Barack Obama's inaugural team is taking
responsibility for the omission of a prayer given by openly gay
Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson at Sunday's National Mall concert.
The We Are One inaugural music
festival began with a prayer at 2:20PM by the controversial bishop,
but HBO began broadcasting ten minutes later, at 2:30PM.
Monday, the Obama team said it was
responsible for the mistake.
“We had always intended and planned
for Rt. Rev. Robinson's invocation to be included in the televised
portion of yesterday's program,” inaugural committee spokesman Josh
Earnest told AfterElton.com. “We regret the error in executing
this plan – but are gratified that hundreds of thousands of people
who gathered on the mall heard his eloquent prayer for our nation
that was a fitting start to our event.”
But several reports indicated that few
people in the audience got to hear the prayer because the sound
system was either not working or at a very low volume.
Cathleen Falsani, a Chicago
Sun-Times columnist, wrote on Monday: “Silencing the bishop's
voice was a great loss. Obama's loss. Our loss.”
Robinson's participation in the
inauguration was announced last Monday in the wake of a firestorm of
protest by gay activists against Obama's decision to have Rev. Rick
Warren give the invocation prayer at his inauguration ceremony on
Tuesday. Warren is the leader of the Southern California Saddleback
Church who has voiced strong opposition to gay marriage, likening it
to an incestuous relationship, and backed a gay marriage ban in the
The San Francisco Chronicle
suggested Robinson's prayer might have been too hot for the Obama
team. It includes: “Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at
home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of
color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.”
Officials say the entire concert is to
be replayed on jumbo television screens at the Washington mall and
will include Bishop Robinson's prayer.