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Bishop Gene Robinson talks to Planned Parenthood, gets Freeped

Openly gay Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson was recently interviewed by Planned Parenthood and spoke on several topics, including his views on homosexuality and tolerance, abstinence education and reproductive freedom.

Considering the controversy that Robinson has been embroiled in since his election, you’d think he’d play it safe. On the contrary, he speaks out strongly for progressive views at a time where most religious leaders on the left are silent.

With so much strife around issues like abortion and gay marriage, including within the Episcopal Church, how do you create common ground?

I’m doing everything I can to emphasize the ways in which we all share the same reality, though we live in a culture that thrives on polarization.

Little has been written about your stance on reproductive rights. Are you pro-choice?

Absolutely. The reason I love the Episcopal Church is that it actually trusts us to be adults. In a world where everyone tries to paint things as black or white, Episcopalians feel pretty comfortable in the gray areas. I’m sure there must be individual congregations, and certainly individuals, who are off the deep end about this issue, but for the most part, the stance that we have taken speaks to our people as a mature and adult way of dealing with this — that we protect a woman’s right to choose but also say that obviously there are very deep things involved here.

So we encourage our folks to take this very private issue seriously. We urge them to talk to their priests about it and to think through all the questions they might have. And then we absolutely stand behind a woman’s right to choose. I think that’s a responsible place to be.

Has abortion been a divisive issue in your church?

Not really — surprisingly. From time to time it has come up, but the church has steadfastly resisted efforts to retract in any way our support for a woman’s choice.

You’ve said, “We have allowed the conservative religious right to take our Bible hostage, and I think it’s time we took it back.” How can people who are both religious and progressive reclaim religion?

It’s time that we re-familiarize ourselves with our sacred text, so that we can interpret it for the world, and not let the only voice that Americans hear from a Christian standpoint be those wildly conservative voices. As a gay man, I find stories in both Hebrew and Christian scripture that have literally called me out. For instance, in the Passover story, I know what it’s like to leave Egypt, or leave the closet. The ancient Israelites, instead of finding the Promised Land immediately, wandered the desert, and I know, too, that life doesn’t immediately get better for you. At the same time, as a whole community, we’re getting closer to the Promised Land all the time.

I think it’s time we learn to tell those stories out of our own context again, so that people speaking biblically and from a place of faith are not just wild-eyed conservatives.

There is an alarming trend toward enforcing abstinence-only sex education, encouraging the teaching of creationism, discouraging stem cell research — all in an attempt to put ideology over science. How do you think religion and science intersect?

I don’t find any disconnect between science and faith. There are ways of incorporating all of faith with all of what we know about science. [Right-wing politicians] and the so-called “pro-life” movement focus on all this as a great way to raise money, solidify their base, and get people all whipped up. If they can keep people whipped up about abortion, stem cell research, and gay marriage, then we don’t have to talk about the things that really matter, like this illegal and immoral war in Iraq, the economy, the some 45 million people without health insurance in this country, and balancing the budget so that those least able to take care of themselves don’t lose Medicaid. I think it was Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) who called all of the folderol about gay marriage a “weapon of mass distraction.” That’s what I think is going on here. I don’t find anything in scripture that says we shouldn’t be doing these things.

I’ve been involved in AIDS education for both young people and adults for a long, long time, and I think it’s cruel beyond belief to be advocating abstinence-only sex education.

This is the real disconnect — if you are against abortion, how can you not be for full and sufficient education about birth control? It’s something that would stop unintended pregnancies to begin with. It also exhibits a very low opinion of humankind. It says we can’t make appropriate choices for ourselves, so somebody has to make those choices for us.

These views, of course set the fetid residents of Freeperland off to their keyboards to pump out their usual ignorant bullsh*t.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

“The bishop is a piece of . . . work. He most certainly is a piece of something.”

“I get it. He wants to interpret the Bible like judges interpret the law… in essence, to justify whatever he wants to do.”

“To paraphase the UCC’s gay-friendly slogan: “Never place an intake where God placed an exhaust.””

“The church — or any organization — can’t speak for the world unless all voices are represented. Well then Gene, let’s not leave out the devil worshippers.”


“I wonder if there is anything he would define as a sin. What would it be? I wonder what Christ died on the cross for since everything is ok if it feels good. Who are we to judge after all. Would he hold group marriages for people that want it? Would he allow incest? What exactly are his standards? What does this say about his denomination that supports him? Is the greater church doing anything about this or is the whole Religion fallen away from Christ?”

“”The reason I love the Episcopal Church is that it actually trusts us to be adults”….”

“What an absolute lie!… the Episcopal church bishops changed the liturgy of the people when they elected him . They did not ask the people , they told them , no discussion, no vote, no input at all from the people. How is that treating them as adults? And when the majority of the people in the churches said no , these same demonic bishops continue with their agenda. He and his ilk are NOT treating the congregations as adults, and in the slimy secretive way the decision came to the congregations , the bishops have also NOT shown any sign of Christianity.”

“The rump ridin’ bishop talks to racist baby-killers. That’s sure to produce sound theological thinking.”

“You’re not supposed to be speaking for the world. You’re supposed to be no part of the world. Satan is the god of this system of things.”

“My thoughts exactly. Let’s equate the liberation of God’s chosen people from slavery with a gay coming out of the closet. How histrionic–but that would be perfectly within character, I’m sure.”

“Bishop V. Gene Robinson ECUSA… is sadly preaching a man-centered and culture-centered political message that is diametrically opposed to the eternal Gospel. I would not want to be in his shoes when the day of the Lord’s reckoning comes to him….”

“What has Planned P{arenthood got to do with Homosexuals anyway. THEY CANT BREED. at least not naturally. Oh They can use turkey basters and substi
tutes but I dont think there are enough of them doing that whereby Planned Parenthood has to get into the act.No this isnt about Planned parenthood in the parenthood stage, its about shoving the liberal agenda down our throats, up our butts or wherever else the Homo’s and the Socialists of Planned Parenthood shove things.”

“As a Catholic I can no longer respect the Episcopal Church if they choose to stand behind this man.”

“Of course the issue of human life never enters into the issue of abortion. It’s all just a matter of a woman’s “choice”. This tripe makes me sick! And embracing a life of open homosexual activity, i.e., a life dedicated to elevating a specific sin to the center of one’s life, is supposed to be the equivalent of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt?????”

“As a former Episcopalian, I hope the Cardinals choose a pope who will stay the course laid out for him. For your sake and for everyones sake. If not, this is what can and will happen. Behold the freakshow and learn from it.”

“It’s stuff like this that re-re-re-re-re-re-confirms my decision to leave the ECUSA. At this very moment, I couldn’t be any happier to be Catholic.”

“If this man was a pastor or bishop in my church I would physically throw him out.”

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