Monday, January 12, 2009

Thank you, God!

This picture says why.

Today, it was announced that our beloved Bishop Gene Robinson (NH) would give an opening prayer at the inaugural concert. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read it. When I realized it was true, I literally sat down and cried.

To say I was stunned is an understatement.

This wonderful man, the first openly (and married) gay Bishop in TEC was asked TWO weeks ago to take part in the inauguration. I had been wondering why TEC not only seemed to be shunned in the inauguration, but also WHEN Obama would lose his blind spot and be the inclusive man I believed him to be.

As many of you know, I have been extremely upset about the choice of Rick Warren as the person chosen by Obama to give the inaugural invocation. Not only has Warren spoken and acted cruelly on the issue of lgbt folks and issues, my past personal experience with Warren left me wondering not only about his honesty but his real connection to God. When someone tells me that God tells them to do things, I exit the bus via the closest door, window or hole in the floor.

Warren's church site has recently cleansed even more written material on their beliefs, something that started after both media and bloggers began to post on much of his church's exclusive thinking.

The angst I have so deeply felt culminated today upon reading the news. The tears were tears of joy (and great, great relief). When someday I look back for the final time at my life, this will be one day that will bring me a great, great sense of happiness and joy.

I know that this will cause great criticism and renewed attack upon +Gene, but +Gene is strong and has faced this before. I am certain +Gene knows exactly how much this means to so many of us; those that believe civil rights belong to all of us, lgbt and straight, people of color and not, those religious and not and those many of us who call ourselves Episcopalians and view +Gene, among many others in our faith, as a representative of the welcoming, inclusion and love of our church.

+Gene is a living testament honoring our beliefs and shines a light forward on our path asking us to move forward away from darkness when that darkness can be frightening for many.

In the middle of the oft painful schism which continues within TEC, we are given this wonderful gift at a time when another very special African American, Barack Obama, takes the oath of President with his hand on Lincoln's Bible. None of these are small details.

If you have not read some of +Gene's statements on this, I encourage you to visit The Lead and follow up with the various links to articles. +Gene's comments about how he intends to handle his prayer are wonderful.

Thank you, God.