President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and of Samaritan's Purse Rev. Franklin Graham is among the six faith leaders who were chosen to pray and offer readings at the inauguration of Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20. With Graham leading prayer are Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Rabbi Martin Hier, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, and Pastor Paula White.
Graham had delivered a prayer at the inauguration of George W. Bush in 2001. He came under fire for mentioning the name of Jesus Christ during his prayer. Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz argued that Graham excluded people of other faiths by "invoking 'the Father, the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ' and 'the Holy Spirit.'"
Franklin hints at the content of his prayer in a social media entry: "On Jan. 20, President Donald J. Trump will inherit more than 100 judicial vacancies. This is a monumental opportunity and can have a great impact on the future direction of our nation. Important issues like same-sex marriage, abortion restrictions, immigration, and religious freedoms are many times addressed at a lower court level. Pray for every appointment-and for President-Elect Trump, Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, and those working to fill these strategically important vacancies."
The inaugural committee on Friday also released a full list of bands slated to perform in Trump's inaugural parade, featuring marching bands from various states including Louisiana, Tennessee and Indiana - but none from Washington, DC. At least one school from the area participated in the past five parades, but none are believed to have applied this year. The parade will be shorter this year so Trump can get some work done before inaugural balls later in the day, according to the inaugural committee.
In addition to the 8,000-plus parade participants, the Radio City Rockettes and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are scheduled to perform, which has led to uproar within the Rockettes ranks and one resignation from the choir. Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old 2010 'America's Got Talent' runner-up, will sing.