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January 18, 2009

Gay Bishop Kicks off Celebrity-filled Event

WASHINGTON -- Gene Robinson, the divisive figure who was the first openly Episcopal gay bishop, led the invocation at today's inaugural kickoff.

Robinson prayed for God to "bless this nation with anger ? anger at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people." He also prayed that God would bless us with "the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah."

Overall, his prayer was not especially surprising, since Robinson had told the Concord Monitor that it wouldn't be "especially Christian" and wouldn't use a Bible. Below is the video I took on my camera of Robinson's prayer.

The event was mostly focused on the celebrities, including Bono, Tiger Woods, Beyonce, and Bruce Springsteen. Several journalists clearly need a brush-up on People, In Style, and US magazines because people had to call out each celebrity for those of us who were clueless. My favorite moment was when it looked like Samuel L. Jackson peeked around the corner to take a picture on his phone. Even Malia Obama pulled out a small digital camera.

Click below for the full text of the prayer and more pictures.

During the event, I stood close to the front and heard the prayer just fine, but my friend who stood closer to the Washington Monument said the sound of the prayer didn't reach the crowd until halfway finished. In any case, here's the full text of the prayer:

"O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will bless us with tears ? tears for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women in many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.
Bless this nation with anger ? 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 our 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 as a nation 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.
Bless us with compassion and generosity, remembering that every religion's God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable.
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, inspire him with President Lincoln's reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy's ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King's dream of a nation for all people.
Give him a quiet heart, for our ship of state needs a steady, calm captain.
Give him stirring words; 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 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 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."

sunmall.jpg
This is the view from the Lincoln Memorial of an estimated 750,000 people on the mall.

sundenzel.jpg
Denzel Washington was one of the celebrities who spoke at the event.

sunbono.jpg
Before Bono sang "In the Name of Love," he said the song was also an "Irish dream, European dream, African dream, Israeli dream," and, after a pause, "also a Palestinian dream."

sunobama.jpg
My apologies for the blur, but I don't have a monstrous camera. This is Obama just before he leaves the Lincoln Memorial.

Comments

HBO has stated it wasn't THEIR decision not to air the prayer, Obama's team decided the prayer was PRE-SHOW.

"BLESS us with anger - at discrimination"
Bishop Robinson

MY BLESSING OVERFLOWETH

LGBT blogs including Pam's House Blend, Queerty, Joe My God, AmericaBlog, Huffington Post, Dan Savage have "seriously" ANGRY posts.

The anger Warren faces at MLK tomorrow and at the Invocation is going to get MUCH UGLIER NOW.

Good job sarah!! Looks awesome.

Overall, not a bad prayer. Though I would probably disagree with much of Gene Robinson's theology, he spoke a lot of truth that we shouldn't ignore simply because it came from someone with whom we disagree or distrust.

i feel like a kleenex

when someone anyone is expendable, we all are

Disappointingly negative attitude from alleged Christians.

Disappointing, but not surprising.

One "distrusts" Bishop Robinson. Who asked you to "trust" him? Why should I trust you, Matt? Were you duly elected by a group of Christians, confirmed by a wider group of Christians, and consecrated by a world-representing group of Christians? Still, you don't have to trust Robinson. No one asked you to do so.

Gene Robinson's theology is thoroughly Christian. If you "disagree with much of" it, I'd say that would make you rather not a Christian.

And the blogger herself cannot resist referring to Bishop Robinson as a divisive figure. Again, he was lawfully and duly elected by his diocese; the divisive figures are the ones from other dioceses and other countries who believe they have the right to interfere with the move of the Holy Spirit in New Hampshire.

Why was your excellent YouTube video of Gene Robinson's moving invocation just taken off of YouTube??

Robinson's selection to give this invocation was a gesture towards healing the wounds of many progressives, women, and GLBT people who were affronted by Obama's choice of the Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inaugural on Tuesday.

Fresh salt in those wounds was provided by HBO's and other organizations' not broadcasting Robinson's invocation, the audibility problems, and HBO's not identifying the Gay Men's Chorus when they sang. (If those decisions were made by the Obama team, as suggested by commenter Mark, that's even worse.)

As far as I know, the only record we have of Robinson's invocation was his text and your video. I'm really glad you have the video on your site, but I'm wondering whether you know why it is no longer available on YouTube.

Thank you,
EmmyG

Uh, now the video is back on YouTube. I hope it stays back.

Sarah:

Nice reporting. Had I been there, with you, I would have been asking you who some of the celebrities were. But I know you Bono is and Denzel Washington.

Mr. Russ

Thanks so much for posting your video. I had found the written words of Bishop Robinson's prayer elsewhere, but hearing his voice read the words made them even richer.

Sarah,
I can't see your video...I have searched the web for video footage on Gene's prayer. Can you send me a link...

ps: I am so upset by this blatant act of discrimination

It is regrettable that more Americans were not able to hear this prayer live via HBO...whoever made the decision not to air it made a serious error. Thankfully, the blessing of electronic media such as the internet, Youtube and "warrior" reports like Sarah Pulliam will allow those who want to see Bishop Robinson and hear his prayer at this historic moment to do so.
Many Many MANY thanks!

What a pitiful excuse for a prayer. The bishop's theology is his own and this prayer reflects it and magnifies it.
Where is the scriptural basis for this kind of "poor pitiful us" prayer.

