Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More on Warren

Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today wrote an analysis of Rick Warren's invocation.

"Pastor Rick Warren's invocation uses Jewish, Christian mix."


She wrote that "Controversial evangelical pastor Rick Warren opened Barack Obama's inaugural ceremony Tuesday by touching on the two greatest prayers in Judaism and Christianity and asking God to grace the nation with clarity, responsibility and civility, 'even when we differ.''"

I give Warren credit for using his invocation to point towards unity as Americans. He said, "Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all."

However, I think that Grossman misses how the two prayers were used in the invocation.

Warren said in the beginning of his invocation "The Scripture tells us, ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God; the Lord is one. And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.’"

That is touching on the Jewish prayer.

He concluded with these words:

”I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus, Jesus (hay-SOOS), who taught us to pray, Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."

That's not touching on the Christian prayer. That's praying the Lord's Prayer.

There's nothing wrong with the Lord's Prayer. It's a beautiful, powerful prayer. The occasion of giving the invocation for the Inauguration of the 44th president of the United States of America simply is not the time to use it.

Others seem to reach this same conclusion. http://www.latimes.com/

I think Jim Naughton of the Diocese of Washington (quoted in Grossman's article) is right on in saying Warren's speech was "as inclusive as his conscience would allow him to be."

It's a genuine attempt...but it's not inclusive.

1 comment:

carrot-khan said...

I found myself a bit shocked when he busted out the Lord's Prayer. It seemed rather exclusive. I wonder why there is any religious invocation at all, really, since we are theoretically a secular nation.

And I always wonder what the Native Peoples think when Presidents talk about how we built this great nation for freedom.