By Dave Andrusko
Christianity Today put it nicely when they wrote of the people who will pray and deliver readings at pro-life President-elect Donald Trump’s January 20 inaugural, “Donald Trump has enlisted a larger, more diverse lineup of clergy than usual to pray him into office at his upcoming inauguration ceremony.”
Kate Shellnutt added, “The group—bigger than any president’s since Ronald Reagan—reflects his politics, pragmatism, and personality.”
That distinguished roster includes Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York; Franklin Graham (son of Bill Graham) who leads the international charity Samaritan’s Purse; Rabbi Marvin Hier , founder of the human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center; the Rev. Wayne T. Jackson, pastor at Great Faith Ministries International Church in Detroit; the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; and Pastor Paula White, the second female clergy member ever to pray at an inauguration, who heads the non-denominational New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida.
Some, like Rev. Graham, White, and Jackson, were vocal supporters of Trump during the campaign. Others, such as Cardinal Dolan and Rev. Rodriquez, were more skeptical, particularly on the issue of immigration.
Cardinal Dolan told the Catholic News Service, “I am honored to have been asked to offer a reading from Scripture at the upcoming presidential inauguration, and look forward to asking almighty God to inspire and guide our new president and to continue to bless our great nation.”