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Last Updated: Friday, 8 August, 2003, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
US gay bishop row: Your views
This is a third page of your comments on the appointment of a gay bishop, Reverend Gene Robinson, to the Anglican church in the United States.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:

Matthew states to judge not, but in the context of the passage it is clear that Christians are not to judge by their own standards, but to judge according to the scriptures. This is made clear throughout the New Testament. The hierarchy of the church has failed to do so, preferring to put friendship with the world before obedience to God. It is not the Christians who judge this man and the church, but the scripture itself and therefore God. Apparently the church hierarchy has become like the religious leadership in the time of Christ. It is time for the true believers to withdraw from the apostate church.
Joseph, USA

People progress and the God they create does with them
Alfred, Gibraltar
Can't anyone see that the Bible was written by people and it simply reflects what moral values they had at the time? God himself would seem to have an identity crisis if you consider how different he is in the New Testament compared to his tyrannical behaviour in the Old. People progress and the God they create does with them.
Alfred, Gibraltar

This is not about choosing bits of the bible that we like - the scriptures condemn all sex outside of marriage. Homosexual sex is one sub-set of that whole plethora of practices. This is a sad day for Anglicanism, and I hope the orthodox bishops across the world take firm action, and soon.
Derek Smith, York, UK

It is unimaginable in Buddhist Order of Sangha. He or She who is not man enough or women enough are not permitted to me monks or nuns of Buddhist Order. I think it is very important to keep religion pure. Not like in Christianity, in Buddhism monks are not allowed sexual activities not only bodily but by speech or by mind. I definitely would like to see Christianity a pure religion.
Nyunt Shwe, Tokyo, Japan

Why would a gay man want to represent a religion which is so intolerant?
Nat, UK
We've got to ask ourselves this one question: why would a gay man want to represent at a high level a religion which is so intolerant, so blinkered, and so discriminatory of his way of life? Why would he want to preach to others a text that says his own lifestyle is an abomination? He shouldn't have been appointed not because homosexuality is wrong, but because the Bible says it is, he is, and he wants to lead a community in the Bible's way. It's the hypocrisy and contradiction of the scenario that stinks.
Nat, UK

Shouldn't the Nigerian bishops be rather more concerned about current conditions in countries such as Zimbabwe, Liberia, Congo etc, where real harm is being perpetrated. I would have thought that against this background homosexuality would pale into insignificance.
Jules, Brighton, England

The hypocrisy of some Christians really makes me laugh. In order to be a true Christian you have to accept all aspects of the Bible, you can't just pick and choose! All those who are homophobic because the Bible calls homosexuality an abomination need to be reminded that the Bible also says that polygamy is acceptable, as is child slavery, and it also says that a rebellious child can be brought the city gates and stoned to death.
Natasha Saunders, Meylan, France

I think that the appointment of Canon Robinson to the position of Bishop is a beautiful sign of enlightenment. It would have been wrong to deny him this position. We cannot say, "it's OK for gays to come this far, but no farther. You can come to my state but not my town. You can come to the party but not my table."
Daria, Scranton, PA

It indicates lowering of standards
Charles Newman, London
The election of a homosexual bishop is rather unfortunate. Although I believe in freedom of choice, believers in Jesus have to aspire to live according to the Christian principles as explained in the Bible. The Bible speaks clearly against homosexuality, or better still, its practice. Higher standards are expected from believers, or they should leave Christianity and join some other religion that allows homosexuality. All this talk about progress is nonsense. It indicates lowering of standards. It also indicates that those who elected the bishop did not believe what their religion stands for. Homosexuals can easily live their lifestyle practices outside the church; not foisting it on the church.
Charles Newman, London

I am deeply distressed by the election and confirmation of Rev. Robinson. From what I have heard and read in the media, Robinson seems to have put his personal agenda ahead that of his church. It is the Episcopal Church's trend toward "political correctness" that has undermined the fundamental values of traditional faith. I no longer count myself as an Episcopalian.
Bruce, Washington, DC - USA

There's a distinct lack of response to the people saying the Bible calls homosexuality an abomination. The Bible says an awful lot of other things that most people no longer follow (slavery, stoning, mixing textiles etc etc). Is this a case of selective deafness? What's your response? If you're not going to answer validly made points, then maybe you should consider changing your minds?
Katherine, London, UK

