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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bishop Robinson Sounds Out

UPDATE: The text was garbled in an earlier version of this posting. I have made corrections and hope it is at least marginally clearer than before.

In a long, wordy and complaint-filled diatribe, Bishop Robinson of New Hampshire excoriates the Anglican Primates and asks the question,

How will we explain this "forbearance" to all those gay and lesbian Christians who have come to The Episcopal Church because, for the first time ever, they have believed that there is a place for them AT God’s table, not simply BENEATH it, hoping for fallen scraps?

Uh, Bishop, have you ever come across these lines?

We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs (let alone scraps!) under thy Table.

That's from something called the Prayer of Humble Access and a long, long time ago it was said in every Episcopal Church in the land at Communion (I know, I know, it's in that old-fashioned Victorian English stuff). The message is plain: none of us, gay, straight or whatever, is entitled to a place at God's table were it not for Him, "whose property is always to have mercy." We are all equal in the eyes of the Lord. We are also loved by Him even though we are all sinners, the sins as many as our number. Just because some of us can't be priests or bishops, sir, doesn't mean we are held in lesser esteem by God, OK? Or are you saying that priests and bishops are a better class of Christian than we common lay folk? I don't think that's the case, do you?

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