Admiral of Morality: The Bishop of New Hampshire Takes Questions at the Center for American Progress

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Bishop of New Hampshire Takes Questions at the Center for American Progress

"I tell my clergy, if they aren't in trouble, then they're not preaching the Gospel"

Bishop Gene Robinson recently participated in a talk called "Working for Justice and the Common Good" at the Center for American Progress in Washington. He participated with the Rev. Jennifer Butler, until recently the Presbyterian Church (USA) Representative to the United Nations; and Winnie Stachelberg, who worked for years with the Human Rights Campaign.

The Center is a progressive think-tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action. It's headed up by John D. Podesta, former chief of staff to President Clinton and a professor at Georgetown University Center of Law.

Here's an excerpt of +Gene:
People will tell you that Scripture says "God helps those who help themselves." It's not in there. What is in there is this mandate to care, not only just for everyone, but especially for the marginalized, for the poor, for those who have been pushed to the sides of society for whatever reason. We seem to be at no loss for finding yet more reasons to push someone to the side.
...
I think that the greatest enemy of the common good is anxiety. And probably every age has felt anxious, but boy, let me tell you, this one feels like it's right up there with the greatest times. And we have an administration right now that is using that anxiety, promoting anxiety, I think, to forward its own agenda.

Because, if I'm anxious enough, I'm willing to give up all kinds of things to make the anxiety go away--whether that's in the name of Homeland Security or--well the list goes on. Our anxiety is even color coded...you go to the airport and find out how anxious you should be that day.... We're told to be anxious--but we can't tell you what to be anxious about, we can't tell you where you should be anxious, or what to do about it, or how to avoid it, just be more anxious. And it's just in the air that we breathe these days.
Renee at the Religious Left Blog has put up a transcript and commentary of the talk, which is worth reading.

The Center itself is carrying audio and video of the event.

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