Bishop Gene Robinson Interviewed at Democracy Now!

Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson appeared on Democracy Now yesterday. It’s a fabulous interview (as most with Bishop Robinson are) that Democracy Now has made available in video. (Begins around 49:00)

In case the video doesn’t work, here are a few clips from the rush transcript. On the impact of his 2003 appointment on the Episcopal Church:

I think in the last six years the Episcopal Church has questioned whether or not its actions might have been precipitous, and it listened very intently to the feedback from around the Communion. But then, last month, at its general convention in Anaheim, the Episcopal Church, after considering that for six years, said, “No, you know, our canons have served us well, the rules by which we govern the Church. They served us well in the election in New Hampshire, and we’re going to abide by those. And we are not going to discriminate against anyone because of their sexual orientation.” I think it was a way of saying the Episcopal Church means to be a church in which all of God’s children are included, and I’m very proud of that.

On the impact of his appointment and the Episcopal Church’s recent pro-LGBT action on the Church Universal:

The fact of the matter is, we all know that we have faithful Christian gay and lesbian people in all of our denominations, no matter where they stand on this issue. The question is, are we going to affirm them the way that I believe God affirms them, affirms us? And I believe the Episcopal Church has stated quite clearly, yes, we are. And I think other denominations are looking to see, you know, are we going to come apart over this issue? No, we’re not going to come apart. Are we going to be stronger because of it? Yes, we are. And I believe you’ll see other denominations, just as we saw the Lutherans do a few weeks after our convention, following suit.

On his youth and coming out:

I grew up in a time when “gay” was not a word that you used to describe homosexual people. You only spoke about them in quiet whispers, if at all. There were no positive gay models. This is before Ellen, before Will & Grace. And it was almost like committing suicide to understand yourself to be a homosexual person. It’s hard to remember how the world has changed so much in these last twenty years. […]

I felt that coming out was a call from God. I think God wants our insides and our outsides to agree. That’s what integrity is about. And so, although I thought it was the end of my life as an ordained person in the Church, I felt called by God to do this. And little did I know that, twenty years later, I would be a bishop of the Church and telling my story as a witness to what God can do in one’s life.

On his un-televised invocation at President Obama’s inauguration celebration:

What I can tell you is that I got apologies from the highest-level executives at HBO. I got apologies from the highest levels of the inauguration committee. I think it just happened. And that was no time to pick a fight with anyone. I was honored to be there. I was honored that the new president invited me. And I said what I had to say. Lots of people saw it on YouTube, even if they didn’t see it on HBO. I prayed the prayer to God and for God, not for HBO. And I think this new president deserves all of our support, as well as our appropriate critique. And so, I remain a fan of his and a supporter of this administration.

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