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    January 19, 2009

    The Robinson prayer that HBO skipped

    Posted by: Chris

    A transcript of the prayer by gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson at yesterday's opening inaugural event is now available, as is the video:

    It's a challenging prayer, no doubt something of a downer for an event that is supposed to celebrate Barack Obama's historic election. Perhaps the event's producers excluded it from the HBO broadcast for that reason. Reverend Robinson's glass is not just half-empty; it's mostly evaporated.

    Still, it will no doubt please its intended audience, the progressive left that revels so much in victimology that it is loathe to ever recognize the "progress" from which it gets its name.

    Here's the Robinson transcript:

    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.


    (Video h/t to our pal Jeremy at G.A.Y.)



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    1. Hawyer on Jan 19, 2009 12:32:01 PM:

      Chris - your relentless support of the homophobic vitriol inherent in Rick Warren's record, in contrast with your obvious animus toward the religious left emblematic in Gene Robinson's remarkable accomplishment, would send the psychoanalyst scrambling for clinical literature.

      To brand you a self-hating homosexual would be tempting. But, even though I have never met you, I surmise your galactic ego simply won't allow you the wiggle room to accommodate opposing opinions in the palm of your hand.

      Accordingly, when you lash out, in an ad hominem manner, against the grandiloquence of Gene Robinson's stirring exhortation, it makes me wonder if ice water really runs in your veins or if you're angry at the wall you face after painting yourself into this embarrassing corner.

      To berate the monumental milestone that Gene Robinson exemplifies - that of the Episcopal Church in America's resolve to come down on the side of Christ and thus put its existence at risk - rings childish and shallow in the wake of the "progress" it represents.

    1. Chris on Jan 19, 2009 2:23:09 PM:

      Sticks and stones, my dear Hawyer, sticks and stones...

      Thanks for once again proving that so many on the "tolerant left" are incapable of disagreement without resort to personal attacks and Dr. Phil armchair psychoanalysis. How ironic that you accuse me of being unwilling to "accommodate opposing opinions" when you're the one trying (in vain, of course) to bully me and others out of the conversation.

      I'm not surprised that you cannot manage to show basic respect for me or even to the idea that reasonable people can disagree on this issue; it's the very problem endemic in our movement that Kevin and I have repeatedly highlighted.

      If we cannot manage to disagree amongst ourselves in a civil manner, how can we hope to engage those who oppose us in a constructive manner? This sort of mean-spirited, ugly intolerance is not lost on mainstream Americans, who we need to win our equality.

      Think about that the next time you are dreaming up a blog comment that will pack in the maximum number of personal insults per sentence possible! :)

    1. Hawyer on Jan 19, 2009 2:49:50 PM:


      Thanks for your literary critique of my "attack" on you. I try.

      I only let you have it - because I perceived you leveled an ad hominem attack on Gene Robinson - which I thought was way beyond the pale. And accordingly, my respect for you went pinwheeling on the rocks. Gene Robinson is a true hero in my book - and I am saddened that apparently you would berate him.

    1. InExile on Jan 19, 2009 6:04:48 PM:

      Reverend Robinson being deleted from HBO's coverage speaks for itself! What a shame!

    1. Chuck on Jan 19, 2009 7:05:37 PM:


      I am sorry, but I am going to come down on the side of Hawyer yet once again. Like Hawyer, I too am saddened that you would berate Gene Robinson while defending Rick Warren. It boggles the mind.

      Judging from the steadily declining commentaries on this site, I suspect that a lot of other LGBT people are equally distressed by your contrarian, rightist platform and remarks.
      You and Kevin, both come off sounding like Log-Cabin Republicans...and it ain't pretty.

      Since January 11, the earliest thread appearing on this site, I counted a total of 5 threads with a zero commentary from your readership.

      Another six threads had only 1 or 2 commentaries on them.

      The only thread that managed to garner a decent number of commentaries, was the one about your return to the US from Thailand. 10 commentaries does not a record-breaking response rate make, however.

      I don't know what that looks like to you, but to me, it looks like you have succeeded in turning most of your readership off with your support of the right, while berating and insulting the liberal left at every opportunity. You may not be aware of this, but you are losing what little readership you have left, to Queerty and Towleroad. You should be very concerned about that, but apparently, you are not.

      It behooves me to say that you may be winning the battles, but it appears to me that you are losing the war.

      A blog site with no readers or bloggers is a terrible thing to waste.

    1. Kary on Jan 19, 2009 8:41:28 PM:

      Jesus Christ. Haven't been here in months....putting up with self-loathing rightwing nutjob faggots on this blog is too unsavory. But Chris has now actually turned into the male Ann Coulter...just not as butch. Rick Warren? Give me a fucking break. Stay in Brazil, please. Forever. No, I may want to go there. Try Mississippi, or Alabama or Arkansas....you'll fit right in...just have a couple of teeth removed. OH, and don't ever let those fellow republicans know you're a faggot....they'll kill you. Seriously.

