Monday, January 12, 2009

Bishop Gene Robinson to Open Lincoln Memorial Event

The Human Rights Campaign is reporting that the openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson will give the invocation at the Lincoln Memorial inaugural concert, clearly a response by the Obama team to the uproar over Rick Warren. From the HRC release:

WASHINGTON – The Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson, bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church in the diocese of New Hampshire has accepted an invitation from President-elect Barack Obama’s inaugural committee to deliver the invocation at a concert held at the Lincoln Memorial. The concert, which will be held on Sunday, January 18th, is the first inaugural event the president-elect will attend. Bishop Robinson, the first openly gay priest to be ordained bishop by a major Christian denomination, is a member of the Human Rights Campaign Religion Council.

“Bishop Robinson models what prayer should be—spiritual reflection put into action for justice,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “It is encouraging that the president-elect has chosen this spiritual hero for all Americans to lead the nation in prayer at the Lincoln Memorial inaugural concert.”

UPDATE: Politico quotes a source saying this was not a "direct response" and that Robinson was "in the plans" already. I don't really believe that, or at least what is trying to be implied. Robinson spoke out about Warren, and no one said at that time he was on the schedule. My hunch: I'm sure he'd spoken with them, but it wasn't until the Warren brouhaha that they solidified, quickly, what we would do.