"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Historical Ignorance May Be Our Greatest Enemy

The following words come from the closing portions of the Presidential Inaugural Prayers given during the Oath of Office Ceremony for the President of the United States of America.

 "Bless abundantly our Chief Magistrate. Inspire his leadership. Grant him, O God of infinite wisdom and power, the light and the strength to carry through the great work that he has so well begun, and to pursue untiringly his magnificent vision of social peace and social justice. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen."  - The 1937 Inaugural for Franklin D. Roosevelt.

"In the name of Him who is the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord. Amen.”  - The 1941 Inaugural for Franklin D. Roosevelt.
"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the  Holy Ghost … Through Jesus Christ our Lord.” - The 1945 Inaugural for Franklin D. Roosevelt.
"Send forth Thy Holy Spirit in the fullness of his gifts to bless us with wisdom to perceive the ways of Thy Holy Will." - The 1949 Inaugural for Harry S. Truman.

"May Thy Holy Spirit descend upon him with the gift of wisdom, to lead, and understanding to know Thy holy will." - The 1953 Inaugural of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"...bless our nation ... through Jesus Christ, our Lord." - The 1957 Inaugural of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

 "On this twentieth day of January — 1,961 years after the birth of Christ — on occasion of the inauguration of John Fitzgerald Kennedy as President of the United States of America — do Thou, oh Almighty God, give him, his Cabinet, the Congress and courts of the United States — and all of us — Thy grace." - The 1961 Inaugural of John F. Kennedy.

 "We ask this in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, the lifegiving Trinity, for the benefit of our Nation and all nations believing or aspiring for freedom, justice, dignity, and peace. Amen." - The 1965 Inaugural of Lyndon B. Johnson.

"We pray this humbly in the Name of the Prince of Peace who shed His blood on the Cross that men might have eternal life. Amen" - The 1969 Inaugural of Richard M. Nixon

"All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy son and our savior. Amen." - The 1977 Inaugural of James E. Carter.

"We pray in the name of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, even Jesus Christ. Amen.” - The 1981 Inaugural of Ronald W. Reagan.

"May the President and the Vice-President of these United States and all who stand with him in his desire for peace receive first the peace of Christ and in all things seek first not the kingdom of plenty or the kingdom of political superiority, but may they seek humbly first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. In the name of the King even Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen." - The 1985 Inaugural for Ronald W. Reagan

"In Thy sovereignty Thou hast permitted George Bush to lead us at this momentous hour of our history for the next four years. As he today places his hand upon the Bible and solemnly swears before Thee to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, give him the wisdom, integrity and courage to help this become a nation that is gentle and kind." - The 1989 Inaugural for George H.W. Bush

"I pray this in the name of the one that’s called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. Amen." - The 1993 Inaugural for William Jefferson Clinton.

"This we pray in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen." - The 1997 Inaugural of William Jefferson Clinton.

"We respectfully submit this humble prayer in the name that’s above all other names, Jesus the Christ. Let all who agree say ‘Amen.'” - The 2001 Inaugural of George W. Bush.

"Now, unto You, O God, the One who always has been and always will be, the one King of kings and the true power broker, we glorify and honor You.  Respecting persons of all faiths, I humbly submit this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen." - The 2005 Inaugural of George W. Bush.

"I humbly ask this in the name of the One who changed my life - Yeshua, Isa, Jesus - who taught us how to pray, "Our Father who are in heaven..." - The 2009 Inaugural of Barak Obama

Source and Source


For those who think it inappropriate to mention the name of Jesus Christ during Oath of Office Ceremony for the President of the United States -- believing that it places one religion above another -- it would be wise to consider the words of our Founding Fathers on the matter.