This is indeed an historic event
Ivan John, Mumbai, India
This is indeed an historic event for all of us who are gay or gay friendly. Traditionalists shy away from any issue even remotely related to sex, sexuality, and sexual orientation. I believe that one can be Christian and gay and we believe that Jesus loves us and calls us despite all. I join you all in prayer for the Church at large and for the gay, lesbian, transgender peoples all over the world; especially those who have been marginalized by the "universal church" of Christ.
Ivan John, Mumbai, India

To all the so-called 'Christians' who are currently bible-bashing over homosexuality and the Church: Does your religion advocate selective use of the Bible and its contents by its followers? If not, this must mean that you don't shop on a Sunday; you slaughter animals when your wife gives birth, you don't have sex before marriage and you publicly stone criminals. To call yourself Christians demeans the very Church you profess to support.
Carl Ball, Liverpool, UK

Best wishes to Gene Robinson! I'm glad for the new wave of acceptance of all people. It's about time.
Eloise Farr, Asheville NC

It is really disappointing to see so many Christians rush to judgement
Dave, Minneapolis, USA
It is really disappointing to see so many Christians rush to judgement. I thought that was reserved for God Himself. Do these people really think that God has no control over what is going on in the Church today? I certainly would never presume to know more about what God wants in the world. If He did not want this bishop confirmed, then the bishop would not have been.
Patrick Overstreet, Springfield, Ma. USA

This is another example of the hypocrisy we find in the world today. If Rev. Robinson had never disclosed his sexual orientation he would have been elected and everyone would be happy. Lie and you're in, tell the truth and you're out. It's truly amazing that religions even exist in this day and age. They seem to do nothing but cause pain to those whom God created different.
Dave, Minneapolis, USA

Of all of the problems in the world, this is not one of them. It's amusing to watch the media make such an issue out of this non-issue. I guess there is a shortage of real news.
John, Canada

The Church seems to be violating that for which it stands
I can't say that I have a problem with a homosexual man being named a bishop. Somebody's sexual orientation is none of my business. I must say though that I am surprised that the Church did in fact confirm him since I understand that homosexuality is forbidden in the Bible. As such, the Church seems to be violating that for which it stands. This leads me to believe that this confirmation was done under PC pressure. That is unacceptable.

The African churches would be rightly annoyed if westerners tried to interfere with their diocesan affairs. They should extend the same courtesy to parts of the Anglican communion whose social conditions are very different from theirs and - dare I say it? - rather more progressive.
Victoria, North Carolina

We didn't make the rules. God did
Alex, Manassas, VA, USA
The Bible, the word of God, says it's wrong. It says that homosexuals are not supposed to be leaders in our Church. We didn't make the rules. God did. If outsiders don't like it, go belong to another faith. Our faith clearly states that this should not happen.
Alex, Manassas, VA, USA

As a practising catholic I am saddened by the dissent caused within the Anglican Church by the self seeking Gene Robinson and his personal ambition which has taken precedence over the needs of his church.
Raymond Blaney, Downpatrick N. Ireland

I'm a catholic, homosexuality is NOT a sin, it does not affect a person's ability for kindness or understanding. The Catholic and Anglican churches need to move with the times.
Tracey, UK

The moral authority of a Christian leader comes from their striving to adhere to the guidelines for Christian living outlined in the Bible. By disputing God's intentions outlined in the written word the supporters of Dr Robinson have abandoned one of the main beliefs of Protestant Christianity i.e. By the Word Alone. Unfortunately some people seem to believe it means By the Word when it is convenient.
John Croft, Chicago, Il

The church cannot appoint a gay bishop when it is in a direct contradiction to their holy book
Jesse, UK
In both the old and the new testament of the Bible - homosexuality is cited as a sin. In the New Testament this sin is punished, not forgiven! The church cannot appoint a gay bishop when it is in a direct contradiction to their holy book and expect people to accept it.
Jesse, UK

The priest has put his own needs above that of the Anglican Church. I thought he was supposed to serve god. He is unsuited to be bishop as he lives a lifestyle that is unbecoming of a bishop. As would a bigamist, a philanderer, one who steals or who kills for a living. Will the Anglican Church also get rid of the commandment thou shalt not commit adultery because adulterers say they are being discriminated against?

