud the statement made by President Obama earlier today and will continue to pray and work for the respect of every human being with dignity, justice and peace for all."
Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop, says he is grateful and proud that Obama is supporting gay marriage. Robinson said that the president is aligning himself on the right side of history. He was thrilled that Obama mentioned children with gay parents who attend school with his daughters who are not treated equally.
One bishop who tentatively raised his head over the gay ramparts in mild opposition to the ascendant gay Episcopal mob was Springfield Bishop Daniel H. Martins who observed, "I feel constrained to not let it go unsaid that what is called "marriage equality" by those who advocate for it is not merely the extension of the rights widely understood to be associated with a familiar societal institution to a segment of the population that, until now, has been unjustly denied those rights, but, rather, a thorough redefinition of the institution itself."
He concluded with, "For the record, I support civil partnership laws, and access to inheritance, power-of-attorney, hospital visitation, etc. etc. for those in same-sex relationships. But surely there must be some way to guarantee these rights without redefining 'marriage' beyond plausible recognition."
New York episcopal Bishops Mark Sisk, Andrew M.L. Dietsche and Andrew Smith each expressed support for marriage equality. "I welcome President Obama's expression of support for marriage equality for gay and lesbian people. Given that equality before the law is a fundamental principle of our republic, it seems to me that our President has reached an eminently appropriate conclusion," wrote Sisk.
"In earlier statements I have made known my support of marriage for gay and lesbian people. I am convinced that this support is entirely in keeping with the familiar call to respect the dignity of every human being. It is, moreover, in accord with our Lord's promise that we are all, fully and equally, beloved children of God." NY Bishop-elect Dietsche commended President Obama for his public statement supporting the legality of marriage for gay and lesbian couples. "There is a clear and growing majority in America which believes that marriage equality is fair and just, and that it is a moral imperative for a country founded on principles of the equality of all people. We in New York can justly take pride that our state has been a pioneer in providing this equality under the law, and in the Diocese of New York we rejoice with all those who have found, in these new freedoms, the public validation of loving relationships that in many cases represent decades of shared joys and sacrifices.
"At our General Convention this summer our own church will consider new liturgies for the blessing of same sex relationships. Happily, in New York, such blessings have long been part of our common life. We pray for the Episcopal Church as it gathers in Convention that it will hear the courageous declaration of our president, the convictions of our own bishop, and the witness of those who have already found comfort, joy and solace in our marriage equality laws, as we work together toward true equality for all people in a church which follows our Lord Jesus. It was he who taught us that in every person we may find the face of our God, and that in every marriage we may hope to see "a sign of Christ's love to this sinful and broken world."
Bishop Smith has heartily endorsed the initiative and action of President Obama in affirming the appropriateness of marriage between persons of the same sex.
Bishop Scott B. Hayashi of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah commented, "When I heard the news I was very happy with it. I applaud President Obama for being very brave to make such a statement. We welcome all people. If the person is gay or lesbian, we welcome them among us. If a person does not believe in gay or lesbian marriage, they are welcome among us."
The Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel, Episcopal Bishop of Olympia, addressed the human factor in reacting to Obama's support. "As I reflect on the many I know who have been examples of devout and committed love for one another and for their families," said Rickel, "I am most grateful for his willingness to share his convictions."
The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina observed that Obama's embrace of same-sex marriage isn't likely to alter the ongoing theological and social debate in his church, a debate that has roiled the church over the past 30 years.
"I don't think it is going to add anything significant to the discussion," said Bishop W. Andrew Waldo. "I think we are already so deep in this conversation that it is not going to affect us."
America's cultural elite as expressed in the sophisticated realm of Episcopal Church leaders has spoken. With little opposition, they are united for the world's pansexual agenda, ignoring Scriptural commands opposing sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman.
At yet another level, gay marriage has become a tool through which the right-minded sections of society and certain church leaders express their moral superiority over the dumb, the brainwashed, the insufficiently cosmopolitan, and the churchgoing. People like Susan Russell live in a permanent state of high anxiety at any opposition to the Episcopal Church's new found sexual zeitgeist and use Gay marriage as a weapon to demonstrate that they are better - that is, less brainwashed and more caring - than your average redneck or country hick.
As one British newspaperman wrote, "Supporting gay marriage has become a kind of cultural signifier, a way of distinguishing oneself from the ignorant throng."
THE THEOLOGY OF BARACK OBAMA
"When [Michelle and I] think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it's also the Golden Rule and treating others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that's what we try to impart to our kids, and that's what motivates me as President, and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I'll be as a as a dad and a husband, and hopefully the better I'll be as president."
The use of the Golden Rule to uphold gay marriage does not hold up.
An article in the Harvard Review by three scholars said that as a moral reality, marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together, and renewed by acts that constitute the behavioral part of the process of reproduction. They further argued that there are decisive principled as well as prudential reasons for the state to enshrine this understanding of marriage in its positive law, and to resist the call to recognize as marriages the sexual unions of same-sex partners.
"Besides making this positive argument for our position and raising several objections to the view that same-sex unions should be recognized, we address what we consider the strongest philosophical objections to our view of the nature of marriage, as well as more pragmatic concerns about the point or consequences of implementing it as a policy," the article concluded.
One of the reasons the Anglican Church in North America came into being was due to TEC's opposition of the plain reading and teaching of Scripture that all sexual behavior be restricted to one man and one woman in marriage. That has not changed in 2,000 or 6,000 years.
It is also why the vast majority of the Global South Anglican provinces have united against pansexual Western Anglicans. They will have no truck with the enlightened "revelations" of sexual immorality to which they object. They are growing churches with a clear understanding of the gospel, while the West slowly dies without one.
Russell says she takes her cues from Jesus. "Jesus never said a single word about anything even remotely connected to homosexuality," she says.
True, he didn't, and he didn't have to. It was enough that he said that God made them male and female and closed the sexual matrix forever. The once married with children Russell says, if Jesus were here today, he would celebrate committed, same-sex relationships. Nonsense. At no point would Jesus affirm present day experience over His authority. Jesus repeatedly affirmed the law of the Old Testament and said he fulfilled it himself. What he demanded of his disciples was obedience, an obedience that might lead even to a cross. We sacrifice our desires, not uphold them. Ms. Russell's "gospel" and her views on sexuality are a mockery of the gospel and will ultimately destroy the Episcopal Church.