If this Washington Times story is accurate, Gene Robinson is going to become the Ellen DeGeneres of preaching:

The Episcopal Church’s first openly homosexual bishop will deliver a keynote speech to homosexual Christians during a visit to Britain, a move certain to inflame tensions within the Church of England.

The Rev. V. Gene Robinson, whose confirmation as the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire threatens to divide the Anglican Communion, will address an October conference in Manchester of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement.

Mr. Robinson also is expected to preside at a service.

The homosexual Christian group promotes the conference on its Web site with a message from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams expressing his hope that the gathering will help the process of “listening and mutual questioning” within the church.

The Rev. Richard Kirker, general secretary of the homosexual group, denied that Mr. Robinson’s presence would be inflammatory.

“It is an opportunity to change any sense that people like Gene are unusual or extraordinary,” he said. “Sexual orientation is a gift of God, and no one should invoke their faith to justify discrimination.”

When Ellen’s TV character “came out,” the show immediately went from a situation comedy about the life of a complex individual to “that gay show.” It wasn’t simply that the character “happened to be gay;” that happenstance was the show. It rapidly is shaping up to be that way for Robinson: His sexual identity and the political agenda inherent in his status are going to be central fact of his ministry.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John Lemon says:


  2. John Lemon says:

    And the more the “gay” takes centerstage over “bishop,” the fewer people will listen to him.

  3. The 2000 religious census of America shows that theologically liberal denominations (including my own, the UMC) are losing members and conservative ones are gaining. And as I recall, the conservative churches are actually gaining faster than the liberal churches are losing.

  4. IB Bill says:

    I guy I know who was very secular and modern in his thinking once said to me, “I got to church for dogma. I go for answers.” Which makes sense. If I don’t need to change, then I can sleep in on Sunday mornings. Or join a book club or something.

  5. bryan says:

    I really like how robinson keeps asserting that he hopes his appointment will be the beginning of peace and healing about this issue. I just have to wonder what he’s smoking.

  6. Miguel says:

    Great posting and great comments. To make this a *human* issue, over borders and times, Cuernavaca, the town where I live 50 miles South of Mexico City, had a Communist Bishop for many years from the early 60’s to the mid 80’s. All of the priests started to make political speeches at Mass (once I heard a priest say that Stalin was a GREAT MAN! that liberated his people from the nazis!, for example)and guess what happened? I know you guessed right…the churches began to be EMPTY. Attendance to church droped by easily 70% if not more. I would ask folks around me why they didn’t go to Mass, and most all answer that they went to church to hear about GOD, about dogma, about Tradition, about the Bible, not about crappy political speeches. And this was back in the 60’s and 70’s. Translate it to the present time and it’s still the same. People don’t want PC talk in their church, they want GOD and everything related to Him and human soul.

  7. American Patriot says:


    As a practicing Episcopalian.. I can tell you the only thing Bishop Robinson is “smoking” is common sense, decency and unity.

    I had no idea it needed to be rolled in paper to be consumed.