Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A laborer in another part of the Vineyard

"We have so much that binds us together, and so little that separates us."
Bishop Gene Robinson has provided comic relief to Episcopalians for decades and his latest stunt, penning an open letter to the Catholic Pope, surely ranks as one of the funniest pranks this "marginalized" buffoon has ever pulled off. And that list is looooong. Starting with his given name, Vicky, this dud(ess) has been an enema, oops, enigma his entire life. His first marriage which, even though he thought he might be homosexual at the time, he went ahead with anyway showed feckless cowardice. Then his Herculean feat of fornication with a woman (his wife at the time) and impregnating her TWICE produced two daughters. Then, post childbirth, having second thoughts and deciding he IS a homosexual after all and explaining that to all his close friends (which must have provided many evenings of laughter for his neighbors on cold New Hampshire nights) he divorced his wife of 14 years. Then, as an ordained minister mind you, after divorcing his wife he "come out of the closet" to the worldly world. Shortly thereafter, while vacationing in St. Croix, US VI (everyone needs a break from labor in the Vineyard) he met his (almost) life partner, Mark Andrew, and they promptly moved in with each other - what used to be called "living in sin". Commence years of politicking inside the church, lectures on love and compassion, imploring (then demanding) tolerance, arm twisting and God knows what else and eventually boom - he gets elected to Bishop in the Episcopal Church. Yes, it caused a schism in the larger Episcopalian body and yes many of New Hampshire's frozen chosen broke off and formed their own denomination but progress is never easy - for instance.
"In 2003 when Vicky Gene Robinson was elected bishop, there were 15,531 Episcopal souls in the Diocese of New Hampshire of whom 4,858 showed up on a Sunday. He inherited a plate and pledge of $6,183,000. Nine years later when he turned his crozier over to Bishop Robert Hirschfield (X New Hampshire), there were 12,896 Episcopalians worshipping in 46 congregations with an ASA of 4,027. By 2012 when he left, there was a $6,672,000 plate and pledge."
Some might look upon that record as ten years of failure, but they don't know Vicky who is simply impervious to criticism or shame. While a Bishop he married his partner Mark Andrew and then, a few years later, divorced him but not before becoming an alcoholic. Now the twice divorced, homosexual, alcoholic, former Bishop of the Episcopal church searches for common ground with the Pope, well not quite, he asks to Pope to search for common ground with him. And why shouldn't he? That's Gene Robinson's MO - "meet me half-way (my half) and if you don't you're a bigot."

The fact that this letter was published on a web site called The Daily Beast is just priceless and that it's all jumbled up in the papal visit to the United States of America is fitting. It is distasteful to watch a republic brought to a grinding halt over a globe-trotting minister, but we live in a time where celebrity and passions for worldly fame make a mockery of republican virtue (and the church). So it's not surprising that Vicky would make the following plea to Pope Francis:
"As for me, I am willing to acknowledge the saintly integrity with which you hold your views, even if I disagree with them, as I hope you might acknowledge my striving for integrity in mine. It seems that in these times, the greatest sin would be to write one another off and to stop caring about one another."
Then the kicker:
"That, I think, would break God’s heart."
Is that what YOU think Vicky? That God's heart would break if the Pope stopped caring about you? If he didn't "acknowledge your striving for integrity?" My guess is the Pope acknowledges and dismisses your striving as a pitiful failure. He probably wiped his ass with your letter and flushed it down the solid gold Pope potty that his holiness uses when traveling at 30,000 feet in his Pope plane. How do you think God's heart feels about that? "Take that thine is, and go thy way" Bishop Robinson. "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?"
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
— Matthew 20:1–16, King James Version

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