Very good job. I feel blessed that I got to hear Rev. Robinsons complete blessing and prayer.
Thank You
and
God Bless you

Bishop Robinson's comment, "Bless us with anger at discrimination, etc." strikes me as the opposite of Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on the Mount against the passion of anger (Matt 5:22). A better choice of words would be "Bless us with a passion for justice." That's a Christian teaching--expecially justice for the poor and oppressed. But this passion is supposed to come from love, not anger.

Thank you for posting this, I have been searching for it for an hour now. Our planet is in peril, it is time for balance on all levels -- of color, of nations, of faiths, of our hearts and minds, and yes, our sexuality -- our Lord knows, the planet doesn't need any more children, but the ones here should be loved and held dear, and not judged. Dear Jesus, please forgive those Christians who point fingers at your children of love and light.

This is a laudable political agenda, but not a prayer. It is still religion, still people trying to speak on god's behalf. Jesus is dead. live with it.

I agree with what Michael wrote. There are issues I do not agree with that the Rev. Robinson does, but it was nice that he helped pray for us to be compassionate and open-hearted to others. Good pictures! Hope you had a good time

As much of a slap in the face this situation is and smells nasty to high heaven, i still just cannot be mad to the point of pure anger.

I have to keep my feet of Peace, Joy, and Faith & Trust that God Is Always in Control and is Always Able; and He will turn everything around for the Good for all those that love Him.

Freedom Never Goes out of Style. Free your mind and the rest of you will follow! Free your body only, your mind is still a slave!

Always bringing Glad Tidings and Publishing Peace!
WTm
http://wisdomteachesme.blogspot.com/

Looks like the video is gone. Was it forceably removed?

The prayer was very eloquent... any in my mind it was "especially Christian". What vaues did Jesus teach? That the despised and opressed, the "lepers" of society would inherit the Kingdom of God. That Love is above all, above any law, and that even the "laws" put in place by religion and acepted as truth should be ignored if someone is hurting because of them... remember when Jesus healed on the sabbath?

This was *not* a prayer--it was sermonizing.

as a gay christian, albeit an angry one [as you will see on my blog--and if my anger at rick warren offends you i will pull down that post as a courtesy to you, someone who has in no small way been the face of Christ today], i came by to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there, for taking the only recording i have found of bishop robinson's prayer, and for publishing the entire text...we do not have to agree on theology to share the love of Christ, and i am so grateful today that you have shared with me something that was denied to me by all of the other press, and primarily because of the decision by the obama inaugural team not to include it in the broadcast...you're not only a christian, you're a fourth estate all-american in my book! thanks.

You can't ask God to bless something like homosexuality and bisexuality and transgenders when He calls it sin. He can bring people out of this sin, but He can't bless it.

"Every religions god?" Then who is really god? This man is praying to no one.

Lord, forgive us for our sins. Bring truth. Your truth that have made us this great nation.

This is not a prayer...totally disgusting and anti-Christian...so it fits right in with Obummer's plans.

Thank you, Sarah, for making it possible for me to feel a part of Bishop Robinson's prayer for Obama.
Too many religious figures exclude non-Christians and non-believers.
Thank you, Bishop Robinson for including me, too.

Well-blogged.

With Obama's team pulling Robinson's prayer from HBO coverage, looks like Obama just wanted him as the token gay pastor to balance ire over the Warren pick. Let's see if Warren gets the same treatment, as the token Evangelical pastor whose actual prayer might not be adequately covered.
Apart from the dubious ambiguity of "discrimination against... [GLBT]" and vacuous "God of our many understandings," it was a surprisingly good prayer. I'm sure Warren can do even better.

Dina,
Perhaps you and Emmy missed the point...
Homosexuality is a sin as defined by the New and Old Testaments. While we hate the sin, we love the sinner and hope that they repent from their actions.

The medical pathologies caused by homosexuality have decimated their ranks and still they claim to be victims. They are victims of their own vices. Do you still defend their behavior or do you only defend the person...there is a difference.

What is wrong will become 'right' and what is right will become 'wrong'. This is what happens when the authority of Scripture is eroded and what seems 'fair' and 'right' to humans is given precedence over the clear and plain Word of God. I hope every person is prepared to give account for their lives and attitudes at the final Judgement.

It wasn't a prayer at all. It was a sermon, demanding of every listener that s/he think/feel/believe precisely how Robinson thinks/feels/believes. It also was a dictation to God, telling God what to think/feel/believe. If I were God, I would have grown tired of Robinson telling me what to do!

I am gay, btw, so the "gay thing" has nothing to do with my opinion that this prayer did absolutely nothing to inspsire me.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." God's blessings come only to those who do His will, not to those who fulfill their own lustful desires, pleasures and wills. This prayer was not about God or about the Lord blessing Americans, but about trying to make a point about lifestyle. Prayer is not about asking God to bless our lifestyle but about living a life that pleases Him. People who get a world platform and then use it to blaspheme the sancity of God are abusing a sacred privilege. I can't even call it a prayer because that has never been the intention and purpose of real prayer. Today we needed a prayer to cleanse our sinful society, not bless our sinful ways. Fortunately, God did not even hear this prayer. John 9:31, "God does not listen to people who live sinful lives. He only listens to people who worship Him and want His will for their lives." Psalm 66:18, "If I have sin in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."

Thanks so much for recording this and for posting it here.

