Comments about ‘Inaugural benediction flap prompts question: 'Who can pray for the nation?'’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 11 2013 5:45 p.m. MST

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samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, asked if, "all orthodox clergy (are) now to be banished from civic life if they openly affirm their faith’s teachings about marriage and sexual ethics?"

Obama answers, "As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans."

Sure looks like Obama has fallen in line with the anti-Traditional marriage agenda folks and their very non-inclusive stance toward those who believe in maintaining the institution of marriage as it has been for thousands of years by actively excluding them from participation.

Isn't it amazing how one can spin words like "inclusion" and "acceptance" 180 degrees from their true meaning.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

Thank you, President Obama, for making sure those who value religion, will have one who is loving and understanding of all, praying for them.

sergio
Phoenix, AZ

@samhill,
You state:
Isn't it amazing how one can spin words like "inclusion" and "acceptance" 180 degrees from their true meaning.
Please tell us what are their true meaning.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

"Who can pray for the nation?'"

Simple, obvious answer: nobody.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Many Democrat delegates at their national convention booed God and the nation heard them. Mark Twain once wrote, " You can not pray a lie". That is only partly true apparently for Democrats.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Religion divides people like nothing else can.

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Re: "a megachurch pastor declined an invitation to pray at the presidential inauguration because of an anti-gay marriage sermon he gave 15 years ago."

In other words, if he'd given a "pro-gay marriage sermon" it wouldn't have been a problem? Well, here in Utah it would have been a problem, because the Utah Legislature does not invite anyone who supports gay marriage to pray on the opening-day of the Legislature. Only LDS general authorities (all oppponents of gay marriage) have ever been invited to offer the invocations.

Presidential inauguration prayers or opening-day Utah Legislature prayers--I guess it all depends on whose views are compatible with those who call the shots.

Free Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

As a gay male, here's my own take on this:

I think any clergyman/woman whose beliefs prohibit active homosexuality is definitely entitled to take part in a ceremony such as the Inaugural, which represents our diverse American population. That clergy-person can simply state, when asked, something like: "I don't believe active homosexuality is acceptable to God."

However, I would deny a clergy-person's right to take part in, e.g., Inaugurals, if that person uses *inflammatory* language against gays (or against any other productive, law-abiding American demographic). Words such as, in Giglio's case, "abomination." In Rick Warren's case, "similar to pedophilia and incest."

I wish someone would have now asked Giglio if he'd be willing to simply say his beliefs prohibit him from condoning active homosexuality--and leave it at that. Would he agree to no longer call it, in a public arena, an abomination?

I hope people can see this distinction: it's fine to say what you can or cannot accept. It's *not* fine to use inflammatory language when talking about people whose lives and beliefs are different from yours.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

DN could you please show some constancy. if you are going to allow samhill to make his comment you may want to allow others to respond. either take down his post or allow apposing views.

My question for samhill is should we also insist that reverend wright, Louis Farakhan or perhaps an anti Israel immam be allowed to pray for our country at the inauguration to make sure we are being inclusive?

If you refuse to print this comment please explain exactly how it violates any of your guidelines, since it uses no foul words, attacks no one and is on topic.

Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT

@ Free Agency: Well said! There is no place for inflammatory language when expressing one's own opinion or when expressing disagreement with someone else's opinion. Be candid but not caustic. It's extremely unfortunate that our society, collectively speaking, is not even remotely close to achieving that communication protocol.

The Skeptical Chymist
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

The solution to this is simple. Why do we need a benediction at all? No matter who performs this ritual, it will alienate some Americans, since we are a nation composed of people with a wide variety of religious beliefs (or lack thereof). Further, there is no need for it in what is purely a state ceremony.

RationalPlease
Spanish Fork, UT

I am totally in favor of prayer. But how is it ok for prayer at a presidential inauguration, but not at High School athletic events, ie a Texas football game?

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

@RationalPlease,
Maybe the answer to your question is: that, when religion (including prayer) is brought into the public square partisans turn it into politics.

Filo Doughboy
Bakersfield, CA

Then no Biblical, Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Mormon believer or leader can offer a public prayer. Lemmings line up and follow the New Religion Police, the Right Ethical Prophets of Pagan Religion.

The Bible is explicit. Stoning was mandated in O.T. First Corinthians 5 and 6, and Revelation 22, give the list of abominations that keep unrepentant sinners of those sins outside the Kingdom of God. So get mad "adulterers, fornicators, liars, whoremongers, effiminate, dogs and sorcerers". You, too, are on the abomination list.

While we're claiming personal proclivities, practicers of bestiality and pornography, brothel Madams and drug traffickers need to be defended, too. Such former crimes have been voted legal in some states. Are any of those practioners allowed to offer Inaugural Prayers?

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

It seems that "inclusion" and "acceptance" only apply when we agree....

This is an extension of the Chik-Fil-A drama from last year. The current "politically correct" crowd will stomp on the rights of those they disagree with in the name of "inclusion". However, those of us who still choose to follow the unchanging Word of God are now EXcluded.

Sorry if it offends anyone, but there is one Truth, and that is in Our Savior Jesus Christ. He did not preach "inclusion" or "acceptance", He preached REPENTANCE. Read His words if you don't believe me. He came to call sinners to repentance. And yes, he is qualified to judge each of us, whether we want to accept Him or not....

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@redwing
Instead of repeating other peoples earlier post would you care to actually address the question posed by spring street to the previous poster since they seem to have disappeared? "My question for samhill is should we also insist that reverend wright, Louis Farakhan or perhaps an anti Israel immam be allowed to pray for our country at the inauguration to make sure we are being inclusive?"

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

Kalindra-
spring street's questions is at the heart of the problem - where do we draw the line as a society? I do not have an answer. Do we reject anti-Israeli sentiments, but allow anti-white supremacy groups to participate? This is the problem with preaching "inclusion" - you HAVE to include everyone. Even someone you vehemently disagree with. If we begin to disriminate in thought, who decides what is acceptable? If you are picky in your inclusivity, you become a hypocrite.

If I stand firm in my convictions as a follower of Christ and His gospel, am I marginalized in society because the prevailing opinion is to accept and celebrate homosexuality? If so, I am fine with that. I "fear" (meaning honor) God more than man.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

OK, OK, I will resolve this intractable problem by volunteering to say the "prayer" at the inauguration myself.

I will pray directly to whatever "god" happens to appear right at the moment the prayer is required.

Otherwise, we will just have a moment of silence, symbolic of the silence we hear from the fictional "gods" religion offers the world.

You are all welcome.

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