Archive for January 21, 2009

Two million people. A man who would be president. And a nation of millions waiting for his every word.

inaugurationThat was the summary of yesterday’s inaugural sermoner, message. And since that day, I have and read my opinions, concerns and observations. After you heard it, what did you think?

There were no zingers. No “ask not what your country will do” quotables. No rah-rah moments. Just a stoic reminder of where we are as a country and what is to come. And, since you are here interested in what little I have to prattle about, I think it’s precisely what the throng needed to hear.

“In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given,” he said. “It must be earned.”

Greatness must be earned, and whether you voted for the dude or not, he earned it; therefore, he must work on his greatness legacy through action, passion and correction. And believe me, this country will keep him true to his word.

However, those who just can’t seem find the objectivity to consider the greatness that just occurred, allow me to help you. That harmonious horde gathered on the Mall was split down the middle – half was there to witness the BarackStar take his oath, and the other half was there to witness the first black POTUS become a reality.

king-and-obamaConsider: Only 40 years ago did the stains of “Colored Only” signs smear across federal buildings, Knights of the KKK were permitted to seek public office openly and racial epithets were common vernacular in Washington D.C. That’s it… 40 years!

Until a courageous man of limitless constitution named Martin Luther King was thrust into the national spotlight to help more than a battered people, but a broken patronage called the U.S.A.

In the shadows of a president who freed the slaves stood a man who would be King to help them realize their freedom. And with steadfast determination, haunting diction and a God-given dream, Dr. King shared a moment when the days of Lincoln would meet the years of the future. That moment was yesterday.

A lot more was happening than 1000s of people freezing their toukas while watching a president make it official. It was a moment in time when other 1000s of people were sharing the same memory hearkening to those glorious words shared only four decades ago, “Free at last.”

What we saw was so much more than a vast collection of dreamers; it was the culmination of a dream.

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To include "repositioning yourself" on the couch and catch "Return of the Jedi"

To include "repositioning yourself" on the couch and catch "Return of the Jedi"

It was a day of pomp, circumstance and about two million of the Obama’s closest friends. But none of that hullabaloo stopped the BarackStar and family from going to church for the first time as the first family.

So, off they went to St. John’s Episcopal Church, better known as “The Church of the Presidents”, to hear the dulcit tones of “America’s Best Preacher,” Bishop T.D. Jakes… because when you want to kick things off, a brother has to go all out. Right?

According to Time magazine, his message for concise and was the polestar of the day’s festivities:

Dallas pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes offered a warning as well as a blessing: “You cannot change what you will not confront,” he said. “This is a moment of confrontation in this country … The problems are mighty and the solutions are not simple, and everywhere you turn there will be a critic waiting to attack every decision that you make. But you are all fired up, sir, and you are ready to go. And this nation goes with you. God goes with you.

I’m sure there was more homiletics involved, but he was personally asked by the president to preach, so what do you expect? A fire and brimstone message of how sinners will burn in hell, even those with a peculiar middle name that sounds remarkably Muslimer, anti-Christian?! Not so much.

However, if the mand of Gawd (S’up ST) was fallible in any area of his fecund message was his small talk and proclivity for pop culture references, according to the great Jeffrey Weiss of the Dallas Morning News:

According to the media pool report of Barack Obama’s Inauguration Day Prayer Service, Bishop T.D. Jakes messed up on his pop-culture science fiction… and ended his prayer with: I say to you as my son who is here today, my 14-year-old son – he probably would not quote scripture. He probably would use Star Trek instead, and so I say, ‘May the force be with you.”

“Keep it real.” I love it when that phrase sticks close to the vest… or the collar. Nice, indeed.

As expected, today on the Wall is all about the quaint shindig you may have caught somewhere on the TV or online yesterday. There may have been a thing or two to discuss about God to make it Wall worthy. Hrm

rick-warren-inaugurationSo, to begin the conversation, anyone catch Rick Warren’s inauguration prayer – you know, the one that pushed the proverbial evangelical envelope as much as it could be pushed without reciting a sinner’s prayer?

He clamored what was expected in ways like tiptoeing the fence of spirituality, certain to not teeter and totter during his balancing act thus aggravating the political sharks on both sides of said fence. Then again, he completely blew the doors of inclusion and waxed an eloquent prayer that had a little something for everyone:

  • Jesus was surreptitiously extolled as, “the one who changed [Rick Warren’s] life.” I was looking for the name of Christ, but this was a more than suitable substitute, brother.
  • Then he tickles the ears of rabbis and Imams alike in one seamless sentence: “Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our God. The Lord is One… [You are] the compassionate and merciful one.” Placed side by side with ease, Warren  exercised better foreign relations more deftly than the Israelis post-carpet bombing Gaza. Nice.
  • Then, as if he didn’t seem completely transparent with his work across the religious aisle, Warren panegyrized the name of Jesus in more languages than a Parallel Bible – English, Spanish, Arabic and Hebrew
  • Lastly, believing he was about to get a nasty gram couriered to him from the Vatican, Warren smoothly transitions into the Lord’s Prayer. And although Jesus came up with it first in the “Sermon on the Mount,” the Catholics try to grandfather squatter’s right to the recitation.

To summate, Warren’s adoring PR man, A. Larry Ross (I’m biased here, self-admittedly, but he deserves it) had this to say:

“He’s a Christian pastor,” Warren’s spokesman Larry Ross told Fox News Monday. “He’s going to pray the only kind of prayer he knows how to pray. He is going to pray consistent with his calling as an evangelical pastor.”

Evangelical, for certain. If that dude threw out a bigger net, the game warden would have fined him for excessive fishing. Brother was on a mission, and he succeeded. Yes, it was obvious. But then, shouldn’t most ministry?

Here, here, pastor. Oh, MEMO to Warren: What’s the BarackStar’s daughter’s name again? I’m just sayin’ you may want to practice, just in case you are invited back to another conviviality in four years.