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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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Gay Bishop Gene Robinson Prepares For Retirement

RobinsonAfter 27 years with the Episcopal Dioscese in New Hampshire, openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson is set to officially retire on January 5th, bringing to the end a career that helped break homophobic barriers within the Anglican church here in the States.

And as he prepares himself for the next step in his life, Robinson says he's in awe of the rapid progress his religion has made in the nine years since he first became bishop.

"I'd been given this really remarkable opportunity and it would be selfish of me not to be the best steward of that opportunity," he told the Associated Press.

"We went from my consecration, which set off this international controversy, to nine years later seeing gay, lesbian and transgender congregants welcome at all levels of the church, including bishop."

The AP also reminds readers of one of Robinson's bravest acts: standing up against the international Anglican Communion for not inviting him to their once-a-decade Lambeth Conference in 2008:

He was publicly shunned by church elders, targeted with death threats and says he struggled to strike a balance between being the "good bishop" and the "gay bishop." In the end, he says, they became one and the same.

He is a self-described "off-the-end-of-the-scale extrovert" who bounds across stages and television studios, whether promoting causes or his new book, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage.

Robinson said it pained him deeply to be excluded in 2008 from [the Lambeth] gathering... He said it was the first time since 1867 that a bishop had not been invited.

He traveled to England despite the snub to make his presence known and minister to anyone who wanted his counsel.

As for his relationship to New Hampshire, where he's lived since the mid-70s, Robinson said, "New Hampshire was the one place where I wasn't the gay bishop. I'm just the bishop. That's been terrific and kind of lifesaving in way."


Jon Stewart Interviews Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson: VIDEO

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Jon Stewart and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson discuss the Supreme Court's consideration of same-sex marriage, the "religious hunger" to find a way forward on the issue, Jesus and gay people, Robinson's coming out, Sodom and Gomorrah, sodomy in Washington, and the history of marriage.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Bishop Gene Robinson to Attend 'Gay Marriage Summit' at San Diego Megachurch: VIDEO

A San Diego megachurch is holding a summit on same-sex marriage today in an attempt to ratchet down the rhetoric, the Union Tribune reports:

GarlowPastor Jim Garlow is promising something different as he welcomes several notable figures to his Rancho San Diego megachurch, including Gene Robinson, the first openly gay person to serve as a bishop of a major Christian domination.

“I feel like there’s way too much misunderstanding and way too much name-calling on this issue and not enough civil, respectful dialogue,” Garlow said.

The setting is not exactly neutral territory. Garlow helped spearhead the passage of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that blocked same-sex unions in California. His evangelical church, Skyline, is widely known for its social conservatism.

Robinson applauded Garlow's move: "I think the real goal is not to change other people’s minds, but to show that people with opposing views can have a civil dialogue."

Earlier this year, Garlow warned that gay marriage "may cost us our lives." Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Bishop Gene Robinson's Message is 'Love Free or Die': VIDEOS

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Check out these extremely moving clips from Love Free or Die, the new documentary about gay New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson which is premiering this week at Sundance.

LovefreeordieIn one clip, he gives a sermon to fellow clergy and volunteers on Gay Pride day before handing out water to marchers in the parade.

Says Robinson in the clip: "...it is a very holy thing that you do when you offer that cup of water. You are representing the community of Christians, and Jews, and Muslims who are 95% the source of all the oppression we LGBT people have experienced in our lives. And so when you offer a cup of water bearing the name of Christ as it says in our gospel today, you are the oppressor offering a cup of water to the oppressed. They get it. They get the act of compassion. My question is, do you get it? Do you realize the important thing that you do by giving a cup of water to those people out there who have been hurt by us, and continue to be hurt by us?"

In another clip, an incident (which I covered here in 2008) in which Robinson is heckled because he is gay by a man at an alternative service Robinson was giving at the Anglican Lambeth conference, is captured on film.

Very, very powerful stuff.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson: Christians 'Should Be Ashamed of' Rick Perry

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Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson weighs in on Rick Perry's ad:

RobinsonIt is breathtaking (and not in a good way) when someone who aspires to be the Commander in Chief denigrates the soldiers he means to command. Just like all the other soldiers in our military, our gay and lesbian soldiers are dodging bullets and IED’s to preserve our rights as Americans. The right of all Americans to represent their country in our military is now the law of the land, a law that Gov. Perry apparently disagrees with and presumably would work to change if elected president.

The blood of gay and lesbian soldiers flows as readily and as redly as that of other young Americans fighting in Afghanistan, yet Gov. Perry feels free to use them as political cannon fodder for his campaign. In an attempt to garner conservative Christian votes, he would stigmatize these brave young men and women who are, as we speak, risking their lives on our behalf. If this is patriotism, count me out!

Perry "goes on to say things that Christians should be ashamed of him for."

What Perry gets wrong about religion in America [washington post]


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