Episcopal Bishops Target Of Anti-Gay Hate Mail Campaign

Sat. August 16, 2003 12:00 AM by 365gay.com

Boston, Massachusetts - Episcopal bishops who supported Gene Robinson in his bid to be the faith's first gay bishop are being targeted in a vicious hate campaign.

The campaign is also aimed at some bishops who voted against the appointment of Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire.

Bishop, David C. Bane Jr. of Virginia said he has received about 150 "hateful" messages in the week since the Episcopal General Convention's decision, even though he voted in the minority. One e-mail closed with "See you in hell."

Bane said the nasty outpouring is unlike anything he has encountered since taking charge of the 33,000-member Diocese of Southern Virginia in 1998. He said many of the e-mail messages are from out of state and aren't aimed specifically at him and appear to be part of a mass emailing.

"Most of them are just blasting anyone who represents the church. I don't think they knew how I voted on it," he said.

In Hartford, a group of local ministers is organizing a march for next Tuesday on the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, to protest Robinson's election. Few of the protestors come from the Episcopal Church

The march was backed by a loose coalition of black church leaders that includes the chairman of the Hartford Board of Education.

"The march is to send a message to the diocese, in the hope that they will come back to moral principles, to not condone what is truly and clearly an abomination," said one organizer, Nora Wyatt, an elder from Mount Olive Church Ministries in Hartford.

The march exemplifies the traditional attitude of many predominantly black churches toward homosexuality. But some black ministers called the event divisive, a departure from the traditional ecumenical approach toward issues of disagreement.

In Nebraska, St Albans Episcopal church in McCook is flying its flag at half-staff. The minister, Reverend Samuel R. Williams has sent a letter to parishioners denouncing homosexuality and saying St Albans' congregation had four alternatives: Leaving the Episcopal faith; Staying involved in the Episcopal Church but refusing to give money to the national Episcopal organization; Leaving the Episcopal Church and ask for oversight from a another branch of the worldwide Anglican faith; or doing nothing.

by Michael J. Meade
365Gay.com Newscenter
Boston Bureau
©365Gay.com® 2003

This article originally appeared on 365gay.com. Republished with permission.