Thursday, December 18, 2008

What Would You Do If Obama Called?

This is too good for you to miss-- it's from my partner Dave Zanotti of The American Policy Roundtable and his blog found at

What would you do if Obama called?
By Mr. David Zanotti

Rick Warren is getting hammered -- again. This time the left is furious and the right is not far behind. Secular modernists are livid that President Obama has selected Pastor Warren to lead the invocation at the Inauguration. Google the news on this one. Read what Andrew Sullivan, PFAW, and the ACLU are saying. It won't be long, however before bloggers from the other side tee off on Rick Warren. They will hit the fan because someone claiming to be a Christian and a Pastor at that would stand side by side with the new President and, gasp... pray for him.

Can we all take a breath? This is actually funny because it is pretty much a surprise to everyone. But let's not get carried away here. The act of such a public prayer remains symbolic. It doesn't say much about the condition of anyone's heart or mind. Public prayers are not the ones Jesus rates as substantive. In fact, he warns against them. So lets try to get a little perspective here.

Even more interesting is this question: If the new President called you and asked you to come and pray at this very official event, what would you do? The inauguration is the actual moment of the transfer of Constitutional authority, when the oath of office is taken. Actually, it is the public act. On occassion the oath has been taken in private, with witnesses for security purposes. That might happen again this year. However, for the public view and the watching world, this is the moment when a part of the Constitution comes to life. So would you be willing to lead in prayer, to talk to God out loud, in front of the watching world? Would you go, or would you want your pastor to go if asked?

The question is this: Can pastors maintain their spiritual identity and true indepenedence and at the same time minister to those in elected office? Remember, Rick Warren did not endorse ANYONE for the Presidential election. He kept his focus on the issues he believed mattered most to God. So this invitation is no payback. It certainly is no payback for the Saddleback Forum where Obama and McCain squared off with Warren. Wayne Shepherd and I were at that event helping broadcast it to the nation. Obama got hammered by McCain that night. It was the only time in the campaign McCain performed well, so well, that if the election had been held a few days later, McCain might have actually gotten close. So Obama isn't exactly gaining much politically hanging around Warren. In fact, chances are good if McCain had won, he might have picked Warren as well. And that would have been billed as "payback" for the Saddleback Forum for sure.

So if the President called you to pray for him and the country in public -- would you?


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