Gene Robinson: Gay Bishop Giving Obama Inauguration Prayer

  • hartfan

    Posts: 1037

    Jan 13, 2009 4:45 AM GMT
    From Huffington Post:
    New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, a vocal gay rights leader, will open President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration with a prayer on Sunday's kick-off event at the Lincoln Memorial.

    "I am writing to tell you that President-Elect Obama and the Inaugural Committee have invited me to give the invocation at the opening event of the Inaugural Week activities, We are One, to be held at the Lincoln Memorial," Robinson wrote in an email to friends.

    The announcement comes after weeks of outcry from the gay community over Obama's choice of evangelical, anti-gay pastor Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation.

    "It's important for any minority to see themselves represented in some way," Robinson said in an interview with the Concord Monitor. "Whether it be a racial minority, an ethnic minority or, in our case, a sexual minority. Just seeing someone like you up front matters."

    Robinson is the first openly gay diocesan bishop in the Anglican Communion. "God never gets it wrong. The church often takes a long time to get it right. It is a human institution, but one capable of self-correction," Robinson told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "I believe in my heart that the church got it wrong about homosexuality. There is great excitement in my heart to be living in a time when the church is starting to get it right."

    Robinson said he would love to sit down with Rick Warren but believed that the California pastor has "perpetrated lies about the gay, lesbian and bisexual community."
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    Jan 13, 2009 4:52 AM GMT
    is this real and true???????! this is wonderful if it is!
  • hartfan

    Posts: 1037

    Jan 13, 2009 5:10 AM GMT
    dancerjack saidis this real and true???????! this is wonderful if it is!


    Given that it's reported by the Huffington Post, I'd say it is.
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    Jan 13, 2009 5:27 AM GMT
    It is on cnn.com, too. Apparently Robinson was asked to give the invocation before Warren was even approached, so it is not just some act of appeasement. I wonder why it has not leaked until now. While I am not surprised in the least, I cringed the vitriol that was being dished out by the commentators on the ticker. Apparently they have been under a rock somewhere, though, since half didn't even know who Robinson was.
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    Jan 13, 2009 5:37 AM GMT
    well... this puts a little more wind back into my sail for obama
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    Jan 13, 2009 8:22 AM GMT
    I am really glad to here about this, but I still say all this uproar was much ado about nothing. He is doing exactly as he said he would. A seat for all to begin a conversation of healing. We all know the president-elect's stance on gay marriage. That hasn't changed. However, as to other rights for gay and lesbian Americans, he is fully on board. The fight for marriage will not be won in the white house. It will be won in the Governor's mansions and state's legislative house. Then and only then will we be able to take it to our national congress. A grass roots movement put Obama in the white house. A grass roots movement will allow us to marry. Congrats to Bishop Robinson. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 13, 2009 8:22 AM GMT
    I am really glad to here about this, but I still say all this uproar was much ado about nothing. He is doing exactly as he said he would. A seat for all to begin a conversation of healing. We all know the president-elect's stance on gay marriage. That hasn't changed. However, as to other rights for gay and lesbian Americans, he is fully on board. The fight for marriage will not be won in the white house. It will be won in the Governor's mansions and state's legislative house. Then and only then will we be able to take it to our national congress. A grass roots movement put Obama in the white house. A grass roots movement will allow us to marry. Congrats to Bishop Robinson. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 13, 2009 8:46 AM GMT
    ErikTaurean saidThe fight for marriage will not be won in the white house. It will be won in the Governor's mansions and state's legislative house. Then and only then will we be able to take it to our national congress.


    Bingo!

