Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bishop Gene Robinson's Prayer

By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

Opening Inaugural Event
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
January 18, 2009

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.

AMEN.


From the Episcopal Café.

H/T to Ann.

60 comments:

  1. Amen! We are definitely blessed.

    Elizabeth

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  2. Thanks for posting this, Grandmère. I was listening to NPR, hoping to hear Bishop Robinson's invocation, but they had someone who wants to be Casey Kasem when she grows up blabbing away and some instrumental version of a Springsteen song instead.

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  3. Padre, I watched the whole ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial on HBO, and they did not show Bishop Gene's prayer. I was quite disappointed.

    Did anyone see it? Was it shown anywhere on the tee vee?

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  4. Grandmere, thank you! I wanted so much to hear or see this prayer, and couldn't find it anywhere. And as I read it, I am crying. +Gene's words are so spot-on, and I say, "Amen!"

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  5. You can bet Rick Warren will be televised!

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  6. From what I heard, the diseased one's mic didn't work through most of his whinge-fest. Perhaps God decided to show Vicky Gene what he thought of his hypocrisies and lies. After all, Vicky Gene went on about how offensive he found any mentions of Christianity in inaugural prayers. The Lord found Vicky Gene's tantrums offensive and decided to spare the crowd from similarly being offended.

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  7. Anonymous, it's too bad that the Lord didn't take things a step further and spare us from your vile comment. I don't tolerate personal attacks on anyone here. Don't come back with this sort of abuse, or I shall hit the delete button. I especially despise this sort of thing from someone too craven to give a name.

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  8. The Theme "We are One" rings hollow once again - This event was well planned and scripted, so where was Rev. Gene? - This is quite offensive and should piss-off every progressive and LGBTQ person. I watched the entire event on HBO and Gene Robinson was (at a minimum) - not televised. I can only wonder WTF happened here - What was intended to help 'REPAIR' relations with the Gay & progressive communities, turns out to be yet another snub.

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  9. Anonymous, please sign a name the next time you leave a comment, so I don't confuse you with the anonymous author of the nasty comment above.

    If you read the comment thread, you will see that I've already noted how disappointed I was not to see Bp. Gene's prayer.

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  10. It appears that the Almighty God has already struck Anonymous (it that's his REAL name!) stupid and perhaps dumb.

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  11. I meant Anonymous 1, not Anonymous 2. Is it a personal attack if one is making a rude comment about an anonymous poisen, er, person?

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  12. Padre, I think the real name of Anonymous 1 is Anonymouse. Did you mean an anonymous poison?

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  13. Jim Naughton's post at The Lead was about 8 minutes before the telecast began. I too was disappointed that Bishop Gene was not televised.

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  14. First of all, thanks for posting the prayer. I don't get cable and had problems with the HBO webcast, so I was afraid I had just missed +Gene. Now that I hear that he was not televised, I'm inclined to agree with Anonymous (the angry one, not the hateful one) that this looks an awful lot like a snub. A gay man myself, I supported Obama and gave him the benefit of the doubt about Warren's invitation, but it will be interesting to see what he does to make up for the failure to allow this prayer to be heard by millions. Thanks again! BTW, my name is Jim, but I can't remember my Google password so I'll just publish this anonymously. I'm not chicken, just forgetful!

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  15. Thanks for posting the prayer.

    Email HBO and tell them they made a mistake not broadcasting Bishop Robinson's prayer and that they should include it in the Re-casts.

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  16. Obama is not the one that decides what HBO broadcasts and what it doesn't. I am disappointed that Gene Robinson was not televised but I don't think Obama snubbed him.

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  17. http://www.hbo.com/apps/submitinfo/contactus/submit.do?title=Documentaries&questiontype=documentaries

    That's the contact page for HBO/Documentaries. It seemed the best choice.

    SurrealPumpkin is name I use at Huffpo, which is where I found this link.

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  18. Jim, good. You don't need to sign in at Google. Just sign a name at the end of your comment, just so I can keep you all sorted out.

    Shall we rush to blame Obama? I don't know whose decision it was not to show Bp. Gene's prayer.

    SurrealPumpkin, that's an idea. Here's the link to contact HBO by email. I just did it.

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  19. Pumpkin and I posted the same link. That seems the best place to go to send HBO a message.