Thank you for this Sarah. I enjoyed reading, and hearing, Bishop Robinson's words, especially "hold him in the palm of your hand" part. Very touching.

Can we please try not to criticize so much here?


Exodus 20:1-3 ( NKJV ) 1And God spoke all these words, saying:

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

Matthew 7:15 ( NKJV ) 15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

Matthew 7:21-24 ( NKJV ) 21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Matthew 7: 22Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

24“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:

Luke 12:8-9 ( KJV ) 8Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Ephesians 5:3-7 ( NKJV ) 3But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5For £this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not be partakers with them.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ( NKJV ) 9Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor £homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

"What a pitiful excuse for a prayer. The bishop's theology is his own and this prayer reflects it and magnifies it.
Where is the scriptural basis for this kind of "poor pitiful us" prayer." - Carter

"This was *not* a prayer--it was sermonizing." - Craig J.

"This is not a prayer...totally disgusting and anti-Christian...so it fits right in with Obummer's plans." - Jesusistheanswer

"It wasn't a prayer at all. It was a sermon, demanding of every listener that s/he think/feel/believe precisely how Robinson thinks/feels/believes." Rodney

Right then. The world is reading; Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Zimbabwe...
Put yourself in front of an estimated 750 thousand fellow citizens kicking off a political event.
Here is your opportunity to give an invocation.

What is your prayer?

Lisa, why are you trying to stifle legitimate debate? And, if you really believe what you say, why don't you tell Bishop Robinson to take your advice, considering that he has been ripping Pastor Warren apart in the press the last few days?

I don't have a problem with Bishop Robinson giving a prayer at hard-left politician's event. Not at all. In fact, I'd be surprised if one didn't, but the Bishop would be a noboby if he weren't gay and there was nothing particularly moving about his speech. He's simply the token gay for the day. I think he knows it, which maybe explains why he seems so ticked off all the time.

Thank you for posting this - it was important to get this seen by as many people as possible.

That 'prayer' is nothing but the anthropocentric mumbo-jumbo typical of liberals. The thoughts of mere humans, rather than the thoughts of God. This is nothing but venom from the fangs of a serpent.

Sarah,
Thank you do very much for giving us the chance to hear our beloved Rev! I am so proud of him and what he stands for! A true man of faith and God's blessing.
I am straight and white...I will never know what it has been like to live his life---or any one's directly touched by bigotry. I *do* know that it is my responsibility to do all I can to be an example of God's true love and compassion for all!
I hope all who call themselves Christians will finally start practicing what they say they believe!

Thanks, Sarah. It is a beautiful irony that Christianity Today may have the only recording of this event. Thanks for posting it. You didn't allow history to delete this prayer.

I do think it is Christian---and I'm not sure what even Robinson meant when he said it wasn't going to be "that Christian." Bible verses? Or traditional? i thought it nicely held our collective feet to the fire. This is a momentous occasion---and a good prayer for that beginning. I felt blessed.

Thanks,

Jerome Stueart
Whitehorse, YT

As a result of Bishop Robinson's prayer having been omitted from HBO's broadcast it has now been listed on YouTube with much discussion and undoubtedly many emails about it. This has probably resulted in it being viewed or read by even more people than if it had only been on HBO. That's a good thing.

God does move in mysterious ways!

I thought that SIN was to be repented uf; not flaunted and defended.

Is Robinson Christian or Sodomite?

I'm disappointed with many of the comments posted here from fellow Christians. I can't claim to know the mind of God. I can only know what I believe He shares with us through the Bible and the truths as shared by his prophets, past and present. I disagree with Gene Robinson but believe God uses who He chooses and it could be that He is using Robinson for a purpose. Robinson's prayer is not what I would pray. It is what I would expect him to pray. Let us pray for those who lead our country and those who lead God's church.

The Inaugural Committee sent me this ...

"This inauguration is more than just the beginning of a new administration. It is the beginning of a nationwide spirit of unity and service."

BS. They allowed Gene Robinson's invocation to be the pre-game, un-televised show,

How could they? Do they not remember what it was like to ride in the back of the bus??

I'll keep that in mind when they ask for support and donations.

This prayer did sound like a sermon, but no more so than many prayers said in public by clergy. If it was written beforehand, I'm not surprised. I would also not be surprised if Rick Warren's public prayers are written beforehand, though I would not like to listen to them, or read them, nor those of any other prejudiced, spot lighted, perhaps self-serving, individual.

Brendan, get out of the 80's, please. And you can call it AIDS - we all know what you are talking about without your attempt to be clinical. AIDS, btw, is not "caused" by homosexuality, it is caused by a virus that is transmitted in human body fluids, which the last time I checked are exchanged in most sexual encounters, gay and straight. The fastest growing group of AIDS victims today is the straight black population. Perhaps you are prejudiced against them as well.

I was angry at Obama until I started reading this blog. But the person who pointed out that Clinton pissed off the fundies and set off the last 8 horrific years helped me understand. Obama couldn't air the prayer or name the gay men's chorus because so-called Christians don't know how to get along with people different from themselves.

Gay people have had to get along for years and so we have to be the adults in the situation, since these so-called Christians are incapable of doing so. God forbid their delicate eyes or ears be filled with the word "gay" or prayers for gay people for even a few short minutes in a long, diverse program. Funny all those claims that they "love" gay people but are outraged by a prayer or a choral group.