While this matters little to non-Christians, it matters a great deal to Christians who believe the Bible is the world of God and the last word on any issues concerning their religion. How dare non-Christians insult the Christian faith by trivializing this issue? How dare non-Christians try to tell Christians who their church leaders should be? How dare gay activists try to defile the Christian faith with their secular views? Christians around the world should be appalled by this.
Jayna, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Splits in the church are nothing new. Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, etc. are all versions of Christianity resulting from disagreements in the past. All it proves, surely, is that gods are made in man's image and not the other way around. When the established religion lags behind public opinion, just make up a new religion where god agrees with you. Easy!
Bryan, UK

This issue isn't about what the world thinks or wants. It isn't about what is politically correct. This issue is about what God wants for his church. It's a shame that the church leaders in New Hampshire chose to turn their backs on God's word. They set a poor example for the Christians they lead. What's next, priests advocating that the 10 Commandments are merely suggestions?
Ed, Ohio, USA

It's high time the Africans know that homosexual is not a western idea, rather it has been in our society as early as human evolution
Joe Olugbemi, Lagos, Nigeria
The Nigeria Anglican Christians condemning the appointment of a gay bishop should remove the peck from their eyes. Nigeria has close to 20 million gay people leaving in the closet and among this are very prominent Anglican members. And it is high time the Africans know that homosexual is not a western idea, rather it has been in our society as early as human evolution. If the other Anglican churches break away they will loose 20%of there total population which are gay people
Joe Olugbemi, Lagos, Nigeria

To the issue of the Anglican Church electing a gay bishop, I have this to say: Christ told us that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Who are we to judge that this man's sin is more grievous than our own? Those judging the Reverend Robinson should read Matthew 7:1-5: "1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye?"
Devon Dougherty, Minneapolis, MN, USA

I find it disturbing that people who believe in a God, who, in his teachings says we are to love all of his creatures, believe that being a homosexual is a sin. God loves all and from what I was taught God is not the one who disrespects people it is the followers of God's words who disrespect the teachings, thus disrespect society. Discussion of this issue is trivial as we many problems in the world that need to be dealt with, and as I see it homosexuality is not a problem.
Dave, Canada

As a Christian I do not support Robinson being appointed bishop, and I would support the separation of our church. I believe that we all have sinned and fallen short, and the Bible teaches us that God accepts us the way we are, however he doesn't leave us in the condition he found us, he transforms us to be more like his son. If Robinson was truly a man of God he would testify to God's grace and mercy, and would still be with his wife. Most churches believe the Bible is the absolute truth, and for that reason Robinson, an openly gay man, should not be a leader of any sort. And for that reason I support the separation of our church!
Christy, USA

If Reverend Robinson serves God and his people why should he be persecuted?
Jane, UK
If God exists and we were all created by him, he also created those of us who are gay. How can you blame someone for how they were born? Besides, the bible was written long after the death of Christ, written by men with human failings, biases and prejudices. Just look at how gender biased the bible is towards women. The divine message of love is not in dispute but one must remember that it was written down be men, in all their weaknesses. If Reverend Robinson serves God and his people why should he be persecuted? The clergy has done much, much worse things in the past and present.
Jane, UK

For the US Anglican church to elect a gay bishop is an abomination. What they are telling the world is that any perverse act is acceptable and welcomed. We all recall the Biblical story where the woman was about to be stoned and Christ said, "he who is without sin cast the first stone". He went on to say to the woman "go, and sin no more". What Christ didn't say is that the woman's actions were good and she should become an apostle. What the Anglican Church should have said to Reverend Robinson is "go, and sin no more".
Dave, U.S.A.

I am astonished at the amount of stone throwing being dealt out by supposed followers of the messages of Jesus Christ!
Tony Moss, Manchester Uk

You can't have your cake and have - you either believe in God and respect what he says in the Bible, or decide to make and follow your own rules and start your own "church" which allows for everything.
Robert Sosnowski, Hajnowka, Poland

I consider myself a Christian, living largely by what the Bible says, the problem is the Bible often contradicts itself. As many of the comments here show, the Church is driving gay people away, and that can't be right. Personally I welcome the appointment of Gene Robinson in the hope that he will contribute to making the Church fully inclusive.
Polly, London, UK

Jesus taught tolerance. The Bishop is gay, and he has admitted it. The church should concern itself with issues about the members of the clergy who abuse children. Many people have endured sad and unhappy lives because they have not been able to accept their sexuality. Why should people be made to suffer unnecessarily simply because of whom they are, just because of how other people judge them? Judge not lest you be judged also.
Louise Keane, Reading.