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  20. The hate is on your part, you seem to think that you can dictate to others what they may believe, think or say.. but then again, fascistic homosexuals helped bring Hitler to power, and have been connected to every fascist movement in Europe.

    Last year, homosexuals in the US displayed their racism and hatred, now no one is fooled.

    Jenny

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  21. What hateful crap, Jenny. Have you never heard of the pink triangle?

    "After roll call on the evening of June 20, 1942, an order was suddenly given: 'All prisoners with the pink triangle will remain standing at attention!' We stood on the desolate, broad square, and from somewhere a warm summer breeze carried the sweet fragrance of resin and wood from the regions of freedom; but we couldn't taste it, because our throats were hot and dry from fear. Then the guardhouse door of the command tower opened, and an SS officer and some of his lackeys strode toward us. Our detail commander barked: 'Three hundred criminal deviants, present as ordered!" We were registered, and then it was revealed to us that in accordance with an order from the Reichsfuhrung SS, our category was to be isolated in an intensified-penalty company, and we would be transferred as a unit to the Klinker Brickworks the next morning. The Klinker factory! We shuddered, for the human death mill was more than feared."

    Appallingly little imformation is available on the situation of homosexuals in Nazi Germany. Many historians have hinted darkly at the "unspeakable practices" of a Nazi elite supposedly overrrun with "sexual perverts," but this charge is both unsubstantiated and insidious. Upon closer examination, it turns out to be no more than the standard use of anti-gay prejudice to defame any given individual or group -- a practice, incidentally, of which the Nazis were the supreme masters. The Nazis were guilty of very real offences, but their unspeakable practices were crimes against mankind.

    That homosexuals were major victims of these crimes is mentioned in only a few of the standard histories of the period. And those historians who do mention the facts seem reluctant to dwell on the subject and turn quickly to the fate of other minorities in Nazi Germany. Yet tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of homosexuals were interned in Nazi concentration camps. They were consigned to the lowest position in the camp hierarchy, and subjected to abuse by both guards and fellow prisoners; most of them perished.


    James Steakley (The Body Politic, Issue 11, January/February 1974) at the website of Fordham University.

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  22. Jenny has revealed herself as a bigot of the worst kind, Mimi. She's referring to a book by neo-Holocaust-denier, Scott Lively, "The Pink Triangle."

    It has been totally rejected by proper historians.

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  23. Folks here might be interested in the comments at Joe.My.God. A number of the commenters were at the concert. They are saying that the volume was turned down very low during Bishop Robinson's prayer. Once commenter said he thought the volume had been louder before the prayer. It was turned back up after Robinson spoke.

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  25. The truth, I'm afraid, is that besides members of the Episcopal Church (past and present) and haters like "Jenny," Bishop Robinson just isn't a household name; I don't think he's really on most journalists' radar screens, even.

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  26. Wow, Jenny - that was just way too long.

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  30. Thanks for sharing the Invocation. HBO hadn't started filming yet, so most people missed it live.

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  31. It is my understanding that liberation of the camps didn't automatically lead to freedom for homosexuals imprisoned in them as homosexuality remained illegal in Germany. This probably explains a bit why historians before about 1970 ignored it.

    I'm sorry that HBO dropped Gene though they probably wanted to put the emphasis on the entertainment (bread and circuses) rather than hard issues (in this case religion and LGBTI rights) that we all must face. At least I don't have to worry about finding a TV with cable to see it. Alas we non-theists are still somewhat not included but at least I can agree with the theme of the prayer.

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  32. Yes, Jenny, that was way too long.

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  33. There was something wrong with the mikes at the event, and HBO didn't film the prayer. Whether the mike problem was deliberate or not, I don't know.

    HBO is getting a lot of email.

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  34. Erp, if you click the link to Fordham University in my long response to Jenny and read more of the article, you will see that the author says what you say. My quote was long enough already, so I didn't include everything.

    Since I turned on comment moderation, I received another comment from Jenny, which I rejected. She thinks I'm gay.

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  35. Since I turned on comment moderation, I received another comment from Jenny, which I rejected. She thinks I'm gay.

    oh, my! Does Grandpere know?

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  36. Not to defend "Jenny" but Rohm who was head of the SA (brownshirts) and much of the leadership were openly homosexual - Rohm and his SAs were a threat to the regular army. Hitler ordered his death and the death of the SA leadership which was carried out in the Night of the Long Knives. Beyond that - raspberries to her and her nasty comments.

