Gene Robinson

“The God that he’s praying to is not the God that I know.” That’s what Gene Robinson recently told The New York Times about Rick Warren. But the latter, via his suburban California megachurch, preaches to a much larger flock. And Robinson, an Episcopal bishop in tiny, free-thinking New Hampshire, might make that flock uncomfortable, being gay and all. Keeping the pulpit exclusively hetero is coming to define many congregations; and the Anglican church is now undergoing such a schism. Yet as Robinson explores in his new book, In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God (Seabury, $25), divisiveness is a service to no one. (Wasn’t Obama supposed to bring us together?) Moreover, Robinson’s own life story is surely as bumpy, imperfect, and American as any parishioner at Saddleback. He’s the divorced father of two, a recovering alcoholic who—gay marriage not being an option—recently entered a civil union with his partner of the last 20 years. That was in the granite state, of course, where a year ago Robinson endorsed a little-known Illinois senator in his long-shot quest for the presidency. Obama lost that primary, and there’s no word yet on whether he’ll invite Robinson to visit the White House. BRIAN MILLER

Mon., Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m., 2009

 
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