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AP Story Section

January 20, 2009

In inaugural prayers, a nod to many faiths

(Continued)



Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, who leads interreligious outreach for the American Jewish Committee, called Warren's invocation "inclusive even as it was slightly exclusive," for praying in Jesus' name and ending with "The Lord's Prayer."

"I don't think the language of the prayer itself is offensive, but the context of the prayers, coming from Christian Scripture, is somewhat exclusive," Greenebaum said.

Some atheists and agnostics had sued unsuccessfully ahead of the swearing-in to keep references to God out of the event.

Obama began the day at St. John's Episcopal Church, where presidents since 1933 have prayed before being sworn in. Several evangelical clergy spoke at the service, including the Rev. Luis Leon and the Rev. Joel Hunter of Northland church in Longwood, Fla. Bishop T.D. Jakes, a Dallas megachurch pastor, gave the sermon.

Mouw said the day sent a clear message: A liberal Democrat can be pious, and in the Obama administration, faith will have a place.



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