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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Episcopalians' Historic Election of Gay Bishop

August 10, 2003

Re "Episcopal Church OKs Gay Bishop," Aug. 6: Anyone who knows the history of the Anglican Church and, by extension, the American Episcopal Church should not be surprised by the Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson's election. The tradition of both ecclesiastical bodies stems from the antics of a randy monarch -- King Henry VIII -- who split with Catholicism because the pope would not approve his relationship with Anne Boleyn.

Except for one bishop, who was promptly beheaded for not following King Henry's demand for a schism, all the English bishops caved in to their monarch's demands. The Episcopal bishops were simply following their founders' example.

Thomas Hogan

Long Beach

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Re "Episcopal Same-Sex Unions Left Up to Local Churches," Aug. 7: What a great time to be an Episcopalian. As I watch the Anglican Communion of the United States struggle, with honor and respect, to define a policy on openly gay leadership (Robinson) and allow individual parishes and clergy to bless same-sex unions, I feel proud to be part of the Episcopal Church.

In light of the Vatican's latest message of intolerance regarding homosexual partnerships, it is even more impressive to observe a church leading its members into the kind of acceptance that would have made Jesus proud. It is clear that all with open hearts are welcome.

Dee Dee Wilson Barton

Palmdale

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The comparison by Michael Ramirez of Episcopal Bishop-elect Robinson to the sexual predator Mrs. Robinson of the movie "The Graduate" is brazen tabloid journalism at its lowest level -- and factually inaccurate (cartoon, Commentary, Aug. 7). As reported from the Episcopal General Convention in Minneapolis, Robinson had been accused of "sexual harassment" following his election (Aug. 6). Yet the accuser expressed public regret for using the word "harassment" and declined to sign a complaint. In other words, Ramirez engaged in that old form of lynching identified as guilt by association and character assassination.

I personally know Bishop-elect Robinson and affirm him as a person of character, ethics and integrity. In fact, he is a highly responsible role model of Christian servanthood. The unseemly taint and slur afforded by Ramirez can never be adequately corrected in a vast public consciousness.

The Rev. Canon

Malcolm Boyd

Los Angeles

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It'll be a cold day in hell before I'll ever set foot again in an Episcopalian house of worship to pray for the redemption of my miserable heterosexual soul.

William S. Koester

Anaheim

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Bravo to those members of the Episcopal House of Bishops who welcomed Robinson. They showed the world what religion should be. Shame on those who still oppose the decision. They show us what religion has become.

Barbara Brooks

Rancho Mirage

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