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Obama’s Inaugural Invocation Pick Breaks With 200+ Years of American Tradition

Posted by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 4:49 AM
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Obama’s Inaugural Invocation Pick Breaks With 200+ Years of American Tradition

President Barack Obama has selected Myrlie Evers-Williams to deliver the invocation at his public swearing-in on Jan. 21. Evers-Williams is the wife of Medgar Evers — a civil rights icon who was murdered in 1963. According to The Washington Post, it is apparently the first time that a woman has been selected to deliver the coveted prayer.

Additionally, it is also purportedly the first time that someone who is not an official clergy person has been chosen for the presidential invocation, which is slated to be delivered at the beginning of the event.

Obama Selects Myrlie Evers Williams Pastor Louie Giglio for Inauguration

Myrlie Evers-Williams (Photo Credit: AP)

Biography.com has more about Evers-Williams’ background:

After her husband’s murder, Evers-Williams fought hard to see his killer brought to justice. Although [his killer, a white supremacist named Byron De La Beckwith] was arrested and brought to trial on murder charges, two all-white juries could not reach a verdict in the case. It would take approximately 30 years for justice to be served, with Williams-Evers keeping the case alive and pushing for Beckwith to pay for his crime. Her efforts were not in vain. In the early 1990s, Beckwith was again arrested and later convicted by a multi-racial jury.

Besides her quest for justice, Evers-Williams rebuilt her life after her husband’s death. She moved with her children to California and emerged as a civil rights activist in her own right. Evers-Williams spoke on behalf of the NAACP and wrote For Us, the Living, which chronicled her late husband’s life and work in 1967. She also made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Congress in 1970.

Obama Selects Myrlie Evers Williams Pastor Louie Giglio for Inauguration

President Barack Obama speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House January 7, 2013 in Washington, DC. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

In addition to the aforementioned information about her life, Evers-Williams’ has led a successful career as a writer and activist, starting her own organization, the Medgar Evers Institute, and working diligently to keep her husband’s memory alive (read more about her here).

In an official statement put out by Obama’s Presidential Inaugural Committee, she expressed her excitement in being asked to be a part of the festivities. “It is indeed an exhilarating experience to have the distinct honor of representing” [the civil rights era at the event],” she is quoted as saying.

Obama Selects Myrlie Evers Williams Pastor Louie Giglio for Inauguration

Pastor Louie Giglio (Photo Credit: 268Generation.com)

The activist will be joined at the public ceremony by conservative evangelical Louie Giglio, the founder of the popular Passion conferences and the pastor at Atlanta’s Passion City Church. While it may seem odd that Obama has selected someone who is described as right-of-center, theologically-speaking, the Post has more about the reasons for the faith leader’s inclusion:

An inaugural official said Giglio was picked for the benediction in part because of his work raising awareness about modern-day slavery and human trafficking. Those were core issues at his most recent conference, Passion 2013, attended by more than 60,000 mostly young evangelicals in Atlanta.

“During these days it is essential for our nation to stand together as one,” Giglio said in a statement. “And, as always, it is the right time to humble ourselves before our Maker.”

In 2008, Obama selected Rick Warren, the popular pastor who penned, “The Purpose-Driven Life,” to deliver the invocation. This, too, struck some as an odd choice, particularly considering that Warren opposes gay marriage. His inclusion was seen as an affront to gay activists and progressives at the time.

The move to include both Evers-Williams and Giglio this year is seen by some as an effort to bridge divides. Considering the administration’s continued battle with conservative religious groups over the contraceptive mandate, among other policy stances, it’s quite possible that the selection was made in an effort to bring all parties to the table.

by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 4:49 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Ednarooni160
by Eds on Jan. 9, 2013 at 4:50 AM
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I wonder how much this is all going to cost tax payers..



JavaMom2one
by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Gee, I hope they don't build that from scratch each time they need it?  I hope they recycle the parts each time from previous years.  Or better yet, make it into sections that can be loaded on trucks and hauled away to be used the next time.

Anyone know, made fresh each time?  Or not?

mikiemom
by Gold Member on Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:22 AM
2 moms liked this

Same amount as every inaugeration costs the tax payers. You act as if the inaugeration would have been free if your candidate would have won.

Oh and this is fantastic news. What a wonderful day for our country.

Quoting Ednarooni160:

I wonder how much this is all going to cost tax payers..

 



PamR
by Platinum Member on Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:25 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Ednarooni160:

I wonder how much this is all going to cost tax payers..



Do you wonder that with every inauguration?  I think they scale it back quite a bit for a second term.

I think the pick for the invocation is awesome.

mikiemom
by Gold Member on Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:26 AM
2 moms liked this

You know this is making me consider braving the cold and crowds to go down there. I'm going to have to go see if anyone I know is going.

sweet-a-kins
by Ruby Member on Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:30 AM

 OP, does this pick offend you?

mikiemom
by Gold Member on Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:32 AM

I'm betting it offends many and that is just fine. She is a strong lady, she has faced evil (Ie the racist people that murdered her husband and the racist people who refused to convict that murderer) and stood her ground.