Obama is trying to bring the country together and he knows this. He knows there is no "love" for gay people by the fundamental Christian crowd. 'Cause let me tell you, the gay community is so not feeling the love claimed.

That's okay, we're learning to hate the bigotry and love the bigots, so maybe we will study your ways. You have not learned from the hatred that is slowly "decimating" your ranks. Someday it will come back to bite you.

Thank you for posting this prayer. Even simply reading it, I was moved. I am sorry that more people will not hear this prayer on the national networks.

As for anger, it occurs to me that, when Jesus overturned the tables in the Temple, he was angry at the injustice he saw happening there. It is said--in scripture--that he made a whip of cords and drove the money-lenders out of the Temple. Love does not preclude anger. It is only the folks we care about who can make us truly angry.

It is not anger that concerns me. It is hatred and intolerance.

Sarah,

I really don´t agree with Gene Robinson words but it reaaly doesnt´matter. What you did as a reporter was a work for the world community and as a brazilian and a christian I´d like to thank you and Christianity Today because this video and your text will be from now on part of our searching for a democracy world.

For those of you who are wondering where Gene Robinson's theology comes from ("it's not biblical"). It is biblical. Ever read the Beatitudes?

Prophets are not without honor except in their own country.

That many would cling to a narrow, literal, bigoted reading of Scripture is not surprising. Jesus however taught us that the law was to love God and to love our neighbor, without judgement, and our neighbor was the leper, the outcast, the unclean; the widows and orphans; the stranger in a strange land; the Samaritan beaten by the side of the road--a victim--ignored by the righteous of his day.

I fail to understand how Christians can focus on eight verses remotely pertaining to same-sex sexcual behavior (some of which are non-operative for Christians and other of which are subject to fair interpretation) and ignore in their public policy thinking the thousands of verses about the poor. God cares about the poor far more than the one with whom had sex.

BC

Gene Robinson is in a state of unrepentant major sin: This much is clear from the doctrines of the faith Jesus delivered "once for all" to His apostles, and they to us.

Now, he may yet repent and renew a life of grace. We should pray that he does, and for his soul to be saved. Sexual sin is hard to overcome, especially when reinforced and habituated by a lifetime of identifying with it.

But it has been done; by God's grace it can be done.

So let us pray God's grace and forgiveness for Gene Robinson! ...and that Gene himself accepts that gift of grace instead of rejecting it in rebellion.

Otherwise, he'll wind up before the Savior saying, "But, Lord, Lord, didn't I deliver a great pre-presidential Inauguration prayer which, while admittedly taking anachronistic liberties, was largely in the spirit of the Beatitudes?"

And Our Lord will answer, "Friend, I don't know you, and never have. But as for that conspicuous public prayer, so overshadowed with the scandal of public disobedience, all I can say is, if casting out demons and performing miracles in my name wouldn't be enough to impress me, do you think I'll be bowled over so easily by mere words, when they're bereft of the obedience which comes from gratitude, which comes from true faith?"

The word of the Lord (thanks be to God).

@Dina: I think you have missed my point. The point of my comment was to urge people to look passed their disagreements and distrust to see truth in Mr. Robinson's words. I never claimed that he isn’t really a Christian, and I never claimed that God can’t or doesn’t use him to do very good things.

Also, you're correct--I was not "duly elected by a group of Christians, confirmed by a wider group of Christians, and consecrated by a world-representing group of Christians." While Gene Robinson was, so were all of the other bishops within the rest of Anglican community who stand at odds with Bishop Robinson. The Pope underwent an even more rigorous selection process than Anglican bishops do, and we know where the Catholic Church stands on homosexuality, open theism, etc.

So which point-of-view do we align with? At the end of the day, part of it comes down to the fact that we will believe what we want, and we're self-righteous to the point that we couldn't really consider the possibility that we’re wrong. So, I will continually search for the truth and try to be conscious of the fact that maybe I just believe what I want. If there was anything arrogant about my comment, I apologize. However, please be aware that there also isn’t much that is kind or humble about yours.

something interesting... while it is true that God is the God of all peoples, it is not the case that He is "God of our many understandings".

Allah is not the God of the Old or the New Testament. Jesus did not call His Father "Shiva" or "Waheguru". people have many understandings of God, yes. but there is One God, Whose unique Son is Jesus, Who is holy, just, righteous, merciful, and mighty. Christianity, while calling us to love and serve all peoples, can not be and is not universal in its acceptance of human views on divinity.

another point- homosexuality is a sin. this does not mean that Christians are to despise, reject, shun, or mistreat gay men and women. but homosexuality is a spiritual and emotional mindset, and frame of understanding which is not in sync with God's plan for us. homosexuals tend to understand their condition to be an integral, ingrained, God-given part of who they are, something which is worthy of respect. it is not. Mr. Robinson calls down God's fury on those who recognize this key point, which shows a serious lapse in understanding.

R.C says it really well- "Sexual sin is hard to overcome, especially when reinforced and habituated by a lifetime of identifying with it". yes, it is. but it can be done, with God's help, with the Holy Spirit. one may also recall that "making long prayers for pretense" is also something condemned by Jesus. God loves and cares for all people- but He does not bless or approve of all modes of living. let us remember there is a way which *seems* right to a man, but which leads to ruin and leads very far from the God of the Bible.

