Acknowledgement of God as Creator permeated the inauguration celebrations today in the US Capitol.
A new presidential term is called an inauguration: a beginning. The Bible opens with an inauguration, too: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Here are a few moments during today’s presidential inauguration ceremonies where God was acknowledged as the Creator of all things.
- For the invocation, Cardinal Timothy Dolan made two references to God as Creator.
- Also at the invocation, Dr Samuel Rodriguez quoted James 1:17, “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the father of lights.”
- The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang “America the Beautiful,” which opens with glorious visions of spacious skies, amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain. The prayer in the chorus, “God shed his grace on thee,” signify that God is the source of these wonders of nature.
- In his first inaugural address, President Trump said that all men, whether black, brown or white, bleed the same red blood of patriotism, implying we are all descended from one human pair as taught in Genesis. Shortly after that, he said, “And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.” Earlier in the speech, he quoted Psalm 133, which speaks of how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity. He ended with repeated invocations, “God bless America.”
- At the benediction, Franklin Graham quoted I Timothy 2:3–5 and 1:7 that speak of one God, immortal, invisible, to whom our prayers should be addressed, and one mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus.
- In the final prayer, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson cited Acts 17:26 which says that God has made from one blood all the nations to live on the face of the earth.
- At the inaugural luncheon, a black pastor led the invocation, calling on the eternal Lord God, our refuge and strength. He spoke of God’s providence and, like Franklin Graham earlier, cited I Timothy 2:3–5. He spoke of God-appointed duties. He used nature imagery, praying that Trump’s presidency might be like the sun shining through clouds, like a rainbow after the storm, and like the singing of birds at dawn. In conclusion, he invoked God’s sovereign name.
- After the luncheon, Patrick Conroy led the benediction, praying, “May we always be grateful for the kindnesses we receive.”
The day’s celebrations began and ended with religious observances: first, a service at St. John’s Church; on Saturday morning, the National Prayer Service.
In Live Science, Jeanna Brynner explains the history of God-and-Bible traditions in inaugurations. She explains why they are constitutional, but “separation of church and state” is not. Phys.org, by contrast, posted a rather funny article about how secularists are looking for non-religious hymns. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Imagine” are contenders for unbelievers who still want some kind of spiritual celebration for special occasions.
Acknowledgement of God as our Creator has a unifying message. We are all on this earth together. Malachi considered it intuitively obvious: “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?” (Malachi 2:10). Paul, speaking in Athens, agreed that he was of the same “one blood” of the Greeks and “all nations.” America’s Declaration of Independence also unifies us, stating that all men are created equal, and that our rights our endowed by our Creator. The peaceful transfer of power illustrated today despite deep political divisions was smoothed by these repeated acknowledgements that a single, common Creator is the ultimate source of our blessings, and deserves our common allegiance.
What can atheists and evolutionists say? Darwinians might allege (and notoriously have alleged) that some people are more evolved than others. Here’s a recent example: Science Daily put out a blatantly racist claim, “Arctic Inuit, Native American cold adaptations may originate from extinct hominids” (notice the perhapsimaybecouldness index). And on solemn occasions, to whom will they give the invocation and benediction? To Darwin? To chance? to the Stuff Happens Law?
Imagine Darwin’s Moron Pumpernickel Choir singing the atheist version, America the Ugliful (see Panspermia in the Darwin Hymnbook). We post it here to accentuate the contrast between Biblical creationism and Darwinian evolutionism. Be sure to go back and read Katherine Lee Bates’ original uplifting lyrics as cleansing after groaning at the Darwin version below.
PANSPERMIA (to the tune of America the Beautiful)
1. O ugliful for birdless skies, for amber acid rain,
For purple lightning tragedies above the fruitless plain;
Panspermia, panspermia, come shed thy spores on me,
And crowd my scenes with selfish genes from sea to lifeless sea.
2. O ugliful for stinking slime, that sees beyond the years;
Thine accidental mutants climb, evolving blood and tears.
Mutation rate, mutation rate, chance mend thine every flaw,
Select the best, blot out the rest, till red in tooth and claw.
3. O horrible for meteor strikes, whose stern dispassioned stress,
Bombard thy dinosaurs extinct, across the wilderness;
No miracle, no miracle, may chance thy luck refine,
Till all success be randomness. (Don’t say that word Design!)
4. Unscrupulous for theories proved by suffocating strife,
Who more than truth their status loved, abortion more than life,
O media, our media, we spread disgrace by thee,
And drown our foes with legal woes from plea to whining plea.