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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 August, 2003, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
US gay bishop row: Your views

This is a second page of your comments


I have read with great interest the diverse comments. However, I think that most people are missing the point. The purpose of being a Christian is to be Christ-like in behaviour. Jesus when he was on the earth lived a sinless life. He followed the law that was laid down in the old testament (10 commandments). Jesus never changed the law, he explained it as he lived it. As "Christians " the church we belong to will determine what they believe in (designer religion). We, as individual Christians, have an obligation to read and study the bible for ourselves, so we can make informed choices. I say make wise choices and read the whole book before being misled
Joel, Canada

If this is a false accusation, it is a far worse sin than homosexuality
George Rodrigues, Boston
Not so fast! The final vote has been delayed due to accusations of "improper touching". While I am in sympathy with the conservatives (I am not a Christian, and do not find homosexuality wrong, but the Bible is clear in its stand on the subject), I have to say the timing is more than a little suspicious. If this is a false accusation, it is a far worse sin than homosexuality.
George Rodrigues, Boston Mass USA

Gay priests are destroying the Catholic Church. Now the Anglican Church is next. Are we so blind that we don't see the pattern? This disease is spreading and few people have the courage to speak out against the disease because of 'political correctness.' At least our Boy Scout organization had the courage to draw the line and say no to the disease. Isn't it odd how the main targets of this disease are our family and religious foundations? Do you not notice how our two main spiritual strengths are the primary target?
Edward, USA

To Edward UK: I have never been more offended than by reading your message. Being gay is not a disease, and gay people (such as myself) are not trying to take over anything. Surely as a Christian you should realize that we are all equal before God, and should treat each other with love and respect. The Hypocrisy of small town America astounds me!
Mathew Bushell, UK

The timing of the accusations against Canon Robinson smells bad to me. Mr. Lewis has had over two months to make these allegations -- why did he wait until one day before a final vote? I believe that God creates each of us as He wishes us to be, and if He creates a person with strong spiritual calling who is also homosexual that is what He wants that person to be. How are we wiser than God, to judge his creation? Canon Robinson must have demonstrated - must have lived - a deeply spiritual calling if the people of his own diocese, among whom he has lived and ministered for years, have chosen him to be their next bishop. That is character reference enough for me.
Pieter Bach, US

The mission of the church is not to be inclusive
Charles, USA
It seems that every generation attempts to create God in its own image. What is man that the changeless God should be mindful of him, let alone take dictates from fickle sinners? Don't confuse intolerance with hatred or bigotry. The mission of the church is not to be inclusive. It is to worship God, serve his people, and preach his news of redemption from sin - not the celebration of sin.
Charles, USA

Its time for the Church Leaders to decide whether its policies will be based on popular vote or on Holy writ. The Bible is clear on the issue, Homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord and worldwide acceptance of homosexuality won't change the fact.
Robin , UK

The Bible is extremely clear on a number of moral issues: infidelity before and after marriage and homosexuality are both clearly condemned. Whether or not you accept the Bible's teachings is your own affair. But remember one statement in the Bible is "No man can serve two masters." You can't have your cake and eat it too. Churches should not persecute or shun those who sin, but they should also not allow individuals that cannot accept even the most basic teachings within the Bible to become leaders or shepherds. The church's willingness to bend to popular pressure, to follow "every wind of doctrine," is only further proof that an apostasy from the original teachings of Christ has occurred.
Nathan Madsen, Los Angeles, USA

1 Corinthians 6:9:
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders." The Bible expressly forbids homosexuality. That someone who would, ostensibly, feed his flock on the teachings of the Bible would be a homosexual defies reason. Will they then delete passages from the Bible that forbid homosexuality? Or will they merely ignore them?
Peter Wanyonyi, Nairobi, Kenya

It is a fundamentally unchristian idea to think that we can appoint priests/bishops who are unflawed or free of sin
Michael, UK
It is a fundamentally unchristian idea to think that we can appoint priests/bishops who are unflawed or free of sin. If homosexuality is indeed a sin in the eyes of God that is a matter for Gene Robinson and for God. In condemning him, we take a "holier than thou" approach. What is missing in this debate is an element of humility from the church. None of us can know the mind of God - any bishop is necessarily "the blind man leading the blind". That's the beauty of Christianity.
Michael, UK

