Being Christian

Let’s be clear here: The church has been the primary source of the oppressions that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people have experienced through out their lives. Just as Scripture was used to justify slavery as recently as 150 years ago, just as Scripture was used to keep women out of leadership positions in the church . . . Scripture was used to fight both of those movements of the spirit. And so, indeed, the Church has been the source of most of the pain that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people have experienced. And what we try to say to the Human Rights Campaign and others is, if the church is the cause of this oppression it needs to be church people who undo this oppression, and that is what we are trying to do here.

Let’s also be clear that the religious right, both within our church and in other churches, are still proclaiming those kinds of oppressive things that are causing our children to grow up doubting whether indeed they are beloved by God or are an abomination. . . . Only religious people can undo that oppression and that is indeed what we along with the Human Rights Campaign are trying to do in this day and time.

Bishop V. Gene Robinson, June 14, 2006, at the 75th Episcopal General Convention

I’m not sure why, but my partner’s daughter has decided that she’s an atheist and it drives some of her Christian classmates up the wall. I admire her tenacity but I worry that the ongoing struggle will convince her that no good can ever come of faith. One day I want to take her to see Bishop Robinson.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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