Monday, January 12, 2009

+Gene to pray at the inauguration

I just read this from Politico:

BREAKING: The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who became the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop in 2003 and last year entered into a civil union with his gay partner, will deliver the invocation for Sunday's kickoff inaugural event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, with President-elect Obama in attendance. The event is free and open to the public. An Obama source: 'Robinson was in the plans before the complaints about Rick Warren. Many skeptics will read this as a direct reaction to the Warren criticism - but it's just not so.' Robinson has been referred to as 'the most controversial Christian in the world.' A Sewanee graduate!

That's my bishop!


BlackenedBoy said...

Well, I'm glad you're proud, because I sure am, even if he's not my bishop.

I've been thinking for a while that if I had to choose any official church, it would be the Episcopalian.

It's so nice to meet a liberal Christian. It may be sacreligious to say so, but I feel that the liberal agenda is in many ways more Christian than that of the Christian Right.

Nathan Empsall said...

BlackenedBoy, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

It is my belief that there are many solid points to what conservative evangelical Christians believe, but that their leadership is horrific and, as you suggest, in many ways unChristian. For a more liberal approach, I would recommend the works of author Brian McLaren, and if you want a liberal historical approach, perhaps John Dominic Crossan. Also, most of the blogs on my blogroll at right are liberal.

If you'd ever like to chat about religion, feel free to email me at texas_musician-at-hotmail-dot-com.

Jordan said...

Well I certainly read it as a reaction, but whatever they do for damage control is fine by me.

Those highlighting this election just because Obama happens to be half-black are in my eyes just as racist as those who don't like the man because of the color of his skin. So now a gay bishop is going to pray at the inauguration? How ironic if said bishop spontaneously combusted at said inauguration. I wonder how Rick Warren and Bill O'Reilly would spin that one. :P

Nathan Empsall said...

+Gene and Obama are close; I spoke with the bishop about the President-elect several days after the election. So I am inclined to believe that this has been in the works for some time.

Just because people discuss or notice race, Jordan, doesn't mean they are racist. Racial discussions and racist discussions are not the same thing. Voting for a man solely or primarily because of his race would be racist, yet. Celebrating the overcoming of major social obstacles is not racist.

Jordan said...

So it's a "social obstacle" now? I find that to be a bunch of hooey. Barack Obama is not the first non-white land owning male to seriously run for the presidency.

Nathan Empsall said...

Racism is not a social obstacle NOW, it's a long-standing one. Did you sleep through 8th grade Civics?

To seriously run? No. But he is the first non-white person to run and have a serious shot at winning. (Powell might have had a serious shot had he run and been able to win the GOP primary, but he didn't run and so it's sort of a non-issue.)

Jordan said...

So you're going to gauge the weight of a person's political milestones on them being able to win?

I wonder what it feels like to be Geraldine Ferraro right now, because she just got slapped across the face.

Nice, Nathan, real nice.

Nathan Empsall said...

I'm not talking about his milestones, I'm talking about ours. The achievement isn't his for running; it's the nation's for finally being in a place where we can elect such a person. And remind me, did Geraldine Ferraro seriously run for, as your precious comment said, the presidency? And do remember, Mondale hda a shot at winning until the issue of Reagan's age and competency was put to rest in the second debate. Reagan's approval ratings were never actually all that high during his time in office.

Smart, Jordan, real smart.

Cany said...

Well, I am thrilled!

+Gene said, in one of the on-line interviews, that this has been in the works for two weeks (from his knowing). Warren was chosen on/about Dec. 17. So, it has been a bit less than four weeks since the heat hit the feet of the dem party on Warren's choice. It is entirely possible that this choice wasn't a reaction. It is also entirely possible it was. Until and unless we see further evidence, either view is speculative.

+Gene represents the hope of so many of us; those who are interested in civil rights from many perspectives, and certainly among many of us in TEC.

Jordan, if I may...

There ARE milestones in civil rights which include women's rights.

Remember that regardless of Obama's genetics, he is perceived as black and treated with that assumption just as people seeing women assume they are women, genetically. Both assumptions are false, obviously.

As a woman, myself, I have faced the issue of misogyny all my life in one way or another, so I understand, a bit, your issue with this, though we disagree. Further, it comes in all flavors just as racism and classism does. Some comes from the churches, some from upbringing and experience, etc.

I would remind you that after the 60's civil rights movements (which involved many colors of people, lgbt folks and most certainly women), that didn't change the world. Litigation on many matters were required to allow inter-racial marriage, school integration, etc. I lived through it all, Jordan, and it is ingrained in my soul, my heart and my life experience. I know it well.

A victory for one disparaged group is not a non-victory for another, rather a platform and spring-board.

I was the first woman to work in the largest drywall company in my county after leaving college in the middle of a bad recession. I was LUCKY to get the job.

Everyone hated me. Most said I didn't belong there. They set me up to fail at every turn.

There was an older black man who used to drive all the hardware and planking to job sites. He would just scold me every single time he saw me, "Hey you, why aren't you home taking care of your babies? Yada, yada..." he would shout. I would ignore him.

Finally one day, I'd had it.

I jumped down and gave him the most screaming lecture he'd ever gotten including, probably, from his mom. And I left NO words out of the vocabulary of my diatribe (quite intentionally)including one word I absolutely never use finally asking, "Now do YOU get it? We are on the same side. We are both oppressed people. You need a job and so do I so shut up about it."

He looked at me, giggled, and handed me a soda. He knew dang well my bias wasn't about color, and his better not be about gender.

From that day on, he came by to have lunch with me every day and if he couldn't make it, came by the next and explained. I really came to adore this man.

I don't vote for people because of gender or color and never have or will. That does NOT mean that this event, especially in annuls of American history, is not exceptional. It is.

Just like the first round-the-world air flight, it is a first. Just like the dropping of the first H and A bombs. AND just like Geraldine's place on the ticket as VP.

We break through barriers, one at a time. The important part is that we never feel slighted in the victory of another and realize that those free must be encouraged and asked to lend their strength to those that, then, are still left behind.

Only when all are free are any free.