They taught me that segregation was the will of God, and quoted the bible to prove it. They taught me that women were inferior to men by nature, and quoted the bible to prove it. They taught me it was okay to hate other religions, and especially the Jews, and quoted the bible to prove it. And they taught me that homosexuals were either mentally sick or morally depraved, and of course, quoted the bible to prove it. And so my life has sort of been an emergence out of the prejudices that my church planted in me. – Rt. Rev. Bishop John Shelby Spong
Bishop Spong is one of our nation’s leading – and most controversial – theologians, who for decades has been a powerful voice calling for inclusivity, reform and renewal in the Church. He is also a long time friend of State of Belief.
In Part I of a wide-ranging and candid conversation, Rev. Welton Gaddy and Bishop Spong talk about his life growing up in the segregated, homophobic south and the path that led him toward an ever-increasing understanding of the need for acceptance and inclusion.
Bishop Spong is the author of the new book The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic.