Jen Hatmaker
Jen Hatmaker prays during the interfaith National Prayer Service hosted by the Washington National Cathedral on Jan. 21, 2021. (Video screengrab)

Jen Hatmaker Apologizes for Line in Inaugural Prayer Critiqued as Erasing Native Americans

By Emily Miller

Jen Hatmaker was “proud” to offer the final prayer in the liturgy for the inaugural interfaith prayer service Thursday hosted virtually by the Washington National Cathedral.

The popular Christian author, speaker and podcaster has also apologized for it — at least for the first line of the prayer, which began, “Almighty God, you have given us this good land as our heritage.”

“He didn’t. He didn’t give us this land. We took this land by force and trauma,” Hatmaker wrote later on social media.

“It wasn’t an innocent divine transaction in which God bestowed an empty continent to colonizers. This is a shiny version of our actual history. If God gave this land to anyone, it was to the Native community who always lived here.”

Hatmaker apologized to Native Americans in the statement, posted on Instagram and Facebook.

She said in her post that the prayer was “written by the organizers to serve as an anchor.” It appears to be an updated version of the Prayer for our Country in the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer, which begins by addressing God as “Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage.”

The prayer wasn’t the only misstep regarding Native Americans that activists have pointed out during the week’s inaugural activities.

Some expressed disappointment Native Americans weren’t recognized Wednesday during President Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony. Mark Charles, a citizen of the Navajo Nation and former pastor and independent presidential candidate, offered his own acknowledgment on Twitter.

“Since no one on the Capitol steps has bothered to mention it, I will. #inaguration2021 of President #JoeBiden & Vice President #KamalaHarris is taking place on Piscataway lands. I acknowledge their continued presence on these lands and thank them for their stewardship of them,” Charles tweeted.

Others raised issues with “This Land Is Your Land,” one of three songs performed during the inauguration.

In place of the lyrics, “This land was made for you and me,” Potawatomi author Kaitlin Curtice, who’s a professing Christian, tweeted a suggestion: “This land was made… by Mother Earth, tended to by Indigenous peoples, and later stolen by settlers.”

However, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler, who called the interfaith service “the epitome of liberal religion,” disagreed with the conclusion of Hatmaker and others.

He said the prayer Hatmaker offered was written to affirm the “basic doctrine of God’s providence”—a recognition that God has given the land to Americans who must now faithfully steward it.

Mohler further stated that Christians, “understanding the complexities of history and the sinfulness of human beings, understand that no nation’s history is spotless, no nation’s history is immaculate.”

While Native Americans weren’t prominently included in Biden’s swearing-in ceremony, they made appearances during the week’s inaugural activities.

President Jonathan Nez and first lady Phefelia Nez of the Navajo Nation offered prayers during Thursday’s prayer service.

The day before, the Parade of Nations featured the Native American Women Warriors Association; TikTok star Nathan “DoggFace” Apodaca, who is Northern Arapaho; a Hawaiian chant; and several traditional dancers, according to Indian Country Today.  

Also, Biden’s nominee for interior secretary, U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, who is Laguna Pueblo, was pictured at his swearing-in wearing a ribbon skirt, a symbol of womanhood in native American communities.

Jen Hatmaker’s Instagram Post:

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33 thoughts on “Jen Hatmaker Apologizes for Line in Inaugural Prayer Critiqued as Erasing Native Americans”

  1. Christine Schmidt

    She gets upset about this but not about supporting a regime that does everything to promote the killing of millions of babies. How PC of her.

    1. She is way beyond PC. She is FULLY WOKE. No one is more Woke and anti-conservative than her. She, and countless others are subverting true Christianity and shaming people into adhering to leftist politics.

      Wokeism is the most destructive and deadly force in the Church, and our society as a whole.

    2. Jen Hatmaker does not in anyway represent Christianity. These progressive “Christians” are an embarrassment. They reinterpret or reinvent the Word of God to suit their liberal mindset. Wolves clothed in sheep clothing deceiving the masses.

