Washington, D.C. — Hundreds of thousands gathered today in Washington, D.C. to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama, who after taking the oath of office, delivered an address focused on the issue of equality, including his desire to reconstruct society for the nation’s “gay brothers and sisters.”
Following an introduction by United States Senator Charles Schumer of New York, the ceremony began with an invocation from Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, who spoke briefly about diversity.
“We are here to ask blessings upon our Armed Forces; blessings upon all who contribute to the American spirit — the American dream — the opportunity to become whatever our mankind, our womankind allows us to be,” she said. “Please continue to bless [Obama’s] efforts to lead by example in consideration and favor of the diversity of our people. In Jesus’ name and the in the name of all who are holy and right we pray.”
Soon after, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, known both for its award-winning music and testimonies of changed lives, performed their rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” As previously reported, the choir had been invited to the inauguration in June of last year by the aformentioned Democratic Senator Schumer. Schumer, an abortion and gay rights proponent, states that he is a “frequent visitor” of Brooklyn Tabernacle Church.
Moments later, after Obama repeated his oath of office as administered by Chief Justice John Roberts, he delivered an inaugural address that centered on the constitutional theme that “all men are created equal.”
“We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names,” Obama stated as he opened his speech. “What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
In outlining his beliefs regarding what the statement means, Obama began to speak on the issues of poverty, immigration, women’s equality and homosexuality.
“We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own,” he said. “[O]ur journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.”
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” Obama continued. “For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
While speaking on his desire for equality, including his aim to protect children, Obama’s message did not refer to the equality of the unborn.
“Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm,” he said.
Moments later, Luis Leon of St. John’s Episcopal in Washington, D.C., known as the “church of the presidents,” delivered the closing benediction. As previously reported, Pastor Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Roswell, Georgia had originally been chosen to lead those present in prayer, and initially accepted, but bowed out after coming under criticism by homosexual advocates for a 17-year old sermon about homosexuality. Giglio explained in a news release following his withdrawal that homosexuality has not been the focus of his ministry, and he did not desire for his presence to be turned into a debate over the issue.
Leon specifically mentioned same-sex relationships in his prayer.
“We ask that You will bless us with Your presence because without it, hatred and arrogance will infect our hearts,” he said. “We ask for Your blessing because without it, suspicion, despair and fear of those different from us will be our rule of life. … With the blessing of Your blessing, we will see that we are created in Your image, whether brown, black or white, male or female, first generation immigrant American or daughter of the American Revolution, gay or straight, rich or poor.”
The ceremony then concluded with pop star Beyonce’ and her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
As previously reported, a number of Christians from across the country attended the inauguration today to preach to the thousands gathered about the Gospel message of repentance from sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.