Here's the straight (ha ha), unvarnished truth: Gene Robinson can shut up. Even other Episcopalians recognize this.
Ed Peters, the Internet's (and, more importantly, the Church's) prominent canon lawyer, issues a rebuttal here.
I'm sure several (thousands) will read Robinson's column, nod sagely, and conclude "That Catholic church really needs to sweep in front of its own door step first!"
Yeah, whatever. Really when you read it you hear--distantly in the background--Robinson pleading for relevancy. It's been ten years since his elevation to the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, and both he and the Church have nothing to show for it. New Hampshire, like the rest of northern New England, remain America's least churched, least religious region. Nobody cares, Gene.
Now that's a problem for all religious communities, so that means Roman Catholics, too, obviously. Future blog posts will deal with that reality. Here it's enough to say that Robinson's column is why Spiritual Diabetes exists. It's my attempt to name a spiritual yearning--and disease--that afflicts both liberals and conservatives and the 'nones' in America. Robinson, who clearly possesses a wealth of theological education, simply can't "digest" all the spiritual realities--terrorism, government intrusion, spiritual flabbiness of some, the spiritual resistance of others--and thus strikes out at a familiar bugaboo. It's sort of like blaming fast food restaurants for obesity. The problem, at least at some level, though, lies with the one consuming--and that person's refusal to change his or her ways for the better.