  2. Though few today would dispute that grievous wrongs were perpetuated on the indigenous peoples of the continent, the fact is that history–and people–are nuanced and complex. What is also true about the early days of the New World is that many Spanish came to establish missions. Many pilgrims came with a sincere desire to find religious freedom. And no matter how flawed our founders and their successors were and have been, it is still part of the true historical record that the United States was founded on great ideals. Certainly we must acknowledge the whole truth and do what we can to correct errors of the past, but we also needn’t rewrite those parts of our history we can be proud of.

    1. Right on. That’s true. I think God still honors that desire for religious freedom. And the First Nations people were the first stewards of America. God honors that, and I think He desired to have America to be a blessing for All peoples. We can repent of the past sins and humble ourselves to pray for the healing of our land.

      And the First Nations are in His Kingdom too.

    2. Spare me your Disneyland approach to USA USA USA. The right wing trump enabling evangelicals will never admit that we came we saw we liked we slaughtered. How about if Mexico says Texas is there heritage and takes it back. Texans stole the land. Read about it. Oh and do your homework on how the missionary’s stole Hawaii with help if the usmc. And definitely read general butler book war is a racket. I love my country and im a veteran. But I know how to read history and learn facts. There is nothing wrong with Americans. We just cannot admit we’re a colonizing empire. England and Egypt and Greeks and Persians. All empires whose time ended. Be happy your part of the colonizing vs colonized. And quit justifying what we did. If Jesus was next to the pilgrims would he have said, good job those Indians were just taking up space. Think how we went from sea to shining sea and Jesus was all good to go about that? Ummmmm I’m going to go with no. Have fun.

      1. I disagree. I have read my history.

        My ancestors are an ancient people who were known for having a great empire and slaughtered others.

        We no longer have that empire, lost our country and we are a diaspora all over the world. And yet God had the mercy to preserve our people.

        We have endured hundreds of years of persecution. And yet God had mercy on us.Hundreds of us have fled to America for years in search of a better life, for different reasons. It was God’s mercy,

        He had mercy because we humbled ourselves and repented. We chose to follow Christ.

        God can full well judge America for the sins done to her native people. But He also has His will and mercy.

        No, we should not justify or excuse the sins. We can pray and repent.

        Want to know who my people are?
        Read the book of Jonah.

        We are God’s handiwork. (is 19)

        1. Thank you and it sounds like have more faith than me. Good for you. America needs more prayer warriors and the faithful. Bye for now.

      2. Who is this “we” you speak of? Your sweeping generalizations, logical fallacies, errors, half-truths/falsehoods, false accusations, and overall snarkiness help explain, somewhat ironically, why you believe the way you do, as well as those with similar beliefs.

  3. And doesn’t it grieve her to know Native American babies are killed in the womb by American doctors of various nationalities?

    I think she also forgets Christians as the Church are to be under the Kingdom of God and not fear of man.

    The First Nations People were the first stewards of the American lands. And then God gave the land to all Americans past, present and future to steward it.

    Yes, sins were done by the White folk to the Native Americans and the Black folk. And these peoples sinned against each other. We can pray to God to repent of these sins. And for the healing of the First Nations who have endured a lot.

    These three races plus Asians and Latinos are a part of America.
    And God’s Kingdom.

    God gave us all this land!
    Let all nations pray He reign in it!
    Your Will be done.
    Open the eyes of Your Church.
    Amen.

      1. When total hypocrisy marks the entire life of a speaker, it becomes completely fair game. It throws all of their words into severe doubt.

