The invocation at President Obama’s Second Inauguration will be delivered by civil rights hero Myrlie Eger-Williams.
The benediction is going to be offered by…well…we do not know, yet. Rev. Louie Giglio was scheduled to deliver the benediction, but because of controversy of his past comments about homosexuality he withdrew from the program.
This has raised some important questions:
1. Is the large segment of society which believes that homosexuality is a sin being ostracized from the public square?
2. Who will deliver the benediction instead of Giglio?
I will address question #1 later this week. However, we are only a week away from the inauguration, so I will start with my recommendation for another benediction speaker.
Since my wife and I got our official invitations to the inauguration on Saturday, I am sure the Inauguration Committee will be very interested in what I have to say.
Last week, I wrote about the selection of a layperson, the civil rights hero Myrlie Evers-Williams, to offer the invocation at the same ceremony. I think we should move past the use of clergy in these types of settings and we should continue along those lines for the benediction as well as the invocation.
I nominate Joanna Brooks. She is an English professor and chair of the English department at San Diego State University.
Joanna is also a feminist and a champion of gay rights.
She is also a Mormon.
My reason for nominating Joanna is that she is an example of somebody who belongs to a conservative denomination and at the same time supports and advocates for equality.
Also, she is a scholar of literature and American religion. I think this background will give her a unique perspective for addressing God in such a public setting.
Additionally, as a Mormon, Joanna would be ready to give a prayer as a layperson. That is how we do it. Except in general conference…but that is another issue.
I do not know Joanna. I have seen her once in person and I have only had brief social media interactions with her. So, I have no idea whether this is something that she would want to do. But, I bet she would take up the challenge it came her way. I would love to see it.