Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Political polytheism

You might recall that the choice of Rev. Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration of President Obama drew an objection from Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who said "the God that he’s praying to is not the God that I know." (See Obama’s Choice of Pastor Creates Furor)

Laurie Goodstein reported in yesterday's New York Times that rather than offend those who pray to that other God, Gay Bishop Is Asked to Say Prayer at Inaugural Event.
Bishop Robinson advised Mr. Obama on gay rights issues during the campaign. He is the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, and his consecration in 2003 set off a growing rift in that church’s parent body, the Anglican Communion.

He is taking pains to make the contrast clear.
Bishop Robinson said he had been reading inaugural prayers through history and was “horrified” at how “specifically and aggressively Christian they were.”

“I am very clear,” he said, “that this will not be a Christian prayer, and I won’t be quoting Scripture or anything like that.[ ]

Presumably this excludes quoting the President-elect's testimony, see A Politics of Conscience.

(via M.Z. Hemingway at Get Religion)

Update: A Prayer for the Nation and Our Next President, Barack Obama, by The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, Opening Inaugural Event, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC, January 18, 2009, at Episcopal Cafe (via Douglas LeBlanc at Get Religion)

1 comment:

  1. "I am very clear," he said, "that this will not be a Christian prayer, and I won't be quoting Scripture or anything like that."

    That reminds me of a sign outside a (non-Catholic) church in London many years ago (these signs used to be referred to as the 'Wayside Gospel'...). The sign showed a soup can with the admonition on the label: "Don't wear the label, if you don't have the goods inside!"

    So it is entirely appropriate that Bp. Robinson's 'prayer' will not be on the lines of Our Lord's command: "When you pray, say..."