14 January 2009

Robinson, media, and why the fundamentalists fear him.

The Right Rev'd V. Gene Robinson appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show Wednesday evening. My thanks to Bonnie for alerting me to the appearance.

After watching his interview (if it can be so called), I came to the realization that the fundamentalists do not hate +Robinson. No, it's much worse: they fear him.

Why? The answer is complex but the main reason is that he is always a gentleman. I've never seen him caught off guard and reveal anything in his personality that is not a true gentle-man.

So why would that be the main reason fundamentalists masquerading as evangelicals fear him? Because he is the true face of the gay community. He isn't painted in makeup, he isn't flamboyant, nor does he run around in drag. (Well, some of those vestments are questionable.) He is none of the "fear images" the fundamentalists love to show -- snapshots from Gay Pride events or Halloween on Castro Street. He is just good old middle class America. He's not uppity or arrogant. He's the type of guy you'd go out and have a beer with. (Well, I'd have tea with.) The only thing missing from Robinson's image is the smell of apple pie or bread baking.

No, he is the face of mainstream gay life. Just a simple man doing a job in the best way he knows how to do it. He is so, well, normal; and kind. And that is what scares the fundamentalists so much. All the gay pride footage or once-a-year Halloween costume parties can't counter his normalcy.

And thank God for that because that is what the GLBT community really is, just normal people with normal problems, trying to survive this journey.

And, as JCF put it, he is just so Christocentric. He brings God down to us without it appearing he is being churchy. There is no show about it; no Televanglist drama to it. It's just so much a part of who he is, that it enters the normal conversation and no one really notices until it's all over.
And here's to you, Bishop Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know.
God bless you, please Bishop Robinson.
Heaven holds a place for those who pray,
Just like you.
Ain't that the truth, thanks be to God. I repeat the promise I made the first time I heard Bishop Robinson speak: If I am ever so honoured to meet him, I will take off my shoes because I will be standing on holy ground. (Ex 3.5)

In addition to the links above, JCF informs us that Walking with Integrity has the video clip of the interview. You'll find it here.