Friday, January 20, 2017

Religion and Trump's Inauguration

Deseret News today has a lengthy article titled The role religion played in Trump's inauguration. Reviewing the music, the invocations, the swearing-in, the prayer service at St. John's Episcopal Church this morning, and more, the report says in part:
Church choirs sang, a half-dozen religious leaders prayed and Trump mentioned God in his inauguration speech..... Trump's religiously rich ceremony was notable for a president whose personal faith wasn't a prominent part of his campaign. He formed a powerful partnership with evangelical Christian leaders and promised to make it safe to say "Merry Christmas," but he sometimes stumbled when asked to share his own beliefs.
Washington Post has a full transcript as well as analysis of the sermon delivered by Southern Baptist Pastor Robert Jefress at this morning's prayer service at St. John's. His remarks included this hardly-veiled political reference:
When I think of you, President-elect Trump, I am reminded of another great leader God chose thousands of years ago in Israel. The nation had been in bondage for decades, the infrastructure of the country was in shambles, and God raised up a powerful leader to restore the nation. And the man God chose was neither a politician nor a priest. Instead, God chose a builder whose name was Nehemiah.
And the first step of rebuilding the nation was the building of a great wall. God instructed Nehemiah to build a wall around Jerusalem to protect its citizens from enemy attack. You see, God is NOT against building walls!
Meanwhile RNS and The Forward report that Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner (who are Orthodox Jews) received a ruling from a rabbi close to them that it was permissible for them to travel in a car from activities such as the post-inaugural balls even after sunset that begins the Jewish Sabbath.  The ruling came from concerns for protecting the couple’s safety.