As a pleasant contrast, here's Sunday's opening invocation from the Right Reverend Gene V. Robinson, who "is best-known for being the first openly gay, non-celibate priest to be ordained a bishop in a major Christian denomination believing in the historic episcopate." (Wikipedia)
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 existon less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands arebeaten 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 riseto 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.
Amazing update (thanks to Jonathan Rowson for pointing this out): Robinson is on the Daily Show and they make a chess joke!!!
Stewart: Washington was so crowded today; you as a bishop are sort of doubly-handicapped in that situation -- only being able to move diagonally. How is that with negotiating the crowds?
Robinson: Jon, you have to understand, there is a queen on the board as well.