... when your episcopal leaders are embarrassed by Christianity.
"Watching President-elect Obama laboriously attempt to assemble the most inclusive prayer team ever (a woman, a gay bishop and a Baptist preacher -- isn't there a joke like that?), one has to feel anew our enduring need of divine assistance in holding together this war-weary and culture-war-torn great nation.
Episcopalian Bishop V. Gene Robinson, who will pray at President-elect Obama's request on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, has been reading through inaugural prayers in history. He is "horrified" at how "specifically and aggressively Christian they were," according to The New York Times.
Yes, it is true that even back in 1953, Father Patrick O'Boyle prayed, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (alongside a prayer by Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver). At FDR's 1945 inaugural, Monsignor John Ryan prayed, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ... Through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Oh, the horror of it all!
Bishop Robinson may have inadvertently relieved some folks' minds by making it clear that his prayer "will not be a Christian prayer and I won't be quoting Scripture or anything like that."
Robinson is ruminating on alternatives such as praying to "the God of our many understandings," a language he said he learned during his stint in alcohol rehab.
Perhaps in the future, taking Christian pity on the poor Michael Newdows of the world, presidential prayers can be re-addressed: To Whom It May Concern."
Thanks, Gene, for yet another reason not to fight for your corner!
You can read the whole, enlightening article here.