Monday, January 19, 2009

Integrity Statement on Bishop Robinson's Inaugural Invocation

Integrity celebrates Bishop Gene Robinson’s historic presence in the Inaugural celebrations for our nation’s 44th President as a giant step forward taken for LGBT equality.

“There are miles to go before we rest in this journey toward being truly a nation of liberty and justice for ‘all,’” said Integrity President Susan Russell, “but when Bishop Gene Robinson took his place at the podium at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday we all moved closer toward realizing that goal. In addition to offering the invocation at Sunday’s Inaugural Concert, we are thrilled that Bishop Robinson will be among the invited guests at the prayer service on the Tuesday morning, will attend the swearing in ceremony, will view the Inaugural Parade from the Presidential viewing stand, and will attend the National Prayer Service at National Cathedral on Wednesday.

“Any disappointment that Bishop Robinson’s powerful opening prayer was not part of the HBO broadcast pales in comparison to the power of his iconic presence at the Lincoln Memorial on this historic occasion. Bishop Robinson’s invocation included prayers for patience, safety and compassion – and to 'Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.' It will echo through the ages as words of hope, vision and promise."

“We look forward to both the opportunities and challenges ahead as we enter a new era of partnership in our common commitment to overcome bias, bigotry and discrimination for all Americans.”

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UPDATE: Obama staff takes heat for not airing bishop's prayer

President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural committee took the blame yesterday for Bishop V. Gene Robinson's invocation at the Sunday welcoming concert not being televised nationally, Politico reported.

Thousands of attendees heard the opening prayer given by Robinson, the openly gay New Hampshire Episcopal bishop, but viewers on HBO's telecast missed it. The inaugural committee said the telecast, including Robinson's invocation, will be shown on the big TV screens along the National Mall today.

"We had always intended and planned for Right Rev. Robinson's invocation to be included in the televised portion of yesterday's program. We regret the error in executing this plan - but are gratified that hundreds of thousands of people who gathered on the mall heard his eloquent prayer for our nation that was a fitting start to our event," inaugural committee spokesman Josh Earnest told Politico.

14 comments:

RonF said...

Integrity's decided to take what they can get, eh? Smart move.

David said...

Ron, from here it would appear that Integrity has taken the higher road.

With so much going on right now people don't appear to have too much time or attention for the finer points of respectful inclusion or to notice a magnificent missed opportunity. There is no point that can effectively be won at this time. So IMHO Susan and Integrity have wisely affirmed the bigger work of hope, vision and change.

A fine statement Susan

David@Montreal

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Ummm ... yeah, Ron. If "taking what we can get" means having the Bishop of New Hampshire give the opening invocation, get quoted in every major news source and sit with the Obama family in the Presidential Review Stand for the Inaugural Parade.

Not bad for a day's work, I'm thinking.

(And, FYI, "taking what you can get" when you can get it is what builds the foundation for getting what you want ... eventually. How do you think Integrity has managed in 30 short years to undermine Western Civilization and Advance the Homosexualist Agenda with such Juggernaut Precision?)

Thanks for stopping by. Have a FABULOUS Inauguration Day. We're planning to!

David |Dah • veed| said...

I tuned in a few minutes late, but I watched the Concert live on satellite signal HBO East on our local cable system. It was free yesterday! At the end of the concert I was sure that I saw Mr. Obama hug +Gene, as his entourage was preparing to leave the venue.

DavidJustinLynch said...

A beautiful prayer, but I would have preferred Jesus be the focus. There is so much to say about where this country is and why it needs Jesus going forward. Yesterday Barack served at some kind of housing project doing painting. Consider what is going on in the financial markets, where everyione looks out for themselves alone and devil take the hindmost and now where all the bankers are holding on to evetything they've got because they're scared of losing it. I would have liked to see something like "rebuilding trust in each other through servant leadership." After all, leadership is at bottom, service, not domination (by Jesus' definition). And HBO's conduct - INEXCUSABLE - I'm sure the decision to exclude Bishop Gene was political to avoid offending conservatives, who continue as The Sceptre At The Feast.

