Who Should Be Allowed to Pray for President Obama?

It seems preposterous, but there’s a major debate over who is worthy to invoke the presence and blessing of the Almighty on the leaders of this land we love!

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“But at the high-profile, official event — the swearing in —" noted Waldman, there would be just Rick Warren and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, both Protestants. For his participation, Warren, a California Baptist megachurch pastor, was blasted by both the left and the right. Some on the left said he was unworthy. Some on the right slammed him for participating at all. Then after the event, he was lambasted for the content of his prayer.

“Pastor Rick Warren’s invocation at President Obama’s inauguration today has ignited a flurry of critiques for using words from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy texts as well as including the name of Jesus – in several languages,” observed Drew Zahn for WorldNetDaily.

Islam expert Robert Spencer at JihadWatch.org, criticized Warren for including a common refrain from Islam’s Quran – “You are the compassionate and merciful one.” He also used terms common to Jewish prayer and the Spanish pronunciation of “Jesus.” Warren also drew criticism from atheists who, incredibly, thought the prayer was too religious. At least one lawsuit was filed, attempting to ban any

prayers at the ceremonies and to purge “so help me God” from the Oath of Office.

Barack Obama with Rick Warren

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On the Dallas Morning News website, a poster named Alex slammed Warren, saying, “Not exactly inclusive. Invoking Jesus ‘who taught us to pray’ alienates all non-Christians.” Warren was bitterly denounced by the gay community before and after the event – because he had preached on numerous occasions that practicing same-gender sex is a sin.

In Canada’s National Post, editorial writers seemed amused by all the criticism. “In the United States, as in Canada,” they wrote, pundits always talk “a good game about diversity, pluralism and inclusiveness. The catch is that they don’t really intend to indulge these values, except in alliance with people who share their opinions. Diversity is great when it means affirmative action and speech codes. But it goes too far when it strays into friendly relations with” anybody having opposing views.

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Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
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