Thursday, January 22, 2009

Two (and a Half) Inaugural Prayers

Rev. Rick Warren (full text here):

Rev. Joseph Lowery (full text here):

For those who objected that including Rev. Warren in the inauguration was an insult or sent a message of exclusion and divisiveness, I have a modest proposal.

I won't ask you to agree with Rev. Warren. I disagree with him on many things myself, including Prop 8. And I certainly won't ask you to like him, though I have the feeling he and I would probably get along quite well if we ever had dinner together, even with all our disagreements. I will, however, ask that you grant he delivered a superb invocation, avoided politics, and struck just the right note for the occasion in focusing on what we have in common rather than on our disagreements. And that to many other people, including myself, his sharing the stage with Rev. Lowery was equally powerful symbolism that President Obama does intend to be the president of all Americans, not just those who agree with him. And that this was a moment for the entire nation, not just those who voted for the Democrat.

In return, I will gladly grant that Rev. Lowery is an elderly man, did amazing things during the Civil Rights Movement and with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and probably never believed he would see the day a black man was sworn in as President of the United States. And I will gladly give him a well-earned pass for any possible offense that could be taken from his rhyming implications that only white needs to embrace what is right and that yellow is not currently mellow.


No? Then maybe you'll prefer this alternative invocation from Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum: