Christianity has been a part of the presidential inauguration since George Washington laid his hand on a Bible for the very first swearing-in. Incoming presidents have invited pastors to give invocations, quoted the Old and New Testaments liberally and gone to prayer services before and after the ceremony.
So it was not unusual that Donald Trump sought to involve faith in his inauguration.
But the ways in which the 45th President invoked God in his inaugural addresswere unusually blunt. Trump promised to “unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth,” and said that unity will be “total allegiance to the United States of America.” He then quoted a Psalm of David from the Bible to buttress his policy. “The Bible tells us, ‘how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.’”
He then invoked God’s divine protection over the United States, a common theological concept sure to resonate among evangelicals. “There should be no fear … most importantly, we are protected by God,” he said. And he said that children are “infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator.”
The swearing-in ceremony did more than reference God, however. It named Jesus Christ specifically, and often.
This public celebration of Jesus was a reason many evangelicals voted for Trump. White evangelicals were core to Trump’s constituency—81% of them voted for him in November. Trump’s campaign also elevated Pentecostals and television preachers, who played a central role in his evangelical advisory committee. Some have been criticized for preaching a gospel of prosperity, a theological belief that God wants followers to thrive in wealth and health.
Paula White-Cain, Trump’s longtime spiritual advisor and leader of New Destiny Christian Center, was the first female clergy to lead an inaugural prayer, according to the inaugural committee. “Let your favor be upon this one nation under God,” she prayed. “Let these United States of America be that beacon of hope to all people and nations under your dominion, a true hope for humankind.” Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York prayed from Solomon’s prayer for wisdom: “She knows and understands all things, and will guide us prudently in our affairs.” Sam Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, read aloud Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount: “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.”
Franklin Graham, who leads…[READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: http://time.com/4641780/trump-inauguration-faith-religion-evangelical/ ]