The Bishop's "crusade" is only hurting more than it is helping the church unite itself
Shy, New York City
If Bishop Robinson was a true man of God, he would have stepped down from this with humility instead of creating such a split. It seems selfish to promote his own cause for such a great price of splitting up the Anglican community as well as the Christian community. It reminds me of the crusades that tarnished the church's name. The Bishop's "crusade" is only hurting more than it is helping the church unite itself.
Shy, New York City

If people are so intent on following the guidelines of the bible, where do they stand on the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" especially in light of the ongoing war in Iraq. The gay bishop row pales into insignificance in comparison.
Vicky, London

I am a practising Greek Orthodox and I am a strong supporter of human rights movements, even when they militate in favour of legalizing marriage between homosexuals. But I don't think that homosexuals should raise kids or have religious responsibilities. If I agree that diversity must be protected by civil rights, I refuse to see ethical principles and religious belief devastated in the name of diversity.
Chadi BOU HABIB, Lebanon

While I feel it is unfair to discriminate against gays in the army and other secular institutions, I strongly feel that gays are overstepping their bounds when they start jostling for positions in the church. It just does not make sense. The Christian theme on sexual issues is quite clear: there's no room for unnatural sexual acts.

Much as we liberals sympathise with them, gays should ultimately face the reality and embrace a Christian ethic with no room for gay practice or reject it and create their own religious doctrine that entertains their orientation. I, for instance, have no business fighting for any right of atheists in the Church. There is enough democracy in America for the formation of the new churches which boldly knock Christ and his doctrines out of the picture.
Maurice Achach, Nairobi, Kenya

Why is the world so agitated about the Reverend Gene Robinson being appointed Bishop? By what qualifications has been ordained and maintained as a Reverend? If this man has been tolerated as a Reverend in the Anglican, why does he now stink with an unpardonable stench? If, in the Anglican Church, gay Christianity is not an abomination in the laity than it cannot be at any level of the clergy. If Anglicans are true Christians, let them be brave enough to reject homosexuality at all levels in their Church, else they must shut up on this issue.
Kapambwe Nsenduluka, Mufulira, Zambia

Is being gay so much more sinful than being homophobic?
Rob Neal, St Albans
I am not a Christian, but I believe Jesus Christ stated that all men are sinners from the day they are born, so in which case, are gay men even bigger sinners than everyone else? Is being gay so much more sinful than being homophobic? I think Christians like to read the bits of the Bible that fit their own motivations, and ignore others. So my biblical quote would be "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Rob Neal, St Albans

As a Brit in Nigeria, I find it hypocritical to hear the African reaction to the appointment. It seems unacceptable to have a gay Bishop, but leaving a corpse on the roadside to rot for a week is okay. Respect for the beliefs and rights of others is required, but I suspect this may be beyond many in the African Anglican communion.
Anon, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

I am a gay Jewish man who has followed this argument with interest. It is true that the Orthodox tradition would not recognise the appointment of gay priest as a Rabbi but both the Liberal and Reform traditions do. What seems clear to me is that in their attempts to preserve the Church both sides are in danger of losing sight of Christ's teaching of caring for social outcasts and the vulnerable and of promoting the mutual love of all humanity It strikes me that those who are opposed to homosexuality and the idea of being a gay priest devalue Christianity by intolerance.
Jonathan, London UK

Faith is not about compromises. The faith given to the church is about truth and neither about opinions nor fads. The Anglican Church in The US has chosen the easy way. It saddens me they elected a gay bishop. The floodgates are now open, I suppose next sin can be rationally explained and become acceptable.
Bernard Yogaraj, Perak, Malaysia

Love and respect are what count, not arbitrary rules of entirely human origin
Andrew Douglass, Cleveland, US
Not one person who has posted here is favoured by God over other humans, but you wouldn't know that to read through the abundance of indignation and self-righteousness. Many people can't accept Christ's teachings without constructing elaborate and ritualized means of reflection. Jesus was a Jew, and Judaism has long been a faith where reason played a central part. Christ encouraged people to reflect and consider the effect of their actions on others. It takes wisdom and bravery to follow Christ's teachings. Love and respect are what count, not arbitrary rules of entirely human origin.
Andrew Douglass, Cleveland, US

Speaking as a non-religious, liberal heterosexual man, what is the fuss about? A lot of what is written in the Bible is interpreted for a modern climate. Why is this any different? Time to get into the 21st century, methinks.
Allister Webb, England

Don't harm and marginalise others in the name of your God
Nick, Australia
I am gay yet I am, as is clear from some postings here, despised and hated by the Church. I did not choose to be gay as I did not choose to be male or white. If the some of comments made here by fanatics were aimed at black people there would be an outrage. Does the Church accept the disabled? Exactly what is the criterion? The Church has burned people at the stake for saying the earth was not flat. If you wish to live your life by the bible, then do so but don't harm and marginalise others in the name of your God.
Nick, Australia

