“‘This body willfully confirming the election of a person sexually active outside of holy matrimony has departed from the historic faith and order of the Church of Jesus Christ’ . . . . [This body] has ‘divided itself from millions of Anglicans throughout the world.”” These words and others like them were among the first shots fired in what may turn out to be Armageddon for The Episcopal Church. The occasion for Bishop Robert Duncan’s comments was the headline-making August 2003 election of the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, an openly practicing homosexual, to be the Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire. The controversial decision sparked an already-smoldering debate centered on scriptural interpretation and resulting moral norms that has raged unabated ever since.

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