Friday, April 25, 2008

Gay Bishop Plans His Civil Union Rite

Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal prelate whose consecration led conservatives to split from the church, said in an interview on Thursday that he and his partner of 20 years were planning a civil union ceremony to be held in his home church in the diocese of New Hampshire in June.

What a self-serving, self-advertising, self-dramatizing, self-righteous and, on the most charitable account, self-deceiving asshole!

Bishop Robinson said that by scheduling the ceremony for June, he did not intend to further inflame conservatives just before the Anglican Communion gathers in August in Cambridge, England, for the Lambeth Conference, which happens only once every 10 years.

Really? It's a remarkable coincidence that the bish should set the date at the optimal time for maximum media exposure in the run-up to Lambeth and provide ample time for journalists to arrange coverage.

He planned his civil union for June, he said, because he wanted to provide some legal protection to his partner and his children before he left for England for the conference.

What protection? And if his partner and children need protection of some sort, why didn't he figure that out sooner?

Bishop Robinson has received death threats, and he wore a bulletproof vest under his vestments at his consecration in 2003.

Can this jackass really believe that anyone cares where he--or his partner--shoves his dick? Did he really worry that the Episcopalians of New Hampshire were out gunning for him? Or was the concern that some bitter, blue-collar Baptist Bubba from rural fly-over country would hop a freight to New Hampshire to shoot him?

Bishop Robinson initially rejected, but has now accepted, the idea that he will spend the conference days in the Marketplace, an adjunct bazaar where church advocacy groups and purveyors of Christian merchandise promote their causes and wares. He said he would position himself in the Marketplace and at several evening events to make his case about how gay relationships are compatible with Christianity.

What fun! A bazaar featuring "Christian merchandise," with booths where Bishop Robinson and representatives of "church advocacy groups" can hawk their ideologies!

Maybe I'm a little unorthodox here but I don't understand why anyone needs to argue that gay relationships are compatible with Christianity any more than they need to argue that gay relationships are compatible with Plato's views about universals, David Lewis's views about possible worlds or Frank Jackson's views about qualia--past or present. Christianity is a package of metaphysical claims about the existence and nature of God and post-mortem survival, associated with a schedule of cultic activities. Metaphysics has nothing to do with where guys should shove their dicks. It's time for the Church to get out of the ethics business and leave it to qualified secular experts--just as in the past the Church wisely ceded cosmology, astronomy, biology and history to secular professionals.

Bishop Robinson said he was surprised at another controversy that arose last year when he endorsed Senator Barack Obama before the New Hampshire primary...Bishop Robinson said he had talked three times with Mr. Obama, of Illinois, and advised him on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

Are we surprised? Septuagenarian Teddy Kennedy bought his 5 minutes of cool by endorsing Obama, but it isn't easy for an ugly old guy to be cool, and for a priest it's impossible, no matter how much he yaps about sex and boasts about being gay. I suppose Robinson is looking for a political appointment in the future administration--maybe as Undersecretary for Sexual Affairs.

Bishop Robinson spoke in an interview at The New York Times, and is promoting his new book, “In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God” (Seabury Books). The publicity tour will take him to a few unexpected places: a conference of black church leaders and the Hay Festival, a literary gathering in England.

But of course! I expect there will be a book signing at the Marketplace Christian Merchandise Bazaar.

[The opinions expressed here are my personal views and do not reflect the the views of my employer. If you cite or link this piece please include this disclaimer and do not include my professional affiliation]


Andrew said...

He was actually advised by the police to wear that vest on his first visit to England. There are some serious nutters out there, something that remains true even if you don't think much of VGR (as I don't).

H. E. said...

Ok, fair about the vest. But jeez look at how the Church shoots itself in the foot by featuring this guy as a public representative. And the worst of it is that he isn't unrepresentative!

Anonymous said...

So let's see.

When you get married, it's because you've always wanted to have a family and live in a leafy suburb.

When Gene Robinson has a civil union, it's so that he can have someplace to "shove his dick."

Very nice.

(This post is a pitch-perfect example of why so many people have such contempt for so-called "liberals." Just in case you didn't know....)

H. E. said...

Huh? What's your point? I'm honestly curious.

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