Although I consider myself a liberal on most church issues, I am not comfortable with this decision by my church. I don't seek to judge homosexuals, but two things trouble me about this appointment. First, a person living in a long-term sexual relationship not blessed by the Church should not become a leader of that church. Second, I find it bizarre that the Episcopal Church did not resolve the "same-sex blessing" issue before appointing Bishop Robinson. Having failed to do so, it puts itself in the position of refusing to bless homosexual relationships, but allowing someone living in one to be a bishop.
Tom, Montclair, USA

I believe every religion/faith has a set of fundamental principles
Niyi Adeyemi, Toronto, Canada
I received the news of the new US gay bishop appointment with great sadness. I believe every religion/faith has a set of fundamental principles. Most especially Christianity. When such principles are violated, it is no more the faith it used to be.
Niyi Adeyemi, Toronto, Canada

I am a Catholic. Homosexuality is a sin. I am not surprised at this decision though I am saddened by it.
Anthony Alan Lukose, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Jesus taught his disciples to love others, but not to necessarily mimic their behaviour. People confuse tolerance for sinners with the acceptance of sin. There is a vast difference.
Craig Thompson, Terryville, Connecticut, USA

This matter is very trivial
Surya Rao, Singapore
Religion is man-made and so are its rules. The sexual preferences of a church leader are the least of the issues the world should be concerned with. As far as I am concerned, this matter is very trivial.
Surya Rao, Singapore

I am very pleased with the decision. I hope those that voted against the appointment can come around sooner rather than later.
Becky Akken, Lockhart,Tx USA

All praise to the Anglican Church in the US. It is about time that healthy hetro and homo-sexuality for adults was accommodated within the power framework of the Church. I only wish that as much scorn and outrage was poured upon those high up in the power structures of any Church who indulge in, protect and quietly condone cruel sexual practices with children, as has been poured upon mutually consenting adults in responsible sexual relationships.
Morven Fyfe, Germany

I wonder when we can expect the first atheist bishop
Joe, Manchester, UK
The problem is not that Rev. Robinson is gay, but the fact that what he teaches is contrary to the teaching of the Anglican Church. This would be the same if he were not gay but still taught that same-sex unions were permitted. Being actively gay is a problem because bishops need to be examples and ought to be seen to be living in accordance with the Church's teachings. I wonder when we can expect the first atheist bishop.
Joe, Manchester, UK

Yes, the church has acted correctly and fairly. Robinson had the majority of votes and has a long history of serving people and God. He has proved his ability to be an effective church leader and an effective partner, husband and father. True Christians practice the notion "live and let live" and don't judge others. We are all just trying to do the best we can in this world.
Leslie Bauer, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

A belief system and religion are non-negotiable and should not have to adapt to reflect the more tolerant views of those who wish to practise it. Perhaps in this way the church may manage to highlight its own irrelevancy in a progressive society and in doing so hasten its own demise.
Glenn, San Francisco, USA

I am a Zambian living in the USA. Yes it is evidently clear that a split is the only answer. Save God and not the devil. It's an abomination to learn that a church can promote gay rights as it were.
Dr Andrew Sakala, USA

I respect everyone's opinions in this forum. However, one must ask themselves, if we cannot even adhere to very clear scriptural passages, what is the point of Christianity? The Jewish and Muslim religions would not elect a gay leader, it is against both of their religions. While I am sure the Bishop is a kind, good man, the fact remains that he does not live his life according to the New Testament...Christ says to love one another, but also to hold one another accountable when they live in sin.
Victoria, Texas, USA

This will be a long drawn out, nasty battle
Dave, Canada
Whilst my heart goes out to this man, who seems to be a good, honest and caring person, I believe there is no place for a homosexual leader in the church. Whatever way it is dressed up and presented, the fact is that the vast majority of people have difficulty accepting a man (or woman) who engages in what is still seen to be, unnatural sexual activity. This will be a long drawn out, nasty battle. I believe it will split the church like never before.
Dave, Canada

The biggest sin of today's world is the loss of the sense of sin. The appointment of a gay bishop is a result of it.
Joseph, Riverbank, USA

It's about time this happened. The Pope needs to take note.
Jim Allen, Alexandria, VA, USA

The Anglican Church will survive this one
Emilio M. Recio, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Being gay but secular, this decision does not affect me as much as Bush's religious right fundamentalist statement. The Anglican Church will survive this one, as it survived its departure from the Roman Catholic Church. It's been a bastion of progressive religious tolerance, and definitely a decision society (both the secular and religious) should embrace.
Emilio M. Recio, Philadelphia, PA, USA

As an Indian Catholic who has been touched by the tolerance and courage of Anglican Bishops like Desmond Tutu and Trevor Huddleston. I wish to congratulate Bishop Gene Robinson and the US Episcopalian church for its courage in appointing him.
John, UK

I am gay. I did not choose to be gay; it's what I am. Am I going to be condemned for something I have no control over? I am sickened in my heart to think some people think that I am evil. What a world we live in.

