HLI Is Mistaken On This

Press release:
We applaud Pastor Warren's support of pro-life causes as well as his defense of traditional marriage," said Father Euteneuer. "This is why we are concerned that his high-profile and explicitly Christian prayerful invocation at President-elect Obama's inauguration may be perceived as an endorsement, even a blessing, of what will likely be the most anti-life administration in the history of this country."
I know this is well-meaning, but I'm afraid it's flat wrong. Warren --or any minister who might have been named-- is there in neutral capacity to pray for the country and its leaders --specifically the President of the United States.

It is irksome that no one any longer understands the Presidency as an office due our respect and good will even when we dislike the policies of the man who holds the office. At an Inauguration, the President stands before us as Chief Executive of the United States, not merely as the head of the party which happened to be victorious. It's a corruption in thinking not to recognize that. (Which is why, for example, I am on a one-woman crusade against the "Response" to the State of the Union address. SOTU is called for by our Constitution and is meant to be a moment of national unity --participation, together, in a civic act. The "response" turns this civic act into a political horse race moment, again lowering the President from Chief Executive of the United States to party chief, and undermining our civic bonds. It's corrupt!)

Most of us were rightly horrified by Rev. Wright's, "g-d America!" in response to the enactment of policies he abhorred. Is it really so different (at root, though profoundly different in tone) to boycott an Inauguration or refuse to pray for the President on the same ground?

Warren gets it exactly right when he says in a statement:
The Bible admonishes us to pray for our leaders. I am honored by this opportunity to pray God's blessing on the office of the President and its current and future inhabitant, asking the Lord to provide wisdom to America's leaders during this critical time in our nation's history."
When your nation --as embodied by its Chief Executive-- asks you to pray for it, only a churl says "no."