AOL News also says that some folks appeared to be moved emotionally, standing with arms outstretched and tears in their eyes.
To each his/her own.
While I thought it was suffocating and boring, Warren's invocation (prayer) was what I expected: an overly-long sermon as to what God should do and Obama should do and all of us should do.
A major problem is that Warren may speak of inclusiveness, about treating one another with respect, but he doesn't mean it. We know how he treats homosexuals (e.g. they cannot be members of his church; he opposed Proposition 8 in California); we know what he thinks of those who are pro-choice (he opposed Obama for president on the grounds he was pro-abortion); we know he believes that all people who have not accepted Jesus will burn forever in hell. We know these things because he has said these things with no qualification or equivocation. When he says [God] "is loving to everyone" he has made, the unspoken qualifier is always that, in spite of God's loving nature, those who chose not to accept Jesus are doomed forever.
We also know that the god he prayed to today is the Christian god. Atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhist, etc., were excluded. This was a christianist prayer based on the wrong-headed assumption the United States is a Christian nation.
Some of what he said was indeed appropriate, such as his prayers for President Obama and his family and our nation as a whole. But, again, it was very much a sermon, reminding us and God of our mutual responsibilities.
And he just couldn't help "humbly" asking all this of his god in the name of Jesus and then reciting the specifically Christian "Lord's Prayer."
It was a predictable, utterly unnecessary and inappropriate nod to God, and likely indicated to people of other faiths and to unbelievers all over the world that we are hypocrites, rewriting our Constitution to serve our own prejudices. In other words, to those without knowledge of our Constitution, Warren's invocation would leave the clear impression that we have established the christianist religion in our land.
Here's the text of the prayer:
Let us pray.
Almighty God, our Father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you. It all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory.
History is your story. 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.
Now, today, we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time. We celebrate a hingepoint of history with the inauguration of our first African American president of the United States. We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.Give to our new President, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders.
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. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ.
Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all. May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you. We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.
I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus, 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.”