Forgive me for repeating here a segment that's been all over the blogs, but it was too funny. In case you missed it, Bishop Gene Robinson was interviewed on The Daily Show on Jan. 20 2009, and he had the wittiest comeback.
STEWART: Washington was so crowded today. There were so many people. You as a bishop were sort of doubly handicapped in that situation only being allowed to move diagonally. How is that negotiating the crowds...
ROBINSON: John--John, you have to understand there was a queen on the board as well.
It is so wonderful to have a little honest humor injected into what can be such a deadly serious discussion. In an interview from November 2008, Bishop Robinson expressed that Christians, especially clergy, have a special responsibility to confront homophobia in society:
I chaired a group of conversation for twelve to twenty-one year old kids who were questioning their sexuality. Not one of them was a person of faith. But every single one of them could quote me Leviticus and that God thought they were an abomination.
They couldn't have found Leviticus in a Bible if their lives had depended on it. But they knew that word and they thought they knew what God thought of them. And the Church is responsible for that... We are responsible for that. And it's going to take religious voices to undo the hatred that comes from those words.
Incidentally, Obama sought out Bishop Robinson for three private meetings in late Spring, 2008. Apparently they spoke of many things, including what it was like to be "first" and how to deal with death threats--and they discussed the intersection of religion and politics as well. In a subsequent interview, Robinson said of Obama,
He and I would agree about the rightful place of religion vis-à-vis the secular state. That is to say, we don't impose our religious values on the secular state because God said so. Our faith informs our own values and then we take those values into the civil market place, the civil discourse, and then you argue for them based on the Constitution.
You don't say to someone, you must believe this because this is what God believes. I think God gives us our values and then we argue for those on the basis of the Constitution and care of our neighbor.
Nicely put. And nice to know Obama feels similarly.