Invoking Secularism

Rick Warren's invocation was pedestrian and uninspiring. This was a bit unexpected to me, as I've never heard him talk before - I just know that he does inspire gazillions, so I figured he must have some rhetorical power.

Inspiring or not (and I did dig Lowery): why have an invocation and benediction at all? This is not a religious ceremony; Obama did not receive his position through Divine Right. We (supposedly) have a secular political life. Such a prayer should be as out of place as a creche at a courthouse. The invocation may have been ecumenical to a point, but it was still monotheistic. He also referenced Jesus. Although he threw us Jews a bone by citing the Shema, followers of other religions and atheists were excluded (and props, btw, to Obama, for including non-believers in his speech, as Dan rightly points out)

The point, however, is not inclusion or exclusion, and making sure that the Seven Aphorisms of Summum get their proper hearing. The problem is a public prayer in a secular setting.

1 comment:

  1. I watched JFK's inauguration when I was in fifth grade, and I remember a rabbi praying in Hebrew.