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. just not necessary

    why do we need to be hit in the face with this crap

    decision about sexuality do not need to be brought to everyones attention, I like Obama and hope that he will do well with his presidency, but I find this to be a mistake and do not need to hear what he has to say

    January 12, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  2. South Dakota

    So what would the backlash be like if he had a muslim do the invocation?

    January 12, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  3. tek

    Imagine for just a moment that god is a myth. All of your righteousness and anger over a gay man speaking at an event would be for naught. I completely understand the hippocracy of a bishop, preacher, etc being gay. But then again, almost every bishop, preacher, etc is a hippocrit based on what they eat, how they wear their hair, ad nauseum.

    For a bunch of people who profess an almighty who preaches love, you sure are full of hate. Maybe it's time you put fairy tales and myths behind you?

    January 12, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  4. Lombardi Graham

    Everybody needs to be careful on this site God no knows and hears and see everything that you people say, it's so plan to see that none of you read you bible if you don't please pick up one and read for you'r self you all know it's a sin so stop being devil's it's wrong wrong I hope one is standing any of you when you get struckdown.

    January 12, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  5. philoseraptor

    Hate of a group, is not the issue. It is an extreme distaste for a life-style that is being forced on America as something it is not – legitimate, natural, unharmful. Homosexuality is not to be compared to being black, white, hispanic, or disabled. It is a life-style choice, nothing more. And unfortunately, it is a choice that twists nature and morality. When the gays stop trying to "indoctrinate" America and its children that this is okay, and yes, that they need to even "try it out" (there are such curriculumns out there), then they will see no more "attention" than drunks, prostitutes, drug-dealers, adulterers; in other words, they will simply be offered help and freedom they need, which, by the way, is offered them by many groups already.

    January 12, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  6. Once We Were A Christian Nation

    Obama's choice is dissapointing, but it is typical of our times. We were once a Christian nation. Many of our Universities and Hospitals were started through Christian groups. And now we are a nation of Biblically Illiterate people. If you believe that you are a Christian, ask yourself if you have ever read the Bible. If not, how do you know what you really believe. Often people speak of My God, but if they are really honest with themselves, they will realize that the god they speak of is themselves. God wants you to know him, and that is why he put the story of his son in His book.
    As for Reverend McGee's comment, Jesus does want us to love others as he loves us. If I was about to walk in to a burning building, I would hope someone loved me enough to yell STOP. Jesus came to fulfill the law. Remember the Great Commandments are first to love God with all of your heart, mind, and strength, and the second one was like it to love your neighbors as yourself. Note that God comes first.

    January 12, 2009 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  7. G. Smith

    "Religious wackos"? That's MR. Wackos to you, BC! Obviously, it takes a wacko to know one! Suffice to say, I consider 'BC' a wacko, too. So, that evens the field!

    Robinson being a priest is an oxymoron! He is certainly not going by the Book he falsely purports to follow. It CLEARLY, unequivocally, and categorically says in words so simple even Robinson can understand in 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.". What part of that doesn't he and his ilk understand? The cacophony from those 'wackos' like 'BC' notwithstanding, this is what the Rule Book says. If you don't go by the rules of any club, how can you say, with a straight face, that you are a member of the club? The naysayers have no leg to stand on. Yes, Christ said "Love one another". By the same token, he also said, "Repent, go forth, and sin no more".

    January 12, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  8. 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 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  9. LK in NJ

    Pat January 12th, 2009 10:44 pm ET

    I was happy to see Rev. Rick Warren invited to participate in a prayer at the inauguration, but I am appalled at the hatred and venom dished out to him because he is a born-again believer who believes God's Word that homosexuality is an abomination. And to have a male priest who is openly homosexual participate with an invocation, how can he pray to God, knowing that he is living the lifestyle he lives. How can he, and the rest of them, not believe what the Bible teaches? Because they have scales over their eyes, blind, but there is hope. Just accept Jesus Christ by faith and repent from our ways and follow Him.

    Yes, it is true, God certainly loves everyone, Jesus died on the cross for all, but He said "except you repent, ye shall likewise perish" and that a man must be born again or he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven. It's not what man "thinks" that gets him to Heaven, it's believing what Jesus said about repentance and salvation. One thing for sure, we are accountable for our actions and one day will be judged. Eyes will be opened, and it will be too late. Christians are not bigots, we just believe God's Word is absolute truth.

    January 12, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  10. PIC

    Jesus says in John 7:7 "The world cannot hate you, but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." It is not Christians that are hated, but Jesus Christ. He was hated then and when Christians stand for what is right based on Gods word, the world hates Him now. I pray for this Nation and my President and President elect as instucted in Gods Word (1 Timothy 2:1-6) and (Luke 6:27) **KJV** Homosexuallity is wrong based on Gods Word (Romans 1:24-32) It says in Romans 3:4 "let God be true, but every man a liar;" I will stand for God. All Christians should be praying for our leaders not bashing them.
    Love in Christ

    January 12, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  11. Rizwan Wani

    Even though I have very liberal views but having a gay priest is little hard to digest. But I sure do not want to discriminate based on religious views. I mean birth control is a sin too but majority of the people...at this day and age don't consider it a sin any more.

