January 12th, 2009
06:44 PM ET
4 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. Mike

    I more disappointed about Obama picking a man who claim's to follow the bible by the post he hold (Bishop) but complete denies it by his life style. which according to Oh No!'s post he is disappointed with as well. So Rev Robinson shut up and stand up for the bible which you claim to follow.
    Romans 1:27

    January 12, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. john from sandiego

    Yes, it is 'really, really unfortunate that Barry will cater to the heterophobes and allow a gay bishop to advance his perverted life style on America under the pretense of praying with America..

    January 12, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Ken Sawyer

    Are they bragging or complaining? You elected him.

    January 12, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. kent

    Considering both Holy Scripture and Robinson's openly gay life will God listen to Bishop Robinson's prayer of invocaton and what will He say in response?

    January 12, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Gretel

    For all those individuals who are quoting the bible to support their anti-gay sentiments, tell me, you have NEVER had sex outside of marriage, or before you got married? Have you ever eaten pork? (bacon, ham, sausage, roast, etc..) The bible also condemns those behaviors...if you're gonna use a bible to condemn someone's actions, then make sure that YOUR actions are above condemnation.

    January 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. YoungGrad

    Rock on Rev. Robinson! Rock on.

    January 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. Dan, TX

    It is funny how bigoted this guy is and how bigoted Rick Warren is. Christians are idiots.

    January 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Cindy

    lol! Obama's an equal opportunity offender, now we just need Robinson and Warren to embrace and the story is complete! We are all Americans. God/Allah/Buddha etc etc etc bless PE Obama, and all his various religious ceremonial picks!

    January 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Grow up America

    @ ga.

    Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (King James Version)

    18If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
    19Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
    20And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
    21And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

    You can't have it both ways, if the gay lifestyle is an abomination to God I can also stone my stubborn child. The Bible is a living word of God not one that remains static and parsed by people for their own benefits.

    I'm not gay but I'm also not God and it is a sin to judge others, that's God's job and to place yourself in God's position is blasphemous. Include everyone and treat them all with respect, not everyone will believe as you do but we can surely grow up and get along!

    January 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Tom

    I'm happy to see that there will be a Christian presence at the inauguration that is not an advocate of far-right social stances. This is a pretty big deal, demonstrates that President-elect Obama's administration will be an inclusive one, and I think it is a pretty positive step for American and religious visibility.

    January 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. New Yorker

    Well, I'm not sure it would even be the same God these two would be praying to. It seems Rick Warren prays to the God of the Holy Bible who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and Robinson prays to a god who approves of any kind of lifestyle as long as we are "loving". Christ said he came to fulfill the law not do away with it. (BTW-none of the scriptures are "obscure" – as Obama has referred to the ones he evidently doesn't agree with. If Robinson intentionally lives in sin (yep, I DID say SIN} and claims to be a Christian, there lies the problem. Robinson doesn't know the true nature of God The God of the bible does not approve of sexual immorality. Read Genesis 19; if you think it's a fairytale then you are saying the bible is unreliable. Therefore, why call yourself a Christian? Robinson worships a false God who he has conjured up to suit his desires. Simply stated: this is idolotry. I would say to Robinson before he prays in public, "What, symbolically, might this say to some of our citizens"?

    January 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. Dennis

    Isn't it amazing to see people who purport to know and practice real Christian values spew nothing but hatred when someone thinks differently from them. Especially those who write that "God will be the judge" and they then proceed to do the judging themselves.

    You are the ones who give Christianity a bad name. Ask yourselves: What would Jesus do?

    January 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Often a noble face hides filthy ways.

    January 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Tom in Delaware

    In trying to please everyone he will please no one.

    "The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who try to remain neutral in the battle of good versus evil" – Dante's Inferno

    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. Randall from FL

    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.

    January 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Karen-Phoenix

    Rick Warren has now invited all gays to attend his church. If we are will and patience and accepting, this to shall happen!!

    January 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. tom

    great you wouldnt se that kind of quality comeing from a republican hater.

    January 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. Ken in Dallas

    Well, we know where a few of the haters are today, don't we?

    You guys are exactly as silly as the gay people who were offended by Rick Warren's inclusion in these events. Maybe you'd like to boycott the inauguration.

    We need to have a President for ALL Americans, not just the ones we agree with.

    It's time to grow up. America.

    January 12, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. Gretel

    "Welcome to The OBAMA Show" you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time harping on everything the PE does or doesn't do. You seem to have a personal vendetta with OBAMA...has he done anything personally to you?

    Remember: If you can only see one thing when you look at someone, it's only reflective of WHAT's INSIDE of YOU. When you point a finger at others, there are 3-4 fingers pointing right back at YOU.

    January 12, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama – make up your mind.

    January 12, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Laverne

    Rev. Robinson would not have been my choice, but while I don't agree with the choice, I do respect Obama's choice as a leader. There are some post here suggesting he is trying to please everyone which may be a logical argument as long as you are part of the group that is being pleased. I think his point is we can agree to be disagreeable without judging and hating one another. Whether we like it or not, we have to live in this world together and while we are here, we can respect one another without agreeing with them. Afterall if we really believe what the bible says, then we know God will judge us all one day. That's one job that should not be delegated!

    January 12, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    So an openly gay Bishop is going to say a few words, as is an openly anti-gay Minister..........so what? Grow up America.

    January 12, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. M

    Bart Kofoed,

    I understand your thinking. It makes sense to differentiate between the relationships (two men vs. man and woman); differentiate, not discriminate. These individuals need ALL of the same rights as afforded to them as heterosexuals.

    M

    January 12, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  24. Al, NY NY

    All you churchies need to chill out. Get yourself worked up about something else please...maybe your own Church leaders being closet thieves, pedophiles, adulterers, etc

    January 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Matthew, Houston, TX

    Quoting the bible as justification of discriminating against gay people is about as anti-American as you can get. Keep your religion to yourselves and don't burden me with your anti-American, intolerant views through the law. No, I'm not gay but have relatives and friends who are and want only the best in life for them.

    Marriage is two parts: 1) the civil union everyone enters when they get the marriage license and 2) the confirmation of that union by either a judge or your church. If you don't like gays getting married, fine but don't foist your intolerant attitude on others just because your holy book says that it's wrong. Not everyone believes as you do.

    January 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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