THE SUNDANCE KID

Bishop Gene Robinson: Full Inclusion Of LGBTs In Religion “Inevitable,” Intolerant Denominations “Increasingly Irrelevant”

For those of us who grew up lacking a father figure, there’s openly gay Episcopalian bishop Gene Robinson.

Gene always seems to have the right answer to moral questions, and his sermons are inspiring and insightful—even if you grew up hating the tedium and backwardness of Sunday mass. Queerty chatted with Gene and Macky Alston at the Sundance Film Festival last week about helping the gay community to find faith, the landmark decision of the American Anglican Church to allow gay bishops in 2009, and what’s next for gay people and organized religion. Macky has been filming Robinson for the past four years for the documentary Love Free Or Die (right), which premiered at the festival and won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for an Agent of Change.

On whether the Catholic Church at large will allow gay bishops anytime soon, Robinson is hesitant to state a timeline, but he does say that Christianity, Islam and Judaism will appear “increasingly irrelevant” if they continue to distance themselves from the LGBT community.

“I’m of the opinion that the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the church, the mosque, and the synagogue is inevitable,” says Robinson. “All we’re talking about is timing. How long will it take to make that a reality? I believe that’s God’s will, and the church, the synagogue and the mosque may have gotten this wrong for this many years, but God has never gotten it wrong. God has always loved God’s gay children.”

Photo: Gillian Laub

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13 Comments

  • SteveC

    Hmmm – Robinson seems like a nice guy, but he avoids 1 fact – religious belief is not necessary to live a fulfilling life.

    Religious belief or belief in ‘god’ is a choice (unlike sexual orientation). And the fastest growing group in the US is the atheists.

  • Charlie

    Where did he state it was necessary to be religious to lead a fulfilling life? The thrust of his comments is that the world’s religions have an opportunity to gain or retain a number of followers who do want a religious life but will not be satisfied with a religion that has no place for GLBT members.

  • Kev C

    Wanting to be Christian is soooo 20th Century. Second rate religion, used up, worn out, passe.

  • Fitz

    @Kev C: 100% agree. It’s expired technology. It worked for a while, now it’s laughable. And these minor titrations and plans for titrations are like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  • Shannon1981

    While I applaud people like this Bishop, I still blame religion, and Christianity in particular, for all the bullshit we go through. Every single ignorant opinion about the LGBT community is rooted in one place: religious belief.

    As an atheist, I definitely take issue with almost every religion out there, at least on some level. But Christianity, and the Abrahamic shit in general, with their devils and saviors and pits of fire and whatnot…that’s just insane. That’s all it is- socially acceptable delusion.

  • 13Zeroither

    Fuck religion. It needs to die. But it would take a miracle if someone had a huge army to overthrow the governments of the world to create a global culture suicide to start all over (in order to murder religion. Fuck it into the depths of time). In its place would be the new world with each country having its own unique food, clothes, language, culture, etc. BUT ALL of the countries in the new world will be not racist, sexist, and homophobic.
    A person can dream… :)

    too bad that that guy seems nice, oh well..

  • tinkerbell

    I agree, wholeheartedly. The only religious sects I admire are the Quakers and the United Church of Christ. I am an atheist and don’t need belief in an ethereal being as affirmation of my life, but those two sects of Christianity are to be applauded in their support for us.

  • the crustybastard

    Oh, c’mon — it’s not just religion’s generally dickish treatment of LGBTs that’s making churches increasingly irrelevant.

    But it’s certainly part of the reason the fastest growing religious affiliation in America is “none.”

  • trevor bartlet

    There isn’t anyone in all of Christianity that takes Robinson seriously. He’s really just the Pope of the Advocate, Queerty and Out.

  • KJ

    Nitpicking, of course, but there is no organization by the name of the “American Anglican Church.” The Episcopal Church, in which Robinson serves as a bishop, is the American “branch” of the Anglican Communion. Each national “branch” has an independent governing structure, unlike the Catholic Church.

    To think that no one takes Bishop Robinson seriously, for good, or ill, is not accurate. His detractors are legion, and when they are within the LGBT “community,” ironic. To the closeted Christian in America, which was me, at one time, and internationally, especially in places where it is dangerous to be LGBT, he is a major beacon of hope.

    We all have a role to play as we move towards full inclusion of LGBT people across the spectrum of society. I understand belittling religion, but to belittle another’s role in that struggle, to me, makes no sense at all.

  • KJ

    I take back what I said about there being no actual American Anglican Church. There is such an organization, but should not be confused with the Episcopal Church in which Robinson serves as a bishop. The AAC, like other groups of parishes, consists of those who did not like the female and gay cooties of the Episcopal church.

  • TASTEY GOODIES

    UUA accepts EVERYONE of the glgt community and is inclusive of most religions- eve paganism and wicca. Cool beans!

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