Rev. Lowery Honored to Participate in Inauguration

"Martin said, don't judge people by color -- he was talking to white people to not judge black people by color," he said. "He was also talking to black people not to judge white people by color. But he was also talking, again, to black people to not judge each other by color, and not be too quick to, to let the old mentality hold you back in thinking that he's not ready. That, I think, is a leftover from, from another era."

For his part, Lowery thinks Obama is "more than ready," but he also said there's "no question" a time will come when he'll be angry at and disagree with his president.

"I already have some questions about some of his appointments," he said. "But I trust his judgment. He knows more about these people than I do, so I trust him. But I'm sure that in the advocacy community, you must speak truth to power ... and we must be prepared to, to hold accountable those who hold the reins of power, no matter what their color."

Some have questioned the president-elect's judgment in choosing the other speaker at the swearing-in, evangelical preacher Rev. Rick Warren.

"I really hold [Warren] accountable for some of the nasty things he's said about gays," Lowery said. "I think it's far beneath his stature as an outstanding Christian pastor to say these things."

But despite their differences, Lowery said, "I do not object to the president trying to keep his promise to bring in people with different beliefs and, and diverse attitudes toward controversial issues. I think it's the only way we are going to get together."

Obamas Represent 'Renewal of the Dynamics of Family'

During the presidential campaign, Obama was criticized for his relationship with his former pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Lowery believes that many of Wright's statements were taken out of context, and said, "I think that prophetic preaching ofttimes call the country into accountability. And some people can't deal with that."

When asked in what context any pastor would say, "God damn America," Lowery replied, "Well, what he was saying was that in the Scriptures, the word of God does condemn nations that lift up swords against other nations. And that was just a pretty graphic way of, of putting what the Bible says in, in milder terms that he who lives by the sword is going to perish by the sword, whether that's an individual or a nation. So, in a sense what he was saying was ... the word of God condemns the aggressor. So, Brother Wright put in graphic language, which became toxic to some people, but in milder terms, the same message is in the Bible. God does condemn war."

Lowery has been criticized for some of his own words at the 2006 funeral of Coretta Scott King, when he spoke out against President George Bush and the war in Iraq.

"At a black funeral, we always celebrate the life of the deceased and then challenge those who are still living," he said.

He hopes that the Obama presidency will continue to challenge people, and said that his election sends a powerful message around the world.

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