Comment of the Day

Bob is not going to be happy, but I’m posting robroy’s response to my Rick Warren vs. Gene Robinson, and I’m doing so because I think, regardless of robroy’s rudeness, it shows a particular perspective on why Gene Robinson (and by extension, the Episcopal Church) may actually be more of a sideshow while Rick Warren (and evangelicalism) may be the main event these days:

It is instructive to compare the two men:

Rick Warren has traveled extensively in Africa, setting up programs
that is making tremendous strides to help out with the AIDS epidemic.
Gene Robinson has traveled the world, be wined and dined, so that he
can whine about what a victim he is. Rick Warren started 28 years ago
with 200 people. His church has 22,000 in attendance on a given Sunday.

Gene Robinson took over a tiny diocese whose Sunday attendance for all
the parishes was a total of 5,174 in 2002. Mr Robinson has managed to
shrink it by 17%(6% drop last year alone). And the denomination is the
fastest declining. Mr Warren affirms scriptural authority. Mr Robinson
apparently crosses his fingers during parts of the recitation of the
Nicene creed. Mr Warren’s church has people from all walks of life and
ethnicities. Mr Robinson’s” inclusive” church is almost uniformly
white, liberal, educated. Rick Warren has been married to his wife for
thirty years. In contrast, Mr Robinson divorced his wife and “married”
his homosexual lover.”

Finally, Mr Warren has been gracious about Mr Robinson’s invitation. Mr. Robinson had a hissy fit.

It seems the only thing Mr Robinson has going for him is his homosexuality.

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  • panthera

    ‘robroy’s’ comment is typical for the nastiness which the fundamentalist/literalistic/conservative/followers-of-ancient-creeds’ Christians exhibit towards anyone who does not see the world through their eyes.
    I think it is good that you post our comments, there are a large number of Christians who read this blog who should see just exactly what sort of people oppose human rights for gays and transgendered.
    The irony of a hateful person choosing ‘robroy’ as a screen name will, of course, escape the ‘gentleman’.

  • NS

    I don’t know where to start responding, so I’ll say what I say everyday to my EBD kids, “this is inappropriate. Stop it.” We (straight, GLBT, black, white, religious, nonreligious, etc.) can no longer give voice to people whose only goal is to discriminate against other people. And we have to stop making comments like “the GLBT groups made them do it” and “the only thing he has going for him is his homosexuality.” This is not helpful. And it is hurtful to many, many people.
    It is not instructive to make this comparison between these two men because the reality of their experiences will show us something very different. It’s easy to assume; it is much more difficult to take the time to sit down and build a relationship with someone to understand what motivates their actions. In the end we may disagree, but disagreement is never a reason to discriminate. Ever.

  • Chris

    When I read this comment I didn’t see it as hate, I think it was instructive and people are free to agree or disagree with robroy’s categories. I disagree because I don’t know that it is an apples to apples comparison. What if the question was, “Are these men being faithful to their callings?” If Gene Robinson’s call is to be a prophetic voice for gay leadership in the Church, then he is indeed being faithful to the call. I would also point out that Rick Warren’s call to Africa came from his wife, which is cool. But I would also point out that he is not the first church leader to go there and it is always ironic to me that it took Rick’s machine to force the evangelical world to realize that people are sick and dying over there. It just sort of displaces the millions of dollars and hours that have been given in service to Africa by just the sorts of congregations that robroy would perhaps call “unsuccessful”.
    Finally, while it is hard for folks to really walk the talk, it is always foolhardy to join or leave a church or denomination because of a personality whether it be Gene Robinson, Rick Warren, or Joe Shmoe.

  • Your Name

    Panthera…if you actually think robroy’s comment deserves the classification of nastiness, I challenge you to read it after you’ve divorced yourself from your deeply embedded value system. His comment, in my opinion, is simply born from the question, “What were the reasons behind Obama’s invitation to Robinson?” When you think about it, the only reason Robinson’s name is well-known is because of his homosexuality. If you can find another reason, please let us know.
    Therefore, in robroy’s view, his homosexuality is the only thing he has going for him. He hasn’t written extensive theological treaties, he hasn’t done major restorative work around the world, he hasn’t even provided visionary leadership (orthodox or not) to his own denomination. So, why does he get the invite, except for his lifestyle, and the attention it has brought him? (Which brings the appearance that Obama picked him to pacify the GLBT crowd which protested so loudly at the Warren pick.)

  • bob c

    gene robinson is a faithful leader who works every day to help people come closer to god through Jesus
    rick warren is a faithful leader who works every day to help people come closer to god through Jesus
    the cynicism about the GLBT crowd or the nastiness of comments or evn the amplifying of these voices is not new or even newsworthy
    outside of the echo chambers of “church” blogs and lib/conserv shouting matching, most people do not really care who rick warren sleeps with or what color shirts gene robinson wears
    there is nothing crunchy con or emerging about robroy comments – just basic hate & nastiness that existed long before the web came about

  • panthera

    ‘Your Name’: I do not bother with responses to people who can’t be troubled to even provide us with a screen name.

  • panthera,
    I thought “Your Name” actually made a good point.
    I didn’t write it. But since I’ve posted my name, now maybe you can respond to the substance that was there.

