Kay and I were discussing the significant difference with having Rick Warren give the invocation on the day of the inauguration and having +Gene Robinson give his blessing before the first event of the week. It should be noted that +Robinson is giving his blessing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial lined with stone upon which Lincoln's words have been inscribed; the same person and place that president-elect Obama holds in high esteem.
Kay asked me if I could remember who gave the benedictions during the last two inaugurations; and as much as I searched I couldn’t remember. But we as a nation remember other historical moments in time which took place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial; Dr. Kings historic "I Have a Dream" speech and Marian Anderson, for her performance on Easter Sunday, 1939 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. The District of Columbia Board of Education declined a request to use the auditorium of a white public high school. As a result of the ensuing furor, thousands of DAR members, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, resigned.
I believe Rev. Gene Robinson’s words and message that he will deliver from the steps before the Lincoln Memorial will be given a greater place in our Nation’s history; that his message will be long remember by those of us who have been pushed aside than the prayer uttered by Rick Warren on the steps of our Nations Capital.