Regarding Gene Robinson's anger: Jesus got angry - especially about hypocrisy and powerful people who lorded it over others.
Regarding words not from scripture: My understanding of prayer is conversation with God. Even Job said some pretty nasty things . . . and his recant? I guess that was a prayer, too.

Glenn

Matt,

Jesus never condemned people for homosexuality. Four gospels of material and it wasn't recorded - even once. A number, perhaps all, of the few scriptures that might be contrived to do so have important contextual meaning that are disregarded and cause misinterpretation. Be careful in your judgment. By there fruits, their impact, you shall know a person, straight or gay.

So, let's talk about divorce, or women wearing hats in church, or eating pork.

Glenn

He makes me turns my stomach. This is an abomination unto The Great I Am.

This isn't a prayer. It's propaganda. Nothing more than a gay bishop trying to convince us to look the other way as he PROMOTES and glorifies his sinful lifestyle in front of millions in God's name. He's nothing more than an angry gay bishop playing the victim and trying to deceive everyone by spewing alot of fluffed up politically correct garbage. Why would I listen to a "prayer" by someone who only feigns religion... what a hypocrite this guy is...he didn't even mention the name Jesus in his prayer so he wasn't praying to my God.

@Brenda:

There is NOTHING that is constructive or loving about your comment. Whether or not your views are true, you're not giving anybody a reason to respect them. If you believe that the truth is worth living for, and that communicating that truth to others is equally important, then please believe me when I say that comments such as yours do not pave the way toward a productive, loving, and honest conversation.

@Glenn:

First, homosexuality in the Bible is not the focus of either of my comments. Second, the four Gospels also do not demand that we not eat pork or dress "appropriately" in church. However, since homosexuality seems to be the main issue here, this is, in short, where I stand:

1) Homosexuality is NOT a choice. Just because it is developmental, that doesn't mean it's not biological.
2) I believe that homosexual couples should have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.
3) Personally, the only logical reason I can possibly conceive for a homosexual lifestyle being wrong is that it's not possible for a homosexual couple to conceive. That's it. Other than that, I can't think of any other reason it would be wrong. If that's the truth, and the "married, between one man and one woman" aspects cannot be separated from sex, then neither can the procreation aspect. In that case, given my strong feelings about adoption, I would argue that heterosexual Christians probably shouldn't be having sex either. If we're not willing to consider the possibility that that might be true, then I don't think we have any right to dictate sexual morality to homosexuals.

Do I think that practicing homosexuality is wrong? Based on my limited understanding of the Bible, yes. I would like to believe that it's not, and I'll often cop out by saying "I don't know", but I also have to have the humility to know that God is more loving, just and knowledgeable than I'll ever be. My Char Limit is up.

Grace

As regards your comment that "Allah is not the God of the Old or the New Testament.", I must point out that in Acts 3:13 my OKJV (that's my old 1949 edition) it says, "The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go." Other slightly worded versions are at bible.cc/acts/3-13.htm. The verse is also available in Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin if this is your sort of thing.

I believe that Christianity, Islam, Judaism and at least 5 others are all "Abrahamic" religions so I believe that despite what you say, Allah is the God of the Old and New Testaments. Perhaps you object to the phrase "the God of our fathers"? Allah is just what Muslims call their God. I wasn't aware that many people these days were hung-up on what the "name" of their God is.

I have to comment on Bert's response about Allah. I'm not sure if his comments are due to simple lack of knowledge or just wishful thinking. But, whatever the case, here is the truth. The Arabic name for “God” is the word “Al-ilah.” It is a generic title for whatever god was considered the highest god. Different Arab tribes used “Allah” to refer to its personal high god. “Allah” was being worshipped at the Kaa’ba in Mecca by Arabs prior to the time of Mohammed. It was formerly the name of the chief god among the numerous idols (360) in the Kaaba in Mecca before Mohammed made them into monotheists. Historians have shown that the moon god called “Hubal” was the god to whom Arabs prayed at the Kaa’ba and they used the name “Allah” when they prayed. According to the Encyclopedia of Religion, Allah corresponded to the Babylonian god Baal, and Arabs knew of him long before Mohammed worshipped him as the supreme God. Before Islam the Arabs recognized many gods and goddesses, each tribe had their own deity. There were also nature deities. Allah was the god of the local Quarish tribe, which was Mohammed's tribe before he invented Islam to lead his people out of their polytheism. Allah was then known as the Moon God, who had 3 daughters who were viewed as intercessors for the people into Allah. Their names were Al-at, Al-uzza, and Al-Manat, which were three goddesses; the first two daughters of Allah had names which were feminine forms of Allah. Hubal was the chief God of the Kaaba among the other 360 deities. Hubal was a statue likeness of a man whose body was made of red precious stones whose arms were made of gold. (Reference Islam George Braswell Jr.) Mohammed also claimed to have his greatest revelations when he slept with his 9 year old wife, A'isha. So how is it even remotely possible that Allah is the same god as the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob? Does anyone need to say more?