    I believe that the absence of Gene was deliberate. I was suspicious from the beginning - the way word was leaked out was unusual. The Inaugural Committee put a damper on any Rick Warren protests because we believed we were getting some recognition, but HBO was footing the bill and controlling all broadcast rites and I'm certain they didn't want to offend. I believe the timing was very deliberate and Obama's people were aware of it.

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  37. Also, I just checked the text of the Live Blogging done this afternoon on the Inaugural Committee's website. They started blogging at 1:59 PM - Guess what, they don't mention Gene Robinson either and HBO had no control over that. Not a single word - 2:20 comes and goes in the text - but we get great details of Bruce Springstein who "opens" the show. I am so disgusted words can't express it.

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  38. Well we could always make you an honorary gay person in recognition of the love of Jesus we see in your heart. And we could make Jenny an honorary Nazi since she seems to sound so like them. (opps, maybe that crossed the line)

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  39. Dennis, I haven't "come out" to GP yet. He doesn't ask, and I don't tell.

    Renz, please do not defend Jenny. I don't doubt that there were gays who were Nazis.

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  40. Robert, my own feelings toward Jenny are not the kindest at the moment.

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  41. Gram, I started out my post by saying "Not to defend Jenny." Rohm and his brown shirts weren't just Nazi's who happened to be gay - it was very bizarre, but doesn't warrant a belief in a homosexual/fascist conspiracy - that's starting to drift into a "Jews run the world" kind of thinking, eh? Jenny is bad! Bad...bad...bad and I am thankful that you made her nastier comments go away - I'm feeling particularly vulnerable tonight after the Gene Robinson snub today. ::hugs:: (because I needed one)

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  42. Renz, I know. Best not to mention Jenny at all tonight. She made it sound as if gays were the force behind every fascist movement in Europe.

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  43. I think that somebody on the Obama team, not necessarily Obama, knew full well when the coverage would begin. I don't think the event, which I watched, had any surprises for the Obama team. I think they knew and wrote or approved all text between songs and knew the text of Bishop Robinson's prayer and decided to just cut off the beginning and start the coverage where they did. I'm gay and Episcopalian and felt good about the decision to invite Bishop Robinson, and I'm disappointed and angry that the Obama team chose to deny us that one gesture. After all, many of us contributed to the campaign, worked for it, and supported this ticket and believed in it. I'll bet that the speakers will all be turned on for Rick Warren, that everyone will hear what he says, and everyone watching on tv will as well. This was a hurtful thing to do to the gay community, period.

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  44. Yes, I posted my usual R&B Sunday night song on my blog with comments - I'm not sure to what extent walking the GLBT walk has to do with the intensity of our anger and pain over this - I'm catching a fair amount of flak over on Face Book from some of my friends and family who think I'm overreacting. I very much appreciate my other heterosexual friends who seem equally enraged, frustrated, disappointed.

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  45. LOL - I forgot about the comment moderation, Gram. Pick one of my two comments or keep them both.

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  46. Nancy, you could be right. It's sad.

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  47. I don't have HBO (I can barely afford the extremely basic cable package I have), so I wasn't party to seeing any of this. But if there was a deliberate attempt on anyone's part to silence such an eloquent prayer, then I, too, am saddened and angry. I am not going to throw in the towel on this administration before Obama officially takes office. And I think it's right for us to keep our community and our second-class status in front of the new President. There's a lot that must be done to undo everything the current, um, leader has done to our country and the world in our name. But if nothing improves for the LGBT community...and if we continue to slip backward...then we must consider how we're going to use our political clout in the future.
    As for Jenny and others who have come here to Grandmere's blog to attack the gay community, is Sunday TV so boring that you have nothing else to do??

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  48. Well, this is my first post on a blog. I found you looking for a video of Bishop Robinson's Prayer. Guess that's not going to happen. Thank you for posting it. I really hope the doubters are wrong about the reasons for it not being heard and broadcast. I want so much for this country to be able to come together in hope and really accomplish something. I guess there will always be things we don't like, that got screwed up, etc. But let's keep working and hoping. Cynicism does not create good. Nor does blindness. Let's find a way around both.