If you want to follow Leviticus, follow all of it
Kate Forbes-Pitt, London, UK
I am sick of hearing about Leviticus. If you want to follow Leviticus, follow all of it. You can't tell me that everyone writing here in such righteous ways supports slavery or the selling of their children or the stoning to death of their neighbours. Stop picking out what you want to believe; believe all of it and live by it, or regard it as an historical text and move on.
Kate Forbes-Pitt, London, UK

Trying to make themselves not appear bigoted, many people hasten to say that homosexuality is not the problem here. They say that sexual relationship outside of wedlock is sinful. The problem with this view is that gay people are not allowed to marry in most parts of the world. There are plenty of other savage teachings in Scripture that nobody heeds. People tend to select from the Bible what they want to hear.
Matt, Boston, US

"Love one another as I have loved you". Not the message coming out of the Anglican or Catholic Church these days. It is most disturbing to listen to "religious" leaders pick and choose their Biblical paragraphs for public teachings. Especially when one line should say it all.
Mark David, New York, USA

The love of God and by Christ's example there should be tolerance of gays. However, there should be no place for gays in positions of leadership within the church.
Steve Davis, Singapore

This will not split the church
Lawrence, Lowestoft, England
Jesus said by their fruits you shall know them. He also said that false prophets will also try to turn people away from God's way. As a kid of fifteen, I know from reading the Bible that homosexuality is wrong. This will not split the church. It will only let God's children know where the false prophets are. Jesus preached love but Jesus never compromised on sin.
Lawrence, Lowestoft, England

In response to the comments from 15 year-old Lawrence from Lowestoft: Is this not the root of the problem amongst Anglicans, as it is with Catholics and Muslims - that they are so indoctrinated with an anti-homosexual (and anti-woman) views from an early age that they lose the ability to determine for themselves, in light of their human experience, morality from dogma? If this splits the Anglican and other churches then so much the better; perhaps people will be allowed to think for themsevles rather than being threatened with damnation for not doing what they're told.
Keith Charters, Glasgow, UK

Isn't it great to see a church that doesn't let the Bible get in the way of its earthly agenda?
John, Omaha USA

I have little difficulty with a gay bishop being elected. The difficulty that I have, with the new bishop, is the fact that he was married and fathered two children. His inability to determine his sexuality makes him a doubtful choice for setting Church policy.
Margaret, Canada

It is a sad day for The Church when its leaders allow political correctness and changing times to supersede God's word regarding sin.
Aaron, US

The role of a modern church should be to mediate between man and God
Ian A, Burton, UK
The role of a modern church should be to mediate between man and God, not legislate between man and man. To all of those commenting on "scriptural adherence" on this page; Leviticus 25:44 states clearly I may own male and female slaves if they come from neighbouring countries. Can I take them from Ireland, or does it have to be a land border? This is where strict adherence to a 4,000 year old code gets you. Wake up.
Ian A, Burton, UK

The comments opposed to Reverend Robinson's election positively reek of fear. One would think that homosexuality were contagious and that these poor people live in fear of catching it. God is inclusive, a notion foreign to most religions. If God's world contains bigots surely there's a place for homosexuals. Let's grow up. Roy Snell - USA
Roy Snell, South Woodstock, VT USA

I thank God for the Episcopal Church of the USA
Canon Barry Naylor, England
In many political matters I find it difficult to support the USA but today I thank God for the Episcopal Church of the USA and its decision to confirm Gene Robinson's appointment. It is a sign of seeing God's love as being truly all-embracing and of the Church listening to the spiritual experiences of gay Christians rather than just dismissing them because of a mis-application of scriptural texts.
Canon Barry Naylor, England

Let's face it - the reason so many people have turned away and continue to turn away from the Church is that for the past 40 years they have seen that the Church is not relevant to real-life. It's fine to preach hell and damnation but what people want to hear is that God is about love, diversity and kindness - not the hatred and bigotry that pours from most Church leaders.
Jeff Duncan, Salisbury, UK

Unless the Anglican Church in New Hampshire uses a different Bible, the decision to confirm a gay Bishop is simply unthinkable and unscriptural.
Paul Wambua, Kenya

