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Not to be a thorn in your post-invocation side, Rick Warren, but Jesus did not teach me to pray. He didn’t teach Jews (except for those who followed him when he was alive), Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, non-Christian theists, or agnostics, either. You chose your words for the inauguration carefully for a change–”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’…”–but not carefully enough, I’m afraid.
Why the pronoun-switch midstream from “me” to “us”? Who is this “us”? You and other Christians? It sounded like you meant all of us. And when you said, “Jesus, who taught us to pray,” did you really mean the Lord’s Prayer specifically, or were you implying that Jesus taught us to pray generally, too? I couldn’t tell.
Jesus did teach you and other Christians the Lord’s Prayer (unless you believe the gospel of Mark, from which the Lord’s Prayer is notably absent). And I can accept that Jesus has changed your life and taught you the Lord’s Prayer and to pray in general, but “us”? Is this what people are referring to when they’re now giving you credit for inclusiveness? That you’ve invited “us” to your Jesus party? I’m sorry, Pastor Warren, but I don’t want to be included in that way. I respect and would never seek to outlaw your right to believe, though, despite the fact that you have tried to outlaw what I can do with my body (abortion = Holocaust denial…more inclusiveness!) and who my loved ones can marry. But please don’t assume that there is an “us.” There is no “us” when it comes to you and me, and it’s not because I don’t believe in Jesus, it’s because I don’t believe in you.
Read the full transcript of Rick Warren’s inauguration invocation here.
Filed under: Abortion Rights, Believers, Christian Attitudes, Jesus, Pastor Rick Warren, Presidential Inauguration, Proposition 8, Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, So-Called Inclusiveness, The Lord's Prayer