CONCORD, N.H. – With one-day left until the appointment of the gay bishop elect, Gene Robinson, critics prepare to speak their words of objection during the consecration ceremony, Nov. 2.
"It is in direct violation of holy Scripture," said Kathy Lewis, one of the members of a group of laypeople planning to voice their objections.
The second group consists of Bishops from Canada and the U.S. According to one of the members, Bishop Kendall Harmon of South Carolina, the objections will not be disruptive.
"Our goal is just to witness to the truth and to do it in a loving way," said Harmon, an Episcopal theologian.
In subsequent interviews and gatherings, Robinson argued that though homosexuality is shunned in the bible, the reason is that there was no understanding of homosexuality as an orientation in biblical times. Anyone engaged in a homosexual act was presumed to be acting against their nature.
"We're asking the Bible to give us guidance about something it knew nothing about," said Rev. Michael Hopkins, one of Robinson’s 13 “presenters” at the ceremony, and past president of the Episcopal gay rights group Integrity.
Harmon, however, said the Greeks and Romans knew plenty about homosexuality. To argue we know more now than religious leaders knew then is a form of "chronological snobbery" he said, borrowing a term from Christian writer C.S. Lewis.
"It's an incredibly arrogant Western way of looking at the world," Harmon said.