  • panthera

    Seth, I will be happy to try.
    I am not being petty here about the ‘your name’ moniker. We all know that this interface is terrible and everybody occasionally gets bit by the ‘your name’ function. That said, there is a hard core of people who purposefully use ‘your name’ when they have some pretty nasty things to say.
    There are two separate issues involved here. One, I feel that robroy’s posting many laudatory comments on Warren, then blaming Bishop Robinson for his denomination being WASP, placing exclusive blame for that denomination’s membership decline on him, saying that a denomination which welcomes all people (in contrast to Warren’s which does not admit transgendered and gays to communion) was nasty.
    His placing Bishop Robinson’s SSM in quotes was nasty and there is no way to pretend it wasn’t.
    That is my first problem with his posting – whilst ignoring Warren’s serious flaws as a Christian minister he blames Robinson for everything under they sun.
    My deeply embedded value system is easy to explain. Jesus treated with prostitutes, adulterers, tax-collectors (the very filth at the bottom of the cesspool) and others. He never once said that our obligation to love was limited to those whom we like or approve of.
    Warren has limited his church to heterosexuals.
    I choose Jesus policy.
    Now, I know that Jesus was just a Jewish Rabi and the Son of God and nobody of any special importance compared to Paul who is the single most important person in the entire fundamentalist/literalistic/conservative/followers-of-ancient-creeds’ Pantheon…but that is exactly the difference between us. I worship God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is the whole basis of my faith – my savior is Christ who intervened for me through his death. Period.
    No cherry-picking the Bible as Warren does. No grandstanding (of which Bishop Robinson may also be accused, to be fair). No pretending to interpret the Bible literally while overlooking the inconvenient passages and emphasizing those which are easiest for me.
    Seth, I hope that suffices as an answer, or at least as a first approximation. You might take a look, if you have access at previous postings from robroy and me over, say the last three months or so. You will notice a clear distinction between us.
    Oh – right. Nearly forgot. Rob Roy (of whose clan I am a proud member on me mother’s side) was absolutely not anything at all like the poster here. Hence the irony.

  • robroy

    Rudeness or bluntness? Take for example, Thomas Ely or Mark Beckwith. Recognize the names? They are both bishops in the same (fastest declining) denomination. They both lead tiny dioceses which are disappearing like Mr. Robinson’s. They both espouse the same theo-lite new religion which denies sin (except for the sin of disagreeing with their liberal views). But did the heterosexuals, Ely of Vermont or Beckwith of Newark, get invitations? Nope.

  • robroy

    bob c writes, “just basic hate & nastiness that existed long before the web came about.”
    Hmmm, the simple recitation of statistics is hateful??? I can see this in a baseball game commentary:
    Commentator one: “And Smith is up to bat. He is having a tough year with an RBI of only 113.”
    Commentator two: “Um, let’s not get hateful.”
    Yet more one example where the liberals can’t engage in intelligent conversation, but rather can only throw the ad hominem “hateful” or “bigot” dart. Actually, they don’t want to engage in honest conversation because they know their position is so weak. This is why debate was shouted down in General Convention 2003.

  • panthera

    When you say that liberals are incapable of intelligent conversation, you echo our sentiments towards ‘your’ side, exactly.
    There is a tremendous amount of bad feeling on both sides. Your side has, regardless of your religious beliefs, stripped us of our civil rights in California, rejected our human rights in even so innocuous a document as the UN statement in December, and actively worked to prevent us from ever having human rights in the US. Not to mention working to take away our children from us.
    The physical violence, the rape, beatings, torture and murder – we are averaging one gay or transgendered death and or rape a week in the US are a reality which can not be dismissed.
    Again – regardless of your religious beliefs, I am sure you can understand (without agreeing that doing such things to us are bad) that such actions do not make for trusting relationships.
    On our side, we are very inflexible, just as we were about the helio-centric versus the geo-centric world view. The round versus flat earth. Evolution versus 10,000 years of intelligent design. We ‘liberals’ tend to think rationally and logically. We have Christian faith, but our faith is not based on a literal interpretation of carefully selected bible verses.
    This does make for difficulties. Personally, I have no problem with your side leaving and setting up your own church. The problem with that is, as the Baptists have very clearly demonstrated, is that people who will split over one ‘non-negotiable’ are easily motivated to find other non-negotiables to split over. But hey, that is your business. We just don’t want legal, civil marriage to be defined by your private religious beliefs. We want you to stop taking our children away from us. And we want your side to stop attacking us physically, raping, beating, torturing and murdering us.
    Anyway, this is just about the most civil you have ever been, so perhaps there is hope(anybody wondering about that has not read many of robroy’s postings).
    On a side note, how do you reconcile the helio-centric view with your beliefs?

  • robroy

    Wow, panthera has elevated
    “If you disagree with any aspect of the homosexual agenda, then you are hateful.”
    “If you disagree with any aspect of the homosexual agenda, then you are a rapist, murderer, fascist, torturer, kidnapper (or a least an abettor to these crimes). You also believe in the flat earth and geo-centric universe.”
    Wow. Breathtaking false witness bearing.