After receiving much criticism from the gay community about inviting evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, Barack Obama extended his invitation to the openly gay bishop V. Gene Robinson to deliver the invocation at a kickoff inaugural event two days prior the inauguration itself.
Rick Warren seems to get what Obama is trying to do and complimented his intentional choice of people from two ends of the spectrum to represent the diverseness of the country and the culture of his administration.
“President-elect Obama has again demonstrated his genuine commitment to bringing all Americans of goodwill together in search of common ground,” Warren said in a statement provided to Christianity Today. “I applaud his desire to be the president of every citizen.” [link]
On the other hand, Robinson was not very positive towards Warren’s presence.
“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.” [link]
Yup, he said it: “And the God he’s praying to is not the God that I know.”
Bingo. That’s the crux of the matter all along.
The rift happening in the Anglican Communion is not about gay or not gay, but about orthodox Christianity versus another religion. There are two conflicting religious worldviews underneath the same label, holding two different understandings of who God is. The disagreement is theological, not sociological. The matter at stake is the gospel. The gay issue, as Rev. Dr. Kendall Harmon indicated, is simply the “tip of the iceberg“.