Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bp Robinson in Salt Lake City

From the SLC Trib:
There may be one thing even more difficult than coming out of the closet for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, said the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop.

And that's coming out as religious.

Yet reclaiming faith is vital to the success of the gay-rights movement, V. Gene Robinson told Utahns this week at a Salt Lake City fundraiser for the nonprofit group Equality Utah.

"We need to lay claim to the fact that we've been able to put our sexuality together with our spirituality in a way that enlivens us and nourishes us," said Robinson, whose landmark 2003 ordination as bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese drew cheers in some quarters and scorn in others throughout the faith community.

"We have let the religious right take the Bible hostage," he said, "and it's time we took it back."
Working from within faith communities is important, Robinson said, because "90 percent, at least, of the oppression that you and I face as LGBT people comes from the Abrahamic faiths -- from Judaism, Islam and Christianity."

Robinson predicted The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- as well as other churches -- will change its position.
"Pretty soon," Robinson said, "even the LDS Church is going to realize that no one under 30 is interested in joining a church that discriminates against us."

Those Mormon families enduring the conflict between what their church teaches and how many of their loved ones live will influence their leaders, he said. "They are going to wake up. They are going to see that the compassion they believe in extends to all of God's children."
He encouraged LGBT people to lives of joy, "fabulousness" and integrity so that no one can deny "the eternal light that is in each one of us.

"No matter the setbacks, the costs, the price we pay," Robinson said, "we are inexorably moving to a vision of the culture and of our religious institutions which is closer to God's [vision]."


Erp said...

He is an optimist. I love him for his ability to see the good in everyone, but, he is definitely an optimist.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

He may be an optimist but WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OPTIMISTS (or arranged to have full and rich lives in spite of the demonizers...mostly).

Suggesting ANY religious dogma can interfer with ones personal connection and accountability to God is nonsense...the sooner the LDS Church, Romans and others figure this essential/responsible divine relationship out...well, the better for all to live more honorably...until then, well, let them continue to uncomfortably PRETEND (because many are obsessed with fear and hate and don´t know GODS REALITY as it smacks them in their face/fate)!

James said...

I agree with ERP, +Robinson is overly optimistic. It took nearly 120 years for black males to get the LDS priesthood - and that was about 25 years after the civil rights movement.

The Werewolf prophet said...

He may be an optimist but I love him for it; it was his voice alone that finally created a compassionate space in me for those on the conservative (even wing-nut) side of this debate.

Yes, us GLBTI folk are here and yes we are going to continue to claim our full place at God's table (however you understand "God") but there are women & men of good faith who are hurting over the issue, and we are called to love them, too.

Now, as for abusive, power-mad megalomaniacs like Akinola, they can go to hell! Yah, I still have work to do on that "Love you neighbor" thing! :-D

David |Dah • veed| said...

James, that took a federal lawsuit that put the fear of the living God into them much worse than when they were disenfranchised by the US government over plural marriage. They had a whole lot more to loose this time around.

But for a church that thrives on conversions, I think that Gene is correct. Conversions will begin to dwindle in progressive nations where they will no longer be able to convince new generations that their GLBT friends and relatives are anathema.

Just as conversions are dwindling in Latin American nations where the word is getting out that we are not descendants of middle eastern Jews, because the science of genetics and the Genographic Project project tell us from our DNA that our ancestors are from Asia.

Erp said...

Optimistic idealists are needed. People who can see a goal on the horizon even though the path there is thorny and possibly not even surveyed. I note that Quakers have been working for 300 years on peace, still not yet there.

The LDS is set up so that power is wielded by elderly men either married or widowers. It takes time for such institutions to change policy (barring the leader having a road to Damascus moment). Even if their numbers started declining (and their internal birthrate is, I believe, fairly high so they aren't dependent only on conversions to grow), they still have the property and therefore the money to influence policy.

BTW for certain Anglican bishops, I think the appropriate Bible verse is "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you". Difficult to do (admittedly some might fudge it by pointing out that the content of the prayers are not detailed). I'm not sure what I would do. I've certainly felt bitter at times towards some people. Also is the verse right?