The Father of American Jurisprudence, Joseph Story, clarified the meaning of the First Amendment with regard to the priority of Christianity in America:
At the time of the adoption of the constitution, and of the amendment to it, now under consideration, the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation (1833, 44.723-726.3.3.1865-1868, emp. added).
The First Amendment was never intended to “level all religions” (i.e. Islam, by it's very name means "submission" not “liberty”). The Father of American Jurisprudence further explained:
The real object of the [First] amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment which should give to a hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government(1833, 3:728, emp. added).
Jesus Christ is the King of Kings. Every Christian owes his or her allegiance to Him before any allegiance to America. However, Christians who believe that a state should have no preference of religion only opens itself up to being overtaken from without. Being an American is not the same thing as being Christian, nor is being a Christian the same thing as being an American.
However, being an American in the truest sense means you believe that the principles of freedom, liberty and justice - both individually and nationally - are built on the principles of God's Word (thus the President places his hand on the Bible). As Andrew Jackson, the founder of the Democratic Party and the 7th President of the United States, once said of the Bible:
"That book, sir, is the Rock upon which this Republic rests."

Emmanuel Enid is doing some great work in Africa among the Muslim people. We are drilling for water, providing hospitals, teaching men how to farm, giving free medicine, etc... We are doing this work through African nationals, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Do you know what our biggest hindrance is in our mission work within Africa? It's Muslims who equate American drones, bombs, and military might on their continent with "Christianity." How unfortunate.

(1). America ought to withdraw from wars around the globe and let Europe, Africa and other continents fight it out. There will always be wars among us; but unless our national security is at stake, we should not fight other peoples' wars for them.
(2). The money we save from withdrawing from foreign countries should be put into securing our borders. New immigrants who cannot accept that Christianity is the preferred religion of the United States should not be allowed to enter. That doesn't mean new immigrants cannot worship as they please - the First Amendment guarantees their freedom to do so - but it does mean that any new immigrant who believes America should follow Sharia Law or any other Law contrary to the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - the very principles taught by Jesus Christ and the founding documents of the United States - should not be allowed citizenship.
(3). Any aid the American government gives to foreign countries should be only humanitarian in nature (food, water, medical, housing, etc...).
(4). America should get it's fiscal house in order, removing any politician who approves spending more than our country receives in taxes.
Not everyone will agree with this post, especially my fellow Christians who live in America and find themselves loving the modern progressivism movement. While it may be impossible for me to change your mind about Christianity and America, it may not be too late to convince you that what America needs is a great revival of true religion.

Christianity is not the same thing as American politics, but it may be that what has caused the decline of our republic is the loss of true Christian character among her people.


Pege' said...

Wade, Much food for thought. I am not sure I agree with it all, as you said, this I do 100% agree with and humble my heart before its truth. "Christianity is not the same thing as American politics, but it may be that what has caused the decline of our republic is the loss of true Christian character of her people."

Wade Burleson said...

I understand, Peggy!

I'm all for a strong military, (in rereading the article, I realized it might not sound like it), but a strong armed forces should be used for our national defense, not interventionism (similar to Switzerland's policy and ability to remain neutral).

Anonymous said...

Amen and Amen!


Anonymous said...


"(1). America ought to withdraw from wars around the globe and let Europe, Africa and other continents fight it out. There will always be wars among us; but unless our national security is at stake, we should not fight other peoples' wars for them."

This will be a problem, considering we start these wars. Inciting violence around the globe keeps the military industrial complex in business, and boasting of being a 'superpower' keep the sheep cheering for more of the same. "USA! USA!" ad nauseum.

"(4). America should get it's fiscal house in order, removing any politician who approves spending more than our country receives in taxes."

Big problem with this one; Our manufacturing has moved to China for the slave wages, leaving us with minimum wage jobs. No living wage means no taxes, and without borrowing, this house of cards goes down.

And lastly;

"While it may be impossible for me to change your mind about Christianity and America, it may not be too late to convince you that what America needs is a great revival of true religion."

Read the back of the book, Wade. We are in the great falling away. The end of time, if you haven't been paying attention.
Hey wait, you're a preacher. You should not only know this stuff, but be yelling it from the pulpit.

Erp said...

However no prayers at the oath taking ceremony before Franklin Roosevelt in 1937 (though there might have been separate prayer services that might or might not be attended by the President/President elect [evidence is lacking of this for many of the inaugurations other than 1933 and 1789]). Roosevelt always had both a Catholic priest and a Protestant minister. Truman added a rabbi. Eisenhower added an Orthodox priest. Recent presidents have had only one or sometime two Protestant minister at the actual ceremony and a more interfaith service at some other time.

