Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

Inauguration '09 (links etc. edition)

After the Inauguration, I started poking at blogs, but I was busy that week, so I only read a smattering, and then I never really got back to it, so I'm dumping it for my own reference.


reiteration of link list:
* Rick Warren's invocation: transcript + video (boston.com)
* Elizabeth Alexander's inaugural poem (NYT)
* Obama's Inaugural Address (AP)
* Rev. Joseph E. Lowery's invocation (blog.suntimes.com).


Rick Warren's invocation: transcript + video (boston.com)

The boston.com piece mentions, "He recited the name of Jesus in Hebrew, Arabic and Spanish, as well as in English." which answers my question of "wtf 'Isa'?"

From an update:
Rabbi Howard A. Berman, of Boston Jewish Spirit, e-mailed the following note to his congregation:
[...] Despite our worst fears, his invocation was, in fact, remarkably appropriate, and as broad and embracing as it could have possibly been, given his evangelical beliefs. He referred to "Scripture", rather than using the more specific term, "Bible", and quoted the words of the Shema, "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One" as well as the opening phrase of the Koran, "O God who is merciful and compassionate..." He called for respect for all people, in the midst of disagreements. And most significantly, instead of concluding with the traditional phrase, "We ask this in Jesus' name...", he instead said "I ask this in the name of Jesus", which was personal and fitting, without excluding or disenfranchising those who do not pray in that manner. His further attempt at pluralism, in also using the Hebrew and Arabic versions of Jesus (Yeshua and Issa) certainly reflects his fundamental Christian belief that Jesus is Lord and Savior of all people - including Jews and Muslims... but could also have simply been intended to express a broader view of his own faith. [...]
My only disagreement is re: the "we ask this in Jesus' name," because NOT all the gathered "we" pray in the name of Jesus -- so it  would have felt much more honest etc. for him to say that he the speaker (i.e., saying "I ask") prays this.  Honestly, I don't pray in the name of Jesus.  I pray to God, the end.  Weirdly, I've never actually asked any of my clergy what "we ask this in the name of Your Son Jesus" or whatever actually means.  I literally do not understand the idea of asking for something in someone else's name.  I understand asking for something on behalf of someone else (like if I'm making a request on behalf of my boss), but that can't be the correct parsing here.

sk8eeyore commented, "I myself would have an extremely hard time offering prayer at such a public event and am not sure how I feel about it being done, precisely because I don't feel comfortable, or free, to offer/share in prayer that's not in the name of Jesus/Trinitarian."


ann1962 linked to a piece which described Elizabeth Alexander's poem as "a steady march of free verse iambic pentameter."  That explains why it felt mostly like prose to me.

She also provided a NYT link to the full text of the poem, which I like better on reading it than I did upon hearing it.

Isabel explained the Smith connection -- "The poet was a former director of the Poetry Center and writer in residence. "

Will Wilkinson says:
12:28: Poem! Anything is better than Maya Angelou. Poem voice! We know all about poem voice here at the U of Iowa.

12:30: Not that much better than Maya Angelou.

12:31: No, not anything is better than Maya Angelou. Poetry demands an apology.
Wikipedia tells me that Maya Angelou was 1993 (when I was 10 years old) with "On the Pulse of Morning," which I am unimpressed by.

Megan McArdle offers an excerpt from Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" as a substitute.  A commenter links to a poem written right after the official one was delivered -- OUCH.


Obama's Inaugural Address (AP)

"We remain a young nation, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things."
    I loved this line a lot.

"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works"
    I approve.

Other good lines:

"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals."

"we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

Will Wilkinson said:
    12:17: It's not size that counts, but reach.

Megan McArdle:
I was disappointed by the beginning of his speech, which seems to have consisted of saying:  "There are no tradeoffs, and the people who tell you there are are just big fat HATERS, okay?"  He is delivering it beautifully, as he always does, but the words do not really say much about how we will weather the dark storm on the horizon.

The second half, on the other hand, is beautiful.  I do not know that glad embrace of the duties of citizenship, as well as the benefits, will fix our economy, but it might fix many other things that are wrong with our country.  If he means it.

The libertarians will hate it, I predict.  But voluntary embrace of duty is the health of a small state--it's when people won't care for the collective that the government starts making them do it.

lilisonna in jadelennox's LJ entry mentioned something from the benediction which I hadn't caught and I asked if there was a transcript 'cause I had been wholly unsuccessful in finding one, so thanks to lilisonna for this link.

The opening lifts from "Lift Evr'ry Voice and Sing" (which was adopted as the Black National Anthem), and the ending fro:m (per my dad):
    Get Back (Black, Brown and White)
    Big Bill Broonzy. Chicago, 8. November 1951

"Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen."

Tags: issues: obama inauguration: 2009, religion, religion: language: in the name of

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