Robinsons at least was honest in saying his prayer wasn’t “especially Christian” because it wasn’t, nor would he use the bible, and it wasn’t biblical nor to the God of the bible. He prays to the “god of our many understandings”, or in other words, whatever idol you choose, which isn’t the Lord God Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. Jesus said he who doesn’t honor Him, doesn’t honor the Father who sent Him. This was not a prayer of repentance or contrition for sins or one that was consistent with the person, work and purpose of our Lord Jesus Christ who is coming to judge all in righteousness and truth. So, by his own admission, that was not a prayer to God, (or prayer at all, as some have noted already, because of its focus) but more of a defense of a sinful lifestyles and rhetoric to incite the emotions of man. With this type of “prayer” Almighty God is not pleased nor does He regard. But I suppose it achieved its intended purpose of inspiring those who are either dead in trespasses and sins or not grounded in the truth of Gods eternal unchanging word. Many comments here prove that fact well.
Calling Gene Robinsons appointment by men as a bishop in Gods church, which is called to be the pillar of truth ”a move of the Holy Spirit” is akin to calling God the author of sin. Homosexuality is a sin no matter who approves of it, because God says it is(many scriptures already cited in other posts) and He alone sets the standard, not society, culture, nor those who attempt to usurp the authority given by God through His word to those who are true to Him. Robinsons theology is not Christian. His Christianity has little to do with honoring the Lord who is the author of ALL scripture, but more to do with appeasing the sinful hearts and ways of fallen mankind cloaked in false religious humility and jargon. It’s a sign of the times. Taking portions of scripture out of context to create a false religious doctrinal system is more of the same futile attempts of sinful man to approach a holy God own his terms instead of Gods terms. And those who approve of such practices, share in the sins of those who commit them. The biblical response is to expose such men in their errors, and to pray that God will grant them repentance to escape from satan who has taken them captive to do his will.
And may God bless those of you who continue to stand for the truth of His holy word and defend the faith once for all delivered unto the saints.

I fully agree with Aurelio!!!!!!!!!

to Bert:

Allah is not the same god as the Christian God. The Quran may state that Allah is the God of Abraham however, Allah is not found in the Christian bible, nor are the characters of Allah and the Christian God, anywhere near the same. For example, the Quran denies the trinity, saying God (Allah) had no son. That Jesus was only an apostle of God, whereas the Bible claims Jesus was God's divine son, sent to save mankind from their sin. The Quran states that those whose balance of good deeds is heavy, will attain salavation (salvation based on works) whereas, the Bible states salvation is a free gift from God and anyone, who accepts Jesus as their savior, may obtain it. These are just a few of the many examples of the differences found in the Bible and the Quran.

How DOES JESUS feel about Homosexuality?

No, Jesus never mentions homosexuality in the Gospels. The implication is that since he didn't mention it, he was somehow "ok" with it. But this is a fallacious argument called an appeal to ignorance. Jesus also never mentions child sacrifice, incest or rape(all of these and homosexuality are condemned in the same place in Levitical law). Could we imply the same argument here? obviously, this is not sound.

Paul, however, explicitly addresses this subject(homosexuality). And having his authority from Jesus, we CAN imply, soundly, that he is expressing Jesus' view on the matter.
1 Corinthians 6:9; Romans 1:26-28; and 1 Timothy 1:10.

Jesus said, "if you love me, keep my commandments." And he came "not to do away with the law but to fullfill it." The law is good, and by it we KNOW what sin is, as Paul states in Romans, and we attain righteousness through the working of Grace, and what then? "shall we go on sinning? heaven forbid!," He exclaims, which would prove we are not members of Christ, but "Slaves of sin"

This priest is actively choosing to be a slave of sin, and NOT accept the working of righteousness through Christ, thus making a mockery of Grace. I do not condemn the man, for I know it is not by any work that i have done am i any more or less righteous, but through Christ finished work. And i know God loves him just as much as me. But let us be clear. He is NOT preaching, nor living, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I know the Bible. Because of it I accepted Christ as my Lord. With Christ in my heart I say the following.
"He that does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1John 4:8)
The Pharisees had the same Bible as Jesus, but when they looked at it they focused on holiness; who was "in" and who was "out". Jesus saw the same Scriptures through the lense of love. That's why he could touch a leper even though Scripture forbade it. That's why a woman with a flow of blood could touch him and be healed even though Scripture forbade it.
Gene Robinson's prayer was extremely Christian; it was saturated in the Spirit of Christ, if not in the dogmatic terminology of your particular church. The same Sun shines on all, and the same God shines in all religions. I used to not believe that, and I could quote Scriptures that say otherwise, but this I know now to be the truth. Scripture is not God, but it can point to God, if it is used correctly. How is it used correctly?
Love God, and love others. Jesus said that.
That's why I can be at peace with the fact that I am gay. Don't talk to me of pathologies and sinners. 'The measure with which you judge another so shall you be judged.' Jesus said that too.
Shalom.

Jeff Youngblood, your are so deceived... God does indeed love the sinner, but He hates the sin.. He did not rain fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah because he approved of the debauchery within. He is a righteous God, and a just God, and we all stand before Him, and give an account of how we lived our lives while here on earth. Your bishop CANNOT find any scripture to support God being "pro-gay".
If you are accepting of your lifestyle, so be it. My uncle, who lived in your lifestyle, who suffered and died as a result of AIDS, on his deathbed, was lead to The Lord, and renounced the way he had lived a life of sin as a homosexual... his words, not mine.. I pray that The Lord will show you the way to The Truth.... sin is sin, and the wages of sin is death... ALL Christians know this... but to make a decision to willfully dis-obey, is to have reprobate mind... I will pray for you.

