News broke today in the soap operatic world of liberal Protestantism that Gene Robinson, the controversial openly gay Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, has sought treatment for alcoholism. Now, in addition to his failure to be "the husband of one wife" and to uphold a Biblical view of sexuality, he has added the violation of being "sober-minded" and "not given to wine" (1 Tim 3:2-3).
In an email to clergy he is reported to have said: "I am writing to you from an alcohol treatment center where on Feb. 1, with the encouragement and support of my partner, daughters and colleagues, I checked myself in to deal with my increasing dependence on alcohol."
No doubt some will blame conservatives for putting undue pressure on the bishop and driving him to the bottle. I feel sure his admission of alcoholism and his seeking of "treatment" will be praised as heroic in some circles.
As Christians we must, indeed, have sympathy for this profoundly misguided man. But that sympathy should not dull a sense of outrage that a church that claims the name of Christ will tolerate a man like Robinson in its leadership.
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