Warren not the only one praying from the podium on Jan. 20
Rick Warren, whose recent remarks on issues ranging from war and torture to sexuality and abortion have generated some justifiable pushback lately, will give the invocation at the inauguration. The pick was news to us.
But he’s not the only one who will be praying from the podium on January 20. Rev. Joseph Lowery a civil rights icon and supporter of gay rights*, is giving the benediction at the end of the event.
I can’t read the administration’s mind, but my guess here is that they’re crafting an inauguration meant to appeal to voters who voted against Obama as well as his supporters. They certainly could have achieved the same bridge-building gesture by inviting a conservative evangelical who has not recently affirmed the Biblical validity of assassinating the president of Iran. Someone like, say, Bill Hybels. (There’s a deep bench out there.)
But everything I’ve read so far focuses on Rick, and that’s not the whole story. The New York Times has the full schedule.
*Update: while Rev. Lowery has been listed in some places as a supporter of same-sex marriage, he has said in recent interviews that while he still struggles with the concept of same-sex marriage, he fully supports civil unions and was opposed to California’s Proposition 8.