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. Maggie SC

    Open your eyes and ears folks, why would thei gay man, I won't call him and preacher or bishop because that denotes a man speaking for God. this man is not a Godly man and of coures he will speak against a minister like Rick Warren. Actually I am sure Rick Warren intimidates him becasue RTick Waren stands for God and This slim ball, gay does not even know God, he is just fooling other peole and most of all fooling himself. I for one will skip that part of the innaugaration. I do not listen to someone who speaks of God from one side of his mouth and then go an commint sodomy with another homosexualk. Is that someone we what to hear begin our new president off with? Not me.

    January 12, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  2. Kryg

    Allowing an openly gay Episcopal bishop to deliver the invocation by the Obama team to simply please a noisy 2% of the population will displease the majority with grave although usually quiet reactions or consequences. I think the Obama team is making a mistake on this one.

    January 12, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  3. Carlos

    Catholics and religious zealots are pathetic. Get off of your high horses and begin to realize that, because you continue to think in a backwards and asinine manner, you're a dying breed. The Bible also says to treat others as you would have them treat you. By that rule, you should be as shamed and ridiculed for your disgusting and bigoted actions as the LGBT community is for its humanity. Keep waiting for your pie in the sky.

    January 12, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  4. KJ

    dustin, you are brilliant.

    January 12, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Andrea in Philly

    It is clear to me that so many of you have not read the book by our new president. If you had you would not be the least bit surprised by what he is doing. Most especially, the person who implied that Obama was being inconsistent. Barack Obama is being exactly who he portrayed himself to be in his 2005 "Audacity of Hope". I am absolutely delighted with the way he is consistently being the inclusive human being that he is in spite of all the outcry. You want to know where his head is- read his words-not somebody else's interpretation of what they think his actions mean. Haters, keep hating. It's what ignorance does. Obama continues to shame you all. He is the epitomy of what the American spirit and true Christian spirit is supposed to be. I am immensely proud of his vision.

    January 12, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. OBAMAnation

    I voted for Obama, and I am appalled at his poor judgement in doing this! This is an abomination to God. Obama is pandering to the gays. Why? He already won. He doesn't need them. He NEEDS God to blesss him as he takes his oath of office with his hand on the Holy Bible. I know Abe Lincoln would not approve...

    January 12, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  7. Don

    while you guys cliam to know what God wants...you seem to overlook what he really says...its not your place to judge..it is his..God made gay people also and it will be he who makes the final call. Clinging to to fabels written in a book is why this world is in crisis. The God I know loves all people...even the ones he made gay..I would rather know a man who loes another man than a hypocrite who spews hate in the name of the Lord.

    January 12, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  8. Religion only create's war

    Honestly I can't believe how brainwashed some of the religious nuts are. Imagine where we would be if religion was still the all end all, there would be no science, no cure's, no nothing. I hate those child molesting bastards and their grip on people's freedoms and how they manage to brainwash so many idiots.

    January 12, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  9. Meh

    Ok, I want to k now why racist crap such as the things TCM posts CONSTANTLY gets posted all the time, but mine are always awaiting moderation!

    As for this topic, some of you need to seek psychiatric help. You're seriously sitting here calling this man a "satanist" and a demon? What is WRONG w. you?? Urban Ink? You're comparing being gay to being a sex offender? Not even close to being the same thing. We're talking about two consenting adults here.
    You people are the biggest bunch of judgemental hypocrites I've ever "seen" in my entire life. Christianity is about love, right? Could have fooled me. You've all obviously been brainwashed; I feel sorry for you.

    January 12, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  10. Professor

    It seems that we are following ancient Israel's example. In ancient Israel, there were homosexuals and there were people who worshipped different gods. These individuals wanted their civil rights in Hebrew society, and they wanted to be recognized as legitimate.

    GOD sent prophets to teach the people to shun homosexuality and to shun the worship of other gods. However, the people of Israel laughed at the prophets, threatened them, and killed some of them.

    Today, many Americans scoff at those preachers who tell them that homosexuality is sin, and that we should worship only one GOD – and that is the GOD of the Bible. It's ancient Israel all over again!

    How many times do we have to study the same lesson over and over again until we finally get it right? Homosexuality is a very serious problem. We need to see homosexuality through Biblical eyes.

    My prayer is that GOD will have mercy on the United States. LORD, please turn the American people from their own stupidity and wickedness!

    January 12, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  11. John

    I am not an American citizen. It's surprising that a progressive nation like US cannot keep religion and state separate. Why doesn't Obama also invite a Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and a Jewish priest? Shouldn't the government be secular. It's ridiculous that the US is no different from the Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

    January 12, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  12. vjohn-north carolina

    what is REALLY unfortunate is having Robinson delivering anything in GOD's name; living an ABOMINATION before GOD, and trying to justify it and make it right. i don't care if everybody in the world say's that homosexuality is right ,it's still wrong. i am not a member of Rick Warren's church, i don;t know anything about him but what I've seen on cnn. I do know right from wrong, and just because everyone is doing it; still does not make it right! Robinson you better try and find out what the wages of sin are? GOD will not be mocked! I love OBAMA, voted for him, am going to his inauguration, but President Obama, Rick Warren, and this Robinson are not above GOD's word!

