May 6, 2005 [LINK]

Holier than thou

A week or two ago I saw the Rev. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal bishop of Vermont who happens to be gay, on C-SPAN, speaking to a Planned Parenthood breakfast meeting. I tried to listen with open ears, but was quickly mortified by Robinson's defiant tone and self-certain attitude. There was not even an inkling of humility or repentance, in spite of the fact that he once abandoned his family, and yet he spared no effort in condemning religious conservatives. On one hand he urges people to see issues in a nuanced way, shunning sharp black vs. white dichotomies, but on the other hand he expresses blisteringly vehement personal opinions about the role of faith in public policy that rival the edicts of Muslim ayatollahs. Quite ironic. Coming from the academic world, I share his appreciation for "shades of gray," but it is the duty of religious leaders not to hem and haw but to provide moral guidance, i.e., follow the rules. See the Washington Times. All this reminds us that, although the Religious Right is getting all the headlines for its excesses these days, the Religious Left is active behind the scenes, promoting an agenda that is overtly hostile to traditional culture and values. I mentioned Robinson on April 8 this year and October 23, 2003 (scroll down). If leaders in the Episcopal Church do not convince him to stay out of politics, I can't see how an outright schism can be avoided.