Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bishop Gene Robinson's remarks

This is taken in it's entirety from the Episcopal Cafe .  A sincere thank you to Jim Naughton and the staff at the site for the transcript.  And shame on HBO for not showing this as part of the "We Are One" concert and to all the news outlets that said Bruce Springsteen opened the event.  He did not.  Bishop Robinson did.
By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire
Opening Inaugural Event
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
January 18, 2009

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.
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.

May the Bishop's words find a place in the hearts of all.  From your lips to God's ear, Gene+.


skyewriter said...

That was beautiful.

Made me cry. I have thought so much recently of the burden of the hopes of millions on this one person's shoulders. Also about the great risk he takes and how this will affect him as a father and husband.

I think he's up for the task.

Perhaps his lack of insider status in DC will serve him well. He's not used to business as usual; I think he's going to change the way everyone thinks about government and politics.

Thanks for sharing this.

Stacy Hackenberg said...

I have to admit, I teared up, too. Robinson is an amazing human being. He's kept going in the face of the kind of criticism from his fellow Anglicans that would crush anyone else. How our bishop in Texas spoke about him was no small part in my leaving the Episcopal church. Seems backwards, I know, but the church in Texas is not the church in New Hampshire.

And I was righteously pissed when I learned his invocation had not been included by HBO. In fact, I haven't been able to find anything about it except through the Episcopal Cafe (via a Joe.My.God commentator).