For the first time in history a lay person gave today’s inaugural invocation and apparently didn’t mention God very much at all – even omitting “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance:
CNS NEWS – Instead of a prayer delivered by clergy, the Presidential Inaugural Committee invited a layperson to give the invocation Monday for the first time in history.
Mrs. Myrlie Evers-Williams, 79, a civil rights activist and widow of the slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, was tapped by the committee after Christian pastor Louie Giglio backed out because of a flap over a sermon in which he called homosexuality a sin.
“America, we are here — our nation’s Capitol,” Evers-Willliams’ invocation began. She asked for “blessings upon our leaders,” but she did not invoke God in her opening. She spoke about mankind and womankind and the “promise of America.”
Her invocation at one point mentioned the “Almighty,” but she left out “Under God” in quoting the Pledge of Allegiance.
The only time she mentioned God was when she said, “We invoke the prayers of our grandmothers, who taught us to pray, ‘God, make me a blessing.’”
Toward the end of her invocation, Evers-Williams invoked “Jesus’ name and the name of all who are holy and right, we pray. Amen.”
When asked by Religion News Service in a Jan. 17 interview with Evers about her religious affiliation, Evers-Williams did not provide a definitive answer.
“I have been Baptist, I have been Methodist, I have been Presbyterian,” Evers-Williams said. “I have attended all of those churches depending on where I have lived in my life.”