The USA’s first openly gay Episcopal bishop, Gene Robinson, has responded to presidential hopeful Rick Perry’s anti-gay TV promotion suggesting that “it must break God’s heart to see religion used in a political campaign like this.”
Bishop Robinson of the Episcopal Church showed his distaste in a TV interview with MSNBC and also by writing an opinion piece in the Washington Post newspaper.
Perry had stated in his commercial that “You don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”
Bishop Robinson responded with, “I think it must break God’s heart to see religion used in a political campaign like this” adding “There is something wrong in America, he [Perry] got that right. But it’s when we denigrate our brave soldiers. Those gay and lesbian people, who are risking their lives for us.” He told Thomas Roberts of MSNBC.
“I think gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are very marginalised still in our culture. They are an easy target. We are an easy target. And it plays very well to very Evangelical Christian base, but it really plays to their worse natures and the fact of the matter is, this is a man running for president. Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell is gone, it is the law of the land and for him to use the brave soldiers in that way seems to me despicable” he added.
The bishop also added that Perry needed to realise in order to be president of the United States he has to be commander of all American troops, not just the straight ones and that all citizens of America deserve to be full citizens of the country.
Writing earlier in the Washington Post he concluded, “Christians everywhere should be alarmed that a candidate for our nation’s highest office would play fast and loose with both the Constitution and our men and women in uniform.” And also stated “The blood of gay and lesbian soldiers flows as readily and as redly as that of other young Americans fighting in Afghanistan, yet Gov. Perry feels free to use them as political cannon fodder for his campaign.”