The thought occurs that perhaps a third testament is needed. If the Christian church can cast the amusing episode of Leviticus away, then perhaps they should look to bringing some of their other dogma into line with the real world. Enough with the hate, already!
James Shiell, New Zealand

There is no such thing as being naturally gay. It is a sinful and wrong choice. The unrepentant homosexual is under the judgment of God, called a pervert by God and is under a death sentence declared by God. How can the dead serve as bishop? He should first repent and receive life. To agree that hell is his destination is to render him no service.
R.W. Nelson, Finland

And now there are 'allegations' against the Bishop, what a surprise. This all reminds me too much of the witch hunts hundreds of years ago. Certain parts of the church are quite frankly, full of hatred, bigots and the most un-Christian people out there. And how these people can pick and choose text out of the bible that suits them defies belief. The people that campaign against allowing homosexuality in the church are the worst type of human being. They should be ashamed.
Jon, London UK

This move by this church is spit in God's face
Albert, Jamaica
As a Christian, I cannot fathom why there should even be a debate as to whether this man should be made a bishop. I don't even know why he is still a Christian priest. His unrepentful actions of being a homosexual clearly defy the teachings of the holy bible, presumably on which his faith is based. If he claims to be a priest, and hence a follower of Christ, then how can he continue to wilfully and unrepentfully indulge in sin - the very thing that Christ, who was holy, unapologetically hated to the extent to which he willingly died in order to free us from its literal bondage. This move by this church is spit in God's face and a blatant rejection of the undeserved freely given redemption to mankind being offered by God.
Albert, Jamaica

Jesus hit injustice and hypocrisy head on and was happy to risk schism in the Jewish establishment for the sake of the Kingdom of God. I think a similar situation faces the Church today. It is a Gospel principle that there can be no growth, no life without death and perhaps the church needs to die a little so that something of the Kingdom can be born within it.
Andrew Wallis, Nottinghamshire

Every educated person, even non-Christians like myself, know that the Christian church has believed for two thousand years that extra-marital sex, including active homosexuality, is wrong. Of course anybody is free to disagree with this, but if you do disagree, then you shouldn't call yourself a Christian, and you certainly shouldn't try to be a leader in the Christian church. What's next, a non-socialist leader of the Labour Party?
Alex Swanson, UK

The Church must adapt with society
JimiP, UK
People need to understand that the Bible was a message that was 'of an age', and was written so that people of that time could understand and associate with it. Many of the laws within the Bible were written to guide the conduct of the people at that time, but I do not see anything in the Bible that legislates against social and technological development. For those who feel that the Church should remain frozen in time, then it cannot have a place in modern society, as there no longer exists the social environment for which it was written. The Church must adapt with society, and must be founded on acceptance, tolerance, understanding and love.
JimiP, UK

I am currently here in the UK and witnessed the same issue last month. I've noticed that in both cases, the clergy in the UK and US never mention the word 'SIN'. The Church is sensitive to all people, but it does not justify putting them in a leadership position to prove it. Shall we put the thief in charge of the treasury or the drug addict over the pharmacy?
Aaron, US

This headline clearly shows that the world is going crazy! I would expect this to be practised by other people but not priests. We Africans we can't support this because it's not biblical; Any attempt to consecrate this priest must justify division within the Anglican church. Thanks go to Catholic church for being firm against this immoral ungodly act.
Kutunga David, Uganda

No wonder I am one of the only people under the age of 30 attending church each Sunday
Samantha Lamb, Canada
I am appalled by some Anglicans opposition to Rev. Gene Robinson's appointment. No wonder I am one of the only people under the age of 30 attending church each Sunday. Rev. Robinson's own parish has selected him so clearly they feel he is a capable spiritual leader. When will the conservative elements of the church learn that faith is not about preaching hate and intolerance, but love and acceptance of all God's children.
Samantha Lamb, Canada

If you want to follow the dictates of Leviticus, become an orthodox Jew, not a Christian. Christianity is supposed to be based on the revelation of the New Testament, not the Old. In any case, The Bible is not a book, it is a library and a library which, over millennia, has been "spun" more than the New Labour manifesto. Christ himself re-interpreted the Old Testament in the light of a new morality based on love of one's fellow human being - a blasphemy according to the Pharisees. It seems we have our own Pharisees today.
Graham Chambers, Luxembourg

It is sad that religion is often used to divide people, instead of unite them. We are all God's children and we all deserve equality. Those who take the Bible so literally must remember that it contains many many ideas that modern culture no longer supports, and has discarded from most religious practices.

