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

Openly gay bishop to deliver first inauguration event invocation

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/12/art.robinson.gi.jpg caption="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. FreeNLovIt

    To John

    You are right. Our politicians are 10% Christians and 90% politicians when you put them right next to Mother Theresa.

    January 12, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  2. John

    I have a large number of very strongly held views, and would readily be labelled (I won't say how) by many of those who post here. But I also think this is a wonderful experiment in democracy – the bringing together of divergent and contradictory views under the same much larger banner. Ultimately, it may not work, but American democracy is again showing its capacity to evolve and change. Let's embrace the experiment.

    January 12, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  3. Chris A. Lucas

    The religious right is spitting out their Romans and Leviticus and other b.s. I LOVE IT!!

    Except those crazy religious nuts own GUNS!!!! And Obama IS black. And Robinson IS gay. And I'm sure there will be a JEW or two on the podium!

    January 12, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  4. MLH

    We could avoid all this if we would just take prayer out of the equation. I voted for a president, not a religious leader. I don't need the battle of the religions, and as for marriage, why should gay people be any more happy than the rest of us – let them marry!

    January 12, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  5. No Incumbents 2010

    Yes Jesus did, but never forced the government or anyone who didn't want to. We are talking about the government right?

    January 12, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  6. Mark

    If there is a true "bigot" in this story, it is "Bishop" Robinson. This man left wife and child - and tore apart the Episcopal Church - all over his sexual proclivities. He is intolerant of men like Warren - or the Catholic Church - both of which hold rational, theological, and deeply-formed philosophical viewpoints against his so-called "lifestyle." Robinson is a menace, and Christians are right to resent the presence of such a coward. How far the nation has fallen!

    January 12, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  7. AC

    Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    January 12, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  8. Rodger Meyer

    Politically, the United States is religiously neutral.
    The majority of the people hold to a Christian world view and so politial events often reflect that orientation. There are a variety of theological viewpoints among those who call themselves Christian. Warren holds to a conservative understanding of the Old and New Testaments, Robinson has rejected many of those teachings, with specific reference to Homosexuality.
    The scriptural prohibition against homosexuality is primarily for those who are in the Christian (and Jewish) Church. Christians by definition will obey the teachings of Jesus. Non Christians are not bound by the ethical standards of the Old and New Testament, though they recognize their ethical values. The scriptures warn that those who practice homosexualtiy (as well as other sexual sins) have violated the created relationship between male and female and will not enter heaven even if it is a bishop in the Christian community. They are outside of the Kingdom of God.
    It is an affront to Christians to have a homosexual represent himself as a Christian when he obviously does not obey the teaching of Jesus the Christ.
    However, since this is not a theological gathering, we can expect various views to be expressed. We may not like it, but that is what it means to be an American. I will fight for the freedom of speech for someone with whom I disagree.

    January 12, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  9. Paul in SC

    Dustin, you are the idiot !!

    January 12, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  10. Kayla

    Get over yourself, people. You are no better than any gay person just because you think being homosexual is wrong. Nobody cares about your thoughts.

    Obama knows what it is like to be a minority, so he is trying to involve everybody in his historic inauguration. He's said that he has always been friends with "misfits" and "minorities." Much like Jesus, no? So stop judging and live and let live, and most importantly get a life!

    January 12, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |


    January 12, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  12. Meh

    truthis> Ah, you're wrong, my friend. It fits evolution perfectly. A species needs some way to control its reproduction or it will breed until there are no natural resources....we've pretty much reached that point, wouldn't you say? And we have no natural predators.
    Homosexuality is evolution's way of saying, "Enough w. the breeding, already!"

    January 12, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  13. mykkal

    Using which bible?

    January 12, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  14. Delegate from California

    I was teached as a kid that God loves everyone and if is so, why to suppose God/Jesus believers say so otherwise?