Dorian, your are so deceived... God does indeed love the sinner, but He hates the sin.. He did not rain fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah because he approved of the debauchery within. He is a righteous God, and a just God, and we all stand before Him, and give an account of how we lived our lives while here on earth. Your bishop CANNOT find any scripture to support God being "pro-gay".
If you are accepting of your lifestyle, so be it. My uncle, who lived in your lifestyle, who suffered and died as a result of AIDS, on his deathbed, was lead to The Lord, and renounced the way he had lived a life of sin as a homosexual... his words, not mine.. I pray that The Lord will show you the way to The Truth.... sin is sin, and the wages of sin is death... ALL Christians know this... but to make a decision to willfully dis-obey, is to have reprobate mind... I will pray for you.

Earthly "love" has now taken center stage yet again . . . with all sorts of human justification. Fortunately, God's grace is beyond our comprehension AND our ability to forgive -- as seen in Jonah's reaction to His grace extended to those in Nineveh. Sadly, the Ninevites, though given a another chance, once again succumbed to earthly love and were later destroyed.


I only pray that we heed Jonah's warning . . . before we too become another Nineveh! For I fear the path we are currently on is indeed a path to destruction.

I hear the creation account as Man and Woman . . . and as an agriculturalist, including animal science, professor and farmer, I've yet to observe creatures "below" us exhibiting same sex behavior to any beneficial outcome. Yes, young bull calves will ride one another, but quite a far cry from beneficial behavior that assures preservation of the species.

Consequently, while I have little issue with men or women cohabitating for the benefit of shared resources and even mutual support, time and again I've witnessed same sex "couples" falling out of love . . . and have heard time and again that, although sexually active, they admit to "something's missing". I realize that this is only hear-say, however, I simply share it as "observations" I've made over the past years. What concerns me most are the kids who get caught up in trying understand . . .

What's missing?

Nothing?

Are you really sure?

May God's grace open our eyes to the truth of His creation

SHALOM

@ Dorian


Acually, the pharisees did not focus on holiness at all. They focused on works that gave them the illusion (outward apearance) of holiness. Jesus, however, DID focus on holiness, but he pointed at it's source, which WAS love. HE said if you followed the greatest comandment(to love God with all you have) that you would fullfill the keeping of the other comandments. He also, as i said earlier, stated, "if you love me,keep my comandments." True love and relationship with God will work holiness in our lives.

Legalism DOES try to work from the outside, and love works inside to out. But often, people working from those two paradigms will do MANY of the same things, but with different intents in the heart. A Jesus without holiness in NOT the Jesus of the Bible, just as much as legalism is not of Christ. And this Jesus of "peace and love" you try to portray is not of the bible either. forget not his words here:

Mathew 10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’;

You say you know the bible. What does that mean? You know scriptures? The pharises "knew" scriptures, As did Satan. but they picked and chose to fit their own selfish ends. you have to take the WHOLE body of scriptures, not just pick out the ones about love to suit a lifestyle. As Jesus said in Mathew 5:18, "because I tell you with certainty that until heaven and earth disappear, not one letter or one stroke of a letter will disappear from the Law until everything has been accomplished." This includes the law against homosexuality, whether you are at "peace" with it or not. You may serve a God, and if it IS Jesus, I can guarantee you he is not ok with people willfully sinning. Pray with sincerity and openness that if you ARE in error, he show you. HE will. I can promise you that.

@ Dorian


Acually, the pharisees did not focus on holiness at all. They focused on works that gave them the illusion (outward apearance) of holiness. Jesus, however, DID focus on holiness, but he pointed at it's source, which WAS love. HE said if you followed the greatest comandment(to love God with all you have) that you would fullfill the keeping of the other comandments. He also, as i said earlier, stated, "if you love me,keep my comandments." True love and relationship with God will work holiness in our lives.

Legalism DOES try to work from the outside, and love works inside to out. But often, people working from those two paradigms will do MANY of the same things, but with different intents in the heart. A Jesus without holiness in NOT the Jesus of the Bible, just as much as legalism is not of Christ. And this Jesus of "peace and love" you try to portray is not of the bible either. forget not his words here:

Mathew 10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’;

You say you know the bible. What does that mean? You know scriptures? The pharises "knew" scriptures, As did Satan. but they picked and chose to fit their own selfish ends. you have to take the WHOLE body of scriptures, not just pick out the ones about love to suit a lifestyle. As Jesus said in Mathew 5:18, "because I tell you with certainty that until heaven and earth disappear, not one letter or one stroke of a letter will disappear from the Law until everything has been accomplished." This includes the law against homosexuality, whether you are at "peace" with it or not. You may serve a God, and if it IS Jesus, I can guarantee you he is not ok with people willfully sinning. Pray with sincerity and openness that if you ARE in error, he show you. HE will. I can promise you that.

Have we as a nation not forgotten how we have used scripture to hurt? How about how we have treated slaves: "Titus 2:9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everthing, to try to please them, not to talk back to them". Or women: "ICor14:34 women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission..." And John spoke so much of Love "Jn21:20,21peter turned and saw that the DISCIPLE whom JESUS LOVED was following them(This was the one who LEANED back AGAINST Jesus at the supper and had said,"Lord,who is going to betray you?)21When Peter saw him,he asked,"Lord,what about him?" Matt7:1-3"Do not judge,or you too will be judged.2For in the same way you judge others,you will be judged,and with the same measure you use,it will be measured to you.3why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye!"And Leviticus? That's about hospitality. Nuff said.