I fear that in future years, people will look at the Biblical debate on gays and lesbians much as we today pay credit card interest without feeling like we have committed a horrible sin. They will shake their heads and wonder how we could have so foolishly overlooked Christ's real message, that of universal love and acceptance no matter who we choose to love. I am ashamed that so many who call themselves Christian so frequently ignore God's commandment to be kind, generous, and loving to each other.
Mike S, US

I surely hope the church will split if this happens. The church needs to be purified. If gays will be bishops then that is a clear sign that God has left that church and that it has become a worldly human sinful sorry bunch of selfish egotistic people who apparently don't read God's Word anymore.
Jan Zwart, The Netherlands

What a ridiculously hypocritical society we live in! On the one hand we idolize and revere (to the point of having created veritable shrines to their artistic creations) homosexual individuals such as Michael Angelo and Leonardo de Vinci, (and in a country that preaches strict Catholicism I might add) while on the other, we quarrel like fishwives over whether the Anglican Church should or should not elect a gay bishop no less than 600 years later. Is Western civilization suffering from memory loss by any chance?
Mayanne Mackay, France

The US Anglican Church would be flying in the face of and breaking agreements of the Lambeth Conference
Richard, UK
To appoint a gay Bishop, the US Anglican Church would be flying in the face of and breaking agreements of the Lambeth Conference, the views of the worldwide Anglican Church. The decisions of the Conference are still valid and, in the same spirit, the Primates, in their recent meeting, reaffirmed the importance of unity and the need to avoid ruptures such as would inevitably be the result of the election of Gene Robinson being approved.
Richard, UK

As someone who grew up Greek Orthodox and was educated in Catholic schools, I have a lot of respect for the Episcopalians because to me they seem far closer to the Christian ideal than many other Christian sects. Whatever happens with the Reverend I am pleased to see that the church is alive and creating an energy that displays a hopeful desire to be closer to God. This is a welcome contrast to the more familiar and cynical practice of other churches' necrotizing, self-serving and ultimately hypocritical conservatism. It seems the Episcopalians "get" the simple essence of Christianity a little more than some others.
Aristides, Bronx, US

I'm a tolerant person, and I know some theology. The Bible teaches us to love even our enemies. Now that's tolerance. It also teaches us to be different from the rest of humanity in our moral practices. But the Bible is not tolerant of homosexuality, and if it were Christians would not be able to remain morally distinct. Leviticus gives general laws of morality, and some that are specifically for the Israelites. This book and the New Testament teach that homosexuality is universally immoral and the qualifications the NT gives for Church leaders is that they must be free of sexual immorality. Robinson is just not qualified.
Shmuel, Israel

Many of us who have been life-long Anglicans are fed up with the hypocrisy of the Church. We all know the church ordains gay men and women. It is a open secret that there are gay bishops. Actually it is often only single gay clergy that will serve our poorest parishes. When are we going to start talking about issues that really affect God's creation. For example, the biblical teaching on the charging of interest on loans - something which continues to cripple nations and families - home and abroad.
Stephen Gillham, UK

Jesus accepts us despite our sin, but we then need to start being transformed and stop sinning. A divorced priest who has "repented" is a world of difference from a priest who is in open rebellion against the word of the Bible.
Andy, UK

After paedophile priests, a gay bishop is even conservative.
Dick, US

This is excellent news - and not before time. Perhaps we may still have a chance of creating an inclusive church.
Merseymike, UK

I strongly support Rev. Robinson, and hope to congratulate the Episcopalian conference to their courageous decision to confirm him as a bishop. It would be nice if Christian churches around the world catch up with reality!
Marc, Washington DC, USA

This gentleman has the right to live as he chooses, however he is disqualified from setting a Biblical example either to the church or the world.
David, USA

Why is homosexuality a sin but a priest with a history of adultery goes unnoticed
Bharath, Alameda, CA, USA
This entire debate would be moot if the clergy were "openly celibate." Given that celibacy is a little too much to ask, I can't comprehend why homosexuality is a sin but a priest with a history of say adultery goes unnoticed. I think this is rather hypocritical.
Bharath, Alameda, CA, USA

How can any church call itself Christian and appoint to office a person who openly practices something that the scriptures teach is an abomination unto the Lord?
R Douglas Lax, U.S.A.

