Is the fricative "ge" the norm?
Indeed, such a version exists, I heard about it from a philologist. One of the proofs is that the fricative G is retained in the most sacred, unchangeable words, such as "God" and "Lord" (check - say "Oh, Lord!" - there will probably be a fricative G). I also heard that even in the rules of worship such pronunciation is spelled out - I cannot say how true this is. So there is some basis for this - maybe they said so in Old Russian.
I heard how they even sing a song of the Vikings with such a fricative r. True, it is performed by a group from Ukraine - this explains a lot. The Germans singing the same song have no fricative r, but the r is purely German, modern.
It is possible that the fricative r was previously considered literary. It is difficult to judge what was in the Old Russian language, but in the days of Krylov and Pushkin, some words with g at the end rhymed with words ending in x, not in k, for example: each other is spirit. And we still pronounce the old word "God", deafening the fricative r at the end, so that it turns out x. Explosive g is stunned differently - to k. "Lug", for example, we pronounce as "bow", not as "lukh".
But there are many changes in the language, this means little for the practical use of the language, it is more important to follow the norms of the last century. If, for example, we begin to pronounce Old Slavonic e instead of everywhere, no one will understand us, and that's it! Although under Krylov they said: the eagle flew from the barn to the barn, it rhymed: the eagle flew over.