Your Reactions to Rick Warren's Invocation: Christians, Jews, and Muslims Respond

Christians, Jews, and Muslims respond to the invocation at President Obama's inauguration.

By + More

By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

I'm struck by all the thoughtful and heartfelt comments responding to Rick Warren's inaugural invocation—to his invoking Jesus, reciting the Lord's Prayer, and borrowing lines from Judaism and Islam.

Christians, Jews, and Muslims—many of whom attended the inauguration in person—have posted. Some Jews felt excluded from Warren's prayer, a Muslim imam was moved, and quite a few Christians were relieved that Warren resisted succumbing to the kind of watered-down civil religion that they feel stifles genuine religious expression.

Here are some of my favorite comments from the last couple of days. Take a look, and, while the invocation is still fresh, add your own thoughts.

Aaron of New Jersey

Every Jewish kid who grew up in the small towns of the South knows how it hurts to be blessed in Jesus's name. If you don't bow your head, you are insulting the person giving the prayer, if you do, you feel hurt inside. Reverend Lowery managed to make his blessing all inclusive, perhaps because he knows better how it feels to be left out.

An i mam in New York

I was heartened to listen to Reverend Warren's prayer . . . As I listened I heard him use Christian, Jewish and Muslim references together. All Muslim's hearts stir when they hear "the compassionate, the merciful" because of the Qur'anic reference. The fact that this is said in the bible as well only reinforces our brotherhood as descendants of Abraham (peace be upon him). And his reference to the Shema was clear and unequivocal. This was a prayer of unification and of looking forward. I for one was pleasantly surprised by his ecumenical tone and applaud him for it.

Anonymous of Illinois

What we need to realize is that this country isn't an atheistic/agnostic/Buddhist/Hindu/Muslim/<insert religion here> country with Christians living in it. It's a Christian nation with followers of other faiths/or no faith living in it . . . I find it ironic, that those very same citizens with differing faith-expressions who are afforded the freedom to live here based on our Christian principles, are offended when someone utters the name of Jesus—the person to whom the credit is owed for the freedom and liberty THEY enjoy. If it destroys you so much who wish to try to stop it, you have the freedom to live here as much as you do to get out.

Jen of Texas

As a Jewish woman who watched the invocation with her Jewish son, Pastor Warren had the distinct pleasure of providing us both with the one moment today we felt truly alienated from our country.

It was a reminder that although I'm tolerated, and my vote is courted, when push comes to shove despite all that is outlined regarding Freedom of Religion, I was not truly included in everything today.

On this day when the entire country was reaching out to pull together, I resented it more than I thought I would, even though I expected it.

Terry of Georgia

The whole idea of being ecumenical in such a setting means to avoid being religiously selfish in every way possible. Doing so imparts dignity and respect to other beliefs. Anything short of that undermines the whole effort. Ecumenical? Pastor Warren fell short. I had hoped he would rise to the occasion. I'm a Christian and the Lord's Prayer is sacred—but, opportunities to be ecumenical are opportunities for Christians toward the greatest commandment 'To love one another.' A minister on the scale of a Pastor Warren diminishes his efforts if he does not recognize such a basic tenant of our faith. If fact, such a missed opportunity could have been very evangelistic.

Kurt O of Texas

If a person is Muslim I expect them to pray based on their tradition. If they are Jewish I expect them to pray from the Hebrew tradition. We're really got to get past being offended when someone is being true to their culture, ethnicity and spiritual tradition.