Archive for the ‘Rick Warren’ Category

Rick Warren Inaugural Prayer Transcript

January 21, 2009

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 goodwill 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.”

Update: Video of Warren’s prayer
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctpoli
tics/2009/01/rick_warrens_in.html

http://mrclm.wordpress.com/2009/01/2
0/pastor-rick-warren-inauguration-prayer-transcript/

Dr. Rick Warren delivers the invocation during President Barack ... 
Dr. Rick Warren delivers the invocation during President Barack Obama’s Inauguration in Washington, January 20, 2009. Obama became the 44th President of the United States today.REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES)
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Inauguration Crowd on Steroids; Event Participants Needed Xanax

January 21, 2009

The Chinese would have seen so many bad omens they’d mostly call President Obama “Not Lucky” after yesterday’s Inauguration.

The oath was botched.

Two Senators needed medical attention before the end of lunch.

Rick Warren’s prayer was only applauded by his Mom, apparently.

The Speech? Gerard Baker of The Times in London was looking for some “Kennedy-esque, or Rooseveltian quotations for the ages.”

He was disappointed.

The crowd was on steroids.  The event participants needed Xanax.

But, like a family wedding that features a drunken uncle or broken china, the job got done.

So, enough fol-de-rol.  Let’s get to work.

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES)

Obama Inauguration: No Rabbis, Priests

January 20, 2009

Inauguration audiences on Tuesday will hear the new President deliver the most anticipated Inaugural Address since John F. Kennedy. They’ll hear the Queen of Soul sing and Yo-Yo Ma play. They’ll listen to hear if Rick Warren gets preachy when he prays. But there’s one thing they won’t hear: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam.

That’s because for the sixth straight presidential Inauguration, rabbis won’t have a place on the dais. And the Jewish faith isn’t the only religious tradition that continues to be snubbed. Since 1985, only Evangelical Protestants have played a part in the swearing-in ceremony. That will continue again this year when megachurch pastor Warren delivers the invocation and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, an African-American Evangelical, offers the benediction. At a time when the United States is more religiously diverse than at any other point in its history, and Obama’s entire campaign was built on the notion of a newfound inclusiveness and multiculturalism, it seems a glaring omission. (See TIME’s special report on civil rights and the Obama presidency.)

Time Magazine

The recent Evangelical Protestant monopoly began in 1989, when George H.W. Bush asked Billy Graham to deliver both the invocation and benediction (the opening and closing prayers) at his Inauguration. Graham did the same for Bill Clinton in 1993 and again in 1997. The decision to delegate the religious role to Graham seemed a reasonable alternative to filling the stage with an ever-growing number of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu and Baha’i clergy. The famous Evangelist regularly topped the list of people Americans most admired, and he prayed in fairly broad terms, referring just to “God” and using the formulation “I pray” instead of “we pray” to make clear that he was not imposing his Christian prayer on the entire citizenry. (Read Obama’s words on his Christian faith.)

But the absence of non-Christian religious leaders was felt even more deeply starting in 2001, when Graham’s son Franklin ended his invocation with an exclusive statement: “We … acknowledge you alone as our Lord, our Savior and our Redeemer. We pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit.” This was not a prayer offered on behalf of all Americans but on behalf of Christians alone. It bookended George W. Bush’s Inauguration with a benediction by Kirbyjon Caldwell that declared, “We respectfully submit this humble prayer in the name that’s above all other names, Jesus the Christ,” and instructed, “Let all who agree say ‘Amen.’ ” If you didn’t agree, there was apparently nothing for you to do but shuffle your feet.

For non-Christians, but particularly for Jews who had gotten used to having a place on the dais, the development was deeply disturbing. After all, traditionally, the religious roster at presidential swearing ins looked something like the set-up to an old joke: “A priest, a pastor and a rabbi walk into an Inauguration …” Rabbis prayed at a majority of Inaugurations that took place between 1949 and 1985, as did Catholic priests.

It is true that Jewish religious leaders weren’t on the dais in 1937, when Franklin D. Roosevelt first introduced the tradition of an Inaugural prayer. Up until then, presidential Inaugurations did not include prayers. Instead, the vice-presidential swearing in took place at a separate ceremony in the Senate chambers, after which the Senate chaplain usually offered a prayer. Roosevelt decided to merge the two events and brought the chaplain along to participate as well. But in a shrewd political maneuver, Roosevelt also opened up a second religious slot on the program for Father John Ryan, an influential figure in Catholic social teaching and a prominent supporter of the New Deal. As Mark Silk, professor of religion at Trinity College, has written, Ryan was not only known as “the Right Rev. New Dealer,” but he was also the most effective critic of Father Charles Coughlin, the notorious right-wing, anti-Roosevelt priest. Ryan’s participation in the Inauguration helped insulate Roosevelt against Coughlin’s attacks and shore up the growing – and critical – voting bloc of Catholic Democrats.

Related:
Obama Didn’t Need Rick Warren for Prayer; Others Abound

 Obama’s Path to Faith Was Eclectic, Diverse

Obama’s Path to Faith Was Eclectic, Diverse

January 18, 2009

The presidential inauguration ceremony on Tuesday will begin and end with prayers from two men whom Barack Obama considers role models, advisers and dear friends. One, Joseph Lowery, is an 87-year-old black liberal Methodist from the Deep South who spent his career fighting for civil rights. The other, Rick Warren, is a 54-year-old white conservative evangelical from Southern California who fights same-sex unions.

By Eli Saslow
The Washington Post

The two religious icons are, Lowery said, “usually on opposite sides of the chart.” But Obama will step onstage with them, set his hand on a Bible and feel comfortable in the vast space in between.

For the president-elect, religion has always been less about theology than the power God inspires in communities that worship Him, friends and advisers said. It has been more than three months since he sat through a Sunday church service and at least five years since he attended regularly, but during the transition, Obama has spoken to religious leaders almost daily. They said Obama calls to seek advice, but rarely is it spiritual. Instead, he asks how to mobilize faith-based communities behind his administration.

Then U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama ... 
Then U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (R) stands next to moderator Pastor Rick Warren at the Civil Forum on the Presidency at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California in this August 16, 2008 file photo. President-elect Obama has chosen Warren, who opposes gay marriage, as a speaker at his inauguration, creating a commotion over what inclusiveness will mean for his administration.REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files (UNITED STATES)

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte
nt/article/2009/01/17/AR2009011702601
.html?hpid=topnews

Related:
What’s the Common Thread in almost All Inauguration Speeches?  Faith, hope and God….
Obama’s Genius, Inauguration Day, and Hope

Joseph Lowery, 87, is a black liberal Methodist from the Deep South.

Joseph Lowery, 87, is a black liberal Methodist from the Deep South. (By Jason Fobart)

God Invoked on Every Issue, from Chicago to Gaza

January 5, 2009

“We are hoping and praying that they will not be able to deny what the Lord has ordained,” (Senator?) Roland Burris said. “I am not hesitating. I am now the junior Senator from the state of Illinois. Some people may want to question that and that is their prerogative.”

Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey apparently said yesterday that “Allah would punish Israel” for its attacks on Gaza.

We here at Peace and Freedom were attacked by a pastor this last weekend who said God would punish us for supporting Barack Obama.

And Rev. Rick Warren has said he and his God condemn gays….and some of my gay friends said, “Well God Damn Rick Warren for sure…”

Maybe we should allow God to pick and choose His own people at His own time…

Related (On Burris):
http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_11370882

For Barack Obama, Middle East Pressure Cooker Intensifies With Each Unchecked Israeli Move

January 4, 2009

With global respect for the United States at an all time low and hopes in Barack Obama at an all time high, how much more pressure and drama can a new President of the United States tolerate?

Well, Israel, the Middle East and George W. Bush are adding fuel to the proverbial fire.

An Israeli tank enters the Gaza Strip from Israel on a combat mission, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. Israeli ground troops and tanks cut swaths through the Gaza Strip early Sunday, bisecting the coastal territory and surrounding its biggest city as the new phase of a devastating offensive against Hamas gained momentum. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Photo: AP

Bush’s totally unbowed support for Israel and his deaf ear to pressure from the Arab world has resulted in gridlock in the United Nations Security Council.  It now looks as if the U.N. may not even consider another cease-fire proposal between Israel and Hamas until Tuesday.

The U.S. has blocked two previous cease-fire resolutions.

Many nations would like to see Isreal ordered to agree to a cease fire; but U.S. non-compliance has allowed Isreal to forge ahead in its air, and now ground, assault upon Gaza.

For right or wrong, the U.S. position on Israel is under siege: putting even more pressure on Barack Obama to come up with a solution more people can agree to in the Middle East after he is inaugurated on January 20, 2009.

Maybe Mr. Obama can still replace Rick Warren with a Muslim for the invocation….

