Who will pray at Trump’s inauguration

Who will pray at Trump’s inauguration January 17, 2017

Defense.gov_photo_essay_090111-F-3961R-041The six religious leaders  who will offer prayers at Donald Trump’s inauguration have been announced.

They include three Pentecostals:  Paula White, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, and Samuel Rodriguez.  White and Jackson, a black megachurch pastor, are prominent preachers of the “prosperity Gospel.’  (See our earlier post on White.)  Rodriguez is a Hispanic Assemblies of God minister also preaches a perhaps less extreme version of  the prosperity gospel.

The others are Franklin Graham, whose father Billy now in frail health has been a fixture at presidential inaugurations of all parties; New York catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan; and Marvin Hier, a prominent Jewish rabbi.

There are no mainline Protestants.  Graham is the only classical evangelical.  No Lutherans, of course.

In the story excerpted after the jump, I was struck by the writer’s point about why prosperity gospelers are so attracted to Trump, and vice-versa.  Bishop White says flatly that Trump’s wealth is a sign that he is “blessed by God.”  “Not surprisingly,” says the writer, “Donald Trump is drawn to those preachers who say that one’s wealth is a sign of God’s approval.”

From Tom Gjelten, Donald Trump’s Inauguration Prayer Leader Choices Show His Values : NPR:

The six faith leaders President-elect Donald Trump has invited to pray at his inauguration come from diverse backgrounds, but they have something in common: All have personal ties to Trump or his family or have in some way signaled their approval of him, his politics or his wealth.

The group includes an African-American megachurch leader from Detroit, a Florida woman known for her lavish lifestyle and preaching on “abundancy,” a rabbi from Los Angeles, and a Hispanic evangelical — as well as Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham) and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York. . .

Jackson lives in a multimillion-dollar mansion in Detroit and drives luxury cars. He preaches that being rich is not bad and that Trump’s wealth shows he is “blessed by God.”

Such teachings exemplify the “prosperity gospel,” which holds that God rewards faithful Christians with financial success. It is a faith tradition with which Trump long has been associated. His “spiritual adviser” is Paula White, who as the leader of New Destiny Christian Center near Orlando, Fla., is perhaps the best known prosperity preacher in the country.

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump is drawn to those preachers who say that one’s wealth is a sign of God’s approval. Paula White has her critics in the evangelical world, some of whom consider her a heretic, but she endorsed Trump’s candidacy, and he reciprocated by inviting White to pray at his swearing-in ceremony.

 [Keep reading. . .]

Photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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