    I been married to my husband of nine years for over six months now and we are blessed by God in our own eyes with happiness. Is not ok for us to be happy but is ok for the ones that can married without any judgement to get a divorce, commit adultery, get married out of convinience or arranged, now who is a HYPOCRATE and this is not what was writted in the Bible, was it?

    Having Rick Warren at the inagural is a disgrace to to God and the fact that he preaches HATE is not a family value word.

    No one can tell us who should we love, either if your gay or straight, is up to the God our all mighty to judge us on judgement day, not an stupid ignorant loveless human being telling us we can or not.

    God Loves Everyone, like it or not!!!

    A California couple in love and their marriage in God's eye's only gets stronger.

    January 12, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  15. WR

    what all of you are forgetting is that in todays world, homosexuality is not a religious or governmental issue. it is not for any of us to judge homosexuals because we all live our own lives. if homosexuals want to get married, let them get married; how would that affect you personally? if President-Elect Obama wishes to have an openly gay preacher deliver the invocation, why not? isnt the word of "the lord" the same no matter who delivers it? and besides, for all of you against it, if you took the bible, and god and jesus out of your arguments, where would you be? what would you say? that it's immoral? morality is subjective, and you'd only be shoving your own beliefs down others' throats as a result

    January 12, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  16. Lori

    Good job Obama. Show the Republican 'Christians' how to be a real Christian and include ALL of God's people.

    If any gay or lesbian complains about this act, just tell them to vote Republican next time- that's where they'll find tolerance and acceptance... not!!!

    January 12, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  17. ME IN FL


    I agree with you, PE Obama is doing the right thing including everyone and yes, the religious wackos are going BANANAS. There are comments here that look like they came from "The Exorcist"!!!! LOL

    January 12, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  18. td

    well final judgement... you are quite the imaginative person. question... if god loves everyone, why are gays left out? How would he love a bigot like you?

    January 12, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  19. Joe

    I think Charles comment is the only one that really makes any sense or has any real relevance......

    "Regarding Robinson's statement, “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,” it is important to remember, Warren cares about gay persons just as much as Robinson does. He simply has a different belief system. His prayers to God would reflect caring and inclusion."

    January 12, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  20. No Incumbents 2010

    Do red flags pop up when I write comments or does it really take that long to moderate a comment from 3:00pm.

    January 12, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  21. Josh

    I will follow my last comment up by saying that just because he is gay does not mean that we cannot love him. Choosing to live a homosexual lifestyle is living in sin though and we despise the sinfulness, not the person. It is however completely unbiblical to have an ordained homosexual clergyman. That contradicts God's word and there is no way in which a person can deny that. A man of God should live by the Word of God.

    January 12, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  22. Cher

    TCM- I am a lifelong Episcopalian. The founding fathers were primarily Episcopalian.

    January 12, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  23. Nancy Younger

    I do not hate gays. However, I do not agree with their lifestyle.
    They have their place in the church but certainly not in the pulpit.
    The Bible is very clear about its stance on homosexuality.
    It is also gives a clear description of the anti-Christ
    which should be of concern to everyone regardless
    of your religious denomination. Americans are
    looking for financial relief after a failed Administration.
    However, they are in for more than they could
    possibly bargain. The Truth will reveal itself in time.
    May God, Alah, Jehoviah, our Supreme Being help us all!

    January 12, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  24. Jay

    I believe this really shouldn't be a big deal.

    Christians kill me with the "homosexuality is a sin" but then don't realize the hundreds of other things that's mention as a sin

    Funny how people always say its "unnatural" but forget to realize that animals are found to be homosexual also.

    God people are so stupid

    January 12, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  25. dentrri

    Don't allow those sick people to generalize a entire nation.For them became a business to be gay.those who are happend but i can't believe they are that many.now they are CEO,Preachers,every level .because of Democrats Agenda.We need many to treat this sick people not encurage.The good news they can't breath kids.They like to adopt kids.You kidding me to let those people to adopt.....

    January 12, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
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