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January 19, 2009

PIC Apologizes for not Broadcasting Robinson's Prayer

Update: Robinson's prayer will be rebroadcast on the mall.

The Presidential Inauguration Committee today apologized for not broadcasting yesterday's invocation by the Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson.

"We had always intended and planned for Rt. Rev. Robinson's invocation to be included in the televised portion of yesterday's program. We regret the error in executing this plan ? but are gratified that hundreds of thousands of people who gathered on the mall heard his eloquent prayer for our nation that was a fitting start to our event," PIC communications director Josh Earnest said in a statement to Christianity Today.

Update: Ben Smith of Politico writes that a source on the committee told him that yesterday's program will be shown on screens on the Mall to entertain the assembled crowd. Tomorrow's version will include Robinson's prayer, the source said.

CT posted a video on YouTube yesterday (below) that is getting thousands of hits and comments. Most commenters were aggravated at HBO for not airing the video.

HBO had already shifted blame for not broadcasting the invocation, telling AfterElton.com that, "The producer of the concert has said that the Presidential Inaugural Committee made the decision to keep the invocation as part of the pre-show."

Robinson's prayer seemed to stifle some of the anger stoked by Rick Warren, who will deliver an invocation at tomorrow's inauguration. The video of the prayer is posted below.


That is not an apology, it is an excuse. And, it is unacceptable. This kind of mistake just doesn't happen for high-level producers of high-profile events. It was intentional and it speaks volumes. I think we should all be angry - this is censorship at it's worst.

Bull. I'm tired of being kicked around. I have supported Obama, but that's over. The time for talk is over. GLBT folks need to get serious.

This was deliberate. No amount of excuses will change the fact that once again, the Obama team decided to kick the GLBT community in the gut.

I have no doubt Warren's time will be front and center (and audible) tomorrow.


that makes no sense and seems to be just another excuse to try and pasify the people.

if they intented to include him, then why was he put in the non-broadcasted pre-show?

yeah , uhhuh ok.
And so we continue to wait for everyone to get an understanding.
Walking by Faith with feet of Peace.

Always Seeking To Encourage!

This is not an apology - it is an excuse! No way do I believe this "apology". Time is a constant -- it's not unpredictable. Everyone, everyone knew what time the concert started, everyone -- you couldn't miss it, just the Obama team?

Just another kick in the face for the gay community by the Obama team.

Yeah, it's pretty obvious Obama's team intentionally didn't broadcast the prayer to distance itself from controversy if the prayer wasn't PC enough. Low and behold, the tactic backfired! Let's see if Warren gets the same treatment...

In agreement with all the comments above.

Once again we have the responsibility of holding folks accountable for making the "change we can believe in" a reality by calling the Obama team out for their so-called "error" of omission with regards to the Rt. Rev. Robinson's invocation yesterday.

Yes, this error is not to be excused nor accepted. The LGBT community will not be pacified nor patronized.


Oh man. I'm so over the whining I can't handle it.
So my equality, happiness and safety is now based upon a few minutes of airtime on HBO? Grow up people.
Censorship? Are you kidding...? The most popular daytime tv show is hosted by an out, proud lesbian. A big British queen with hair implants in on Soft Rock radio every 7 minutes. And the most popular TV SHOW is a singing competition hosted by a gay man (even if he doesnt know it yet).

Bill Clinton underestimated his conservative Christian foes and they declared war on him,setting up 8 horrific years of Bush. Barack Obama is not making the same mistake. Divide & conquer. Learn it. Live it. Love it.


For me it wasn't the lack of broadcast, it was the fact that only a few hundred people (press & VIPs) could even hear the prayer. The speakers for us standing in the mall did not broadcast the sound until the last few sentences.

Worst part is that the MSM (Andrea Mitchell among many others) report that he gave the invocation without any mention that 99.9% of the people in attendance didn't hear it.

On today's NPR interview with Bishop Robinson, the interviewer announced that yesterday's prayer was also not broadcasted on the mall's Public Address system.

Where is the Inauguration Committee's response to that?

Did anyone else notice that the Gay Men's Chorus was not identified before
or after their performance?

I donated $800 or $900 to Barack Obama's campaign!

That may be beside the point but I feel it gives some credibility to my comment:

Whether it was the PIC or HBO that decided to leave Bishop Robinson out is beside the point! It could not hurt Bishop Robinson or any of we Gays!

What it could and did hurt was the program that took place at the Lincoln Memorial: The name of the program was changed to "WE ARE SOME!"

That act destroyed the symetry of the symbol!

No, my happiness is not dependent on "a few minutes of airtime on HBO." But my safety and equality are dependent on politicians' getting the message that second-class citizenship is no longer good enough.

Robinson's suppression would not be such a big deal if Obama hadn't chosen someone who compares my relationship to incest to open his inaugural ceremony. Had he chosen a KKK member or Holocaust denier to give the opening, I'd be just as mad. So the bungling of an already tepid attempt to make amends just adds insult to injury.

I'm pretty sure the opening statements of the inaugural ceremony are just a little bit bigger deal than Ellen's talk show, with all due respect.

To be at peace with your sin is to wage war against God.

To wage war against sin is to be at peace with God.

C'mon folks.

>>Bull. I'm tired of being kicked around.

Why do you feel entitled to homosexualize our society? Feeling a little militant?

Hey the PIC didn't even want Obama at the venue with the Bishop at the same time. Everything being planned so politcally by the PIC this was a deliberate snub.

