Episcopal Priest / Openly Gay - Inaugural

Rev. Gene Robinson, an Episcopal bishop in New Hampshire - and a pioneer of LGBT rights in the church , has been picked by the Obama team to deliver the invocation at the Sunday Inauguration kickoff event.

As a relative of someone who worked hard to have gay priests and men and women of the cloth - included and recognized in the modern church, I wanted to share my perspective.

First, I'm against so called gay marriage. Why? If I have helped to revolutionize the church  (in my own way) and I've contributed to the cause of gay people - why am I against gay marriage. The answer is simple: its because those who were leading the charge were working for social change with no real or tangible benefit to the vast majority of American citizens. And the people of America had other things on their minds - the activists  knew this. And ignored it. It was simply the wrong time.

The gay community is productive, creative, generally higher income and by and large a nice thing to happen to your neighborhood if you're lucky enough to have it happen to you.
I have friends who are orthodox catholic, liberal, conservative, and queer.  I recognize and respect each for who they are, and not whose shirt they wear. Social integration such as this, is inevitable.

That integration begins with men like the Rev. Gene Robinson, in the capable execution of his office,  showing that the church's recognition of gay men in the holy work of the church - has not been misplaced.  Marriage is a church matter, that the church alone must be free to decide without hindrance of the toxic combination of church and state that such proposals as proposition eight - in its drive to re-define what we as a society should see as a holy union of two individuals - actually tries to do.

Obama's surprising appointment of an openly gay Episcopal Priest has to me, all the beginnings of a strong tenure as a president who understands and shapes the forces of our (heterosexual, and homosexual - why separate them?) community. For in our community, Gay men and women will one day affirm their vows in the light of the Church - and society will acknowledge and affirm those bonds. We mate for life.

Politics, like empire. Is impermanent. Bush got elected governor of Texas with the help of Karl Rove spreading gay porno on the windshields of the church parking lot - scaring people into "condition red" dangers of having gay people around and basically playing on the brokeback mountain latent homosexual tendencies of white conservative males. And now Bush is out.
And already, the mists of time have absorbed that type of political strategy. Rove no longer understands the forces that shape the electorate. McCain's loss proves this.  Some would argue he never did. But none would argue his plan to revitalize the republican party, in this way - was an epic failure.
The GOP went from being the party of ideas to the party of ideology.

And now a new era dawns, and with it, recognition of a man of the cloth whose work persists beyond either the tactics of Proposition eight, or the similiarly failed policies of the Bush Republicans.

The schism in the Episcopal church - with all the so called "conservative" and "anglican" individuals will play out under the new social order - as it should - in the church and wholly without the need for expensive litigation in the supreme court or otherwise.  The Anglican communion, however, has been stern in their treatment of breakaway churches who attempted no different a form of activism in their refusal to recognize men like Robinson - by not recognizing them within the Episcopal church. Its humorous to hear them talk about it "We're an independent Church, we used to be an Episcopal church .. but we left because of certain disagreements... wink wink nod nod " and a firm hearty handshake. You're one of us. You're against them.

And oh by the way, I also happen to know you're just  big giant nonprofit organization. Wink wink. nod nod. How about you join the church again?

People tend to forget how hard the Episcopal church has been working to try to resolve this issue. It means alot to me, personally that not only the Episcopal church and the Anglican Communion (the worldwide organization) have recognized the work of men like Father Robinson, but also how irrelevant those factions of the church who chose to break away - in protest - actually are.  

One thing is certain: Obama chose the first invocation of the events leading to his inauguration, no so much  to be void of symbol as it was simple. I am not a priest.

I am simply someone in the congregation. I see my job as simply recognizing he is a good priest. Its ok if I quietly question  the conflict and division that seems to have been caused by his work - and to ask which loud and proud faction trumpets chaos - on either side.  

But gay marriage is first, a marriage. An eternal covenant. And one in which we must listen to our Priests and Ministers before Politicians and "Self Help" Authors and other operators of large community day care centers.

I say: score this one as something beautiful for God.

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The VERSUS Bush Era Retrospective, in musical parody

Until the inauguration, The VERSUS Bush Era Retrospective will feature a different Bush Era parody from the VERSUS catalogue every day.

