This just in: Not exactly parenting news, but at the heart of LGBT news this week, comes the announcement that openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson will give a prayer at one of President-elect Barack Obama’s first inauguration events at the Lincoln Memorial on January 20.
The Concord Monitor reports:
Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will be there, and Obama is expected to speak, Robinson said. The event will be open to the public and run on HBO. Robinson doesn’t yet know what he’ll say, but he knows he won’t use a Bible.
“While that is a holy and sacred text to me, it is not for many Americans,” Robinson said. “I will be careful not to be especially Christian in my prayer. This is a prayer for the whole nation.”
That is perhaps the most sensible statement I’ve heard yet about all this Inauguration. I’ve always been leery of the prayers and other religious trappings still used by our government, feeling they cross the line that should separate church from state. At least Robinson seems to recognize the variety of beliefs in our nation.
As for Obama: Yes, he screwed up. Warren has a record of bigotry and should not have been invited to give the invocation. The realist in me understands, though, that once the invitation was out there, it would have been extremely hard to withdraw, without alienating the evangelicals whose support Obama needs for his broad agenda.
Inviting Robinson to give a prayer at the Lincoln Memorial is not, perhaps, the ideal solution. I still think a variety of religious figures and secular philosophers giving the invocation would be best). It is nonetheless an important acknowledgment by President-elect Obama that he made a mistake and is attempting to make amends. More than that, it is a recognition of the power of the LGBT community to make change. President-elect Obama isn’t perfect, but he’s learning. I still have hope.