Gene Robinson Interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Programme

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The issue of homosexuality continues to tear the Anglican Communion apart in the build-up to the 2008 Lambeth Conference. In June the conservatives who oppose the ordination of gay priests will meet in Jerusalem, in what some see as an alternative conference. Many of these will refuse to go on to Canterbury for the main meeting in July.

Meanwhile the gay Bishop, Gene Robinson, whose consecration brought this dispute to a head, shows no sign of backing out of the limelight. His latest book In the Eye of the Storm is published this week by the Canterbury Press. He explained why he wrote it.

Listen to it all (just under 7 minutes)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsLambeth 2008Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings

Posted April 29, 2008 at 9:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Irenaeus wrote:

“[VGR’s latest book In the Eye of the Storm is published this week by the Canterbury Press”

Is anyone knowledgeable about Canterbury Press? In the United States, VGR’s book is being published by ECUSA’s very own Seabury Press. I trust that Canterbury Press has no similar official standing. Or does it?

April 29, 11:53 am | [comment link]
2. Nuj wrote:

Good question.
I decided to ‘google’ Canterbury Press, found their site and went onto their Publications section.
Got to a pdf. file which begins with an overview of what they do and a bit about who they are, and is, ofcourse, their catalogue.
By the titles they carry it looks as though they are pretty much the mouthpiece of the ‘articulate,’ liberal part of the English Church.
They must have good management. Their art department is making good looking bookfronts. To find Gene Robinson’s new book scroll to p.19. To get to p. 19 you will pass quite a few book titles that appear to be the usual liberal ‘schtick’.
I realise, for the elves, this might be a bit smug, however if you read through the titles you will see that this seems to be the company that publishes what I would call the ‘New, social justice, deeply “Spiritualistic” gospel’ message. In other words they are the authours seem to be the ones who are working tirelessly toward the ‘revamping’ of the doctrine of the Church
If you scroll through the sections of books they carry it cetainly looks like it might be officially sanctioned by the CoE, if not <i>the<i> only official publisher of the liturgical books etc.


April 29, 12:35 pm | [comment link]
3. Nuj wrote:

Actually, with more looking, this does seem to be connected to the official Anglican Publishing in England.
They also seem to have the distribution rights of a mix of ‘othodox’ publications. eg. Scripture Union.

April 29, 12:44 pm | [comment link]
4. driver8 wrote:

Hymns Ancient & Modern is a registered charity with the objects of promoting the advancement of religion and supporting charities and institutions connected with, or sympathetic to the ideals of, the Church of England. They are the publishers of the Church Times and own both SCM Canterbury Press and Church House Bookshop. They are not the official Church of England publishers.

The official Church of England publisher is Church House Publishing.

April 29, 12:44 pm | [comment link]
5. driver8 wrote:

I should add that the distribution arm of the Hymns Ancient and Modern charity will distribute the official COE publications from next month on.

April 29, 12:49 pm | [comment link]
6. Tar Heel wrote:

A Gene Robinson thread where comments are actually allowed?  Y’all behave now, hear?

April 29, 4:13 pm | [comment link]
7. Bill Matz wrote:

I was struck by the appropriateness of juxtaposing the posting of the Wright/Robinson articles.  The two seem to share a common approach.

April 29, 5:09 pm | [comment link]
8. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

The reporter obviously didn’t feel his question was being answered, so much so that he interrupted 3 times.  The question, as I heard it, was “Don’t you think it will be controversial for you to be there, and thus be a distraction from the larger work at Lambeth?”  Gene’s reply seemed to come down to “It’s about me sharing my story, and the larger venue is not going to be affected by that (except as I might be able to influence participants to see a new thing).
And then the business of personal safety, which was also deflected by Gene, where the question was “Do you fear for your safety (i.e. why do you say such a thing?  Did you receive a death threat?)”, and Gene says, “I’m not stupid.” 
This is where Gene (and the diocese of New Hampshire electing convention, and PB Griswold in response to the ABC) was before his consecration, when challenged with the likelihood of an Anglican Communion breakdown.  Denial is still in place.
And is a civil union only being planned in order to provide benefits for domestic partner just in case Gene gets gunned down?  Is that what this has all been about?  And will there be (as the reporter implied) no blessing of this civil union (which is only for benefits if need be)?
Something surely got lost in the translation here.
If not, surely the Canon to the Ordinary can take Bp Gene aside and help him re-prioritize, or not allow spontaneous recorded press interviews.


April 29, 5:31 pm | [comment link]
9. saj wrote:

I too thought it interesting that he said his civil union was not marriage.  Wonder if it’s already been blessed—or he is just trying to separate the two issues.  If it is not “blessed” does the community consider that he is living in “sin”?  Sounded like to me when he compared teaching on homosexuality to the teaching of Jesus on divorce that he was taking the stand that “marriage” (and thus adultery) is no longer considered of relevance.  Very evasive interview which sounded like a “book tour” type thing.  Is that prehaps at the bottom of his trip to England during Lambeth—an opportunity to sell some books?

April 29, 6:17 pm | [comment link]
10. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Homonyms have their uses.  THE EYE OF THE STORM is, in fact, THE I OF THE STORM.  That seems to come across very clearly in the attempt to be a “more than one issue” sort.  As if.

April 29, 7:48 pm | [comment link]
11. Brad Page wrote:

Regarding the questions about having his union “blessed”:  Gene Robinson is quoted as saying (prior to his election in NH) that he and his partner would not avail themselves of marriage/civil union if it became legal as such a ceremony (and, one presumes, such a blessing) would imply that their relationship had been missing something.  “It isn’t, so we wouldn’t” was the basics of his reply.  I’d have to research a bit to find the exact quote (anybody remember it?).

April 29, 9:10 pm | [comment link]
12. Now Orthodox wrote:

The interviewer sure threw Robinson a softball with the Leviticus scriptural quote.  A better one would have been from Paul’s theological letter to the church at Rome.  Robinson is non-christian on several accounts.  First, he has created great division in the church (sin); second he has denied the transforming power of Christ (sin), third, he has conducted himself in an inappropiate way as taught by Scripture (sin); fourth, he has placed his human desire above the will God as revealed to us in Scripture for there are only two states of being, marriage or celibacy (sin).  I could go on but I know that I too fall short (miss the mark ie. sin), however I recognize my shortcomings (at less to some degree) and pray for forgiveness and strength to become more like Christ in every way, every day.  I posted the Romans text below for review.  What is your thought?


Rom 1:18-32

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,

30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

April 29, 10:17 pm | [comment link]
13. Now Orthodox wrote:

I wanted to add that Gene Robinson is worthy of our prayers.  I pray for him, KJS, David Beers, and Bishop Peter Lee every day.  Perhaps with enough prayer we can save them all from Satan.


April 29, 10:22 pm | [comment link]
14. NoVA Scout wrote:

Barry:  and what are Bishop Lee’s transgressions that make him more vulnerable to Satan than you or me?

April 29, 11:27 pm | [comment link]
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