    1. JLG on Jan 20, 2009 12:11:16 AM:

      Not getting into the Warren thing again (yes, it was a bad idea and badly implemented.)

      Then again, maybe the trouble with the Robinson prayer is that it just wasn't very good. I don't see it as a "challenging" or promoting victimization. I imagine that you'll see quite a bit of the same sentiment tomorrow.

      I do think the oratory is mediocre, neither uplifting or particularly touching.

      Perhaps that's why HBO omitted it. The most likely answer is that no one there understood the controversial nature of his introduction to the Inaugural program. The media loves controversy and would have fixated on it otherwise.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jan 20, 2009 4:16:28 AM:

      My, my, Hawyer has certainly come a long way in his view of Christianity:

      With this boneheaded move, Barack Obama has just qualified himself as another Clarence Thomas Negro - shilling for the same white man's religion that enslaved his ancestors.

      Posted: Dec 18, 2008 at 9:22 pm

      I guess Christians aren't all superstitious idiots like he and his fellows have been complaining -- and quite obviously he doesn't object to churches and church leaders using their tax-exempt status to endorse and lobby for political candidates and causes, as long as they're the right ones.

      Meanwhile, Chuck, this may startle you to your core to know, but there are gays out here that care more about sticking to their principles and beliefs than they do about being popular. Were Chris to become a gossip queen and unquestioning Obama Democrat puppet like Towle and Queerty, I'm sure that would please you to no end, but I fail to see why he should stop saying what he thinks just to try to attract that sort of audience.

    1. Chuck on Jan 20, 2009 8:45:09 PM:

      North Dallas Thirty

      At 72, I assure you that nothing, absolutely nothing startles me anymore. Not even you!

      However, I do hasten to apologize for my failure to share with you, the same critique I lavished on Chris. Your never-ending cavalcade of contrarian, barbed and hostile comments that leave no commentator who visits this site unscathed, must be given it's fair share of acknowledgement and praise for having driven most of them out of this blog.

      Your sycophantic allegiance to Chris has eased my mind that he will not be left bereft of company on his blog. He will always have you as his admiration society, obviously.

      Incidentally, you need to wipe your mouth. There are a few brown traces at the corners of your lips.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jan 20, 2009 10:54:51 PM:

      All that demonstrated, Chuck, is that you really don't read this blog very much.

    1. Charlie on Jan 21, 2009 2:36:47 AM:

      Chuck -

      What I don't understand is that if you find Chris' viewpoint to be so onerous, why are you still here? While I'm sure Chris appreciates the effort you put in to count all the responses to all the posts he's made in the 9 days, I wonder if it ever occurred to you that commenting and posting have both declined recently because, after an intense presidential election and all the protest hoopla raised by prop 8, there just isn't that much to discuss and some of us may be taking a break from all the name-calling and uninformed assumptions that populate the oommentary threads here, waiting for something to actually HAPPEN that might be worth discussing intelligently.

      I appreciate this site because Chris (as well as Chris and Andoni) posts arguments that represent his OPINION, and while I may not always agree with any of them, I celebrate the fact that the opinions expressed here haven't been bowdlerized through a gay mainstream filter.

    1. Charlie on Jan 21, 2009 2:40:18 AM:

      I suppose this is off-topic, but am I the only one who noticed that everyone decided to forget about Rick Warren today and get into a weepy, celebratory mood, all excited about change and hope and all that good stuff? And I'm all for that, but if Obama is so awesome today and his selection of Rick Warren so forgotten, why were so many people so vehemently opposed to it in the first place? Maybe Chris was right? Maybe it really WAS inconsequential?

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Jan 21, 2009 10:37:35 AM:

      Yeah, Charlie, I noticed that too. And I agree that it was inconsequential. But it was still a slap in the face and an insult given his prior statements about gay relationships and his strong support of Proposition 8.

      And, while we're on the subject, what was so inclusive about Warren, anyway? Chris defended the choice by saying that Obama was just fulfilling a campaign promise to be "inclusive." Warren took the stage, referenced Jesus, and concluded with the Lord's prayer, which is a distinctively Christian prayer. How was THAT inclusive of all the Jews, Hindus, and Muslims in the country? At least Gene Robinson had the good sense to understand that he was speaking to people of many different faiths.

    1. the troll on Jan 21, 2009 4:09:03 PM:

      No government has the right to tell its citizens whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody. — Rita Mae Brown

      umm mary k laterneau anyone?

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