    I just wish more people would realize this and stop obsessing over the national level. It's just a waste of time and effort. The work is at the states and we need to put all our efforts there at turning them over one by one. Once there's a significant number of states on board, then the fight can move to DC.
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    Jan 13, 2009 10:40 AM GMT
    Obama's stock just went up considerably in my book. Gene Robinson would be an excellent choice to give the inaugural invocation. His appointment a few years ago as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal church was not without controversy - but Robinson has been such an outstanding, contributing voice of reason that many in the church who had been his biggest opponents have begun to like and accept him. It will be good for the whole country to hear and see him.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jan 13, 2009 1:16 PM GMT
    I think it would be outstanding to have the country hear Bishop Robinson.
    He's excellent, very thoughtful and the move will give a favorable light to
    both he and the Episcopal church.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Jan 13, 2009 1:38 PM GMT
    Color me unsurprised icon_razz.gif
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    Jan 13, 2009 1:47 PM GMT
    I wish we could see some Bishop on Pastor, no holds barred, bitchfight. I'll bet on the Bishop.
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    Jan 13, 2009 1:59 PM GMT
    iguanaSF said
    ErikTaurean saidThe fight for marriage will not be won in the white house. It will be won in the Governor's mansions and state's legislative house. Then and only then will we be able to take it to our national congress.


    Bingo!

    I just wish more people would realize this and stop obsessing over the national level. It's just a waste of time and effort. The work is at the states and we need to put all our efforts there at turning them over one by one. Once there's a significant number of states on board, then the fight can move to DC.


    I agree with you guys, but there is a national component that still needs to be part of the dialogue. I'm an ex-pat married to an Englishman, so recognition of marriage rights at the national level is what is required before we can think about moving to the states under the same legal rights as straight people. Maybe that will happen as the parts, the states, allow gay marriage, but why wait that long before pushing the issue nationally? We're fortunate because we live here in the UK with equal rights including immigration rights for me, but it's not right that we don't have the same option in the US.

    Having one of our community on the national stage is heartening and helps the cause to elevate the dialogue to that level.
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    Jan 13, 2009 3:36 PM GMT
    But 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 prickle 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.
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    Jan 13, 2009 4:12 PM GMT
    This has been news for a while and should have been mentioned more often during the Warren debacle. Obama is sending a strong message with both invitees that we as a country have to get over our differences if we're going to get ourselves out of this mess and prosper. Past administrations have chosen to perpetuate divisions that keep us fighting against each other and distracted from the corruption going on in Washington and beyond. Obama is truly the first president for everyone we've had in a very long time.

    That Warren was named allows Obama to have the ear of the religious right. This is a good first step towards his influence on that constituency to moderate from their anti-gay stance. Within the first 18 months of Obama's presidency, I expect a "speech on homophobia" in the spirit of his watershed campaign speech on race. Thank god he'll have the ear of the religious right at that point. If there's anything we've learned recently it's that us and our allies accomplish very little when we merely "preach to the choir". Obama wants to do more, and deep down he knows we're on the right side of history.

    I was disappointed in my friends who slammed Obama for the Warren invitation (and yes, I personally think Warren is a douche, but he's a very popular douche). They lost their perspective and didn't even take a moment to see the bigger picture here, making themselves seem petty and overly self-serving at ther expense of their country's increasingly uncertain future. HRC, as usual, also missed the point and overreacted.

    In short, this is the "get over yourself" administration.
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    Jan 13, 2009 4:29 PM GMT
    Great news! Thanks for the update.

    Caslon, while I agree with your statements about Robinson not balancing Warren, I think it is important to try to understand Obama's strategy. While I cannot pretend to truly understand what his thought process is, I do know through history's teachings that no President has been able to totally ignore the religious right in dealing with the gay issue. Instead, what he has effectively done is say that the views of the gay community are as important to him as the views of others by keeping both individuals in the ceremony. A very significant statement.

    We would be no better than the intolerant bigots such as Warren if we did not allow them a seat at the table simply because they share a different view. We are not going to be able to erase these people from existence and like it or not we will need to share our lives with them. To add to what ErikTaurean began, while we need the President's support, it will be up to grass roots movements to do the dirty work of stamping out intolerance at the state level and moving up. We need to begin taking more responsibility for what we believe.



    Excellent point ErikTaurean.

    ErikTaurean saidThe fight for marriage will not be won in the white house. It will be won in the Governor's mansions and state's legislative house. Then and only then will we be able to take it to our national congress. A grass roots movement put Obama in the white house. A grass roots movement will allow us to marry. Congrats to Bishop Robinson. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 13, 2009 5:12 PM GMT
    hey creyente - good to hear from you... icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 13, 2009 5:14 PM GMT
    puts some wind back in my sails as well... icon_smile.gif
    I'm really excited about this inauguration!