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Chance for Inauguration ticket from Brian Moran for Governor (VA) campaign!

New update from the Moran campaign - a chance for a ticket to the inauguration!

Win a ticket to history and help organize Virginia

This January 20th, America will make history.  We've all worked so hard for so long to make this a reality - if you're like me, you can't wait.  Barack Obama knew that what mattered most were the grassroots - everyday Americans committing to build a better future for themselves and their kids.

Unfortunately, there won't be nearly enough tickets to the inauguration for every Virginia volunteer and grassroots organizer to go. That's why I'm going to be giving away inauguration tickets to dedicated Democratic leaders who sign up on our website. If you sign up today organize.brianmoran.com, you'll be entered into a drawing to win a ticket to President-elect Obama's swearing in, and we'll let you know the winners by January 16.

In a few weeks, our campaign for Governor will launch a groundbreaking new online system organize.brianmoran.com to help organize Virginia for my campaign in 2009 and keep Virginia Democrats organized going forward. I've worked all over Virginia, fighting for Virginia Democrats. I've knocked doors, made phone calls, and held rallies for nearly a decade. But I bet you're as tired as I am of building a statewide network for Virginia Democrats only to dismantle it after every election. Once the technical work is completed, this new social networking system will help Democrats organize Virginia for my campaign, all our other campaigns for that November, and beyond.  

And don't forget - grassroots leaders who sign up now for the drawing to go the inauguration will be invited to a sneak peek when the new organize.brianmoran.com launches. Sign up today!

Thanks for all you did in 2008. Let's get rolling on 2009.

Your Friend,

Brian

Cross posted from: http://www.brianmoran.com/2009/1/7/win-a-ticket-to-history-and-help-organize-virginia

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So Help Me God. . .

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

-Article Two, Section 1, Clause 8, United States Constitution

Rumor has it that when George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States, he appended the four words, "So Help Me God", to the constitutionally-mandated oath.  While it is disputed whether Washington actually uttered the words "So Help Me God" when taking the oath of office, every president since at least Franklin Delano Roosevelt (including Georgian Jimmy Carter) has added the four-word phrase "So Help Me God" to the presidential oath.  And in fourteen days, the President-elect will likely do the same unless atheist Michael Newdow successfully obtains a court order to block the use of the four-word phrase when Barack Obama takes the oath of office.

A California physician and attorney whose legal fight against the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance has drawn national attention now says he will join a lawsuit seeking the removal of all references to God and religion from President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony.

Michael Newdow believes references to God or religion are unconstitutional. He wants to remove the phrase "so help me God" from the oath of office and block the invocation prayer from Pastor Rick Warren.

[Source:  WXIA-TV (Atlanta), "Atheist Wants Religion Out Of Inauguration", December 30, 2008]
Believe it or not, I carry a copy of the Constitution with me everywhere; so I had to pull out my copy just to see if the supreme law of the land mandated that presidents be sworn in with their left hand on the Bible, their right hand in the air, use the words "so help me God", and have a pastor conduct the invocation as well as the benediction.

It's not there.

In fact, the Constitution doesn't even require a ceremony.  It simply says that "Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation. . ."

That's it.

All this extra stuff:  the ceremony on the steps on the Capitol, the inaugural parade, the many inaugural balls have become a part of our nation's traditions.  Likewise, the four-word phrase "so help me God" has become a part of the traditional swearing in of the president.

Newdow's suit, which was rejected in 2001 and 2005, borders on being frivolous.  

Actually, it is frivolous.

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Rick-A-Thon: Let Rick Warren Raise Money for LGBT Equality at Obama's Inauguration

Driving Equality is hosting a Rick-A-Thon to turn Rick Warren's anti-equality stance into positive change for LGBT people. Every second that Warren stands at the podium, he will be raising money to advance LGBT civil rights. (Pledge Online)

Rick Warren, a staunch opponent of equal rights for LGBT people, has used his pulpit to spread lies about LGBT families and to raise money for anti-gay legislation, such as proposition 8, which stripped equal marriage rights away from same-sex couples. When Warren takes the stage on Inauguration Day, however, he will be raising thousands of dollars to advance LGBT equality across the country.

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