More bigotry! With the millstone of religion and ignorance round our necks, is there any hope for our species?
Matt, US

I am saddened that the Anglican Church has approved Rev Robinson's appointment as Bishop. This will cause a huge split in the church, and it should. Embracing gays as men and woman God loves deeply is one thing. However, to allow an individual openly living in sin, weather that sin be homosexuality, infidelity, or any other notable sin, is a breach of trust between the Church leadership and the truth. Rev. Robertson cannot live up to the Biblical qualifications given to church Bishops to meet.
David, Colorado USA

With all this talk of sinning, why don't the detractors of the appointment of a gay bishop display the same anger and vehemence over the sexual abuse of scores of Catholic boys? So, it is alright for a priest to put little children through physical and emotional trauma, and enjoy a homosexual lifestyle in private, but not for a law-abiding man to love his partner and be a man of the cloth in public? Shame on your hypocrisy!
Maitri, New Orleans, USA

There is a difference between tolerance and completely changing the foundations of an organization
Chris, USA
There is a vast difference between tolerance and completely changing the foundations of an organization. I just don't understand why people waste their time in church if they aren't willing to accept the most essential teachings of the Bible. People take such license with the Bible where they wouldn't dream of doing so with other books.
Chris, USA

The church is against homosexuality. The church was against the use of condoms when thousands lives could be saved by it. It seems the only thing the church likes is the display of really old guys dressed in robes and funny hats. When will people accept that religion is archaic and should not have any place in someone's life.

Spirituality is the real message. The different religions all pretend to be the only one and preach (indirectly sometimes) hate and intolerance. Spirituality is all about love, respect and self-involvement. After what the Pope said about gays, Rev. Robinson should just quit the Church and get a real job in the real world. Anyway, by the number of priest decreasing each year, the Church will not hold long with such an aggressive attitude.
Takan, Belgium

I'm proud Canada has taken a bold step in this direction. But there is no choice, as free, pluralistic societies that afford equal rights to all people we cannot deny homosexuals the right to marry. It is a natural evolution of all our laws. And to make a religious argument against gay marriage in a non-religious state shouldn't hold any sway. I'm catholic, and I know Jesus didn't care. He hung out with prostitutes and probably gays. But as long as they followed him and understood his two commandments, he didn't mind. That is the model we should emulate.
Mark Crowley, Canada

It is hardly surprising that such an issue can split the Church. It is only symptomatic of the general decline in ethics and morality in society in general. All references to homosexuality in the Bible are very clear and give the same message. And no, it does not mean that we should not be caring about people that live such lifestyles, only that they should not be Church leaders.
Paul F, U.S.A.

It should barely be newsworthy in these times of far greater turmoil
Timothy Spruill, New Hampshire, US
I am proud today to be a gay man in the Diocese of New Hampshire of the Episcopal Church. I cannot understand why so many people find the appointment of Rev. Robinson to be disturbing. It should barely be newsworthy in these times of far greater turmoil. The laws are really summed up in two parts: loving God and neighbour. The remainder takes care of itself. Gays are not the horrendous threat that many people seem to think they are. Hatred is, however.
Timothy Spruill, New Hampshire, US

God calls us to love one another. However, he does not call on us to embrace someone's sins. We are to love the individual but detest the sin. As we are all sinners, God calls us all to do our best to remove our sinful ways from our lives. If this man had these feelings but did not act on them knowing they were sinful I would embrace him in this position. He would be a man who has overcome temptation to sin. But since he has not, I see him as no different as any other sinner who has not tried to overcome temptation to sin. Is this the person we want to sit as an example of how we as Christians are to do our best to follow Christ?
Mike D, USA

Christianity is meant to be a religion which requires adherence to God's rules and God's rules alone. If you begin to allow your own rules/ desires/ interpretations to take precedence over those of the creator then surly you are missing the entire point of the religion. What can we expect next from the church - this just illustrates the dilution in Christianity that has taken place over the last few decades.
S, UK