    January 12, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  13. Hello from MO

    Me in FL...actually thie scriptures do state that a man should not lay down with another man. So, according to most Christians, if the writers in the New Testament state that an act should not be done and one does it anyway...that is a sin. Much as a married heterosexual male looking upon another woman than his wife in lust is a sin. Or judging others is a sin. We all sin. The beautiful thing about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we can change.

    I think if that Obama wants this openly gay Reverend to give a seron or pray is fine because that is Obama's decision an choice in which we are all entitled. Now whether or not acting upon homesexual urges is a sin is another question that can be answered in the scriptures.

    January 12, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  14. David in San Diego

    Homosexuality is a sin. The church is for all sinners to receive salvation and GOD's forgiveness of sin. Noboday on earth is sin free, but a minister, pastor and priest is to walk "the best they can" as an example for all to witness and emulate. How can a 'gay" sinner openly declare and continue sinning from the pulpit. As a member of Rick Warrens church, I support him and his views. It takes a strong man to stand up to the sin of this world. He does. I'm a sinner and confess them to only GOD. Obama (didnt vote for him, but support him) has made a poorp choice to have a "gay priest" participate in his ceremonies. He should be stronger than to cave into the "open" sins of the world.

    GOD Bless the USA and President Obama

    January 12, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  15. Kevin

    I'm afraid that sometime in the near future we are going to rediscover why the ancients wisely cautioned against homosexuality. When one moral domino falls (homosexuality), it knocks over the next moral domino (pedophilia). I really can't imagine what domino would come next in line after that. Moses wisely drew a moral line so that the people would not fall into moral and emotional chaos. We have secular laws so that we maintian an orderly society. Moral laws exist for the same reason.

    January 12, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  16. WB

    My GOD created me the way I am – gay. It is not a choice. How many of you decided to be heterosexual? Those of you that keep quoting the Bible should stop picking and choosing what you think the word of God is. The Bible was written by men. It has been translated and put together in different eras by different people. I don't care what your beliefs in God are but stop trying to force your beliefs on my community and my church. And by the way, marriage is a CIVIL RIGHT not a God ordained right. Gay people have families and children too. We also have "Family Values". Marriage as we know it today has only existed for a few hundred years. Stop the hate.

    January 12, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  17. what is it any of their business

    Why can't gay's and lesbians marry? What is it any of their business, what nerve, those religious pedofile's have no room to talk. The influence these pedofile's have on the rest of our decent fair society is mindboggling. Gay's and lesbians hurt no one, priests hurt and brainwash children (and racist prejudice scum rednecks), so deserve's these basic rights more? Proposition 8 will be a symbol of backwards ideology soon enough, hopefully sooner than later. Just as segregation was.

    January 12, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  18. john

    This Obama giving into pressure. I voted for Obama but I have to say it dissapointing. He seems make his decisions according to the screams of the mob instead of his mind.

    January 12, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  19. Lee

    Need to pray for this deranged pitiful human being no doubt.

    January 12, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  20. Mamamia

    Have you noticed that Rick Warren isn't saying derogatory things or holding ugly protests over the inclusion of Robinson? Interesting. I think I'd rather pray to his God than to the one Robinson says he is praying to!

    January 12, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  21. Rabid Atheist

    America is torn apart yet again.

    there are two forces in society which do not pay taxes, organised crime and religion. Both do irreparable damage to society. Both also wage war on society, the former by way of drugs, gang warfare and all manner of human depravity that follows.

    In the case of religion the wars they wage begin nationally then they cross borders pitting their blind followers against the equally blind followers of the other faith which of course is wrong and which like it is serving the same god. A god I might add that was manmade.

    Keep religious ignorance and intolerance, there's a redundancy, out of politics.

    Again, both organised crime and religion do more damage to society than do any other force in society. it is high time that the real war on terror was fought against the real terror, religion and organised crime within our midst as they do more evil than not.

    no one was voting for a religious head of state on november 4th 2008 so where exactly do religious wingnuts have either a voice or right in matters of state.

    Prop 8 was Anita Bryant all over again, when will these ill-bred fools shut up and be made to pay taxes like everyone else. Good god let Gays marry, it leads to the industry of gay divorce, can't have enough lawyers now can we? And as is fairly obvious let them be miserable like the rest of us married sods.

    Rabidly, flagrantly, uncompromisingly against the evils of organised crime and religion...

    January 12, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. Mark in Canada

    Why can't Christians be like Jesus? Their comments here are judgmental, hateful and bigoted. If Obama selects a muslim, atheist, lesbian, disabled, or right-wing fundamentalist, it's his business. USA is not a Christian nation and never has been. Christians, stop trying to make it one. USA is home to all Americans not just those who believe as you do.

    January 12, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  23. Home of the Free

    It's funny how all these so called have removed christ from the throne and appointed themselves. If any have of you had a light and allowed it to shine as christ commanded without all self rightous hate, maybe just maybe this gay minister would have seen the christ that's suppose to be in you. What a joke many of you don't even know christ and should spend sometime working out your own souls salvation.
    God Bless You.

    January 12, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  24. Jayne and Gary D.

    Wonderful! We think he is smart and will make an excellent president. After all, we had 8 years of a village idiot!

    January 12, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  25. Paul

    Barak Obama needs to hold the line against special interests. I'm all for same-sex marriage – but he should have just stuck with Rev. Warren and said 'that's it'. This just shows he's not change; just more of the same politics-as-usual. You just can't please everyone so stop trying.

    January 12, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
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