Related:
 Gaza, Israel Highlight Stark Obama, Bush Differences

 Arab Nations Enraged At U.S. On Gaza, Palestinian Deaths
.
Gaza: International Community Allowing Isreal To Bleed Hamas?
.
Gaza and Obama’s “Deafening Silence:” Arabs and Muslims Wonder

In this Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008 file photo, Pastor Rick Warren ... 
Rick Warren: Needs an all inclusive prayer…. and a very big rug….

Obama: Let Them Wait

January 4, 2009

How does an aggressively no-drama president-elect respond to the most drama-filled, tragedy-crammed, emotionally fraught conflict on the planet, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Answer: very quietly.

By Andrew Sullivan
Times (UK)

His “one president at a time” mantra — George W Bush is in the job until January 20 — has become almost as automatic as his famous “Yes, we can”. Since election night, Obama has been, to most Americans, a blur of activity. But what has he actually said? He has given many press conferences, but almost all about appointments and none of them news-making. Many of us, weaned on soaring doses of his eloquence from the campaign, have had withdrawal symptoms.

And yet if you let the actions and inactions speak for themselves, as Americans seem to have done so far, the direction is clear enough: massive stimulus at home, caution and gradualism abroad. It’s immensely popular as a formula.

Take two huge news stories that exploded on Obama since November 4 — his appointment of the anti-gay evangelical Rick Warren as inaugural invocation speaker and the hilariously baroque Rod Blagojevich, the governor of Illinois, who put Obama’s old Senate seat up for auction. Either could have dominated the early symbolism of the transition, and set a tone for a restless, exhausted press corps. And yet neither story seemed to gain any real traction that hurt Obama.

Related:
 Gaza, Israel Could Highlight Stark Obama, Bush Differences

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/commen
t/columnists/andrew_sullivan/article5438242.ece

Obama’s Peace of Mind: Rick Warren and a Holy Host of Others Still Compete to Ruin It

December 31, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama’s many well intentioned friends could still, at just about any time, ruin his day.

Such is the fun and the tragedy of American Politics.

Rick Warren still has a prayer to deliver in behalf of President Obama on his Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009.

(This essay was written before the Inaguration.  To read Rick’s Inauguration Day prayer go to:
 Rick Warren Inaugural Prayer Transcript)

We pray that Pastor Warren is reserved and cautious, but that is not his way.

Rick Warren has, at times, been the Rod Blagojevich of the ministerial tribe.

“Jesus Christ what a bad selection for the prayer,” one pundit said to us.  “What will gays say?  I thought Rick didn’t have a prayer with Obama.”

Well, gays have spoken and they are offended.

And if Rick Warren does “have a prayer” and uses the name of Jesus Christ in his invovation others will be offended too.

In fact, there is already a lawsuit to remove the words, “So help me God” from the presidential oath of office.

Then there is Blago himself and respected Democratic U.S. House of Representatives member Bobby Rush of Chicago.

By turning the Illinois U.S. Senate Seat once held by Mr. Obama into a race-reserved monolith in the Senate, all involved seem to be seeking shame and not repentance.

Then we have Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid,  Rahm Emanuel and a host of other infighters on Mr. Obama’s “side.”

Let’s hope Barack Obama isn’t swallowed by the axiom, “When you are doing this well, you can only go down….”

This year 2009 should be terrific!  Even before Barack gets “help” from Medvedev, Putin, Ahmadinejad, etc……

President-elect Barack Obama asks members of the public sitting ... 
What? Me worry? Obama truies to hush critics… and supporters! President-elect Barack Obama asks members of the public sitting on a wall to silence their cheers for him as his golf partners play the 18th hole at a private course in Kailua, Hawaii Monday, Dec. 29, 2008.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Related:
 Obama’s Other Choices After Rick Warren for Prayer
.
Obama’s Rick Warren Pick: Glib, Callous, Conscious

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By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

President-elect Barack Obama‘s choice of Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation drew one kind of protest. Whether the evangelical pastor offers the prayer in the name of Jesus may draw another. At George W. Bush‘s 2001 swearing-in, the Revs. Franklin Graham and Kirbyjon Caldwell were criticized for invoking Christ. The distinctly Christian reference at a national civic event offended some, and even prompted a lawsuit.

Warren did not answer directly when asked whether he would dedicate his prayer to Jesus. In a statement Tuesday to The Associated Press, Warren would say only that, “I’m a Christian pastor so I will pray the only kind of prayer I know how to pray.”