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  49. I am glad that you posted Bishop Gene's prayer. I thought that it was lovely.

    What a nasty troll!

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  50. Grandmere,
    I, too, tuned in primarily to see Bishop Gene and was very disappointed. I came to your blog to see if anyone had info why. I followed some links and came across someone's blog where they posted a youtube version of his prayer. Yay! I got to hear it after all. http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2009/01/bishop-robinsons-prayer-no-show-on-hbo.html
    -Lori

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  51. I do not understand how a bishop of ANY "Christian" denomination would chose to ignore the Truth of the Christ of God, Jesus, in any prayer... for any reason; and in particular, with a captive national audience available for the pickin's.

    On second thought, I believe I do understand. A bishop(?)... yes... well... there were many "bishops" in the days when Jesus walked this fallen earth, as well. Of course, Jesus told them the truth. They simply chose to reject it, much as this "bishop" has.

    I suppose, if you're asking God to bless anyone, without the understanding that any blessings of God come only by the fervent and effectual prayer of a righteous man, then perhaps it really doesn't matter. After all; how does one acquire imputed righteousness without the death and resurrection of Jesus?

    As for hatred, we can certainly use less of that. Amen! Then again, without calling upon Jesus, by His name, for His mercy -- through His forgiveness, upon our repentence of our sins (all of them, I might add) -- is it reasonable for us to expect His mercy... rather than His wrath?

    Maybe faith has come to mere empty gestures of adoration toward the One True God (you know; the one of our many understandings?) This leads me to speculate a little sackcloth and some ashes would have gone much further.

    But what do I know? I ain't no bishop. Then again, neither is ol' Gene -- as I can clearly read in God's Holy Book.

    Thank You JESUS, for your longsuffering of us. Amen.

    Bruce

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  52. SCB, HBO's coverage of the Obama Concert was free (i.e., they unblocked it, to all the HBO non-subscribers, like me).

    For all I know, they'll repeat it: you'll have a chance to NOT see/hear +Gene Robinson, again! >;-/

    [Mimi, THANK YOU for your discretionary moderation. There are other blogs {cough * M Harris's Preludium * cough} that I wish WOULD moderate such immoderate people as "Jenny"!]

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  53. Mimi, I have posted video of Bishop Robinson's prayer on my blog along with a developing report that it was Obama's people who made the decision to cut him out of the broadcast. Apparently this was not HBO's decision.

    I hope Bishop Gene manages to wash the tire tread marks off before he appears on The Daily Show Tuesday. night.

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  54. I had settled into resignation this morning only to read a post by someone who was in communication with HBO - the decision not to broadcast Bishop Robinson was an inaugural committee decision and then I saw Dahveed's comment that the Gay Chorus was not identified during the performance backing up Josh Brogan. As George Orwell wrote, "All Animals Are Equal, But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others." Some things apparently don't change.

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  55. Diane, it was more than one nasty troll. The Huff Post link brought them by.

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  56. Carol, you sound like a sweet woman and I strongly invite you to come back here and read regularly and check out some of the other blogs Mimi has linked. I don't think you have to worry about the disgruntled GLBT folk and their dear friends who are angry about this causing any kind of major red/blue division in the country = if we had that much sway we would not have been so rudely treated yesterday. Clearly there is a groundswell to canonize Obama - this superman treatment will not serve him well as he faces a Herculean task. He would have been better off leaving well enough alone after the dust settled from the Rick Warren invite - he's going to need all the support he can get and he has severly weakened mine and others.

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  57. Regarding the anonymous choir ... with the exception of a Navy choir, no groups were mentioned.

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  58. Dear Grandmere Mimi,

    Thank you for your transcript of Bishop Gene Robinson's prayer. It brought tears to my eyes to read it. I'm not a religious man but heard a little bit about it on NPR today and wanted to read/hear what he spoke.

    To bad that so many people in the nation can't listen more than they speak....as some of the people who left such mean comments on here just need to listen to the beauty of what anyone (like Bishop Robinson) says at this time of hour as this nation is on the cusp of change. They all speak for so many americans as we enter this time.

    Thank you for your moderation on this blog and beauty in spirit and attitude. You have made my day.

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  59. Joshua, thank YOU for your kind words. I fear that the folks who leave the ugly comments don't do a lot of listening.

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