    January 12, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  12. Harley Wright

    To those who do not believe in the Bible, STOP trying to rewrite the Book! You are not even qualified to make comments about its contents until you are familiar with the contents. We who believe in it don't attack your 'Book of Nothingness' (seeing you believe in Nothing), so by the same token, stop attacking our beliefs!

    January 12, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  13. Fay Tx

    @TCM Do your words reflect the real you or are you pretending .....
    What you say Reveals who you are !!! Good Night Besure to take your MEDS!!!

    January 12, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  14. Kyle Bates

    Dear State the Obvious,
    Some straight people do have hatred for gay people. I have experienced it personally. Have you ever heard of Matthew Shepard?

    January 12, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  15. Michael

    Here we go again, you say the word gay and religion together and the next thing you know people are crawling out of the wood work to say "no, my version is correct" and "no, my God says this and you're wrong." It's the same crap that's destroying the Middle East. Why can't you see that?

    And at of all the horrible sins in the Bible where does it say that being gay is the absolute worst of them all. Come on you people, you treat gays like they are criminals.

    Go live in Alaska with Sarah.

    January 12, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  16. scott

    To all those opposed to homosexuality on biblical grounds:

    I respect your decision, as long as you are with equal force opposed to the eating of shrimp and pork, and in favor of stoning to death disobedient children.

    And please, do your homework. this is not a "christian" nation (see, for example, Kramnick and Moore's "The Godless Constitution").

    January 12, 2009 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  17. destine

    I find it disturbing when a bishop that professes to follow the same Christ that taught not only love but self denial, control of the carnal man, true agape, pure love of men,,,when a bishop of psuedo Christianity changes what God is and what God taught, He needs to worry more about what he'll say when he stands before Christ.As for his concern about what message does the choice of what man to pray for our countrys future send...it appears this is the message ", that the media create values or lack of values and that the squeaky wheel gets the attention, will God hear the prayers of a sodomist?Isn't this anti Christ? God loves all men, but you can be sure He doesn't sleep with them!

    January 12, 2009 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  18. Dissapointed

    This is sick. How can he be a man of God if he contradicts what God teaches. It clearly speaks out in the bible against homosexualality. IT says MAN & WIFE. Look back to our founding fathers. They based this country upon Christianity and now look what it has become of. A bunch of people who want nothing to do with God. Stop saying that being gay is fine because it is not. It is a sin that is clearly spoken against in the bible.

    January 12, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  19. Lover of God

    When someone who confesses to be a christian and allows an openly gay minister to be part of this event, one must wonder about the his/her faith. No doubt God loves people but He hates sin. One must repent and turn away from sin including homosexuality. As others wrote previously, God hates homosexuality. Bible is very clear on this.

    January 12, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  20. Austin

    I think the message Obama's trying to send is towards both the gays and the religious: we need to drop the hate on differences in beliefs and learn to respect, or even better, love one another.

    I respect each and every comment here and it is your loss if you cannot do the same. Know that hatred is your body telling you there's something you need to open up to.

    January 12, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  21. Patrick

    Reverend McKee, that is exactly the point I was going to make.

    Yes, the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. Does it not also say to treat others how you would like to be treated and o love your enemies? Does it also say that to lie is to sin, and that all sins are equal under the eyes of God? So, those who believe that a homosexual priest is an 'abomination', are you okay with a priest who lies? Or sins in any way whatsoever? Why is homosexuality such a greater sin than everything else nowadays???

    January 12, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  22. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    To those who think our country's inner morality should prevail should remember with the liberal elitiest agenda of anything goes is pushed in schools and colleges and by the media, as well as parents wanting to be buddies not parents our country's morality has gone to Hell! Our present generations in America are moral midgets compaired to our Founding Fathers. Obama has the right to pick who participates in his inauguration even if it is against my religious beliefs!

    January 12, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  23. Julianne

    Robinson also said...

    "God never gets it wrong. The church often takes a long time to get it right. It is a human institution, but one capable of self-correction," Robinson told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "I believe in my heart that the church got it wrong about homosexuality. "

    Now there's a man that speaks as a true Christian – In his eyes we're ALL Gods children.

    Good choice Obama

    January 12, 2009 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  24. Bon

    There is a way that seemeth right unto a man BUT the end thereof is DISTRUCTION, Robinson and all his Gay followers NEEDS to REPENT!! Remove the PLANK in his eyes before He tries to pray for others What's wrong with us Americans can't we see the comming of the Lord is at hand ? Please Read Matt 24 and Observe the signs of the time....

    January 12, 2009 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  25. LK in NJ

    2 Chronicles 7:13-15 (New King James Version)
    13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.

    People our Nation is in spiritual trouble. If we put aside our pride, and confess our sins, and seek God's way of living, then He will forgive us and bring us into prosperity (heal our nation).

    January 12, 2009 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27