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A rabbi, a bishop, a cardinal, a Graham – and two prosperity preachers

A rabbi, a bishop, a cardinal, a Graham – and two prosperity preachers

The Washington Post and other news outlets have announced the six clergy who will be leading prayers at Trump’s inauguration on January 20:

The inaugural committee told The Post on Wednesday that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Rev. Franklin Graham, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and Pastor Paula White will all give readings at the ceremony.

Six clergy are more than the usual one or two, and for Graham, it’s the second time around – he prayed at the inauguration of George W. Bush in 2001. Cardinal Dolan is the first Catholic to pray in an inauguration since President Jimmy Carter, according to Religion News. From the Post:

“It’s a particular honor that shows the greatness of America,” said Hier, the first rabbi chosen for an inauguration since Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration in 1985. When Hier’s selection was announced Wednesday, he mused about what his parents — who fled anti-Semitism in Poland and moved to America before the Holocaust — would think about his role. “Whatever you turn to in the Torah, one can find connections and relevance to whatever period of history human beings live in. So that’s not going to be a challenge.”

Rabbi Hier, Fox News points out, is founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and he is not the only one of the six connected with concerns during Trump’s campaign:

The Wiesenthal Center had previously criticized Trump, accusing him of casting suspicion on all Muslims in his remarks on terrorism. Hier said in a phone interview Wednesday that while he would continue to speak out against bigotry, he supports Trump’s approach to Israel. “I’m not in the camp of those who say we are now into the dark ages. I think the opposite — that America’s best years are ahead of it,” Hier said.

Graham, who rallied Christian voters around the country this year over the issue of appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court, has credited God for Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton. Rodriguez, who had criticized Trump for his promises to deport millions of people in the country illegally, said Wednesday, “I have enjoyed getting to know President-elect Trump and his team.” Rodriguez called participating in the inaugural “a patriotic honor” and “a sacred duty.”

Fox News’ report focuses on the two “prosperity gospel” pastors, White (the second woman to pray at a presidential inauguration) and Jackson:

While the faith movement is widely popular, many Christians consider it heretical. Ministers in the tradition often hold up their own wealth as evidence their teachings work. Trump had campaigned in part on his record as a wealthy real estate developer and businessman.

The Senate Finance Committee had investigated White and five other prosperity preachers over their spending, but the inquiry ended in 2011 with no penalty for the televangelists. White said in a statement that she will pray to God at the inaugural “that He would richly bless our extraordinary home, the United States of America.”

 

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Jay Croft

Anne, why bother to listen to Graham?

I never do. Never.

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Anne Bay

Lol! Good point! It's a stress reliever if I don't!

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Anne Bay

Since Trump is Trump, I'm not surprised at this group. Still, it's a shame that with all the clergy available to choose from, these people are who were chosen. Not surprised, but it's a poor representation of anything or anybody on a spiritual level. The amount of bigotry and anti-womenstands just between the cardinal and Graham is enough to sink the Titannic!!! I wince every time I hear Graham speak! Wow. As far as wealthy pastors-being the daughter of an Episcopal Priest, that's not in my frame of reference! Being an Episcopalian I'm used to very knowledgeable seminary trained clergy-scholars as well as women bishops and priests. Only one non-Christian in the group. It's shocking to me that in this day and age that's the case. There are many religions in this nation plus those who are atheists. Everyone needs to be represented. The type of "Christianity" represented in this group has no correlation to what represents our diverse nation. But then Trump is mostly worshiping himself, so why expect anything related to what actually is.

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Pete Haynsworth

Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach was the site of Donald Trump's third wedding ceremony. Maybe the then-rector of the church and/or the then-bishop of the Southeast Florida diocese should be invited to the inauguration.

Joseph O’Neill, who wrote the short story in the December 12th The New Yorker magazine (don't read if you're a poet), had also written, five months ago, an amusing account of that ceremony and reception:

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/memories-of-trumps-wedding

Kelly Ripa had the distinct misfortune of sitting next to O’Neill at the reception. ☺

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Richard Parker

You don't seem to take seriously the vitriolic wildness of Rabbi Heir's Weisenthal Center--here's their listing of top anti-semitic acts for 2016, with the US failure to veto the UN resolution at #1:
http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/UN-vote-tops-Wiesenthal-top-10-lit-of-antisemitic-anti-Israel-cases-476646

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JC Fisher

Thank you for this, Richard. You have confirmed for me what I suspected about this group, collectively (since the rabbi was the only unknown to me): a collection plate of deplorables!

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Reese Rickards

We probably shouldn't expect anything else from the incoming administration, but how sad Franklin Graham will bring his distinctly unchristian beliefs to the inauguration platform.

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Kenneth Knapp

I think that all political Christian beliefs are unchristian. Politics is the use of force to compel your neighbor to do your will. Authentic Christianity rejects the use of force.

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Chris Harwood

Dare I ask which of his beliefs are "unChristian"? If the only real Christians have perfect beliefs, then there are no Christians on the planet, including TEC, where Christ's deity and Resurrection, etc. are all up for debate.

- edited -
Please follow comment policy.

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Reese Rickards

Here's a place to start, Chris, regarding Mr. Graham's unchristian beliefs. He wrote this on his FaceBook page.

"I’m very thankful for NC Lt. Governor Dan Forest and legislators for protecting women and children from pedophiles and sexual perverts. They have stood strong and resolute for HB 2 to uphold safety and privacy. It should be obvious to everyone—we don’t need men in women’s bathrooms and locker rooms in NC or in any state."

Graham's homophobia is antithetical to the teaching of Jesus when he decided to eat with a tax collector, the most despised of all in first century Judea.

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