Between all those Texans protesting the gay Jesus play and Big Poppa Ratz running the largest kiddie-sex ring ever, we’ve had Jesus on the brain recently. But we thought we’d share some good religious news for a change: every Jesus-loving person isn’t a hypocritical super-bigot! Case in point: V. Gene Robinson. The first openly gay Episcopalian bishop visited the Texas capitol last Sunday to discuss “the seven deadly” anti-LGBT Bible verses, your queer uncle Harold, and why the ancient Hebrews were so hardcore against gay love and monkey spanking. Says Robinson: “I believe the Bible to be the word of God, but not the words of God.”
The Bishop’s a charming and powerful speaker, so you’d do well to hear his entire speech in the pages that follow. But we also know you’re busy folks (and maybe not too big on church), so we’ve pulled the best quotes from his hour-long sermon and placed them in a handy video gallery for you!
G-Rob Explains Why Gay-Bashing Was En Vogue Just A few Decades Ago
“Twenty or 30 years ago most Americans would have told you they did not now anyone gay … You might have worried about weird Uncle Harold or ‘There are those two nice ladies that have always lived together. You know down at the end of the street. Those spinster ladies?’ But what they would have meant when they told you they didn’t know anyone gay was that they didn’t know anyone who was openly self-affirming and out. And now is there a family left that doesn’t know one of their own to be LGB or T. Or is there anyone left who doesn’t know a former classmate or a co-worker someone to be gay. And it has made all the difference. Harvey Milk got it right that coming out is the most political thing you can do. And the reason for that huge shift is that now when we discuss this issue one or more faces come up, and people are less and less willing to say the things they’ve always said about us because they simply know it’s not true of Sam or Sally and they’re not willing to participate in that. So it has made all the difference in the world and as I like to say ‘That toothpaste ain’t gonna go back in the tube.’ We are not going to not be out and visible anymore.”
Why Leviticus Applies More to NAMBLA and the Catholic Church Thank to You
In reference to the Bible’s “seven deadly verses” condemning homosexuality: “We have to understand that sexual orientation is a new concept. That as a psychological construct the whole notion of sexual orientation is only about 125 years old…. Now, ancient cultures knew that there was same gender sex, but they assumed that everyone was heterosexual. And so to be acting in such a manner was contrary to their nature. So in effect, these verses and scriptures are about heterosexuals acting badly; heterosexuals acting against their nature…
“A couple of [references to homosexuality in the bible] probably refer to the practice known in Greek and Roman culture where an older man would take an adolescent boy under his wing and use him sexually and teach him the ways of the world… You and I would call that sexual abuse, that’s child abuse—nobody is arguing for that. But you see the harm that is caused when you translate those two words as ‘homosexual’? So you pick up your scripture, you open up the bible, and it says that ‘homosexuals are condemned,’ when that whole notion of homosexual is a whole new thinking completely unknown to Paul who wrote those words.
“You can’t take a modern modern concept and plug it back into an ancient text without doing violence to the text. So we constantly need to be saying do these verses actually mean what we’ve always been told. And I would argue, no not necessarily.”
God Kills a Kitten Every Time You Masturbate
“Let’s understand the biology that was present during that time. A man’s seed, a man’s sperm was thought to contain everything necessary for life. The only thing contributed by a woman was a place for that fully complete seed… to incubate. There was no concept of an egg and a sperm joining together… so you get all that stuff in Leviticus about masturbation and any kind of quote-unquote spilling your seed on the ground. So we forget that masturbation is condemned along with a man lying with as man as lying with a woman, and AND heterosexual intercourse where the man withdraws from the woman before orgasm because he spills his seed on the ground.
“Well, you’re living in a culture in the ancient Hebrew world where you’ve arrived from Egypt, you’re surrounded by hostile cultures and you’ve got to grow the population. So not using your seed to produce children was a crime against the nation as well as a crime against God. Yet somehow we’ve discarded the opprobrium for masturbation—although we won’t talk about the Texas school system and all that—and birth control for instance. But we’re holding on to this ‘man shall not lie with a man as with a woman’ as if it was written once and for all time without taking into consideration the context in which is was written.
“… There’s a lot of things the bible just simply doesn’t address: it doesn’t address atomic war, it doesn’t talk about flush toilets, and I would say that it doesn’t talk about faithful monogamous lifelong-intentioned relationships between two people of the same gender. It’s just silent on that because it was unknown to that culture.”
Why the Episcopalian Church Risked Its Life to Support You Queers
“Let me just say one thing that I’m really most proud of: the Episcopal church has put itself out there on this issue [by electing openly-gay bishops] and as messy and as ugly as it sometimes has been, it has been out there for the world to see.
And in 2003 after I was elected in New Hampshire and came to the General Convention for the necerssary consets by the rest of the church, there was this great debate. And the bishop of Wyoming, sort of this Marlboro man looking cowboy bishop y’know, gets up in the house of bishops and says, ‘Not since the civil rights movement of the 60’s have I seen this church risk its life for something and that’s what I think we’re contemplating doing.’ And that’s what you’ve seen in this last seven years.
“You’ve heard about the schism although it’s really small. To read the newspapers you’d think it was a 50-50 split. It’s a small number of people who find it impossible to stay in a church that says it’s going to love its gay and lesbian, bisexual, and transgender as children of God. It’s a small group and I’m really sorry about that. But I am really proud of a church that has risked its institutional life on loving all of God’s children.”
The Good Bishop Gets Semi-Political and Encourages You to Contact Lawmakers About Uganda’s Gays
“Just as I think it’s easy for someone living in Chelsea in New York or West Hollywood in LA to forget about Iowa and Texas and North Dakota, it’s also easy for American LGBT people to forget about LGBT people living in horrific circumstances overseas… We have to take responsibility for our brothers and sisters who cannot speak for themselves yet without enormous risk… It means that we need to be pressuring our own congressional delegation both in terms of having an effect on our foreign policy, but also on our immigration policy and our asylum policy.”