Approved Prayers

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Dan Gilgoff has sleuthed out that the White House Office of Public Liaison has been vetting the invocations that have been solicited to open the president’s speeches on the economy around the country. Is this something to be disturbed by? Not surprisingly, Barry Lynn thinks it is: “The only thing worse than having these prayers in the first place is
to have them vetted, because it entangles the White House in core
theological matters.” Meanwhile, the guy who helped run the OPL in the last administration grumbles that Democrats can get away with something like this when Republicans can’t.

I’d say that’s pretty much wrong on both scores. If Obama’s going to begin these things with an invocation–and that may well be a bad idea–why not make sure it’s the kind of prayer that is broadly acceptable? And if the would-be invocator can’t live with that–and so far, according to Dan, there have been no objections raised on either side–then he or she is free to walk. And as for the supposed double standard, who says Obama’s getting away with it?