4.04.2005

The Holy Grail Held Mojitos?!

Jesus Might Have Been Homosexual, Says the First Openly Gay Bishop

from Telegraph UK

The first openly gay Anglican bishop has sparked outrage for suggesting that Jesus might have been homosexual.

The Rt Rev Gene Robinson, the Bishop of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church of the United States, said that Jesus was an unmarried, "non-traditional man" who did not uphold family values, "travelled with a bunch of men" and enjoyed an especially close relationship with one of his disciples.

His comments, made in a recent address at the Christ Church of Hamilton and Wenham in Massachusetts, have enraged traditional Anglicans who have suggested that the Bishop should be "struck down by thunder and lightning bolts." Bishop Robinson, whose consecration in 2003 triggered a schism between evangelicals and liberals in the worldwide Anglican Communion, was giving an address entitled "Homosexuality and the Body of Christ: Is There a New Way?"

In answer to a question from the congregation about how the acceptance of homosexuality could be squared with the scriptural emphasis on redemption for sins, the Bishop replied: "Interestingly enough, in this day of traditional family values, this man that we follow was single, as far as we know, travelled with a bunch of men, had a disciple who was known as 'the one whom Jesus loved' and said my family is not my mother and father, my family is those who do the will of God. None of us likes those harsh words. That's who Jesus is, that's who he was at heart, in his earthly life.

"Those who would posit the nuclear family as the be all and end all of God's creation probably don't find that much in the gospels to support it," he said.

David Virtue, an evangelical commentator who runs the influential conservative Anglican website, VirtueOnline, called the comments "rubbish."

He said: "It is appalling deconstructionism from the liberal lobby which will spin even the remotest thing to turn it into a hint that Biblical figures are gay. It is so utterly preposterous to imply that Jesus's relationship with John was homo-erotic, but twisting the truth is the only way these people can get scriptural justification for their lifestyles. Can you imagine Calvin, Luther or Erasmus saying something like this? It is a wonder that thunder and lightning bolts don't strike Bishop Robinson down."

Bishop Robinson, who married his partner, Mark, said that he had come to reconcile his sexuality with his faith and could feel "God's light and God's life ooze over me like warm butter."

This is not the first time that it has been suggested Jesus might have been gay. In 1977 Mary Whitehouse, the moral campaigner, brought a private prosecution against the Gay News for publishing a poem by Professor James Kirkup called "The Love That Dares To Speak Its Name." The poem depicted a centurion's love for Christ and the newspaper was fined under the blasphemy laws.

Mike Barwell, a spokesman for Bishop Robinson, said: "Jesus was a non-traditional person who broke all the rules and hung out with all the wrong people. Anything else that people infer from the Bishop's comments is all speculation."

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