Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Way, Way East of Eden

From Edith Tucker at the Berlin (NH) Reporter:

h/t Greg Griffith at StandFirm in Faith
"BERLIN — An historic first took place on Saturday, Jan. 2, in the 'City that Trees Built.'

Elizabeth 'Betsy' Hess and the Rev. Eleanor 'Ellie' McLaughlin, both of Randolph, were wed in a civil ceremony near the entrance to St. Barnabas Episcopal Church on High Street.

The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire, blessed their rings and their Christian marriage at the altar. The blessing ceremony followed the civil marriage ceremony, which was jointly performed by Randolph Town Clerk Anne Kenison and Justice of the Peace Anne Jackson of Lancaster."

Don't worry, this was just a "generous pastoral response (GC2009 CO56)" by a simple country bishop.

"Ms. Hess, who holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Montana at Missoula, maintains a private practice in Berlin, and the Rev. McLaughlin, who earned a Ph.D. in medieval history at Harvard University, is the retired rector of St. Barnabas and a parishioner at St. Paul's, Lancaster.

They described his role as an 'unspeakable honor — a thrill.'"

And that is after they listened to his dimwitted sermon.
"Bishop Robinson said he understands that having both a gay bishop and a gay priest means that some in Berlin call St. Barnabas the gay church.

'Yes, we're gay,' he said. 'We welcome people of color, people in wheelchairs, the mentally disabled — all of God's children.' Elaborating on its inclusivity, he also noted that the Rev. Fran Gardner, the rector who succeeded the Rev. McLaughlin, is also gay.

He reminded everyone of Christ's eighth beatitude: 'Blessed are they who are persecuted.'"

Drop the persecution thing already, you've won! Go ahead and say what you really think about marriage, and give us some solid Biblical exegesis while you are at it.

"In his homily, Bishop Robinson explained that when God created 'the human thing' in the Garden of Eden, which He called 'A-dam' — (which the bishop pronounced with a long 'A' and 'dame') — He wanted to make him happy, so He provided him with a helper, a partner, a soul mate.'

'It was not right that A-dam should be alone,' Bishop Robinson said, noting that this is nothing new."

Oh, I get it. Bishop Robinson is saying that God created a dame for a dame in Eden. Stop the presses! Did it really say that in Genesis? Doesn't the passage read,
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called 'woman,'
for she was taken out of man."
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh

Genesis 2:18-24

I think Bishop Robinson is putting a little 'Broad'way (excuse me) into his Bible with that "A-Dame" wisecrack.

I had never heard of anyone making the leap from Adam to "A Dame." To do so in order to alter God's natural order as established in Genesis goes beyond revisionism and into creating a new religion.

One could argue that Bishop Robinson is merely hijacking a pre-existing sinking denomination to advance a personal obsession, but statements such as this show that he is not satisfied with the Bible and is working on a new one. "Unspeakable" indeed. Oh, there was more including this,

"'Marriage is also crazy,' he said. 'It's hard to live up to when the institution of marriage is in such trouble,' Bishop Robinson said."

Particularly when one's own choices create more trouble. Someone ought to tell the Bishop to stop knocking an institution when it is down.

Is it any wonder that Sunday attendance in the Diocese of New Hampshire has dropped by almost 20% in the past decade?

As bad as the Bishop's homily was, the town clerk reminds us that the focus is on the new secular worldview:
"Randolph Town Clerk Kenison read an historical account, written by the Rev. McLaughlin that is informed by the work of the 'boundary-breaking interdisciplinary work' of Professor Nancy Cott of Harvard University, on the changes that have taken place from the days when the State and the Established Church were one. 'In colonial society, the State established and defined both moral and economic boundaries of the marriage contract, by which the husband was provider and unitary authority and the woman, mother and wife, was the dependent and obedient subject in law to her husband.' These gendered and hierarchical arrangements of the human family have ceased to be normative. Civil Marriage has been 'disestablished'…. The Marriage here solemnized is grounded upon current values and interests determined and enforced by the State, supported and respected by Civil society."

Excuse me Ms. Kenison, but did you just say that the State created bad standards of marriage in the past, but the current the State's values are okay? Do you trust the current State as our moral agent when earlier States got it wrong?


1 comment:

  1. I note the articles appellation of "Christian marriage" bestowed upon this event.

    As for Bishop Robinson, one would think he'd be smart enough to realize that one does not protect the institution of marriage from assailants by changing the definition of same to essentially allow all and sundry to claim the status, especially in the context of the Church. I shudder for these people on judgment day when they are finally confronted with all the souls over which they had charge which they have led astray.