Whether you are Democrat or Republican, an inauguration is something you always want to watch whether for the pomp and circumstance, or just to get a glimpse of this elite in Washington, D.C. Or so as we say in Puerto Rico, so "that no one has to tell us about it." There was fashion, diverse cultural opportunities, the arts in music, poetry, and song. There was patriotism, flags, crowds, and pagentry. In other words there was something for everyone.
There were parts of the ceremony that I appreciated and some parts that I did not. I did enjoy seeing Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor swearing in the Vice President. She is an American-Puerto Rican, so it is with delight that I saw her participating. She has achieved so much already by being in the Supreme Court, so it was great to ser her up there. Then Reverend DeLeon, also spoke a blessing in Spanish for both the President and Vice President, representing millions of Spanish speaking people in the United States. Being a teacher, I also enjoyed the poetry about how the sun shines on all of us and all the hard working people of America of course because I am also one of those hard working people.
There were some things, I found disappointing. Basically, because of the pressure to be politically correct many pastors find it difficult to end their prayers saying the name of the one who saved them. In fact one candidate had to be dismissed because of a sermon he preached 20 years ago. That is sad. If you were invited to participate you had to be ecumentical and I understand that, but your faith is your faith. Allow people to express one of the most sacred rights, the freedom of religion. One minister did say the name of Jesus followed by "any other that is holy." Then pastor DeLeon said in "His Holy Name" which is vague, no doubt. That phrase is often used when the person has expounded on whose holy name is being referred to. You have to qualify the pronoun. I did appreciate the Greek Orthodox reverend who stayed faithful to his beliefs and who prayed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but that was later in the Capital building during lunch. I don't know if that made a difference.
During the ceremony there were other things that I enjoyed. I appreciated the music. For example, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," which in reality is a hymn to honor Christ and country. Some haven't caught on to that. That is fine by me, really. The singing of "My Country Tis of Thee," by Kelly Clarkson was powerful and resounding. In fact the master of ceremony, Senator Schumer, could not help but say,"Wow!" and wasn't that the truth! James Taylor was easy going in "O Beautiful!" and Beyonce's singing was lovely as well.
After the ceremony, the President and Vice President and their wives went to have lunch in the Capital Building. Everything was going fine. Vice President Joe Biden, had someone raise a toast to him. Very nice words, then Mr. Biden began to say very nice things about the President and so I thought he was going to say a toast to him when he suddenly changed about whom he was talking. The President as well as everybody else thought he was toasting the President, but no he wasn't. Everyone laughed but the President. It looked like the President was caught off guard and had a hurt look on his face. I actually felt sorry for him but he brushed it off. Who knows what was really going on. It could have been that Biden indeed had started to toast the President but then realized he was out of protocle and stopped midway when he caught his mistake. Awkward.
The theme of the inaugural address and activities of course was inclusiveness, though that word was not uttered. Frankly, I believe in treating everyone with dignity and respect. Every human being is entitled to that. There are things on the Democratic platform that I do not agree with as well, but treating everyone with kindness, and grace I am not against because it was and is on Christ's platform first. He was the first to touch lepers, accept affection and adoration from a prostitute, exalt a Samaritan for his compassion, and basically love his enemies to the very end of his life though they were killing him. He pardoned sinners and healed their sicknesses. So it is on a very narrow line that we walk on but hatred, rejection, superiority, and ridicule is not the response Christ would give. In fact, Christ told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more yet He did not stone her.
We need to be people who know how to love others, tell them the truth according the holy word of God, but not hurt them. I think if we lived more like our Master then perhaps people would be more tolerant of us. In the mean time we need to live out our beliefs in love, but not shirk away from them, and if we are rejected, we bear it. We would be in good company if we do.
I want to share another writer's perspective on President Obama's inaugural. He interpreted and responded to Mr. Obama's speech and it is well we consider.
Mr. Michael Brown at Charisma