Comparing Rick Warren to the KKK is a bit much. Making an unfavorable metaphor to show condemnation of a behavior is a far reach from flaming crosses and lynch mobs.

It may have been a political move, it may have been an oversight, but let's not get all up in arms as if LGBT rights activists never have a platform. Obama is probably more favorable towards LGBT rights than any president to date.

If anything, Conservatives should be mad that they are being placated by the inclusion of Warren in the inauguration of a president who will most likely be far more liberal than they would like.

bobo -- Militant, No. Worried, Yes.

The Christian Extremist are determined to force their beliefs on everyone else. It's only a matter of time that they will be made irrelevant.

Just like the Taliban hijacked Islam, the Christian Extremist are trying to hijack Christianity.

Not all Christians feel as you do, bobo.

I read an article a few weeks ago that examined a study recently completed. Over 50% of the participants (under 35 years old) see Religious people as "mean spirited". (just think Fred Phelps, the Pope, etc.)

I would not classify Jesus as "mean spirited" in any way. Yet, those that claim to represent him here on Earth, have established that image in the minds of our young people.

To me, this is a very bad sign for all Christians. Especially now that we have established that we can vote on the rights of others.

Seems folks are so busy arguing about this issue they missed the speech from the man himself which talked about putting aside the old divisions, hatred, narrowness, moving on way to work together, etc. etc. etc. The above is an excellent demonstration of how difficult that will be, and if you did support Obama (vote, finance, etc.) then I suggest you start acting the way your leader and NOW PRESIDENT asked in his inaguration.

Diane, I'm curious why Jesus would not be "mean spirited" and the Pope would be? Jesus declared that the sexually immoral (and the Bible classifies homosexuals as such) would be in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 21:8). The Pope simply repeats the message of Jesus, which is that we have no right as God's creatures to disobey Him. And, speaking of people's rights, The Freedom of Choice Act threatens to take away a doctor's right not to perform abortions because he believes they are murder. So much for Obama being "Pro-choice."

Why all the whinning about Robinsons prayer? For one, I do not consider him to be a pastor. He does not hold that the Bible is the word of God. With his lifestyle choice, and his pride in his sin, do you think God even hears his prayer?

WOW! Discrimination lives!

When I was working in civil rights in Mississippi 1970 to 1974, people sometimes came up to me angry, spewing scriptures explaining (in their minds) why "coloreds" were not fully human, why they were the children of sin, why they were less than human, why they were rightfully slaves and meant to live as slaves.

And oh, yes, they had many more scriptural sources than the famous 11 for the "homosexuals".



You missed the point. I'm not arguing the position of God, but how people communicate with other people.

Different Christian Churches interpret the Bible in different ways. That's why there is a plethora of Churches.

For the Pope, Rick Warren or anyone else to communicate in an disrespectful or judgmental manner, does not represent Christ.

Christian Extremist have chosen to express their interpretation of the Bible, in a mean spirited way.

Just because you don't belittle others, doesn't mean you agree with them.

I can not judge others and spew Bible verses at them to make my point. I simply can not raise my level of arrogance to that point. I believe that only God can judge others, and will do after their death. That is his right as our creator.

Neither the Pope or Rick Warren are God. Because I believe God is God, I don't see him as mean spirited, at all.

I believe that as Christians, we should treat others in a manner that would make Christ proud. Regardless of the issues where we disagree.

The consequence of acting so mean spirited will be the exclusion, if not out right discrimination, of Christians. Already you hear the Christian Extremist crying discrimination, when in reality, people are reacting to the way they communicate with those that don't agree. (and spewing Bible verses at them)


After posting my last message, I thought I should give an example of the Christian Extremist I commented about.

I do NOT endorse this site. I believe it is quite disgusting, but it is a good example of those "doing-in" Christians. This is just ONE site out of many. You will need to read various articles to see how mean spirited these folks can be.



Warning -- not suitable for children.

I am amazed and insulted that GLBT folks think their choice of an immoral lifestyle constitutes a valid way of life according to the Holy Bible. This lifestyle will be acceptable when God restores Sodom and Gomorrah and the lives within, along with an apology... Is this discrimination? No. Since when does "believing" scripture become wrong? Only when twisted by those who abuse it.

I'm grateful for the numbers of prayers that surrounded the inaugration. Yet, I'm distressed by the way in which pastors took advantage of an open mike to preach and tell God what was already self-evident. The moments of prayer for the president, his family, leaders, and for our country were genuine and refreshing.

I am a "mellow yellow," quasi-religious, straight female, over 65. I do not have cable. When i watched the program on HBO.com, i had forgotten that Bishop Robinson was supposed to give the Invocation. I am very grateful that Sarah Pulliam captured it so well for those of us who could not be there. It was eloquent on so many points, and spoke to the fears many of us have about the safety of the Obamas. Of the three prayers on this historic 4-day weekend, this is my favorite. Now i'm looking for a copy so i can say it every morning and night.

I doubt that the then-President Elect would have agreed with any decision by the PIC or HBO that excluded the Bishop's prayer. Obama may be pragmatic, but he despises exclusionary behavior. He has had a busy day today (21st), however, it is likely some officious staffer's ears are burning.

What is with all the homosexuals hanging out at CT? If the Bible is not true, you won't be punished by God for your behavior. If it is, you will. Can't be much simpler (or truer) than that.