Gene Robinson, the controversial Episcopalian bishop-elect,

told delegates to a church convention today that his relationship with another man is “sacramental,” just like marriage. <...>
Supporters, including Robinson’s ex-wife and daughter, praised him as a man of honesty and said his June 7 election by Episcopalians in New Hampshire had sent a message of inclusiveness that ultimately would strengthen the church, just as the election of the first woman bishop did in 1989.

It is also very likely to split the church. While Episcopalianism is about as non-doctrinal a religion as one can find, it still claims to be based on biblical teachings and apostolic succession. These things are rather difficult to square with Robinson’s lifestyle.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor 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. Drew Collins says:

    As an Anglican Clergyman (transitional Deacon in the Reformed Episcopal Church, to be ordered Presbyter, D.V., in a couple of weeks) I would disagree that Episcopalianism is “about as non-doctrinal a religion as one can find.” The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion outline the doctrinal position of classical Anglicanism. That that position has been abandoned by much of ECUSA does not negate it.

  2. James Joyner says:


    You make a good point. My experience with the church is limited–having attended one particular Episcopal church for a few months and impressions I’ve gathered from reading. The pastor of the particular church I attended was a good speaker and quite enthusiastic, but he gave me the impression that one could interpret the Bible pretty much however one wanted. The congregation did recite the Nicene Creed but, again, one could interpret it as one wished. He also had this rather elastic view of what constituted a sacrament that covered virtually anything that one found meaningful and spiritually fulfilling.