Use of Jesus' Name in Bush's Inauguration Discussed

February 1, 2001

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On February 1, 2001, The Christian Science Monitor reported that, after preachers prayed in the name of Jesus at Bush's inauguration, many Americans have "made their distress heard in letters to the editor and on op-ed pages of local newspapers." A Boston public-school educator wrote that it would be better to be silent than to offer a prayer that does not include Americans of all religious faiths. Others point to an inconsistency "between the prohibitions against public prayer in the school classroom and at football games" and prayer at a presidential inauguration. "'The debate about what kind of prayers should be offered in public settings is a long and difficult issue,' says Charles Haynes, of the Freedom Forum...Some feel 'generic' prayers are the answer for public settings." Another solution, said Haynes, "is that people 'should pray in their own voice [using I], but not as though they are doing it for the whole audience.' For many, the answer is to have various voices represented."