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    Jan 13, 2009 5:41 PM GMT
    Rugger- Bless You!

    I could not have said it better! I was very upset and very vocal at my friends who were saying that they regret they the voted from Obama and now that he's and trader of the Gay Community and they spewed out other words as well.

    I just told them. He is the president that represent all of the people even the people that we don't like and agree with. It's not just about us it's about all of US! Personally I like my enemies in front of so I know what they are doing!
    So I can be prepared. This just may be a life changing event for Warren.

    The only way combat bigotry is through education and inclusion. Don't you think that were have a shared responsibility to educate those who do not understand us and who fear us?

    You scream from the roof tops tolerance and compassion and yet we are not willing to do the same for others. People do change. Even Rev. Warren can change. Will he doubtful but he can.

    We have a president that believes in everyone sitting at the table which is something which is unprecedented let’s see how it plays out and take it from there.
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    Jan 13, 2009 5:43 PM GMT
    Thanks DJ! I couldn't keep away from the sexy intelligent men of RJ for too long.

    dancerjack saidhey creyente - good to hear from you... icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 13, 2009 6:14 PM GMT
    creyente saidGreat news! Thanks for the update.

    Caslon, while I agree with your statements about Robinson not balancing Warren, I think it is important to try to understand Obama's strategy.

    He may be trying to defuse an all out uproar from the Right by throwing in Warren, while he works to achieve a goal of non-discrimination. What significance is having Warren in the big scheme of things, while Obama works to create real non-discrimination reform that affects people's lives. However, by having Warren there, Warren kind of serves as a "beard" that Obama can point to to defuse criticism from the Right. It mutes the Right while Obama gets his "legs" under him and his administration.
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    Jan 13, 2009 6:30 PM GMT
    Excellent points Caslon.

    Another possibility is that continuing the conversations with both sides will bring to light the stupidity of their claims. We may never change Warren’s mind, but those who are on the fence about their beliefs may fall on the side of gay rights if they are given the opportunity to hear both sides speak about the issues. We may even reach some of those who are on the wrong side of the argument, but this will never happen if we try to shut them down. They must be allowed their voice in order to allow us to break down their arguments and show them for the ignorant rantings of discrimination that they are. We need people like Warren juxtaposed against passionate and intelligent gay rights activists in order to expose the fallacy of their claims.

    Caslon8000 said
    creyente saidGreat news! Thanks for the update.

    Caslon, while I agree with your statements about Robinson not balancing Warren, I think it is important to try to understand Obama's strategy.

    He may be trying to defuse an all out uproar from the Right by throwing in Warren, while he works to achieve a goal of non-discrimination. What significance is having Warren in the big scheme of things, while Obama works to create real non-discrimination reform that affects people's lives. However, by having Warren there, Warren kind of serves as a "beard" that Obama can point to to defuse criticism from the Right. It mutes the Right while Obama gets his "legs" under him and his administration.
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    Jan 13, 2009 6:53 PM GMT
    Caslon8000 said
    creyente saidGreat news! Thanks for the update.

    Caslon, while I agree with your statements about Robinson not balancing Warren, I think it is important to try to understand Obama's strategy.

    He may be trying to defuse an all out uproar from the Right by throwing in Warren, while he works to achieve a goal of non-discrimination. What significance is having Warren in the big scheme of things, while Obama works to create real non-discrimination reform that affects people's lives. However, by having Warren there, Warren kind of serves as a "beard" that Obama can point to to defuse criticism from the Right. It mutes the Right while Obama gets his "legs" under him and his administration.


    This was not a reaction to the Warren backlash. It was in the works from the early planning stages.
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    Jan 14, 2009 2:33 AM GMT
    this is a pleasant suprise to me !!! It the first i've heard of it, (that's what I get for not reading from Huffington today) I wonder why the media didn't bring it out before?