Failing the Gene Test

A long, long time ago in a suburb far away, I borrowed a friend’s copy of In the Eye of the Storm by Gene Robinson, the first Anglican in an openly gay relationship to be appointed a bishop. My friend is a huge fan of the book and fortunately he has multiple copies to hand out as I had left mine unread for over a year. Feeling more than a little guilty at my book hogging I adopted it as my Lenten reading, but spent most of Lent writing instead. So I had to speed read it and finished it this afternoon on Easter Day, so technically failed in that Lenten fast (nothing new there).

Part of the reason for the speed read is that Gene and I come from very different theological perspectives and I knew by page four that I was not going to enjoy the read. After three and a half pages of a confident conservative spirituality that brought uncomfortable reminders of my much more traditional past, there it was confirmed by the bishop. No, not the confirmation candidate, but my suspicion that I am not the sort of LGBT Christian to help find a resolution to the Anglican Communion’s sexuality wars. Even though I cover three of those letters as a BT in an L of a relationship, it is my Christianity that lets me down, or so the good bishop says:

“The fear that the inclusion of LGBT folk in the church is but a precursor to an all-out attack on the long-held orthodox doctrines may be our greatest stumbling block to full inclusion.”

That is one Gene test that I am delighted to fail. The whole purpose of this Faith in Doubt blog is an all-out attack on my previously long-held orthodox doctrines, because I regard them as the greatest stumbling block to the continuing relevance of Christianity in our scientific age.

You may, like the owner of this copy of In the Eye of the Storm, be more comfortable with Gene’s orthodox Christianity from an LGBT perspective, but I cannot relate to it any more. My progressive perspective on faith, however, has nothing to do with being BTL, and I applaud Gene for the wonderful work that he does for LGBT inclusion in his style of Christianity. My progressive faith is based on issues of science, philosophy and ethics that I shall leave aside for other articles. Nonetheless, I am happy that orthodox and progressive LGBT Christians can work together as part of a wider Gene pull.

© Mercia McMahon 2013