If you were surprised by the Lisa Howe debacle (and the precarious nature of gay lives in this “progressive” age), you probably have much to learn from Gene Robinson. The Episcopalian Bishop of New Hampshire — and the first openly gay Bishop in any denomination — visits Vanderbilt this evening. He will make his own passionate case in favor of full civil rights for LGBT persons and, consequentially, address the tricky subject of the intersection of faith and gay identity. In his moving “It Gets Better” YouTube video, Robinson speaks directly to gay teens raised in Christian families who are dealing with feelings of self-hatred and Church-sanctioned despair. Though his rise to prominence amidst tumult and tremendous opposition can certainly inspire anyone, his message is perhaps most crucial to gay Christians (and lapsed Christians), many of whom have never felt affirmation from clergy. It may also be beneficial for some of our local Christian leaders (i.e. Bob Fisher) to pop over to Vandy and see some living proof that Christianity and homosexuality are not, necessarily, mutually exclusive.