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Robed victim?

Robed victim?

Gene Robinson (Associated Press/Photo by Jacquelyn Martin)

Newly retired Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, The Episcopal Church’s first openly homosexual bishop, often refers to his own courage in the face of danger. At his 2003 consecration as bishop of New Hampshire, he talked about wearing a bullet-proof vest. When he announced his retirement in 2010, he said death threats “have been a constant strain” and factored into his retiring seven years before the church’s mandatory retirement age. In a January interview, he told National Public Radio, “The death threats were plentiful, almost daily, for a couple of years.”

But New Hampshire State Police have no record of any death threats against Robinson. The Concord Police Department, where Robinson worked for seven years, said it has reports on five threats: two in 2004, one in 2005, and two in 2009. 

In public appearances, Robinson tells the vivid story of a man arrested in Vermont with a shotgun, ammunition, and a photo of Robinson on which he had scrawled, “Save the church, kill the bishop.” Stephanie Dasaro, a spokesperson for the Vermont State Police, told WORLD a “cursory search of our database” indicated “Bishop Robinson does not seem to appear in our records.” The Concord Police Department did confirm that one of its five reports was a referral from Vermont, but would not release additional information. 

Ann Hall, archivist for the Diocese of New Hampshire, said there was “no special security” at the Diocesan House, the Concord headquarters of the diocese: “I don’t think there were any indications that the office was in danger.” Robinson, now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), did not respond to requests for an interview made through CAP and through the Diocese. 

Five death threats are five more than most people face in a lifetime, and few would blame Robinson for erring on the side of safety and taking all threats seriously. But death threats—especially in the internet age—are a reality for public figures: While president, George W. Bush received about 3,000 death threats a year, and President Barack Obama receives as many as 10,000 a year. Security experts, though, say publicizing threats attracts attention and encourages copycats. 

Michael Brown said his book on the history of homosexual activism, A Queer Thing Happened to America, made him the target of death threats. “There are lots of wacky people on both sides,” he said. “If you stand up and speak out on controversial topics, you just have to know that this unfortunately now goes with the territory. But if Robinson is suggesting that those of us with thoughtful, biblical objections to homosexuality are the source of these threats, that’s just wrong.” Brown said he isn’t surprised that Robinson attempts to portray himself as a victim and conservative Christians as victimizers. “That’s been a common strategy of pro-homosexual activists for decades.”

Comments

  • Sawgunner's picture
    Sawgunner
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 06:15 pm

    I suspect most who opposed this man's ordination walked away from that denomination. Voted with their feet as the phrase goes.  As I read about these purported death threats made against him I thought back to the case of Dallas Methodist bishop Walker Railey. He alleged that prior to someone breaking in and nearly killing his wife, he had been the recipients of death threats. (The font on one such threat letter was found identical to a typewriter Railey had hidden away in his house, if I recall correctly)If anyone had anger towards Robinson might it have been the homosexual community? Here was their precious poster boy stepping down from a prominent spot in a then major denomination.

  • Midwest preacher
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 06:15 pm

    The media's portrayal of homosexuals as non-violent and always victims is amazing to anyone who knows the real history of humanity.  A great deal is covered up because it doesn't fit what the MSM wants us to believe. I have never heard a fellow Christian advocate for violence against homosexuals.  Most that I know are very concerned for them.