President Barack Obama infamously declared, on June 28, 2006: “Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”
Under Obama’s logic, America is no longer a Christian nation because other faiths, beliefs and non-beliefs are represented in the land.
It’s interesting that Obama didn’t say, “We are no longer a nation a of laws since America has child molesters in America, rapists, thieves, and murderers among us.” Criminals are in our nation, but that doesn’t mean that we are a lawless nation. We are a nation of laws.
We were founded in law. The Constitution is The Law of the land! Law shapes all of our lives. The vast majority of Americans respect and obey the law. Never could it be said that because some choose to break the law that we are no longer a law-abiding nation.
In the same way, just because there are Muslim citizens in the United States does not mean we are a Muslim nation. The same goes for Hindu, Buddhist, and atheists. The minority doesn’t define our nation’s religion in the same way that lawbreakers do not define us as lawless. The vast majority of us are law-abiding citizens who respect and obey the laws of our land.
Similarly, among those Americans who claim any sort of religious belief, a commanding 94 percent identify themselves as some sort of Christian. According to the Pew Research Center, Christians are the strongest element in America.(http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/)
Next, consider the Bible in American life. More Americans read the Bible than any other book ever published, and no other book resides in more American homes than the Bible. 88 percent of households own at least one.
This is not to mention the number of Bible downloads. Apple reported back in 2013 that YouVersion reached the colossal milestone of 100 million downloads. For three consecutive years, Apple has ranked it among the top 100 free apps. Today it’s available for virtually every mobile device. (http://www.charismanews.com/us/40164-at-100m-downloads-youversion-bible-app-changing-how-people-read-the-word)
President Donald J. Trump restored the rightful place of Christianity as America’s dominant religion and the Bible as the foundation of the government of the United States in his inauguration on January. 21, 2017.
First, The President began his day with a 9am prayer service at Washington’s historic St. John’s Episcopal Church led by The Reverend Dr. Luis León, Rector. Trump didn’t go to an Islamic mosque or a Hindu temple. He started the day at a Christian church whose pastor led in Christian prayer.
Second, Trump placed his hand on two Bibles and not two Islamic Korans as he took the Presidential oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts. These were not ordinary Bibles. One of the Bibles was the one used by Lincoln at his swearing in ceremony now known as the “Lincoln Bible.” The other one was a gift from his mother in 1955. The symbolism of these Bibles is profound.
The Lincoln Bible symbolizes the Biblical foundation of our government, and its place in governing our nation by our Chief Executive. Lincoln often quoted from the Bible. For example, his famous quote, “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (Mark 3:25).
The Bible given to President Trump by his mother symbolizes the primacy of a Christian home. Trump was raised in the historic First Presbyterian Church, Queens, New York. He gave $10,000 to his home church in 2012 and attached a note. “I attended Sunday school at the church for a number of years. Going to church was an important part of our family life and the memories for me are still vivid—of a vibrant congregation and a lot of activities.”
After that, he attended Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue, New York City for 55 years where he came under the influence of their most famous pastor, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, who preached, “The Gateway to Christianity is not through an intricate labyrinth of dogma, but by a simple belief in the person of Christ.”
Those two Bibles that Trump laid his left hand on as he lifted his right hand to take the Presidential oath of office symbolize God and Country and the Christian home – powerful symbols of what our nation is all about!
Third, The ceremony featured five Christian pastors and one Jewish rabbi – more than any other inauguration in history. The list included televangelist, Rev. Paula White, one of his spiritual advisors, Rev. Franklin Graham, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, and Rabbi Marvin Hier.
Christian prayers in Jesus’ name from Christian pastors were invoked at Trump’s inauguration. Rabbi Hier read from Psalm 137 and offered a beautiful prayer. Hier blessed President Donald J Trump and America, a great nation, and all of America’s our allies around the world who share our beliefs.
The inclusion of Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, is symbolic of our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage.
Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, from Detroit is pastor of Great Faith Ministries International and president of the Impact Network. He prayed, “We are not enemies. We are brothers and sisters. We’re not adversaries, but we’re allies. We’re not foes, but we’re friends. Let us be healed by the power of your love and united by the bond of your Spirit.”
All of the prayers by the six religious leaders were inspiring. May God answer them and be blessed by them even as they blessed me.
Further, Trump’s oath of office ended with “So help me God.”
Then, he closed his inauguration speech with several references to God. “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).
President Trump also said, “Whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the wind-swept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they will their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.”
Another nod to our Christian heritage was in the music chosen for the inauguration of President Trump. Two prominent religious singing groups performed on Inauguration Day. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, accompanied by the United States Marine Band, sang “America the Beautiful.” The Washington National Cathedral Choir of Men, Boys and Girls sang “God Bless America.”
Finally, President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence worshipped at the traditional prayer service in the Washington National Cathedral at 10:30am on the day after his inauguration. This National Prayer Service dates to the inauguration of George Washington.
The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of Washington, delivered the opening invocation before additional calls to prayer came from various reverends, cantors, rabbis, imams and priests of various religions and noted Christian pastors which included Dr. Ronnie Floyd, past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, will read Psalm 23.
Dr. David Jeremiah, founder of Turning Point Radio and Television Ministries, will read a passage from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, about salvation.
Rev. Greg Laurie, president of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California, will pray for those serving in the armed forces, the diplomatic corps, governors, mayors and school boards.
President Donald J. Trump campaigned on the theme, “Make America Great Again.” By his choice of emphasizing our Christian faith and heritage in his inauguration ceremonies, he realizes that America’s greatness will soar to new and unequaled heights only by invoking, humbly praying to, acknowledging, and thanking our omnipotent God who alone holds and gives the power to do great things for the United States of America. God bless America!