I approached today's interfaith service with a grain of salt. OK, let's be truthful...a bucket of salt would be closer to the way I was feeling. Knowing that several folks in Pagan leadership had sent e-mails to the Obama "people of faith"outreach, and that none of us had received a response, I was prepared for disappointment.
Joyfully that's not what I got.
First of all, religious symbols, always powerful in the way they show the mindset of event organizers, were all but invisible.
There was a globe, a mandala, and some stars. No cross, no Star of David, no calligraphic verses from the Koran. All these images which might have indicated the supremacy of "People of the Book" were nowhere to be seen.
Clergy with significant parts of the service included Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist (they're pantheist, right?), but nowhere was there the sort of heavily trodden path of "we're Christian and everyone else had best keep out of our way" that is often seen in so-called interfaith observances.
Led by convention CEO Rev. Leah Daughtry, who is pastor of a church in Washington, DC, the service stressed equality, peace, social justice, and free speech (with one of the speakers plainly disagreeing with the Democratic Party platform plank on a woman's right to choose).
The high point for me, where Rev. Daughtry proved how inclusive she had planned the service to be, came when she stated, "We are created in the image of our Creator, whatever we call Him or Her." Acknowledgment of the feminine divine truly demonstrated how inclusive the Democratic Party is, and made me proud to be a Democrat.
As Rev. Daughtry said, "The Democratic Party may not be perfect, but it's perfect for me."