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Unstrange Bedfellows–Bishop Gene Robinson and Planned Parenthood

Bishop Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church USA’s first openly-homsoexual bishop, recently addressed a Planned Parenthood “prayer breakfast” and national leadership conference. According to The Washington Times, Robinson told the crowd that liberals must offer a “religious defense” against conservative Christianity. “Our defense against religious people has to be a religious defense. . . . We must use people of faith to counter the faith-based arguments against us,” he said. In his article, reporter Jon Ward revealed that Robinson “took aim at traditional interpretations of the Bible.” In the bishop’s words: “We have allowed the Bible to be taken hostage, and it is being wielded by folks who would use it to hit us over the head. We have to take back those Scriptures . . . You know, those stories are our stories. I tell this to lesbian folk all the time: The story of freedom in Exodus is our story. . . . That’s my story, and they can’t have it.” So, the Exodus is his story. The biblical account of the rescue of the Children of Israel from the hands of the Eyptians becomes a narrative of homosexual liberation. How does he get to this? Look at his principle of biblical interpretation: “What an unimaginative God it would be if God only put one meaning in any verse of Scripture.” Ah, imagination. It certainly takes a great deal of imagination to get to Bishop Robinson’s interpretation of Scripture–especially those texts that so clearly condemn homosexuality as sin. Back to the issue of abortion, Robinson explains his “pro-choice” position on the Planned Parenthood Web site. When asked, “Are you pro-choice?,” Robinson answers: “Absolutely. The reason I love the Episcopal Church is that it actually trusts us to be adults. In a world where everyone tries to paint things as black or white, Episcopalians feel pretty comfortable in the gray areas. I’m sure there must be individual congregations, and certainly individuals, who are off the deep end about this issue, but for the most part, the stance that we have taken speaks to our people as a mature and adult way of dealing with this — that we protect a woman’s right to choose but also say that obviously there are very deep things involved here. So we encourage our folks to take this very private issue seriously. We urge them to talk to their priests about it and to think through all the questions they might have. And then we absolutely stand behind a woman’s right to choose. I think that’s a responsible place to be.” Finally: “Planned Parenthood is an organization that I have always admired and respected. It does such extraordinarily fine work, and I’m very happy to be associated with it.” And, Planned Parenthood is clearly happy to be associated with Bishop Robinson. Here we find true guilt by association.