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Stephen Colbert Interviews Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson About Leviticus, Gay Marriage: VIDEO

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Stephen Colbert grills Bishop Gene Robinson, the Episcopal church's first gay bishop, saying that he finds the 'schism' Robinson created within the church "delicious." Colbert also quibbles with the signs sprinkled about every town that say "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You", adding, "It doesn't seem exclusive that way. It doesn't seem that cool of a club if anyone could be part of it."

Also on the table: Leviticus and gay marriage. Robinson has a new book out, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage.

Robinson: "We're asking did the church get it wrong about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. I think the answer is yes."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Why do these gay people keep trying to reconcile Christianity (and Judaism and Islam) with homosexuality? To paraphrase Bill Maher- Screw your angry sex hating desert gods.

    The Episcopal Church and ANglican communion has the elements to be the first major civic church: a church without a god. We see it in a huge portion of the Episcopalians who view church as a beneficial social and cultural exercise but don't honestly believe in the mythology. They are decidedly more rational than even the whackjobs in Taos and Sedona who make it up as they go along.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 26, 2013 9:10:16 AM


  2. Robinson seems like a nice man.

    But his belief in that 'god' thing is utterly bizarre.

    There is no 'god', there is no afterlife, and the sooner people accept this fact then the happier they will be.

    Posted by: MaryM | Apr 26, 2013 9:47:50 AM


  3. MaryM- While the god concept makes no sense, the groundless statement that there is no afterlife doesn't even qualify as an opinion because there simply isn't any evidence to support it.

    Logically, in observance of the world around us, we are able to understand the function of all things even things we find annoying (like rodents and Derrick) . It is logical to assume that there is a purpose to this life, and it is also logical that our intellect and energy survives our body.

    “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”


    ― Albert Einstein (and Siddhartha Gautama)

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 26, 2013 10:12:33 AM


  4. Wackjobs are wackjobs but you really can't make fun of someone for deciding to anthropomorphize reality, the non religious do it allll the time. Choosing to believe in karma is a good example, or evil, or good, quantum foam! All fantasy made up to make reality more palatable.

    It's more fun that way, just don't tell people about it if they don't ask.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Apr 26, 2013 10:19:19 AM


  5. I had the pleasure of meeting Bishop Robinson a few years ago. He is an inspiring, Christ-like man.

    Posted by: Laurie | Apr 26, 2013 10:30:29 AM


  6. Well, that settles it. Should have just asked MaryM in the first place and be done with it.

    Posted by: Chaszle | Apr 26, 2013 10:34:02 AM


  7. Well, that settles it. Should have just asked MaryM in the first place and be done with it.

    Posted by: Chaszle | Apr 26, 2013 10:34:03 AM


  8. David Hearne - when I say there is no afterlife I mean there is no heaven or hell.

    When we die our body rots, thereby fertilising the ground - in this manner our energy is transferred back to the world.

    Our intellect also dies when we die.

    Gene Robinson should know this already.

    Posted by: MaryM | Apr 26, 2013 10:34:47 AM


  9. Btw, in order to watch this video, I had to pause my tracking blocker program. 76 trackers were found on this page.

    Posted by: Chaszle | Apr 26, 2013 10:35:21 AM


  10. Better question: Who cares what happens when you die? What exactly will you do about it? Not die?

    Posted by: Fenrox | Apr 26, 2013 10:44:31 AM


  11. "Why do these gay people keep trying to reconcile Christianity (and Judaism and Islam) with homosexuality?"

    Because Christianity has been this gay man's career, it is what he believes, and he lives in this world with a multitude of other Christians.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Apr 26, 2013 10:46:33 AM


  12. Sometimes I dearly miss the Episcopal Church--the stately mass, erudite homilies, well-meaning people.

    But I can't swallow the God pill any longer.

    Posted by: Akrontru | Apr 26, 2013 11:00:56 AM


  13. I'm atheist but you have to accept the reality that the majority of Americans believe in a deity of some sort and there ARE gay Christians. Much if not nearly all opposition to gays and gay rights is really rooted in religion, whether they admit it or not, so it's a worthy goal to look at the Bible and religious history and "attack" the problem from that direction even if it doesn't personally matter to you.

    I mean the most obvious example is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The "sin" of S&G wasn't "sodomy," it says so right there in the Bible. It was greed and being unwelcome to travelers, which was a big deal at that time. In other places you have to put things in context and address errors and bias in various translations.

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 26, 2013 11:16:27 AM


  14. "...we are able to understand the function of all things even things we find annoying (like rodents and Derrick)"

    LoL...that's a good one...you old hag.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 26, 2013 11:26:30 AM


  15. You know, when Jesus quoted the Bible, he never said "God said," but rather always said "Moses told you this," or "the Prophets said", and what I think is happening is that, after all these millenia, parts of Christianity are starting to read the Bible the way Jesus did, and truly following him, not just worshiping him. Moses, the Prophets, Paul, the Evangelists, they are all ancestors in the faith but they aren't God, and sometimes they get it right and sometimes they don't. This isn't a Godless Christianity, but rather a Christianity that believes in a living God, and still searching for God, and believes that God still can be found among us, not just in a collection of books by our ancestors in the faith. This was the hope of the Prophets and the promise of Jesus. Thank God that our Bishops are finally witnessing to this truth in powerful ways, truly fulfilling their office and charism to witness and challenge, not just sacramental ministry and after church cocktail parties.