I have no problems with freedom of choice; it is our basic human right, but when someone claims to follow a certain doctrine, and clearly is in breach of that doctrine (i.e. Leviticus condemning homosexual behaviour) should he be recognised as an official representative of that doctrine?
Alan Chaplin, UK

Since Alan Chaplin sets so much store by Leviticus, one wonders if he refuses to eat shellfish, as well? If he takes Leviticus literally, then he should do, since it also prohibits such consumption.
Nick Cooper, London, UK

I do fear a split in the Anglican Church
Nizar Joseph Feghali, Lebanon
The Anglican Church shouldn't have allowed Mr. Robinson to be a candidate in the first place. Yes I do fear a split in the Anglican Church. We must truly pray and seriously reflect on our Christian faith no matter which Church we follow.
Nizar Joseph Feghali, Lebanon

Good will prevail; it always does in the end. The people of New Hampshire have chosen a good man to lead them spiritually. He is an honest man, unlike so many of his peers who have chosen to live a lie for the sake of their careers. In my opinion God values the truth more than anything. If we are to progress on this world, our leaders, whether political or spiritual, will need to learn lessons from Gene Robinson and choose the truth over spin and lies.
Andrew, England

If only we could convince the Catholic Church to do the same
LJ, Australia
Congratulations Reverend Robinson! It is wonderful to see you being received by a Church with such love and Grace. If only we could convince the Catholic Church to do the same. After all, God created us to celebrate his love.
LJ, Australia

Gene Robinson may be the first openly gay bishop but he is certainly not the first gay bishop. I think that the Church's view on homosexuality is pretty well understood and I don't think anyone would describe it as inclusive. What puzzles me is why so many gay men are attracted to an institution that thinks so little of them?
Alastair, NY

The reactions to this decision shows the inherent limits of dogmatic thought. You cannot educate someone with a steadfast belief that's been drummed into them as a child.
Eddie O'Hanlon, Ireland

I am appalled at the decision
Andrew, Australia
As a Bible believing Christian with an Anglican up-bringing, I am appalled at the decision. I believe that the Church in the USA has acted to maintain its honour amongst its fellow Americans but without regard for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that the row could and probably will split the Anglican Church.
Andrew, Australia

Let Gene Robinson's own words prevail: he wants to be a good bishop, not a gay one. I wish him all the luck in that ambition.
Lisa, UK

Our behaviour within the world should be more tolerant
Krista, USA
The Bible says many things, but not all are meant to be taken literally. People must remember that God did not actually write the Bible. We also need to look at the era in which it was written. These "stories" are to help guide our beliefs and morals, not be an identical representation. Our behaviour within the world should be more tolerant, accepting and less judgemental.
Krista, USA

Looking at some of the comments on this page just reinforce to me the reasons why I gave up on Christianity. I'm sure the Bible has a lot of good to teach us about the way we live our lives, but if it teaches hate and bigotry then I don't want to know about it.
Andrew Nixon, UK

Why do so many people hide behind the Bible to justify their bigotry? Of course the Bible is the foundation of Christian teaching and there are remote anti-gay passages in the Old Testament, but isn't it the whole point that Jesus came and gave us two new commandments to love one another and to love God.
Chris, Leeds, UK

Scriptural teaching is unequivocally opposed to homosexual practices
Gordon Clifford, UK
There is no doubt that the doctrine that is allowing the appointment of homosexual clergy is flawed. Scriptural teaching is unequivocally opposed to homosexual practices of any kind. I make no apologies for such conservative views.
Gordon Clifford, UK

It's a question of sex outside of marriage. God designed us and gave us his blueprint for life which includes sex, in the Bible. Surely 'leaders' should be Christ-like or at least wanting to be? God is no discriminator. His love is for all and gay people are as welcome as anyone, but relationship with God - true Christianity - begins with repentance from sin, whatever that might be.
Craig, UK

The comments I have read on this page are a disgrace, and the senders should be ashamed of themselves. In a so-called religion based on love, how can so much evil be bred? Your religion is the disease and the sooner we, the human race, grow out of it the better.
Martin Dodds, UK

Homosexuality is not a disease, but ignorance and fear are
Maggie, Californian in London
Can we stick to the facts here? Revd Robinson isn't being elected because he's gay, he's being elected because his fellow reverends and bishops think he is a good spiritual leader whose guidance can benefit his parishioners. If they elect him on those grounds then who are we to say that he's unfit? He's not being elected head of the whole Anglican/Episcopalian synod! The people of New Hampshire have openly embraced homosexual relationships in their law, and if they embrace it in their church, then that is their choice, NOT yours. Homosexuality is not a disease, but ignorance and fear are.
Maggie, Californian in London

