January 12th, 2009
06:44 PM ET
3 years ago

Openly gay bishop to deliver first inauguration event invocation

Robinson became the U.S. Episcopal church’s first openly gay bishop in 2003.
Robinson became the U.S. Episcopal church’s first openly gay bishop in 2003.

(CNN) - The first openly gay priest ordained by a major Christian denomination will deliver the invocation at the kickoff inauguration event Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial.

The Rev. Gene Robinson, Episcopal bishop in New Hampshire, has accepted an invitation issued by the Obama team prior to the announcement of the Rev. Rick Warren’s selection to deliver the invocation at the president-elect’s swearing-in, Politico reported Monday.

Robinson had been a critic of Warren’s role, calling his inclusion in the event “really, really unfortunate” because of the California minister's support for California's Prop. 8, which barred same-sex marriage.

“It's about this particular venue and the role that he has in praying for all of America, and I'm just not sure he'd pray to God the same way I would,” Robinson told Beliefnet last month.

“…This particular choice [of Warren] is not about having everyone at the table for a discussion or some sort of general forum. Every choice related to who does what at the inauguration is highly symbolic, and I think the transition team failed to ask the question of what, symbolically, this might say to some of our citizens.”

Robinson said at the time his disappointment would not affect his plans to attend President-elect Obama’s inauguration.


Filed under: Inauguration
soundoff (656 Responses)
  1. Kathleen

    This selection makes my heart sing! Thank you, President Elect Obama!

    January 12, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  2. Seth

    So according to this article, Robinson was invited before the Warren invocation was announced. Then when the Warren thing was announced, Robinson was vocal about his disagreement and never even mentioned that he had been invited to speak to.

    Seems kind of arrogant and intentionally divisive to me.

    January 12, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. Bob Anderson

    If not the anti-christ, then certainly his cohort. anyone who claims to be a believer in the God of the bible but condones by inclusion, openly brazen, sexually deviant professing christian ministers to address a so called christian nation? well his term of office can only lead further down the slippery slope of a Godless cursed society. In God we trust? but which god? certainly not my Jesus.

    January 12, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  4. bessie jackson

    WE ARE ALL GODS PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!

    January 12, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. Melissa

    Meh. Good for him. I don't particularly care.

    January 12, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. richard

    christians are not very christ-like.

    they are filled with hate, bigotry, ignorance and intolerance.

    i would say they prefer the teachings of the anti-christ.

    January 12, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  7. Joanna

    How dare you people judge. Are you prefect? Gay people should have all the same rights as the rest. You all act like there is a choice, people are born the way they are. ( NOT THAT THEY DON'T You would think in this day and age you would know that. GOD made all of us in his image, they are equally as worthy of love and respect. Why does it matter who a person loves, as long as they love?
    pEOPLE LIKE DOBSON HAVE BRAINWASHED PEOPLE INTO BELIEVING GAY IS EVIL.
    if A MAN AND A WOMEN CAN GET "MARRIED" IN A COURT OF LAW, THAN SO SHOULD GAY PEOPLE. until marriage IS STRICTLY A RELIGIOUS RIGHT, EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL, STOP THE OPPRESSION AND THE JUDGMENT AND THE HATE. enough

    January 12, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. John S

    Gay... bishop... what an oxymoron. I can understand the defense of homsexuality if you are an unbeliever, but to claim to be a believer in the God of the Bible and to be openly homosexual is preposterous. You have to believe all of the Bible or none of it. To claim to have the privilged knowledge to be able to glean the truth out of it and discard any part of it as false is ridiculous.

    January 12, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  9. Joanna

    How dare you people judge. Are you prefect? Gay people should have all the same rights as the rest. You all act like there is a choice, people are born the way they are. ( NOT THAT THEY DON'T You would think in this day and age you would know that. GOD made all of us in his image, they are equally as worthy of love and respect. Why does it matter who a person loves, as long as they love?
    people LIKE DOBSON HAVE BRAINWASHED PEOPLE INTO BELIEVING GAY IS EVIL. tHEY ARE EVIL SELF SERIVING

    if A MAN AND A WOMEN CAN GET "MARRIED" IN A COURT OF LAW, THAN SO SHOULD GAY PEOPLE. until marriage IS STRICTLY A RELIGIOUS RIGHT, EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL, STOP THE OPPRESSION AND THE JUDGMENT AND THE HATE. enough

    January 12, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  10. Servant63

    These comments are so funny. Many talk about "educate yourselves" and "we are all God's children"... I'll make this simple – we are all NOT God's children. We are all created by God and only those that have been adopted into His family through Jesus Christ are God's children and are members of His family. Don't take my word for it – read the bible for yourself. For those of you who don't believe the bible is true – try reading/studying it for yourself and prove it wrong. Mr. Robinson is correct when he said that Rick Warren wouldn't pray the same way he would as Mr. Robinson is praying to his own god – one that suits himself.

