View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

God of whose understanding?

Barack Obama has picked openly gay Episcopal bishop, Gene Robinson, to deliver the invocation at the kickoff inaugural event Sunday.

Robinson said in an interview with NPR that he will not invoke the name of Jesus - aren't Episcopalians Christian? - but will instead invoke the "god of many understandings."

God of many understandings????

Given who is delivering the invocation, and given whose inauguration it is, I am not surpised.

Rick Warren will be there. Maybe he will mention Jesus.

I haven't heard of any orthodox Catholics being invited to do anything at the inauguration. Considering the make-up of his administration, maybe Obama is looking for a pro-abortion Catholic to say a few words.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously, this kind of complaint is a resentment in search of a reason, but what's interesting is that there's an assumption that a public prayer (whatever happened to Paul's commandment to pray in the closet?) should be included, rendering unto Caesar that which should be rendered unto God... of our understanding. Almost as inane as the complaints here when the President quoted a bible verse at a memorial service (well, it was a state ceremony, and religion and politics are supposed to keep out of each others' way, but still...)

11:09 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

One of my issues is that Robinson is a Christian - a bishop no less - and he pointedly said he would not pray to Jesus. He should be true to his faith in his prayer - just as I would expect a Jew, a Muslim, and Hindu etc. to be true to theirs.

If he prayed to Jesus AND the god of all our understandings in an attempt to be ecumenical, that would have been fine.

A further issue is that he is so blatantly a "pay back" selection to make up to elements in the Democratic Party for the selection of Warren.

And I do notice a dearth of Catholics on the agenda. Then again, maybe Obama couldn't find a respected one willing to go along.

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should the inaugural committed have included 24% Catholic, 19% Baptists, 1.6 percent Jewish, 0.3 percent Buddhist, etc. prayers on the agenda? And what about the Jehovah's Witnesses (and some Catholics, btw)who find prayer at political events an offense to God? Yikes :-)

I've heard "God of our understanding" used quite regularly in mixed audiences where prayers are offered in public.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

No quota needed - but each should be true to his/her faith traditions.

Obama has given the appearance of avoiding orthodox Catholics along the way, though. The Archbishop of Denver, for example, was not part of the prayers at the convention, breaking with tradition. I've heard of no Catholics in good standing involved in Washington either.

And Obama's efforts to reach out (i.e. fool) Catholics during the campaign was headed by Biden-type Catholics (folks who diverged from Church teachings).

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But why should he, if they didn't -- and, apparently, won't -- support him. As a wise Texan (Molly Ivins) once said about politicians, "Ya gotta dance with them that brung ya."

it appears the REAL complaint is that y'all asked the wrong date to the big Washington hoe-down :-)

6:44 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

I'll grant that - orthodox Catholics could not support Obama because of his extreme pro-abortion positions.

7:41 AM  

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