Gluttony is a sin, how many of the contributors here are part of the obese majority we are constantly reminded about by the World Health Organisation? If you are going to follow parts of the Bible to the exact letter then anyone over 12 stone should be thrown out of the church too. Its ridiculous!
David Howe, UK

Not wanting a homosexual minister is not bigotry! I personally will be happy the day this happens but now is not the time. With priests being accused of child molestation, and the world fighting and hating each other now more then ever, we have bigger problems. I want this, but the world has a lot of issues to work out, and the timing is REALLY bad.
Sarah, USA

It is preposterous for me as an Evangelical Anglican for the consideration of a homosexual bishop - the central question is - are we going to obey the Bible's teaching or not - Deuteronomy is quite clear - a man shall not lie with a man as with a woman, the criterion for bishop in the New Testament is clear that he must be the husband of one wife; Corinthians 6 is clear that those who practise homosexuality cannot inherit the kingdom of God. I cannot see justifiably how one can adhere to the teachings of the Bible and then allow a gay person to take up priesthood - what does this say to the world - it says that we are no different and panders to liberalism - I am not being homophobic but Biblical
Ian Mason, UK

Who are we to judge?
J, England
As a heterosexual and brought up surrounded by religion, I find it astounding that people are turning this man's career and life into a homophobic mission, open for public criticism. Have you not heard of evolution? For centuries old ideas have developed and changed. We no longer think the earth is flat for example. So, how is it that people take the words of the bible literally and give no leeway to develop it to relate to modern society? I believe that God is the creator. He created homosexuals in the same way he created homophobes. I have met both, and homosexuals are normal human beings. Homophobes....well, enough said. I would not ridicule God and his infinite wisdom by believing that I, a mere human struggling daily to be the highest spiritual being that I can be, could judge people as being fit or unfit for bishop. Who are we to judge?
J, England

I am amazed and shocked at many of the messages here. I was brought up a strict Catholic in Belfast and the elements of Christianity which were instilled in me were: compassion, tolerance, charity and love of my neighbour. It was also clearly defined that my neighbour was every other human being. In many of these messages I get vibrations of intolerance, even hatred; but with none of the things that Jesus Christ preached. It seems that the orthodox right-wing is taking over. People like many of those here make me wonder what future Christianity has. Thank the Lord there are other elements in the faith - may they prevail against the intolerance which has been exhibited here.
Sean Gilmartin, Germany

I am an Episcopalian and a gay man. I chose to be gay in exactly the same manner that the Archbishop of Nigeria chose to be black. It is what God gave to me. I will not let fear and ignorance take the Gospel from me. I will not hide my light under a bushel basket. I will not go away, and I will not be quiet. I refuse to believe that the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life would consent to be shackled to a single passage in Leviticus and a few passages in Paul's letters. My kind has borne persecution from the Nazis to Joe McCarthy. For us, the Way of the Cross is not a pious metaphor. Christ will live and work in us and through us despite our detractors no matter who is or is not ordained.
Doug Blanchard, USA

We live in a diseased society when a sinner can become a bishop
Ronald Fagan, USA
We live in a diseased society when a sinner can become a bishop. It just goes to show the ills of organized religion. We just got over paedophilia and now this. The question, "Why is homosexuality a sin but a priest with a history of adultery goes unnoticed." is misleading. Both are sins and both are noticed. Maybe someday people will wake up and practice true goodness and dispense with this power and sin known as organized religion.
Ronald Fagan, USA

I am a faithful Episcopalian myself, but I'm wondering if I will continue to go to church if that bishop is elected. I respect every type of person, but a gay guy just cannot lead God's people. Is that a joke or what? How does this guy feels, he who has studied the Bible? If society wants to accept gay marriages, it is their problem, but in church, this is impossible. Being gay IS a sin, no mater what people say, and we cannot be preaching God's word and having gay bishops. I hope the eyes of the others who are electing him will be opened .
Annie, Haiti

Almighty God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the sexual practices of the people in those sinful cities. The Bible also teaches that for a man to go unto another is abomination, and God forbids it. The Anglican Church in the US must go back to the drawing board of the Living Bible, for it appears that The Anglican Church in the US has lost the way of the teaching of the Bible.
Jaward Sesay, Philadelphia, USA

Bishop fuels gay row in church
18 Jun 03  |  Berkshire

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