A couple of people here have said we can ignore the church as irrelevant in today's society. However, even though I am an atheist, I don't believe we can ignore them. I don't wish to convince anyone that I am right in not believing in God or the bible, but it does concern me that an organisation with such influence in the world, especially in developing and traditionalist nations, can send out the message that homosexuality is in anyway bad. I feel equally sorry for the homosexual Christians who must learn to hate themselves and their natural desires, and for their leaders who's lives and happiness can only be horribly limited by such thinking.
Marcos Scriven, UK

Let him who hath never sinned cast the first stone. I agree that the bible disapproves of homosexuality but, the bible also asks us not to be the ones who judge. I find it bizarre that this man's sexual orientation is being portrayed as the basis for him not being worthy of the Bishop's post. If anything, Christianity teaches tolerance above all things, the love of man and of God, not petty bigotry and self righteousness. I say this is a non-issue and not worth debating. The man who would be Bishop is no more or no less a human than you or I.
Ray Philip, UK

What I find ironic about the postings of those opposed to the appointment is that these people are "judging" what is right and what is wrong. I thought only God had the right to judge right from wrong. Who are you people to say? I am a straight, religious man and fail to see how an appointment that demonstrates that we are all equal in the eyes of God will be a bad thing for the church. The Catholics should wake up and take notice.
Jeff, USA

Well done I say! I am not remotely religious but it really is about time that churches and religions actually accepted that there are people who live very Christian lifestyles and are able to have a healthy input and be good role models. Being gay doesn't affect your ability to be a good person it is just a sexual preference. What people choose to do in the privacy of their own bedrooms is very much down to themselves. What I find annoying is the people who join the clergy thinking that being close to God will somehow make them a better person and maybe 'cure them of their ailment'. The reality is people are born gay, will always be gay and the sooner we stop prejudices and allow people to feel comfortable coming out the closet, the better. This is coming from someone who is 'straight' and more than comfortable with his sexuality but realises that in this day and age it should be equality for all!!!
Mark, Birmingham

I have serious objections to the appointment of this man. Homosexuality is an unnatural state and should not be given the "blessing" of the Church, nor for that matter should t be encouraged in the school curriculum. And "encouraged" certainly seems to be the correct word to use. The silence with which the announcement was received suggests that there may well be major repercussions in the USA. If the Church there wishes to avoid trouble, steps need to be taken to reverse this appalling decision.
Frank Owen, United Kingdom

It gladdens me that the US church has honestly and openly addressed this issue, rather than the shameful and bigoted example of the Church of England recently. If there are elements in the African church threatening to break communion over this issue why should we be forced to back down from evolving Christian principles of inclusiveness and love.
Aidan, UK

There really is no "wiggle room" here. The Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination. I don't happen to agree with that viewpoint... But then, I'm not trying to be an Anglican bishop. If this man is accepted, then right or wrong the Anglican Church in America has broken with the Bible and Christianity, and that's all there is to it.
Jeremy, Canada

The Episcopal church seems to be getting ahead of itself. It seems unfair that this priest, who is living with a lover in an unwed situation, should even be considered for a bishopric. I don't see heterosexual bishops being afforded the same leniency. The church must first address the issue of same sex weddings before it goes so far as to elevate a practising homosexual. What would happen if this man, as bishop, decided that he preferred the company of another partner. Would he be able to change as he wished one partner for another. Very murky waters indeed.
John Adlington, UK

Shame on us that we cannot follow the teachings of Christ properly
Ted Adams, Australia
The Anglican Church in the US has indeed acted improperly when it formally approved the appointment of the first openly gay bishop. Jesus had very high standards of morality when he was here. He was a celibate monk who preached love of God and who preached against sins of the flesh. How far away we have come from this ideal. Alas this is indeed becoming an immoral world where we promote sinful behaviour in the garb of Christianity. After this will we appoint a paedophile as our bishop? Shame on us that we cannot follow the teachings of Christ properly and set an example to our children. A sex crazed society cannot be happy.
Ted Adams, Australia

If this happens in Africa the ordained Bishop will preach to empty Church, because no lay follower of the church can accept to be led by a Gay canon let alone Bishop.
Erasmus Makanzo, Tanzania