    Posted by: Clint | Apr 26, 2013 11:44:18 AM


  16. Derrick...you're funny. Thanks for the laugh!

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Apr 26, 2013 11:51:18 AM


  17. Very good point Clint about Jesus quoting Moses, the Prophets etc. Being a liberal gay Christian that also loves science and history (i.e. truth) you have given me a real "ah ha" moment with that. In our secular civil society all are free to pursue truth or Truth as they see fit.
    Gene Robinson is an excellent example. Also I always joke that anyone that quotes Leviticus should have to at least read Leviticus once. Perhaps for its time Leviticus was a moral leap forward because people were sacrificing animals instead of humans.

    Posted by: Tom in Long Beach | Apr 26, 2013 12:05:49 PM


  18. @David Hearne, yes our energy is not destroyed when we die. That doesn't imply an afterlife, though. Your body heat dissipates into the surroundings wherever you die, warming them (or limiting their cooling) ever so slightly. The energy stored in the chemical bonds of your fluids and flesh is absorbed by bacteria, maggots, and other carrion eaters that consume your corpse as food. Their bodies then metabolize those chemicals, eventually releasing the energy to produce heat and locomotion and to power metabolic processes. All your energy is accounted for in these natural processes and there is none left over for a "soul" that might experience and afterlife.

    Posted by: JJ | Apr 26, 2013 2:06:14 PM


  19. Religion is a good capitalist construct: it has spirituality as a product--something all people possess (even atheists) and they sell through dispensations, buildings, and comfort. All these things can be had through anything secular. Also, religion is out to control and act as a secondary government, which in effect is trying to take away our free will. I oppose religion on all principals, but I understand why some may like it.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Apr 26, 2013 2:55:57 PM


  20. You atheists crack me up. You have no more idea of whether there is a God than anyone else does. Your incredible arrogance and naivete in assuming that the human intellect is capable of conceiving all truths is amusing, indeed.

    You KNOW there is no afterlife. Really? And how exactly do you know this? Because it cannot be proven? Ha! The very fact that people cannot prove it one way or the other demonstrates how limited our capabilities as a species really are.

    We may be smart apes, but we are still merely apes, and it is highly unlikely we are the be-all-that-ends-all in the universe.

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 26, 2013 3:16:39 PM


  21. @Rick, atheism is the absence of a belief in God, not to be confused with antitheism, belief in the absence of God.

    "You have no more idea of whether there is a God than anyone else does."

    Agreed. That was never in dispute. Atheists by definition recognize that claims of the existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful, invisible god are unfalsifiable, which is just another way of saying that such claims are indistinguishable from not knowing. In other words, we know that no one has any idea, which is why atheists believe that it makes no sense to claim that such a god exists.


    "Your incredible arrogance and naivete in assuming that the human intellect is capable of conceiving all truths is amusing, indeed."

    I think you've got it backwards. Atheists are perfectly content with "we don't know." Atheists don't take gaps in knowlegde as an invitation to fill in those gaps with mythology. Athesits are perfectly comfortable with the philosophical implications of work by Gödel and others showing that there are truths that are unknowable. Maybe you think the pursuit of sciene is arrogant because it methodically, heartlessly, and decisively muscles its way into those gaps where others had stuffed their gods. Tough. Put up or shut up. Science delivers the goods, and that's not arrogance just because it puts your sky fairy to shame. That can't be helped. So stop whining about it and make up a god who delivers what science does. Until then, what's arrogant is expecting everyone else to accept a story that someone made up out of thin air as an explanation for how the world is.

    Posted by: JJ | Apr 26, 2013 6:41:37 PM


  22. @Rick: "You atheists crack me up. You have no more idea of whether there is a God than anyone else does." .... well, would you put 10% of your income (the traditional tithe) into an organization whose existence you could not verify? Just asking. :-)

    BTW, the apes closest to us in terms of evolution are chimpanzees and bonobos.

    Posted by: Bill | Apr 26, 2013 7:11:19 PM


  23. @David Hearne
    "The Episcopal Church and ANglican communion has the elements to be the first major civic church: a church without a god. We see it in a huge portion of the Episcopalians who view church as a beneficial social and cultural exercise but don't honestly believe in the mythology."

    I think the Unitarians may have gotten there first, but some of my best friends are Episcopalians and they're certainly welcome.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Gene Robinson. If Gene were a Sodomite in Sodom, God would have spared the place.

    Posted by: Rich | Apr 27, 2013 3:55:09 AM


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