procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gene Robinson prays for Obama - and you!

i noticed a while ago that Gene Robinson would be praying for Obama. i noted that Rick Warren prayed, but Robinson seems to have gotten little-to-no coverage. there may be some technical or even political reasons for this, but i wonder whether people see him as a bit passé now; whether we're just over the hype around the first 'openly' gay episcopalian (american anglican) bishop.

although i still don't get why one would want to be in the leadership - let alone a member - of a club whose rules you disagree with (he is, and he doesn't), it's possibly still worth a think about why he prayed what he prayed.

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears-- for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with 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 the 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 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 an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity-- remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

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, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, 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 the 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 know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and 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.


this transcript is from here, which also has a youtube vid of it. it was pretty blustery, and there was lots going on - i don't even think the big O had arrived yet - but i assume he read it from script. my brief thoughts:

  • who is this God of our many understandings? and what is the good of him? who is he/she/is? and is he/she it the real deal? is this God capable of dealing with sin? can i put my trust in this God not just for this life, but for eternity?

  • he prayed that we would be blessed with anger-- at discrimination, but apart from the many at home and abroad, [...] refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, i wonder apart from Robinson's own agenda (which i'm certain this prayer wasn't about), in the massive issues in this world of discrimination, genocide, false imprisonments, persecution of many Christians the world over, where the discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people fits in the scale of things.
    sure, there are some laws that are a bit silly that don't recognise concomitant relationships, both homosexual and platonic, but can you really compare the inconveniences of a disproportionately vocal group with the atrocities committed against millions?

  • i would love it if people praying in the name of Christ's church would also pray in his name (John 16:24 et al). just a little point. it'd be nice if he got an eye in.

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    Blogger Mark said...

    A tale of two prayers in the opening lines:

    "Almighty God, our Father ... "

    "O God of our many understandings ..."

    9:16 am  

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