Christian Inaugural Prayers Acknowledged Other Faiths

January 21, 2005

Source: The New York Times

On January 21, 2005 The New York Times reported, "the president who swept to victory by mobilizing his conservative Christian base used his inauguration Thursday to signal that his administration is well aware that when it comes to religion, the United States is both diverse and divided. The tone was set in the opening invocation by the Rev. Luis Leon, an Episcopalian whose church, the landmark St. John's Episcopal Church on Lafayette Square, right across the street from the White House, favors blessing gay unions... Leon, a Cuban-American, thanked God for fashioning one nation out of 'a multitude of peoples of many ethnic, religious and language backgrounds'... In his own speech, President Bush, a Methodist, made a reference to religious pluralism with his assertion that the nation is sustained 'by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Quran, and the varied faiths of our people.'"