The first openly
gay Episcopal bishop says has been deluged with angry
messages since being falsely accused of suggesting that
Jesus might have been gay. "I can assure you with absolute
certainty that was not my implication and certainly not
anything I ever said," Bishop V. Gene Robinson told the
New Hampshire Union Leader in a story published
Tuesday. "I am furious for my remarks to be interpreted in a
way as to mean something I never said."
Religion writer David Virtue apparently was the first
to suggest otherwise in a Web log entry based on remarks
Robinson made February 13 at Christ Church in Hamilton,
Mass. Other blogs and conservative publications took it from
there, including The Daily Telegraph of London. As a
result, Robinson said, "my office is being flooded with
angry messages from around the country, and from around the
world, about something I never said."
Robinson spoke at a church forum on sexual issues and
said he was making the point that the nuclear family is a
relatively new construct and that even for his time, Jesus
apparently led a nontraditional life. "Interestingly enough,
in this day of traditional family values and so on,"
Robinson said in a recording from the forum, "this man that
we follow...was single as far as we know; who traveled with
a bunch of men, although there were lots of women around;
who had a disciple who was known as 'the one whom Jesus
loved'; who said my family is not my mother and father, my
family are those who do the will of God--none of us like
those harsh words. That's who Jesus is, that's who he was,
at least in his earthly life."
Later Robinson said, "Those who would posit the
nuclear family as the be-all and end-all of God's creation
probably don't find that much in the Gospels to support
that. On the other hand, I happen to think the traditional
family is a wonderful thing. I'm a product of it. I dearly
love my family, and I love my own family, with my own two
kids. It just looks a little nontraditional. But this Jesus,
when you ask who is Jesus, he was not terribly mainstream,
Pointing out that Jesus was not married with children
"is a long way from saying Jesus is gay or saying that he
had sex with anyone, male or female," Robinson said Tuesday.
Robinson married and had two daughters before accepting his
own homosexuality. He has lived for years with a male
partner. The controversial remarks are part of comments that
lasted several minutes in response to a question of similar
length, the Union Leader said. Material from the
forum is posted on the church's Web site.