    January 12, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  11. colleen

    Quote from Robinson
    Its really, really unfortunate because of the California ministers support for Californian on prop 8 Which barrs same sex marriage"

    Wheres the love REV. Robinson? Are we not called by Jesus to love one another? Why do you tear your brother in the Lord down. He is taking the Bible literally when God says That a man and man are an abomination. Please someone tell
    Robinson that Jesus loves Him but not His sin. And Rick Warren was chosen first and Rev was an after thought

    January 12, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  12. JJ

    We all have something to contribute to society. Unfortunately, more often than not, is hate.

    January 12, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  13. Steph

    Yeah! Boy, the folks that like the Warren decision are sure having trouble with this one. Do you get it yet? It's about inclusion.

    January 12, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  14. Joanna

    Judge not or you shall be judged! God created all man in his image, gay, straight ,whatever. We are born the way we are born. WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE. You can interpret the bible however you like, enough with the hate. The bible is full of contradictions. You can find anything to support any argument you want to make. I am happy Obama did that. EVERYONE is apart of this. You would like in this evolved world we live in we would be better than this. SAD

    January 12, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  15. HouseDiva

    We are ALL God's children.

    January 12, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  16. sieve053

    I would like a clear definition of God. All over, these posts refer to God. I doubt that two people here have the same interpretation of God. My God says that homosexuality is a sin. Your God doesn't. There isn't one God. He's different for different people. Therefore, worship as you wish and stop imposing views, for or against homosexuality. No one will be converted and the two sides will become extremely polarized. Preaching one side or the other doesn't help much. Work together.

    January 12, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  17. D O

    LEAVE P- E OBAMA ALONE DID WE HAVE GAY BIBLE ?

    January 12, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  18. Tracy

    January 12th, 2009 5:33 pm ET

    MAN!! Christians are such HATEFUL beings!!! HATEFUL… Christians really are bigots!! well… most of them.

    You'll post this but not my comments. I'll do my best tp let everyone know you really are the Communist News Network as it's known around here.

    January 12, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  19. Gene

    Just what we need to show the world what a great country we have become. Just keep him away from the alter boys.

    January 12, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. Dorothy

    A gay priest. That is just what we need. This is a traversity to God Himself. You want to be gay, fine, but not teaching the Bible unless this person has his own version. God does not hate the sinner, he hates the sin. No wonder Christianity is taking a dive.

    January 12, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  21. Matt

    Randall from FL January 12th, 2009 1:50 pm ET

    Well I'm not Episcopalian so I don't know exactly what that's all about but apparently it is a Christian denomination. Which means, I would think they would believe in the bible. So how can it be that they would let him be a preacher? I don't understand this at all. People can be gay if they want and they can be Christian if they want. However it seems like if they were Christian they would have beliefs that would prevent them from being gay.

    -----–

    No, they really wouldn't. First, gay people cannot choose their sexual orientation. It's determined largely by the genes. Second, both the Old and New Testaments refer to homosexuality as "unclean," and that's different from morally wrong. An unclean act is one that isn't suited to everyone (Romans 14:14). The belief that homosexuality is wrong doesn't come from the Bible; it only became dominant at the beginning of the 13th century, when the Roman Catholic church took over the inquisitions from the secular authorities and needed justifications for the penalties it began to mete out (see John Boswell: Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality).

    January 12, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  22. Mauricio Rico

    We must not expect anyone to understand spiritual truths.

    Matthew 7

    6"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

    January 12, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  23. Servant63

    Vincent and others who say "My God" – are creating gods to suit yourself. You are worshipping a false god – breaking the 2nd commandment. God is a God of love that sent His son to die for our sins and through only Him (Jesus) can we receive heaven. God is also a perfect Judge as he cannot allow sin into His perfect kingdom. God gave us free-will to choose or reject Christ. We can't do whatever we want and simply say – "we are all God's children, and He loves all of us, and we can get to heaven however we want" – this is a man centered FALSE gospel. Because we have all sinned – a man centered gospel will not get us to heaven – sin has seperated us from God. The only way to heaven is the God centered gospel, through Jesus Christ. It's that simple.

    January 12, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  24. Rick D

    For those that are parents or can relate to being a parent, God is our Father and really does love us. Jesus was not religious but based it all on love and a relationship with God. We all struggle with sex, whether we are gay or not. It is a personal relationship with Jesus that changes us to love and try not to do things that dishonor Him or us. Who knows why some are gay and others are not, but the question is how do we honor God with our sex drive? Not easy but Jesus does change our heart.

    January 12, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  25. MDF

    Amazing that I live in a time where a homosexual priest has a problem with someone who thinks his "lifestyle" is wrong participating in an event like the inauguration. The militant gay agenda has been successful in reversing the tide by making people think that if one thinks homosexuality is wrong, immoral, and abnormal, then there is something wrong with us! Yes, I am one of the "silent majority" who believes homosexuality is wrong, immoral, and abnormal. Gay is not okay. Saying that someone who disagrees is a "homophobe" is one of their tactics. Just like if you didn't vote for Obama, then you're a racist. Yes, I am a homophobe – I greatly fear what this and other militant fringe groups are doing to tear this Country apart. I await the backlash – it's gone too far.

    January 12, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
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