God IS Love.

I agree with Dorian. God loves everyone He created. But God does not bless sin. If someone knows what the scritures say and blatantly chooses to live otherwise they are rebelling against God. He will not bless and does not hear the prayer of a sinner. I'm not sure He heard this one but He does hear the prayer of a repentant heart.
I will pray for America and I am thankful that God knows everything.

I stopped watching at, "Oh God of our many understandings"... That is subtle heresy.

Acts 4:10-12

Wonder why he didn't pray in the Name of Jesus Christ? Homosexuality is a sin of this there can be no doubt. James Reid Ross

Hello,

I don't know how many people will read this, but hey.

My name is Nicole and I live in Australia. I'm a practicing Christian and I've been following the US election and subsequent happenings with much interest. I believe strongly that the leadership in the US will influence my country greatly.

I didn't get a chance to watch the inaugeration (it was on here at some stupid hour in the morning) but I have been paying attention to any media releases on the subject.

I found Robinson's prayer interesting. I found it slightly preachy but there were some good points- righteous anger over injustice in the world etc.

However I think praying to everyone's god really means praying to no-one's god. My God is a jealous God ("You shall have no other god's above Me").

And as for Robinson's lifestyle, I refer to 1 Corinthians 6:9 TNIV: "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals".

I highlight the words "wrongdoers" and "practicing homosexuals". Clearly the Bible says that practicing homosexuality is wrong. This does not mean that having homosexual feelings is wrong- only acting on them.

The God of the Bible sees all sin as equal. It would be like me having thoughts of robbing a bank- this isn't a sin (unless I'm constantly dwelling on it and it becomes an unhealthy obsession). It only becomes a sin when I act on it and commit the sin of theft.

We are all guilty of what we would call "little sins" like lying or saying harsh words but these are all equal in the eyes of God- that's why He sent His Son.

I believe a pastor or reverend of a church has to give account for his or her actions and the way they have led their flock. If a church leader is teaching a church incorrectly and living in sin, they will be made accountable when they meet their Maker.

I also think people don't understand the meaning of tolerance. Saying that because I think "practicing homosexuality is a sin" makes me intolerant is wrong.
The Oxford Dictionary says tolerance is:
"a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry."
This means that I can have a differing opinion to you and still be tolerant towards you. I am allowing you to continue and not being bigoted and yet I do not agree with you.

I hope and pray that the US will make good decisions about the economy, foreign relations and their own spiritual, moral and ethical beliefs in the days to come.

God Bless,
Nicole
Australia

1. Jesus said nothing about homosexulity.

2. Those who oppose it on Biblical grounds have no problem ignoring other O.T. Biblical injunctions which are also the "Word of God".

3. The Reformation was founded in part on a REJECTION of interpretations of Scripture connected to the veneration of Mary and the saints, the Eucharist, the sacraments, Church authority, etc. That modern day Protestants can say in light of this that the meaning of Scripture is "obvious" and is written in stone is odd indeed. The Reformation occurred when reason was linked to faith. Both come from God.

I'm a Christian living in the largest muslim country in Asia. I think that many of you whose opinion are so defensive on the Gay Priest's side do not have minimal understanding of the God, the Son , and Holly Spirit of the Bible. If you do, I guarantee you, that you would not feel any other feelings but great grief. Grief, for that man uses his influence to spread deceit instead of the Good News of Freedom from BONDAGE, and all the while using Christ's name to rubber stamp his own sinful message that God nods in approval at homosexuality. The Truth is, God himself calls homosexuality a SIN. Full stop. The Priest was trying to 'white-wash' his personal Sin and directing others' attention to Social Injustices.
I am not naive. In the world I'm living in, all kinds of Social Injustices are overwhelming. But while we do our best to do good deeds in this world and see the smiles on the orphans' faces, still the best news for all is "Come all you who are weary and heavy burdened,take MY yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For MY yoke is easy and MY burden is light" (Jesus - Matt.11:28).
And how do we response to the Lord's Invitation? By way of saying, Lord, I repent (turn away from sin), help me deny myself! May the Lord be merciful and graceful to all who are crying out to Him for deliverance. Come, Lord Jesus!

I've started to come back to church after 20 years, having come to feel the love of God. But every time I hear Christians bitching to each other, slighting each other about how sinful everyone else is but THEIR church/denomination/sect/faith community, I really really wonder if I just ought to walk out the door again.

Why are Christians so tiresomely debauched--reveling in the claim that they are filled with love, but rarely ever show true compassion or go out of their way to dialogue with each other. It seems that most Christians spend their days pointing fingers at each other.

Do you think God finds you soul-wearying, too?

I think this photos is of that time when obama becomes an presedent of america.you done really nice reporting at that time.I like journalisam because you serve true to people.

You know, at first reading this, I really thought this guy was sounding pretty crazy. But actually he has some great points. I hope every took time to read this and realize we need to all make sure people don't think our president is a messiah anymore. Someone would have to be crazy to think that now!

I don't think this is acceptable to the Catholic community. This will only arouse ill treatments on the part of the Bishops.

This is truly a case of "it takes all opinions to truly make the world go round.Interesting to say the least. Thanks.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance, replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences. his prayer was not especially surprising, since Robinson had told the Concord Monitor that it wouldn't be "especially Christian" and wouldn't use a Bible.

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Sonam