Obama and Bishop Robinson

Since yesterday I have been asked quite a few times what my thoughts are regarding Obama’s choice of the first openly gay Episcopal Bishop, Gene Robinson, to give the Invocation at the Lincoln Memorial. Just like I believed that Obama strategically chose Rick Warren to publicly reach out in a bipartisan nature to the millions of conservatives around the country, so I believe he is doing the same for the gay community by selecting Robinson.

The GLBT community has been UP IN ARMS at Obama recently, totally furious at him since his selection of Warren. I have been told by many in the gay community across the country that they see the choice of Warren as a stab in the back by Obama because of Obama’s promises about repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and his favorable take on gay civil unions. For that sole reason, it is my belief that Robinson is the quickest and most efficient way to tone down the blasts coming from an entire population of people who more then had Obama’s back when election day rolled around. Politics is what it is, and Obama seems to be politically maneuvering with the best that have ever come (at least in my lifetime, thus far).

At the very least I can say this much:

During any election whoever is running for an office always talks about bipartisanship: “I will reach across the political divide and unite.”

You can quote any politician who has ever run – they all say the same stuff. And whenever I hear those words from a politician I easily disregard them because I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen it happen on a large public scale. And if it has, it’s usually just the “safe” pick of a person who is already three-quarters of the way to the other side. Until now. It seems to me that Obama is trying to actually reach across and do something – or at least make a statement. Who knows if this is all for show or if it will last. But at least he’s trying to set some type of unique precedent the day he takes office.

I live in Chicago and I come from the political juggernaut that is Chicago politics, so I’m naturally very skeptic of anyone that received their on-the-job political training in my unfortunately corrupt city and State. Though for the time being, good for Obama and what he’s trying to do. I can only pray his original bipartisan promises continue.

Here is a great article from the New York Times about the Obama/Robinson situation.

Much love.
www.themarinfoundation.org

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • Crystal

    Wow Andrew, you continue to surprise me. When I saw the title, I was like…oh gosh what is he going to say, and your blog was just so real and understanding, bringing the views of both liberal and conservatives together. I don't know how you do it, but its amazing.

  • Andrew Marin

    Wow….my heart is truly humbled right now as I have tears in my eyes. Thank you so much for your words Crystal, they mean the world to me. Much love.

  • Andrew Marin

    No probelm….thanks for the credit. I guess then, I have to give credit to MLK Jr! I loved what you had to say as I totally believe that the masses want to rhetoric but not necesarrily involve themselves in the non-violent, dirty, digusting, rough and very uncomfortable tension that comes along with the inentionality inovleved in bridging any dichotomized topics of life.So then, you keep getting on with you bad self diving in and staying faithful!

  • marcelliott

    Andrew,

    I think having both Robinson and Warren at the ceremony is a beautiful thing. who knows, maybe they will have a chance to talk. i would love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation. anyways. . .

    i think one of the problems is that in reality, we want the bipartisan rhetoric, but not the action. i know George W. said the same thing, but he never did, and the left complained about him not doing what he said he would do.

    When you actually reach across the aisle/spectrum/whatever, tensions arise and people get uncomfortable because there isn’t a side that is winning. we like our winners and losers(i.e. our cubs), so we know which side to root for. our country is not used to this sort of thing.

    This discussion can also go down the rabbit trail of getting into Greek thought about dividing everything into categories and removing gray area . . . but whatever.

    in many ways, i think that this is creating the non-violent tension that actually can produce growth, but its on such a national stage, everyone can take their potshots at what is happening. The left takes their shots at Obama for selecting Warren, while the conservatives take their shots for inviting Robinson.

    I say, “Praise God that they are both there.” Without two sides, bridges can’t be built.

    these are my thoughts, for whatever their worth. i want to be a part of the discussion, not just watch it.

    grace and peace.

    and keep your posts coming.

    m

  • marcelliott

    Tip of the Hat to you for the non-violent tension thing. Heard you talk about it at YS-Nashville.

    I totally ripped it off of you. So I have to give you the credit where credit is due.

    m


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