Friday, January 23, 2009

Silencing the GAY inaugural invocation prayer... Intentional Snub or a BIG mistake?

HBO cut Bishop Gene Robinson's invocation at the celebratory concert on the Sunday before the inauguration from their exclusive broadcast, but here it is, captured by Sarah Pulliam, a reporter for Christianity Today magazine:

Here's the text of what he prayed:

"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.
"And 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 colorblind, 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.

HBO (who had exclusive rights to air the "We Are One" Concert) said, basically:
Not our fault. The Presidential Inauguration Committee told us not to include it in the main show.

The Presidential Inauguration Committee said, basically:
Wow. We'd always intended for it to be included. We regret the error, but are happy the people there in person got to hear it.

Ummm. Really?

Was this an "innocent" mistake? Or was there a bigger reason this bone thrown to the GLBTQ community, after our uproar about the prominent role of the anti-gay Pastor Rick Warren in the inauguration, was buried?

Take the instant poll, top of the column to the right, and tell me what your take is!



fairyhedgehog said...

What a brilliant speech. I'm a rationalist so the 'God' bits didn't impress me but the other ideas expressed were spot on.

I have no idea whether this was deliberately silenced or not. Clearly, it was convenient for it to be lost but an awful lot happens that is just plain incompetence.

Anonymous said...

I think it was unintentional and anti-Gay. Then again, I think Rick Warren is the devil so who knows what shenanigans he pulled.

Angie said...

I think it was someone's intention, and definitely anti-gay, but I'm not ready to pin it on HBO yet. It just seems weird to me that HBO, of all networks, would display this kind of anti-gay sentiment. It doesn't make sense that the network which aired Queer As Folk would be blatantly anti-gay. :/

That said, though, it's way too much of a coincidence for me to believe that it was just an unfortunate coincidence. I'm looking at the Inauguration Committee, rather than HBO.


Sarah Laurenson said...

Hard to say. I lean towards intentional and voted that way in your poll, but... I don't know. Could be one person's intention and the bigger parties are catching flack for it. One person in the right place at the right time could say don't broadcast this and not put it in writing. Then you have a bunch of finger pointing and lying to try and unravel later.

Not an auspicious beginning.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Hi everyone - the poll results are in!

Why did HBO leave out the GAY inauguration prayer?

75% of you said that it was intentional and anti-Gay.

25% of you said it was a mistake, nothing against Gays.

thanks for voting!