Muslim woman, rabbis to pray at inaugural service

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January 15, 2009 02:23

Barack Obama's choice of clergy is under scrutiny like no other president-elect before him, alternately outraging Americans on the left and the right as he navigates the minefield of U.S. religion. The Inauguration Committee has only released one clergy name so far for the Jan. 21 National Prayer Service that caps the inauguration. The Rev. Sharon Watkins, the first woman president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a Protestant group, will deliver the sermon. The Associated Press has learned additional details. A prayer will be offered at the National Cathedral by Ingrid Mattson, the first woman president of the Islamic Society of North America, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. The Islamic Society is the largest U.S. Muslim group. Three rabbis, representing the three major branches of American Judaism, will also say a prayer at the service, according to officials familiar with the plans. The Jewish clergy are Reform Rabbi David Saperstein, Conservative Rabbi Jerome Epstein and Orthodox Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, sources said.


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