Worthy Christian News » US News » Gay Bishop To Pray For Obama Without Bible
By Joseph Carl DeCaro
WASHINGTON, USA (Worthy News) -- Preparations were underway for the first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church to pray, without using a Bible, at the start of ceremonies leading up to the inauguration of Barack Obama as the United States' first black president on Tuesday, January 20.
The Reverend V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, was to give an invocation Sunday, January 18, on the same steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963, before being assassinated.
Robinson’s selection follows weeks of criticism from gay groups, who expressed concern over Obama's decision to have evangelical pastor Rick Warren, of the Saddleback Community Church in California, give the invocation at the inauguration on Tuesday, January 20.
Warren's support for California’s Proposition 8 legislation, which prohibits recognizing same-sex partnerships as marriages, as well as what he views as a Biblical stance on homosexuality, made Robinson describe Obama’s choice of Warren as “a slap in the face.”
Although Robinson said he has not composed his prayer, he made clear he would not use a Bible during the ceremony. "While that is a holy and sacred text to me, it is not for many Americans," said Robinson. "I will be careful not to be especially Christian in my prayer."
In an interview with U.S. network National Public Radio, Robinson said after reading inaugural prayers of the last 30 to 40 years, he was shocked at how "aggressively Christian" they were.
"I am very clear that this will not be a Christian prayer, and I won't be quoting Scripture or anything like that,” said Robinson. “The texts that I hold as sacred are not sacred texts for all Americans, and I want all people to feel that this is their prayer."
Robinson said he might address his prayer to "the God of our many understandings" from the 12-step program he attended for treatment of alcohol addiction three years ago.
Robinson was consecrated Bishop Coadjutor of New Hampshire in 2003. His openly gay lifestyle split the Episcopal Church – the uniquely American branch of the world-wide Anglican Communion – causing many to leave the church.