Creep of the Week: Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams

By | 2018-01-15T18:37:39-04:00 August 7th, 2017|Opinions|

Everyone knows that ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. In fact, it often makes the problem worse.
Unfortunately, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams must have forgotten that when he barred New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay U.S. Episcopal bishop, from attending the Lambeth Conference, a world-wide meeting of Anglican bishops that happens once a decade and begins this week.
Let me be clear: Gene Robinson isn’t the problem. The problem is the division that his 2003 consecration caused between conservatives and liberals in the church. Conservatives diametrically opposed to homosexuality have been threatening to leave the church ever since.
Robinson, to be frank, has more drama surrounding him than any gay man alive.
Keeping Robinson out of the conference, however, has done nothing to keep that drama out of the conference. Instead of silencing the issue, Williams has managed to amplify it.
In fact, it’s important to note that Williams also barred Bishop Martyn Minns, a former Episcopal priest who leads a conservative anti-gay breakaway sect in the U.S. Banning Robinson, Minns said, was a bad movie. “He will end up getting all the attention,” Minns told MSNBC.
Indeed, Robinson has no intention of staying away from England during the conference. In lieu of attending Lambeth, Robinson has an itinerary of events and appearances lined-up that the Prince of Wales could only dream about. Needless to say, Robinson is getting a lot of press.
“I’m not storming the pulpit to wrestle the microphone from the archbishop,” Robinson told MSNBC. “My agenda is this: What does the church’s treatment of gay and lesbian people say about God? You’ve got all these people talking about gays and lesbians being an abomination before God. Does that make you want to run out and go to an Anglican church and sing God’s praises?”
Even actor Ian McKellen is coming to Robinson’s defense, calling the church homophobic. “They root around in the Bible for the bits that seem to be relevant,” he said on an appearance on “The Andrew Marr Show.”
Robinson is calling on Williams to take a firmer stand against the anti-gay rhetoric in the church. “There is no place in the Christian Church for someone to say Satan has entered the church with my consecration or that gay people are lower than dogs,” Robinson told Reuters.
That’s not to say Robinson doesn’t sympathize with and understand where Williams is coming from, being tugged at one end by liberals and the other by conservatives. “He is in such a difficult place and I want to be supportive of him,” Robinson said.
And though Robinson has endured death threats and hecklers during his sermons, he still believes that the Anglican Church is not doomed to split.
“There is no one on the liberal side threatening to leave and every time the folks on the conservative side say that we are about to come to that point,” he told Reuters,” they pull back.”
A man of great faith, indeed.

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