“Prayers are not to be sermons, speeches, position statements nor political posturing. They are humble, personal appeals to God,” Warren wrote. His spokesman would not elaborate.

Evangelicals generally expect their clergymen to use Jesus’ name whenever and wherever they lead prayer. Many conservative Christians say cultural sensitivity goes way too far if it requires religious leaders to hide their beliefs.

“If Rick Warren does not pray in Jesus’ name, some folks are going to be very disappointed,” Caldwell said in a recent phone interview. “Since he’s evangelical, his own tribe, if you will, will have some angst if he does not do that.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081231/ap_o
n_go_pr_wh/rel_inauguration_prayer

***************

From Fox News
.
The head of an atheist group that has filed a lawsuit against prayer at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration says the government is picking a winner between “believers” and “those who don’t believe” and subjecting atheists and agnostics to someone else’s religious beliefs.

Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has joined with Michael Newdow, who fought to have the words “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, in a federal lawsuit seeking to enjoin the Presidential Inaugural Committee from sponsoring prayers at the official inauguration. 

The 34-page legal complaint similarly seeks to enjoin Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., from adding the phrase “So help me God” to the presidential oath of office.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/12/3
0/atheist-group-files-lawsuit-prayer-presi
dential-inauguration/

Obama’s Rick Warren Pick: Glib, Callous, Conscious

December 28, 2008

Obama’s pick was a slap at gays: a glib, conscious and callous insult from a man with too much hubris….Indicative, perhaps, of trouble ahead…Rick Warren may be a prayer but he is not seen as a healer….

Charles Krauthammer suggested on Fox News this last week that Barack Obama needed a man standing behind him wispering, “You are only mortal…”  This a reference to Roman generals returning after great victories….

****************

Barack Obama is generating huge hopes even before he takes office. So much so that his name and face, affixed to any product, may be the last commodity left in the marketplace that can still move Americans to shop.

By Frank Rich
The New York Times

I share these high hopes. But for the first time a faint tinge of Bush crept into my Obama reveries this month.

As we saw during primary season, our president-elect is not free of his own brand of hubris and arrogance, and sometimes it comes before a fall: “You’re likable enough, Hillary” was the prelude to his defeat in New Hampshire. He has hit this same note again by assigning the invocation at his inauguration to the Rev. Rick Warren, the Orange County, Calif., megachurch preacher who has likened committed gay relationships to incest, polygamy and “an older guy marrying a child.” Bestowing this honor on Warren was a conscious — and glib — decision by Obama to spend political capital. It was made with the certitude that a leader with a mandate can do no wrong.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/opinion/28rich.html

Obama: Move Toward the Center is Smart

December 27, 2008

Barack Obama is an annoying guy.

As of last week the U. S. President-elect had announced 20 cabinet appointments. Of these, only five are women. Granted, these women will hold some of the most powerful positions in the government; head of homeland security, secretary of state, labor secretary, ambassador to the UN, environmental protection agency boss.

Even so, CNN reports, some women’s groups are displeased. “There need to be a lot more women’s voices in this administration,” says Kim Gandy, of the National Organization for Women.

Gays and lesbians are irked at Obama too. During the primaries and in the presidential campaign he promised to be a strong advocate for them. But now he’s up and invited a conservative preacher, Rick Warren, to lead the invocation at his inauguration on Jan. 20.

Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren delivers a speech during the ... 
Rick Warren

Warren is strongly pro-life and staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage.

Zounds, say the liberals: How could our guy do such a thing? Aren’t there plenty of good liberal preachers around, people who actually backed Obama for the Presidency?

Others are upset, reportedly, because of Obama’s decision to leave Robert Gates in charge at the Pentagon. Gates is a holdover from the hated Bush administration and an implementer of the illegal war in Iraq. How could he possibly have a seat at Obama’s table?

You can hear the chatter percolating in the coffee houses and on the university campuses: He’s not even president yet, and already he’s walking away from some of our most deeply held positions. How could he?

Obama is doing precisely the right thing. In walking away from the leftist fringe and hewing to the centre, he is creating the much larger coalition that he absolutely needs if he is to succeed as president.

For this presidency will not be about business as usual. The United States faces a staggering trillion-dollar deficit next year.

Its military is at war on two fronts and struggling on one, in Afghanistan. It faces unfunded pension obligations that threaten national bankruptcy well into the future.

Editorial
The Sun Times
Ontario, Canada