This decision is wrong and will certainly hasten the impending split of the Anglican Church. Christianity is governed by the dictates of the Bible and according to that Bible, gay relationships are forbidden. It has nothing to do with bigotry, hatred of homosexuals or lack of tolerance; it is simply what the Bible says. Christianity is a matter of choice and of living a particular lifestyle - a lifestyle that people are at liberty to choose or reject. Those who cannot accept this should stop making ill-informed comments and boycott the church.
Jennifer Ogundipe-Nakazuki, Osaka, Japan

The Church has been splitting and splitting since it began
Liz, UK
The Church has been splitting and splitting since it began - before the Bible had even finished being written. We shouldn't be too surprised if the issue of gay bishops splits the Church - history tells us that schisms are bound to happen sooner or later. Ultimately, the personal faith of individuals is more important. There will always be variance of belief, but a tolerant approach is far more likely to encourage love and respect in a society than a condemning approach.
Liz, UK

It saddens me that the fundamentalists base their views on a collection of writings that was effectively "frozen" at a particular point in time. Do they really think that that was the end point of all development? Can they not accept that views change, that our understanding develops, that the Church (which is bigger than the Bible) is a living growing thing. They would have us live our lives according to a fossilised collection of writings, treating it as rule-book by which all conduct must be judged. That is something that the Bible never has been and was never intended to be.
Robert W, UK

Why do people think the Bible is irrelevant? Gays have hung out with each other for centuries, its not a new thing and the Bible has always spoken against it. Why do we think our current civilisation is any better than what has gone before? And as for recent articles saying the Bible is against passion and sex, then they miss a huge lust-fest in the Song of Songs. Probably because its too subtle for everyone. The question people should start asking themselves is why are we so angry against Christianity and its beliefs about homosexuals? Why aren't other religions who wouldn't even entertain the idea of gays in leadership in the press and facing angst? Why does Christianity so anger us? Could it be because we're all afraid of what would happen if we're wrong about Christianity?
Anon, UK

The church, in its efforts to reverse the trend of declining attendance, has compromised its standards
Lin, USA
As a person who has a very dear friend who serves as an Anglican priest, I can only say, upon seeing and hearing about the terrible rift this issue has caused - that this effort on the part of the gay rights supporters to turn the church into another political arena to advance one agenda has nothing to do with spiritual growth or a relationship with the Creator. I believe that the church, in its efforts to reverse the trend of declining attendance, has compromised its standards. Mankind has always made the mistake in judgement that because something is prevalent it is acceptable. Scripture does not support that false notion.
Lin, USA

I am a Born Again Christian Believer and have been going to a Gospel Hall in St Albans now for three years. When I first went along to the Hall I was privately taking part in homosexual activity. But by putting my trust in the Lord I repented and never have taken part in any such activity since. It is very clear in the Bible that "he who repents shall receive." It is also clear in the Bible that practice as a homosexual goes completely against the commandments and is definitely not Biblical. If the Reverend Canon Gene Robinson has very recently put his trust in the Lord and no longer goes against these commandments then fair enough, but somewhere one has to draw a line between "tolerance", "practice", and most importantly "repentance."
Geoffrey Brooking, St Albans, England

As a student of theology, I get tired with people citing Leviticus as the specific prohibition on homosexuality. Leviticus also orders us to stone people who wear clothing of mixed fabrics and people who sow two crops in one field. It also encourages us to beat our slaves. Yet never do I see fundamentalists citing these ordinances. Using folk religion as the word of God breaks the commandment "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain". Let us not confuse homosexuality with licentiousness and paedophilia.
Clive, England

Clive, As a student of theology, you must also know that homosexuality is condemned not just in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 but in Genesis 19:4-9; Deuteronomy 32:17; and 1 Kings 14:24-26 in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the verses which condemn this activity are 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 1:8-10; and Romans 1:27. The scriptural prohibition against this behavior is not just mentioned once in passing, but is renewed time and again througout the Bible. Furthermore, the book of 1 Timothy lays out the moral requirements of the relgious leaders in Chapter 3, and then discusses false teachers in Chapter 4. The Episcopalians in the US must be reading that part of their Bibles.
Robert M., USA

The solution involves sacrifice & humility - not political posturing or mudslinging
Colin Cochrane, N. Ireland
Most Anglicans interpret the Bible as saying that marriage is a special lifelong union between one man and one woman. Their Church should reflect their interpretation of the Bible, not the times. Those who engage on homosexual sex should be treated no differently from those who engage in heterosexual sex outside marriage, i.e. their acts are considered sinful, while they as individuals are cherished and their sexuality is not questioned. And the Church must imitate his passionate love of people and equally passionate hatred of sin. As he has shown us the solution involves sacrifice & humility - not political posturing or mudslinging.
Colin Cochrane, N. Ireland

