Monday, July 28, 2014

Vicky Gene Robinson Splits Again-- Amicably

Vicky "Gene" Robinson, the retired Episcopalian Bishop of New Hampshire, has created controversy again by splitting from his current "spouse".

Robinson married his Isabella "Boo" Martin  in 1972 when he was a seminarian chaplain at the University of Vermont before he was ordained.  Isabella bore him two daughters.  As Gene Robinson mused about marriage:

"[T]hat is inextricably tied up with having children. And since I cannot imagine my life without Jamee and Ella, it's just a completely irrelevant question for me. And I don't regret having been married to Boo, either, even if there had not been children. It's just a part of my journey, and why would I possibly regret that?"

However after receiving counseling in 1985, Robinson came in touch with his homosexual identity. So then Vicky Gene he dumped his wife of 13 years literally before the altar, while promising to raise their daughters together. Robinson rationalized with Isabella: [I]n order to live up to our vow to honor one another in the name of God, that we would let each other go."

Robinson had been elected bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.   He was the first openly gay priest who was consecrated bishop (although Bishop Otis Charles of Utah divorced his wife in 1993 after he retired to "marry" his homosexual partner in California, who he survived).

Robinson became a cause celebre in the LGBTQQ community and wrote a couple of books, an autobiography "The Eye of the Storm" (2008) and "God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage" (2012).  Robinson was prominently featured in the Sundance festival film "For the Bible Tells Me So" (2007) on the perceived conflict between homosexuality and Christianity.  Moreover, a documentary "Love Free or Die", chronicled Robinson's  conflict to love God and his partner Mark Andrew.

Mark Andrew, Robinson's new love interest came on the scene in 1987 while vacationing in St. Croix.
In 1988, the former bishop of New Hampshire Douglas Theuner blessed their home, which Robinson considered a license by the Episcopal Church as a formal recognition of their "life together".  Andrews and Robinson "lived in sin" for 13 years.  Robinson said: "I always wanted to be a June bride", so Andrews and Robinson tied the knot in a civil ceremony on June 7, 2008 and  and having their "legal union" blessed at a religious ceremony at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Concord, New Hampshire.

Alas, honoring one's wife by divorcing her, shacking up with another guy as bishop and then becoming a June bride while deeply dividing the Anglican Communion is not the end of the  New Age fairy-book tale of faithfully following one's heart. Now retired Bishop  Gene Robinson announced that he is divorcing his partner of 25 years Mark Andrew.  Once again, Robinson has nothing but nice things to say about the spouse whom he is jilting.  In addition, Robinson has the temerity to claim: "Love can endure, even if the marriage cannot."  What poppycock!

Before Robinson retired in 2012, he complained about then intense scrutiny that he has endured. OK he walked away from his wife, shacked up with another guy for 25 years, was elected bishop, regaled in the Homosexual community honoring his example and then wrote books about marriage. Robinson was tapped by then President-elect Obama to give the invocation for his 2009 Inaugural Kick Off Event on the Steps of the Lincoln Memorial.   To top it off, Robinson, who now works for the George Soros funded Center for American Progress.  Hence, it was unsurprising that President Obama "spontaneously" asked Robinson to perform the closing prayer.

In these gay old times, it is not news that President Obama now embraces Same-Sex Marriage.  Nor is it earth-shattering that the Episcopal Church in America seeks to normalize such unions and incorporate them into the Anglican Communion.  What is worth reflection is the meaning of marriage based upon Vicky Gene Robinson's own terms.

This is the second marriage from which Robinson has walked away.  The first marriage was because Robinson chose to identify with his homosexual inclinations and abandoned his bride of 13 years. Now Robinson is parting with his husband Mark Andrew nearly seven years (and "living in sin" for another 13 years).  Robinson is not citing abuse or adultery charges in his public statements, so civilly it might understood as "irreconciliable differences" as New Hampshire has no fault divorce.

In the Deuteronomic Law, Moses allowed divorce as a concession to the stiff necked Israelites. As Jesus Christ shared the New Covenant, the messiah reaffirmed the covenant nature of nuptials bringing together one man and one woman to create a new life through love and establish a home church.  Catholics have tried to keep a covenental nature to marriage by making the annulment process arduous in establishing that marital parties did not have the proper capacity (or understand) of entering into the sacrament.  

Per the Book of Common Prayer, sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace."  Matrimony is included as one off these sacraments.  But these words seem like window dressing as Episcopalians countenance and glorify a bishop who has twice abandoned his beloved spouses, each for spurious reasons.  But, at least Vicky Gene Robinson can split again amicably.

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