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Rev. Samuel Rodriguez First Hispanic Evangelical To Participate In The Swearing In Of A President Of The United States

GLENDALE, Calif., — National Hispanic Christian leaders issue the following joint statement of congratulations for Rev. Samuel Rodriguez on his being selected to participate in the 58th Presidential Inauguration.

Rev. Rodriguez is one of six faith leaders selected to participate in the Swearing In ceremony, including: Rev. Franklin Graham, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, and Pastor Paula White. The letter of congratulations follows:

Rev. Rodriguez,

We write today to congratulate you on being the first Hispanic evangelical to ever be selected to participate in the swearing in of a President of the United States, and only the second Hispanic faith leader of any type to receive such an honor. Your honor is our honor, your representation is our representation, and your leadership inspires each of us.

As some of your closest friends and colleagues, we have watched as you have never towed any party line. You have been a prophet to the left and a prophet to the right. You have refused to be used by any political party to advance their political agenda. In your own words, you have stayed committed to the “agenda of the lamb, not of the elephant or the donkey.” You have indeed sought to embrace “the march of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the message of Billy Graham.” Many of us increasingly view you as having been entrusted with a portion of the mantle of each of these great leaders at a time when the Hispanic community has been used as a political pawn by both parties. Your prophetic witness transcends all the rhetoric and all the politics.

In addition to being critical, you have also praised the left and the right when they have made decisions in our favor. You have taken your influence and used it in a truly bi-partisan manner.

At a moment where other Hispanic leaders refused to work with President-elect Donald J. Trump you worked very hard to build relationships with him and with those around him in order to make sure you had the access and trust to speak into policy and to speak up for your community. We watched you do the same with Presidents’ Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Yet, in every circumstance, you never changed your message or your values. This is why we have often trusted you with our future.

There is no greater honor, and no more bi-partisan an honor than to be invited to participate in the Inauguration. Your spiritual leadership and prophetic witness is what has afforded you this privilege. We could not be more pleased that you will represent all of us on that day.

Congratulations.

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