Because most Christians haven't actually read the Bible they get confused. The most amusing part of the bible is Leviticus. This bit of old testament is the part often quoted by homophobes to justify their bigotry. Leviticus 18:22 says "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination". On its own, this might seem convincing to many Christians. But when it's placed in it's true context it becomes totally laughable. This part of the Bible also states that people should burn sacrifices, not eat shellfish, you must wear long hair, clothing of only one material and that menstruation makes women unclean for 7 days. If you don't follow these wishes you will have to eat the 'flesh of your sons'.

So all you Christians who think it's a sin to be gay, I say this. Better read the bible VERY closely, because the same section that bans gay sex contains a thousand and one wacky claims which we will all expect you to follow to the letter if your to remain credible. It would make for great TV.
Mike, UK

This decision will be the first of many necessary to save the Anglican Church from drowning in a sea of religious dogma. Those who put literal biblical interpretation above the spirit of love, brotherhood and peaceful coexistence are not only fools, they do not understand who Jesus was, and what he was trying to do.
Jack Delawney, UK

Somebody who practices homosexuality should not consider seeking a position as a priest or bishop
Malcolm C, UK
Let's get some things straight. Firstly, God loves homosexuals as much as heterosexuals. What He doesn't like is the practice of homosexuality, it is an abomination. God's Word states that He is the same today as was yesterday and always will be. In other words, He won't change, so how God felt about it in the past still stands and always will. Somebody who practices homosexuality should not consider seeking a position as a priest or bishop until they have dealt with it. Otherwise, how can they preach what the Bible teaches and then live in a way that goes against what the teaching of God says?
Malcolm C, UK

I was an Episcopalian for over 4 years. I fell in love with the church after growing disgusted with the liberal attitude of the denomination I grew up in. When it became clear that the Episcopal church was more than willing to throw the word of God out the window in order to "keep with the times", I left. I find it disgusting that so called Christian churches are more than willing to pat someone on the head and tell them a lifestyle is okay in order to keep with the times and basically win a popularity contest with the public.
Rebecca, USA

I am an Anglican Christian who has been in a committed, loving, monogamous, but certainly not celibate relationship for the last 13 years. I wish it were possible to communicate to the people who are so upset by this issue how entirely natural and "right" this feels for us, and how utterly bizarre it feels to hear people suggest that God would not approve of our relationship. To read some of the comments here and to listen to what those against these developments have said produces a real sense of unreality. To ask the question "should the Church ordain practising gay men to the priesthood and episcopacy?" is odd: it always has done, and will doubtless go on doing so, whether the men concerned have to hide their sexuality or be open and honest - which is self-evidently the more Christian position.
Nicholas, UK

Why is it that homosexuality is frowned upon whereas other things, banned by the bible, such as, wearing mixed fibre clothing, working on the Sabbath, eating shellfish etc. are all acceptable. If Christians are to be taken seriously they should either treat the whole of the bible as holy scripture, not to be ignored, or be a little more pragmatic.
Matt, UK

It was the right decision
Penny, Canada
I'm pleased that the Anglican Church in the US has ratified the appointment of Bishop Robinson. It was the right decision. Now if only they could work on their brethren in the Catholic Church.
Penny, Canada

I feel that this may be "the straw that broke the camels back". Already there is less support for the aggressive push from homosexual/lesbian quarters in their quest for parity of esteem and this will lead to a backlash from the normally quiet majority who are sick of the continual erosion of normal male/female unions.
pat, UK

I sincerely hope so. The Bible is very clear about how we are to relate to one another. Gay relationships, in the context of the Bible and the church, are wrong. They mirror the brokenness of today's society - a society where the basics of right and wrong cannot be discerned or are ignored. If the church were not to divide on this issue, it would rapidly lose its moral and spiritual strength and authority.
Kathleen, U.K.

