Use of Jesus' Name in Bush's Inauguration Discussed

February 10, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On February 10, 2001, The Washington Post published an article on the responses it received to a question it posed in January: "Should religious leaders and laypeople who pray in public use only universal terms such as 'Almighty God' and 'Lord'? Or should they offer their customary prayers?...Of the 194 readers who responded...104 said that only universal language should be used in prayers [at public occasions]. Sixty-eight people supported specific references to Jesus, Allah, Krishna or other deities, and 22 opposed public prayer in any form." Many criticized the Rev. Graham's invocation of Jesus at Bush's inauguration, saying they "feared the collapse of church-state separation." On the other hand, "a third of the respondents argued that the use of universal terms dilutes religious expression and can be hypocritical. Some argued for Christian-oriented prayers because they believe Christianity is the only true religion. Others asked that several faiths be represented in public forums, with each supplicant using the same terminology he or she uses in private prayers."

See also: Interfaith, Civic