As for the founding fathers, President George Washington to the Jews of Newport:

"The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights."

Jews and all others were to possess alike with Christians liberty of conscience. At least according to Washington.

Tench Coxe who was in the Continental Congress in 1788-89, wrote:

"The situation of religious rights in the American states, though also well known, is too important, too precious a circumstance to be omitted. Almost every sect and form of Christianity is known here--as also the Hebrew church. None are tolerated. All are admitted, aided by mutual charity and concord, and supported and cherished by the laws. In this land of promise for the good men of all denominations, are actually to be found, the independent or congregational church from England, the protestant episcopal church (separated by our revolution from the church of England) the quaker church, the English, Scotch, Irish and Dutch presbyterian or calvinist churches, the Roman catholic church, the German Lutheran church, the German reformed church, the baptist and anabaptist churches, the hugonot or French protestant church, the Moravian church, the Swedish episcopal church, the seceders from the Scotch church, the menonist church, with other christian sects, and the Hebrew church. Mere toleration is a doctrine exploded by our general condition; instead of which have been substituted an unqualified admission, and assertion, "that their own modes of worship and of faith equally belong to all the worshippers of God, of whatever church, sect, or denomination."" (1790, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_religions55.html)

Certainly some at that time wanted a Christian state tolerating other religions, but, others felt otherwise and explicitly included non-Christians among those to have unqualified admission along with Christians.

Wade Burleson said...


No argument from me for the full participation of people from all faiths in the liberties all Americans enjoy. My point is that Jews, atheists, Buddhists, and Muslims should never be offended that prayers in the United States government are prayed "In the Name of Jesus Christ." The liberties we enjoy are at the foundation of the Christian religion.

CollectiveFaith said...

Wade, We would love to see your great articles on www.CollectiveFaith.com. Please join and share with our Christian Social Network.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Whitten said...


Joseph Story was a Unitarian. The 'Christianity' which he referenced was a
Unitarian understanding of Christianity. How does that effect your point?

Wade Burleson said...

Joseph Story's advocacy for the principles of life, liberty and freedom were based on his understanding of the teachings of Jesus, regardless of his view's on Jesus' divinity. He considered Christianity THE religion upon which the principles of the Republic were founded - not Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam or any other ism.

Anonymous said...

I believe if we had not fought Hitler in Germany we would fought him in America...the same with ISIS.

Roosevelt said "Walk softly but carry a big stick." Obama caries a toothpick.
Rex Ray

everette said...

1) I agree that we are far too involved in the Middle East and that we should withdraw. But on the other hand, our troops in Europe are keeping Russia from swallowing up Ukraine, and our troops in South Korea are a major deterrent to North Korea. I think that instead, we should ask ourselves before sending troops anywhere, "Will this action promote peace, or merely stir up more trouble?

2) If non-Christians are coming to the US, this is a tremendous opportunity for evangelism. Instead of turning them away, we should embrace the opportunity that God has given us to reach these people. If we win even a few of these people to the Lord, they will have amazing opportunities to return to their home countries with the Gospels. And if our church structures or our political views are preventing us from maxing out on this great opportunity, then we need to rethink how we do both.

3) I agree, but we also need to do a better job of controlling what American companies export. A lot of the wars in the Middle East are being fought with privately purchased American small arms and munitions.

4) In theory, this makes sense. In practice, the government can and should act as a counterbalance to the economy. When the economy is going well, the government should cut spending so that the economy doesn't grow too fast and implode. When the economy is doing poorly, the government should act as a stimulus. There's also a difference between good debt and bad dept. Spending money on infrastructure makes sense, even if it requires some debt (within reason), just like it's cheaper in the long run to go into debt and buy a modest house than to pay rent all the time. Spending money on frivoulous tax cuts, entitlement expansions, an overly-large military, etc is bad debt and should be avoided regardless of the government's overall debt limit.