Erp said...

I disagree that he should have mentioned Jesus. This was a government not religious ceremony and many present though American are not Christians. By making his invocation not Christian specific Gene Robinson invited those others in. In a forthcoming sermon he can elaborate on what path he thinks Christians should take to accomplish what needs to be done while Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists debate their paths.

Now we non-theists might still have some feelings of being left outside, but, some of us felt he did a reasonable job. Check out
Friendly Atheist for some views on this particular invocation. We also have to consider our paths.

IT said...

I'm with erp. I'm tired of having GEEZUS rammed down my throat all the time. Christianity is not a state religion. I appreciated Robinson's efforts to be inclusive FOR A CHANGE.

Incidentally I do not expect to live long enough to see an atheist elected president. Or a gay person.

RonF said...

David:

And HBO's conduct - INEXCUSABLE - I'm sure the decision to exclude Bishop Gene was political to avoid offending conservatives,

When I tuned into that for a while what I saw was musical acts. What else did they show? Because if that's what it was all about, maybe they just figured that their target market was there for music, not prayers.

This was a government not religious ceremony and many present though American are not Christians.

It was not a ceremony overall but a prayer certainly is. As I said in a previous thread it's a Bishop's job to proclaim the Gospel. If he can't do that in his prayer he shouldn't be there at all.

Mary Beth said...

This is good. Thanks for your great representation.

Erp said...

I'm all in favor in returning to the pre-1937 no invocation/benediction ceremony.

If anything, Gene Robinson by being inclusive this time and by emphasizing the love your neighbor part of the gospel may make those non-Episcopalians/non-Christians listening more inclined to listen to him again perhaps when he is more explicit about preaching about the Jesus part of the gospel. I, a non-believer, would like to sit down with Bishop Robinson and talk with him (possibly while we both nibble home made chocolate chip cookies). I might send Rick Warren the cookies, but, I have not real interest in having him talk to me.

JCF said...

As I said in a previous thread it's a Bishop's job to proclaim the Gospel. If he can't do that in his prayer he shouldn't be there at all.

Have you ever even considered, RonF, that "proclaiming the Gospel" and actually saying, outloud, the word "Jesus" might not be the same thing? In fact, depending on the context, might even be mutually exclusive?

Over on one the secular gay sites, someone posted (para.) "I've always loathed Christianity---but this guy's [+Gene's] Christianity I could get into!"

To +Gene: well done, good and faithful servant! :-)

DavidJustinLynch said...

I pray for atheists, agnostics, and all others who have yet to experience the love of our Lord Jesus. I don't think we gain anything by omitting Jesus from our public life. To the extent we exclude Him, we cede Him to those whose understanding of the Faith is less enlightened than that of progressive clergy like Mother Susan Russell and Mother Karen Macqueen.

MarkBrunson said...

Well, let's see. He wore his clericals. He wore the bishop's cross. He showed that the faith he embraces can transform one into an empowered, passionate, gracious, thoughtful, courageous, loving, committed individual.

I'd say he proclaimed the Gospel pretty well.

I hear a lot of people who say "Jesus" and "Lord" just about every other word who overlook the witness they, themselves, give.

RonF said...

Have you ever even considered, RonF, that "proclaiming the Gospel" and actually saying, outloud, the word "Jesus" might not be the same thing? In fact, depending on the context, might even be mutually exclusive?

Nope. Impossible. The Gospel is the Good News that God so loved us that He sent Jesus Christ to tell us the Word of God and to die for our sins, and that if we believe in Him we can be saved. It's impossible to proclaim the Gospel without bringing God and Jesus into it.

Over on one the secular gay sites, someone posted (para.) "I've always loathed Christianity---but this guy's [+Gene's] Christianity I could get into!"

You take Christ out and you don't HAVE Christianity. Now, +Robinson of course mentions Jesus often other contexts, so I don't know if the person you quote was referring to the prayer in question or some other statement.