Bishop Eugene Robinson Into the Fire

There’s been quite the outrage over Bishop Gene Robinson’s invocation/prayer not being included in the concert at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday.  There was some concern that HBO might have been the entity censoring Bishop Robinson’s prayer.  Ya just know the fingers are pointing and that’s exactly what’s happening between the Presidential Inauguration Committee(PIC) and HBO.  Personally, I can’t imagine why HBO would ‘have a problem’ with the likes of Bishop Robinson or his prayer.  Have you seen their programming?  I think the problem lies with the PIC, and that – that is just my opinion.

Robinson’s prayer was part of the ‘preshow’ to the ‘inaugural concert programming’ – blah, blah, yadda, yadda, ya…… and it goes back and forth, over some invisible net of responsibility between the Presidential Inauguration Committee and HBO.

I don’t know what happened.  A staffer from Christianity Today magazine was there and posted video of Bishop Robinson’s prayer; the video is below. Apparently, the principals and G*d heard it.  That staffer, Sarah Pulliam, reports on an ‘apology’ from the PIC and upcoming showings of Robinson’s prayer.

Bishop Robinson was on NPR’s ‘Talk of the Nation‘ this morning. As one commenter at NPR’s site wrote:

james mckeown (deacon78) wrote:

I am a person of faith and an ordained minister. I share many views with Bishop Robinson and just a few with Pastor Warren. The real answer to the problem is that there should not be prayers of any kind at inaugurations. They end up being more political sermons than prayers, anyway. Let’s let the church do the praying and the government do the inaugurating. There might not be as much for NPR to talk about, but it would be better for all involved.

We have a winner!!  Right on, James McKeown!  Below is the video of the prayer (h/tip to Sarah Pulliam at Christianity Today) and the prayer as given by Bishop Robinson (h/tip to Huff.Post)

A Prayer for the Nation and Our Next President, Barack Obama

By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

Opening Inaugural Event
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
January 18, 2009

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.



2 Responses

  1. OT _ sorry _ but I just loved the fact there was a giant blow up doll of numb nutz wearing his ‘Mission Accomplished’ flight suit today in DC and people were invited to throw shoes at him.

    The real interesting part is that the SS, err Secret Service, didn’t do a thing.

    Makes ya wonder, doesn’t it? 🙂

  2. OT _ sorry _ but I just loved the fact there was a giant blow up doll of numb nutz wearing his ‘Mission Accomplished’ flight suit today in DC and people were invited to throw shoes at him.

    Now THAT! That I would’ve paid good money to do!

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