I said it briefly on twitter but I posted in more detail on Dec 19, 2008 in another forum:
The inauguration opens with a conservative anti-gay preacher. This is a preacher who happens to also be one of the few conservative evangelicals advocating for Christians to address world poverty and social injustice. He also happens to have invited Obama to speak at an evangelical conference against objections about Obama's pro-choice stance). This preacher will be speaking while Bush is still technically president (Obama not inaugurated yet).
The inauguration closes with a radical pro-gay civil rights preacher. Not only was this man in the absolute thick of the Civil Rights movement but he is also an advocate of same-sex
marriagecivil unions(see comments) and the inclusion of GLBT people in all aspects of church life. This preacher will be speaking after Obama has officially begun his presidency.
The symbolism here is powerful. Obama chose to make the conservative the opening act, and gave the last word to the radical civil rights leader.
Conservative Preacher Opens with Support for Environmentalism, Separation of Church and State, and Global Justice
Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans,...
united not by race, or religion, or blood,
but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all
When we fail to treat our fellow human beingsRick Warren, Inaugural Invocation - Jan 20, 2009
and all the Earth with the respect that they deserve:
Civil Rights Preacher Closes with Support for Gay Rights
Lord, in the complex arena of human relations,Joseph Lowery, Inaugural Benediction - Jan 20, 2009
let us make choices on the side of love, not hate
on the side of inclusion, not exclusion
tolerance, not intolerance