We had intended to declare Roxie's World a snark-free zone today, out of respect to those of our readers who are in the mood simply to savor the long-awaited end of the Shrub presidency and the much-ballyhooed beginning of the Obama Era. We were prepared to shift into a HOPE-ful, even sentimental mode after watching bits and pieces of yesterday's inaugural celebration and realizing that, at a bare minimum, it will be very nice to have people in the White House whose taste in music comes pretty close to our own and whose unselfconscious response to any song is to smile, sing along, and move their bodies in time to it. Trust me, you would have loved the post we were planning to write.
But then my typist clicked over to Pam's House Blend for her morning cup of something strong and black and learned why we hadn't managed to catch openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson's invocation on HBO's broadcast of the festivities. According to AfterElton (by way of Pam), HBO didn't broadcast the prayer because the Presidential Inaugural Committee decided the invocation was part of the "pre-show." AfterElton explains:
Uncertain as to whether or not that meant that HBO was contractually prevented from airing the pre-show, we followed up, but none of the spokespeople available Sunday night could answer that question with absolute certainty. However, it does seem that the network's position is that they had nothing to do with the decision.In other words, the buck stops with the same dimwits who decided open, active homophobe Rick Warren would be a swell invocation speaker for the inauguration itself.
In other words, queers are fine for the unseen warm-up act, but the play itself -- on the main stage, under the big top, through the front door -- is reserved for those who hate queers in the name of the little lord Jeebus. Awesome, dudes. Way to progress! Hey, could I by any chance borrow that snazzy Obama sweatshirt of yours? It's kinda chilly here in the back of the bus.
Perhaps Dan Savage (again by way of Pam) says it best, apropos of Robinson having been included to appease the LGBT community for the Warren kick in the teeth and then rendered for all intents and purposes invisible:
When you're throwing folks a bone it's a good idea to make sure they can, you know, see the bone.Indeed. For a visual representation of reaction here in Roxie's World, we refer you back to this extremely clever post.
Wanna hear the prayer the Obanauts decided not to show you? Here 'tis, courtesy of Sarah Pulliam at Christianity Today:
Sigh. Maybe they didn't like the part about the new president being a human being and not a messiah. That news still hasn't gotten out to many parts of Obamerica, and perhaps the Powers About to Be prefer to keep it that way.
Anyway, we sincerely apologize to those of our readers who are trying to sustain a pre-inaugural buzz. We had no intention of interfering with your happy dancing, but our blogger's duty to tell as much of the truth as we happen to notice on any given day required us to report that the president-elect continues to be tone-deaf when it comes to the LGBT community. Just to show you that we haven't lost HOPE for the era of CHANGE that is finally, fer dog's sake, about to begin, we will end with another snippet from We Are One (without any cynical questions about the nature of the "one" that "we" "are"), the rousing performance of "This Land Is Your Land" by Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger that closed the show. Our prayer for a nation battered by eight years of official deception, destruction, and abuse of power is that the incoming administration will walk with some humility and bear in mind the deeply democratic dream that impels this song. It is a dream of collective agency, shared ownership, and profound responsibility to all who dwell here. Please, Mr. President-Elect, hear this prayer:
[Update: Apparently, HBO didn't get the memo about shared ownership. The network is asserting copyright claim to video of the inaugural celebration and has taken a bunch of stuff down off the YouTubes, including "This Land Is Your Land." Got that, kids? Nothing of value really belongs to "you and me" after all. Meanwhile, HRC continues its shameless shilling for Team Obama, posting on its web site a statement from the Presidential Inaugural Committee claiming it had "intended and planned" to include Bishop Robinson's prayer on the broadcast but that somehow there was an (unspecified) "error in executing this plan." Thanks for clearing that up, guys!]
[Updated again: Found another version. Let's hope this one lasts.]