Gay Bishop to Offer Prayer at Sunday's Inaugural Event

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    Jan 12, 2009 3:47 PM GMT
    This should balance out the Warren land mine!

    CONCORD, N.H. – The first openly gay Episcopal bishop will offer a prayer at the Lincoln Memorial at an inaugural event for President-elect Barack Obama.

    The selection of New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson for Sunday's event follows weeks of criticism from gay-rights groups over Obama's decision to have the Rev. Rick Warren give the invocation at his Jan. 20 inauguration.

    Warren backed the ban on same-sex marriage that passed in his home state of California on the November ballot.

    Robinson said last month the choice of Warren was like a slap in the face. In an interview with the Concord Monitor, he said he doesn't believe Obama invited him in response to the Warren criticism but said his inclusion won't go unnoticed by the gay and lesbian community.

    "It's important for any minority to see themselves represented in some way," Robinson told the newspaper for a story in Monday's editions. "Whether it be a racial minority, an ethnic minority, or in our case, a sexual minority. Just seeing someone like you up front matters."

    Clark Stevens, a spokesman for the inaugural committee, said Robinson was invited because he had offered his advice to Obama during the campaign and because of his church work. When asked whether Robinson was included to calm the Warren complaints, he said Robinson is "an important figure in the religious community. We are excited that he will be involved."

    Robinson, 61, said both Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will attend the event, and Obama is expected to speak. As for himself, Robinson said he doesn't yet know what he'll say, but he knows he won't use a Bible.

    "While that is a holy and sacred text to me, it is not for many Americans," Robinson said. "I will be careful not to be especially Christian in my prayer. This is a prayer for the whole nation."

    Robinson said his prayer will be reflective of the times.

    "I think these are sober and difficult times that we are facing," he said. "It won't be a happy, clappy prayer."

    Robinson's 2003 consecration has divided the church in the United States and abroad. Last month, theological conservatives upset by liberal views of U.S. Episcopalians and Canadian Anglicans formed a rival North American province.

  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 12, 2009 3:50 PM GMT
    I am glad to hear that they've come to their senses
    and I'll wait to see where he's placed to do his prayer
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    Jan 12, 2009 4:08 PM GMT
    I hope this also helps to calm the turmoil in the Episcopal Church over Robinson's selection as a Bishop, and regarding gay issues that are causing churches to secede.
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    Jan 13, 2009 2:40 AM GMT
    Everyone knows I love Obama but I still think Rick Warren should be protested against, with or without Robinson. Especially at the Ebenezer church. To bad there isn't much steam being blown for the Atlantas black gay rights group planning to protest there. icon_sad.gif
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    Jan 13, 2009 3:54 AM GMT
    CitizenSol saidEveryone knows I love Obama but I still think Rick Warren should be protested against, with or without Robinson. Especially at the Ebenezer church. To bad there isn't much steam being blown for the Atlantas black gay rights group planning to protest there. icon_sad.gif

    Yes, inviting Robinson doesnt balance Warren. That woud be like saying inviting an abolitionist balances a slave-holder. There is no balancing then or now. One is wrong ...just plain wrong ...and intolerable.

    But inviting Robinson does make a pretty pricke for the Episcopal Church ....alll those parishes that left will see they are on the wrong side of history and will be spurned more and more as time goes on. I feel sorry that the Pohick Parish here in Virginia seceded from the American Episcopal Church. Pohick is where GW went to church when he was at Mt Vernon. When at his house here in Alexandria, he went to Christ Church here in the city.