Consumed by arguments, petty mudslinging and old world bigotry, Anglicans don't seem very loving do they? It seems less an organisation of highly spiritually minded children of God, and more an exclusive social club for the self-righteous and hot-headed. Many traditionalists moan that this may be the end of the church - but that's probably a good thing if this is how they think.
Paul Edmonds, UK

A man who puts his sex life ahead of everything and lets it dictate his identity should not be a leader of people
Luc, USA
As far as I'm concerned, the only thing that sets gay people apart from the rest of us is with whom and how they like to have sex. That should be a wholly private matter. A man who puts his sex life ahead of everything and lets it dictate his identity should not be a leader of people. Life is not all about sex, so if he prefers sex with men, he should keep that in the bedroom, and not make it the chief face he presents to the world.
Luc, USA

The sad thing about all this is that the Anglican/Episcopal Church is discarding the very thing that makes it special and unique - the insistence on tolerance and inclusion, even at the expense of precision and certainty. This is a church that has tried to avoid prolonged and inevitably inconclusive debates on matters of doctrine in order that it could have everyone under the one roof. How else could it accommodate both celibate orders and the Church Army?

I feel that both sides are at fault here. The gays are making a political circus of gay ordination and gay marriage when what matters is whether we are choosing the right person to be a bishop or whether the relationship that is being sanctified is a committed one. And the evangelicals are doing what has never worked in the broad Anglican communion - trying to define what is in and what is out and in the most intemperate and destructive manner. Let's get back to what is important, sorting out the church flowers for next Sunday, arranging the baptism and attending to the less fortunate in the parish. In other words, in an everyday world of real fallible people, let our priests be the shepherds they should be and with the door of their church always open.
Robert, New Zealand

If the Anglican Church is to become split, then so be it. Rather two churches with memberships served well by the choices of their clergy than one church desperately trying to appease two radically opposite factions.
Alex, Scotland

What with the Pope condemning us on one side and the traditionalists condemning on the other - thanks to the people of New Hampshire, for having the courage to elect someone for being a person, rather than a sexual being! We don't ask to be gay, we do not take this road by choice, but we are still condemned by people who don't understand us. We are no threat, we just want to be recognised!
Adrian B, The Netherlands

I agree with the attitude that it is wrong to allow homosexual Clergy as the church defines homosexuality as a perversion. "Gay" people for some reason feel that their particular proclivities should have some special dispensation and in doing so create an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust far beyond what is justified by their numbers in society. If they are acceptable what other perversion is next?
Leo G, Bahrain

These are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to love your God and love a human as well. Love humanity in general and forget about the minor details in other people's lives.
Lloyd Clendenning, USA

I am disgusted this goes against all the teachings I grew up with


Colin Charlton, Texas, USA
Not definitely not. The issue of marriage is clearly stated in the Bible and erroneous acceptance of an openly gay bishop will do great harm to the Anglican Church.
Mike Hullah, Canada

Religion is for believers. Belief changes nothing. The church, especially the Catholic, is revisionist - just change the name of something and Bingo! Truth doesn't mean a thing. These are the end times - who cares about church anyway?
Robert Dixon, USA

I am disgusted this goes against all the teachings I grew up with. This is a sure way to split the Church.
Colin Charlton, Texas, USA

Hurray Hurray!!! Three cheers for this church
Sona, USA/India
It is sad that people who call themselves "Christians" cling to misinterpretations of ancient law-books that have no meaning today. Jesus Christ himself, as reported in the New Testament, said that there was only one law, and that was "love". If two people love each other and want to be committed to each other, why must such a small thing as "gender" play a part in it?
Frank Krishner, India

I'm surprised a story like this is headline news. The Anglican Church (or the Moonies, or any other cult) is of little interest or relevance to most people.
Robert, UK

The Anglican Church had a similar row several years ago over ordaining women - the conservatives threatened to split and in the end they did not. Whether this will be similar or not remains to be seen - the fact is that the Church will be doing the right thing by ordaining Rev Robinson.
Sarah, USA

Hurray Hurray!!! Three cheers for this Church. I am a straight non-Christian woman and I am seriously thinking of changing my religion to join this beautiful Church. Homosexuals are people too. Heterosexuals should embrace them and even help them by offering to be surrogates so they may have babies and live full lives.
For every one sheep lost, one is gained. This Church will benefit from its diversity.
Sona, USA/India




SEE ALSO:
Bishop fuels gay row in church
18 Jun 03  |  Berkshire


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