V. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, whose consecration caused a painful divide in his church because he is openly gay, said that when he heard about the selection of Mr. Warren, “it was like a slap in the face.”Two things caught my attention in these words:
Bishop Robinson had been an early public endorser of Mr. Obama’s candidacy, and said he had helped serve as a liaison between the campaign and the gay community. He said he had called officials who work for Mr. Obama to share his dismay, and been told that Mr. Obama was trying to reach out to conservatives and give everybody a seat at the table.
“I’m all for Rick Warren being at the table,” Bishop Robinson said, “but we’re not talking about a discussion, we’re talking about putting someone up front and center at what will be the most watched inauguration in history, and asking his blessing on the nation. And the God that he’s praying to is not the God that I know.”
1) Robinson makes a distinction between being included at the table and being given a place of honor, and
2) Robinson suggests that the places of honor should be reserved for those who share his understanding of God.
But, isn't it Robinson's understanding of the Baptismal Covenant that no one should be denied access to the places of honor as long as they have been baptized? Isn't this a repudiation of the arguments that we have been hearing about why sexually active gays and lesbians should be given seats of honor in the Episcopal Church?
If Robinson's thinking regarding Warren is correct, then isn't it equally correct for those who think he is worshiping a different God to refuse to have him given a place of honor in their churches? When it really comes down to it, both sides seem to agree that we are finding different Gospels in the Bible and we are worshiping different Gods.