The former governor of New Jersey, Jim McGreevey, has been in the headlines recently. You may recall that McGreevey resigned two years ago amidst revelations that he had been having a homosexual affair. Not only had he been having an affair, but he named one of his lovers to be New Jersey's homeland security czar. Wait. It gets better. Not only was his lover not qualified (he was a poet - that's right, a poet), he wasn't even an American citizen (he was Israeli).
His coming out/resignation press conference was a retch-inducing sight. McGreevey introduced himself as a "gay American". How like a politician to wrap himself in the mantle of the flag for the purposes of salvaging his career!
Now begins the rehabilitation of Jim McGreevey. McGreevey has published a book, "The Confession", and has begun the obligatory talk show whistle stop tour: Larry King, the "Today" show, Oprah Winfrey, etc., where he will be tossed the obligatory softballs.
I watched some of the interview with Matt Lauer of the "Today" show. Instead of asking, how could you put your sex life ahead of your marriage and your solemn duty to defend and protect New Jersey, Lauer began by asking, "What was going through your mind [during the August 2004 press conference]?"
Wow! Talk about hard-hitting journalism! Even worse McGreevey had the gall to reply that it was a "moment of grace". He told a heartwarming story about reading some prayer cards that his grandmother had given his mother and that his mother had given him.
You know, the questions that the "reporters" ask and the answers that the interviewees give are soooo boilerplate that it's a wonder that they even go through the motions. After telling this jaw dropping story about praying, McGreevey said that after reading the prayer he blessed himself and then recited the gay mantra to himself: "This is who I am", as if being true to yourself somehow trumps sacred vows to one's spouse, children and solemn vows to uphold one's elected office. He talks about his public persona being "inauthentic".
What's most sickening is that McGreevey appears to blame his parents and society for his double-life (which included such risky behavior as having anonymous sex with men at highway rest stops). He says that other "cultural minorities" have role models to pass down traditions and stories but he didn't because his parents had the nerve to be straight. To me, this self-serving drivel is just breath-taking.
And, the really sad thing is that in this day and age, for most of society, this selfishness does trump everything. To me that was one of the worst aspects of the Gene Robinson story: his utter selfishness.
Robinson is the Episcoplian clergyman who was elected that church's first openly gay bishop. Let's review, shall we? Robinson is an Episcopalian priest, husband and father of two. Robinson, however, had no problem tossing aside these vows as he pursued his homosexual lifestyle. He divorced his wife (which I would imagine to be in contravention of Episcopalian doctrine - especially for a member of the clergy) and then proceeded to live his life as an openly gay man.
But, why stop there? In 2003 Robinson was elected bishop of the New Hampshire diocese. So, not content to abdicate, Robinson proceeded to tear apart his church by insisting on being installed as bishop of his diocese. This controversy has caused a schism within the US Episcopalian church and between the US Episcopalian church and Protestan churches worldwide.
In other words, nothing - nothing, not his duties as a priest, a husband or a father, not his sense of loyalty towards his church - trumped his right to live as an openly gay man in direct contravention of his own church's teachings.
I just don't think that I am doing a good job of communicating the staggering selfishness of these little, little men. I hope you get the idea.