Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: Anglicans seem to take a sacrament as whatever turns you on
Posted on 08/08/2003 4:26:45 PM PDT by Pokey78
Because I'm an adopted New Hampshirite, people keep asking me what I think about The Gay Bishop. Once upon a time, the most famous symbol of Granite State manhood was the Old Man Of The Mountain, the Great Stone Face, whose profile God and nature had etched on to the cliffs high above Franconia Notch in the White Mountains. But, after centuries of keeping a watchful eye on us, he came crashing down in an almighty rock slide a couple of months back.
So now the most celebrated symbol of Granite State manhood is the Great Gay Face, the Reverend Gene Robinson. And, although I'm feeling a little gayed out these days, since folks insist on pressing me, let me say a couple of things about the Episcopal Church's and the Anglican Communion's first gay bishop. And by gay, I don't mean one of those fainthearted CofE "celibate gays" like poor doomed Jeffrey John. Personally, I thought the much touted celibacy of Canon John and his friend had a whiff of the old "but I didn't inhale" about it: as my colleague Barbara Amiel summarised Clinton's defence in the Monica business, "But I didn't impale."
By contrast, Canon Robinson, a proudly "practising" gay, decided to shoot for the whole enchilada - daring the dithering nellies of his Church to take not one small tentative first step but a giant leap for mankind. He had the courage of his concupiscence, and he has been rewarded for it. True, he had to endure a slight delay while the bishops hastily investigated some last-minute complaints about inappropriate touching and links to pornographic websites. But those were soon dismissed and the bishop was elected, and, as he pointed out, this wasn't the first two-day dramatic turnaround the Church has known: "God has once again brought an Easter out of Good Friday."
Got that? If he's not the Second Coming, he's the next best thing. As the Washington Post's Caryle Murphy reported on Thursday, "Yesterday's gospel reading on the Transfiguration of Jesus was about the mysterious transformation of Christ that caused such fear and trembling, but also joy, in his believers. For the group attending the noontime Eucharist service at St John's Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase, the reading could not have been more pertinent." Yes, indeed. For, just like Christ, Bishop Robinson causes fear and trembling but also joy in his believers.
In an odd way, the Post is on to something. The peculiar obsession of the dying Anglican churches of Britain, America and Canada with homosexuality is a kind of transformation. Having lost the masses, the Church has found a niche demographic and it's desperately trying to re-package its old inventory. And, if in their need to endow their gay fetish with spiritual purpose, they sound a little loopy, bear with 'em. The Bishop of Maryland, for example, made a painful attempt to square the awkward Biblical strictures on homosexuality with Bishop Robinson's vigorous sex life. His line is that God isn't against gay sex per se, just gay sex practised by heterosexual men. Really.
"We might say about the Sodom passage," he elaborated, "that it is not really about a group of gay men behaving badly, but a group of heterosexual men behaving atrociously." Similarly, in Romans, Paul isn't objecting to homosexual men having sex with each other, just heterosexual men having sex with each other. Who knew? So God's cool with practising straights, He's cool with practising gays; it's just bi-guys He's got a problem with. Or have I misunderstood the bishop's argument?
Needless to say, Bishop Robinson had no time for such pretzel logic. He cut to the chase. "I believe that God gave us the gift of sexuality so that we might express with our bodies the love that's in our hearts," he announced to his fellow bishops. "I just need to tell you that I experience that with my partner. In the time that we have, I can't go into all the theology around it, but what I can tell you is that in my relationship with my partner, I am able to express the deep love that's in my heart, and in his unfailing and unquestioning love of me, I experience just a little bit of the kind of never-ending, never-failing love that God has for me. So it's sacramental for me."
The bishop would seem to be comparing gay sex not with anything so footling as the Sacrament of Marriage, but with the Anglican Church's two "Sacraments ordained of Christ" - that's to say, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, through which one experiences "God's good will towards us" and "by which He doth work invisibly in us". If Bishop Robinson feels God working invisibly in him during gay sex, good luck to him. In older times, he and his partner would have set up their own church founded on the principle thereof. But back then the Anglican Church still understood itself to be part of the Kingdom of God, not a federation of self-esteeming cantons where a sacrament is whatever turns you on. Bishop Robinson got the Church to endorse not just his gayness but his narcissism.
Hmmmm. The way I read scripture, God created male and female, not hetero-, homo-, bi-, etc.
Technically, I don't think there is any such thing as a "homosexual" -- we are men or women who act in ways that please or displease God. And I think God has made it adequately clear what is pleasing and what is displeasing to him regarding sex.
Well, we might be doomed. They are doomed.
The reason this pansy can't go into the "Theology" around it is because he knows quite well that he has to bend, twist, and fabricate the interpretation of sripture. There just is no supporting premise whatsoever for homosexuality. In FACT it is just the opposite:
An abomination to the Lord.
"The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind."
C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity
I just didn't need him to tell me that, especially right after supper. Bleah!
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