it's only sinful if you don't take pleasure in it
This just in: Homosexuality has been discovered!
OK, I admit it's stale news. It turns out that people have known of homosexuality for "about 125 years." This wisdom is vouchsafed to us by the world's first openly homosexual Episcopalian bishop, Gene Robinson.
Robinson was responding to a question about how he could reconcile his behavior with the exhortations of St. Paul to the Romans. No problem, the Anglican divine replied. St. Paul was "absolutely correct in his own context given what he knew." But the Apostle-- even with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit working in his favor-- couldn't possibly imagine that some men would lust after men. Which is odd, because that seems to be exactly what St. Paul wrote. But evidently the interpreters of the past 20 centuries have been missing something, because Robinson tells us: "It never occurred to anyone in ancient times that a certain minority of us would be born being affectionally oriented to people of the same sex." Remarkable, isn't it, that Sappho would have had such success writing about a condition that was inconceivable to her. A bit like H.G. Wells on time travel, I suppose.
What was it, I wonder, that happened in 1885 or thereabouts, to bring the human race to the unprecedented realization that some people are homosexual?
But leave aside that historical question for now. Our primary focus should be the Scriptural exegesis that has been provided by Gene Robinson-- who, casting his personal interests aside, helps to explain what the poor benighted St. Paul would have thought, if he had had at his disposal all the analytical tools that are available to an Episcopalian in New Hampshire in the early 21st century.
It's true that St. Paul condemns homosexual acts. And rightly so, Robinson tells us. But wait for the crucial distinction: "St. Paul was talking about people that he understood to be heterosexual engaging in same-sex acts."
Aha! So the Apostle was giving his readers the very useful advice that they shouldn't do things that they don't feel inclined to do. Heterosexual people should not commit homosexual acts. We can all agree on that at least, can't we? And teetotalers definitely shouldn't get drunk.
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Posted by: -
Feb. 08, 2010 7:52 PM ET USA
Oh what tangled webs we weave, when we practice to deceive... Sadly, the good bishop seeks to deceive himself as well as all others.
Posted by: annedanielson4099 -
Feb. 06, 2010 12:27 PM ET USA
Since it is true that there is no evidence that homosexuality is innate, it must be a developmental problem complicated by the fact that there are few psychologists or psychiatrists today that believe that there is an inherent ordered nature in Sexual Love and that all sexual acts should respect the dignity of the Human Person.
Posted by: BobJ70777069 -
Feb. 04, 2010 8:44 PM ET USA
Robinson tosses off the assertion that, "[Homosexuals]would be born being affectionally oriented to people of the same sex." When was it decided that homosexual orientation is innate? - hard wired, so to speak. Someone should tell Dr. Dioguardi.
Posted by: Christopher_Johnson -
Feb. 04, 2010 6:04 PM ET USA
If I'm born with a kleptomaniacal orientation, relieving you of your money isn't stealing. But like all great art, Robbie's airheadedness has many levels. "Robinson added, “The question is, are there any answers there for what we’re asking today, which is the rightfulness of faithful, monogamous, lifelong-intentioned relationships between people of the same sex, and the Bible simply does not address that.” Lifelong-intentioned. I know what I promised, Lord, but she's REALLY hot.
Posted by: -
Feb. 04, 2010 5:54 PM ET USA
I seem to recall that His Grace was married with children prior to discovering or uncovering his homosexuality. Or was he committing a sin against his homosexuality when he had sexual acts with his wife, a (gulp!) woman? And what of bisexuals...how should we read Saint Paul on that, your Grace? Is every other day okay...I mean, Monday, Wednesday and Friday with Betty; and the others with Ben? Or is this for Dr. Rowan Williams to decide?