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

 OP, does this pick offend you?


sweet-a-kins
by Ruby Member on Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:41 AM

WASHINGTON, January 7, 2013 — Taxpayers are casting a skeptical eye at the upcoming Inauguration on January 21. No wonder they are asking how much it will cost us.

Remember we were just dangled over the fiscal cliff. Payroll taxes have now jumped up by 2% or $20 a week for a family earning $50,000 a year. The deficit is almost $17 trillion. And the debt ceiling could shut down the government in a few weeks. Who can afford the Inauguration?

Not to worry, Taxpayers. You are off the hook. Well, almost. You won’t be picking up the tab for the grand and glamorous galas surrounding the big day. And President Obama has even scaled back the big doin’s thanks to these tough economic times.

Crowd for the 2009 Inauguration reached to the Washington Monument

However, it is the President of the United States who is sworn in every four years, so We the People pick up the tab for those important moments. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is in charge of the official swearing-in ceremony. That means taxpayers will pay for the cost of security, expenses connected to the ceremony and the cleanup afterwards. Meantime Obama supporters are raising money for the inaugural balls, concerts, parties, and all the folderol that comes with the Inaugural gala.

So how much will the Inauguration actually cost? If we use past Inaugurals as our guide, we see they are pretty pricey events. It is estimated that in 2005 for President Bush’s Inauguration, Washington, D.C. and the Federal government spent a combined $115.5 million, primarily on security. Virginia and Maryland also submitted bills totaling $75 million. That was with only 400,000 people attending the ceremony.

Then in 2009, the crowd swelled to 1.8 million people to see the first black president sworn in. Security costs ranged around $150 million. While the crowd may be smaller this time around, maybe only 800,000, the security will once again be fearsome and thus costly. Expect expenses to be closer this time to Bush’s $115 million mark, thanks to security.

President Ronald and Nancy Reagan at his 1981 swearing in

But all the fun stuff is the business of fundraisers, who are probably a little tapped out after raising oodles of cash for the campaign.

President Obama has decided to seek corporate, but not lobbyist, money to help underwrite the balls, something he eschewed four years ago. At that time, he raised $53 million dollars from private donors for the round of gala events, a record. President George W. Bush raised $40 million each time for his parties and President Bill Clinton back 1997 hit the $30 million mark. Adjust for inflation and those celebratory parties were also opulent affairs.

But this time around the President is making the 57th Inaugural a three-day instead of a four-day event, kicking off with a National Day of Service on January 19 and ending with the Inauguration and Inaugural Ball on January 21.

Thanks to the sluggish economy that is out of the recession but far from robust, President Obama has cut back on number of inaugural balls, having only two official balls this year, both honoring members of the Armed Services. It is the lowest number of Presidential balls in 60 years. In 2009, there were 10 official balls.

Roslyn and Jimmy Carter with daughter Amy at his only Inaugural

There will be the Commander In Chief’s Ball on Inaugural Monday, January 21 for members of the Armed Forces at the Washington Convention Center a few blocks from the White House.

Tickets are free to invited guests, who will include both active duty and reserve service members, Medal of Honor recipients and wounded warriors. Troops overseas will be able to participate by video.

The Inaugural Ball, also on Monday evening, January 21 and at the Washington Convention Center, has a limited number of tickets for the public on a first come, first served basis for $60 a piece and only two tickets per request. There will also be an official Children’s Concert for those children whose parents serve in the Armed Forces. Hosted by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden it will be by invitation only and the list of young artists has not yet been released.

President George W. and Laura Bush at an Inaugural Ball

However, there will be other glitzy balls to dazzle the eyeballs, but all sponsored by private parties, corporations and even states. The Washingtonian Magazine is hosting its first inaugural ball at the National Air and Space Museum while Iowa’s state ball will be held in the Museum of Women in the Arts.

Other unofficial balls like the Bytes and Books Ball will dance the night away at the Folger Shakespeare Library (where else?), and the Disability and Pride Ball will be held at the National Press Club. So far 35 balls are scheduled around the city from grand hotels to gourmet restaurants to the littlest museum. An up-to-date list of all the balls can be found About.com.

The prices vary, ranging from $15 for the Tilted Torch: Vaudeville’s Only Inaugural Ball at the D.C. Convention Center to $1,000 for the Native Nations Inaugural Ball at the National Museum of the American Indian.



Quoting Ednarooni160:

I wonder how much this is all going to cost tax payers..

 


 

..MoonShine..
by Bronze Member on Jan. 9, 2013 at 10:00 AM
1 mom liked this
Yay for him! She's a wonderful choice!
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mikiemom
by Gold Member on Jan. 9, 2013 at 10:19 AM

I'm wondering why the only thing they have to comment on this is about the normal costs of an inaugeration. Are they afraid to speak their mind? That would indicate they know how wrong they are lol

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