  4. Calvin Lindstrom

    In 1973, R. J. Rushdoony published the first volume of his studies on the 10 Commandments entitled The Institutes of Biblical Law. Christianity Today called this work the most important book of 1973.
    In the introduction, Rushdoony provides a very helpful overview on the religious nature of law. Understanding five basic points can help you understand many of the changes that we see taking place in our nation.
    Here are the five points on the nature of law that he shares.
    1) Law is in every culture religious in origin. Law is inescapably religious because it deals with the ultimate concerns of a society – life and death, right and wrong.
    2) The Source of Law is the god of that society. Law can have different sources. Man’s reason can be the god of a society. Hitler and Stalin in many ways became the gods of their nations during the period of their cruel rule. Mao Tse-Tung claimed, “Our God is none other than the masses of the Chinese people.” Of course, this did not keep him for being responsible for the untold death of countless millions in his own nation.
    3) When laws change what is taking place is a change in religion. I am not talking about relatively minor changes in law like speed limits or fines. I am talking about significant legal changes that the Supreme Court has introduced in our nation or in some cases laws passed by Congress and signed by the President.
    In our own nation, we see this especially as we look back a generation or two. Our laws have changed and this also means that the religion of our nation has changed.
    4) You can’t get rid of religion in any society. One religion can be replaced by another religion. A society can claim to have no religion, but that just means it has substituted something else in its place. “Since the foundations of law are inescapably religious, no society exists without a religious foundation or without a law-system which codifies the morality of its religion.” (Rushdoony, 5)
    5) There can be no tolerance in a law system for another religion.

    We are seeing a legal-religious revolution played out more and more each day.

    1. Rushdooney is making a comeback, isn’t he!? I was just recently made aware of the topic of Theonomy and with a growing number of evangelicals moving toward reformed doctrine, I suspect Theonomy will gain in popularity.

    2. 150 years ago the country was at war with itself. Both sides prayed to the same God, used the same bible, and believed they were the righteous ones. Same religion, very different, incompatible laws.

  5. Will people ever get over getting their feelings hurt over things that happened in the far past? None of us lived back then, none of us contributed in any way to anything that happened back then, and none of those who keep picking the scabs of the past (quasi-wannabe victims) had anything to do what happened back when. So, it begs the question…why cannot all just focus on making today better and stop bashing the past? It’s history–not necessarily nice history, but it is history, and as such it is in the past. It’s time to quit rubbing salt into wounds that no people alive today had anything to do with, and to do so only keep promulgating divisiveness, dissent, and angst. I can’t help but think that beating a dead horse is not the Jesus way. Winning souls is.

    1. Good thoughts, Joe. Interesting how the woke sometimes consume each other, then scramble to assume the morally superior position. So much hand wringing leading to what? People are funny…

    2. So how about not rubbing salt into the wounds of the Native Americans who are still living with the legacy of being forced off their lands and all the many terrible things that happened to them since?

      It was an apology for one thoughtless line in a prayer. If someone can’t make a simple apology without being accused of “rubbing salt into wounds” of those the apology wasn’t even remotely aimed at, then it’s certainly time for some introspection from those who were upset by the apology.

      1. Was it thoughtless?
        Is it mutually exclusive to say “God gave us this land” and be grieved by what’s happened to the First Nations people?

    3. Many will not get past the past as long as their are those who manipulate and leverage real, manufactured, and exaggerated offenses for monetary and political benefit.

  6. Jen started up the ladder to fame with conservative Christianity, and once she got enough exposure, she went pure Woke to sell more books, make more money and get richer. She is now a victim of her own false ideology, bending backwards to apologize anytime a statement of hers offends the left. If she really felt the way she claims in her smarmy mea culpa, she would never have agreed to read the prayer as it was written. She has a lot of influence. She should keep in mind that millstones are heavy.

  7. I can understand how our Native American citizens feel as they have been maligned and institutionalized against their will, and with hordes of strangers over the last several centuries just walking into the lands they have occupied over the centuries and just taking over.

  8. Calling Hatmaker a “Christian author…” does not seem to be in keeping with the fruit she has been bearing in recent years.

  9. In Spanish, we call this inauguration so called “prayer”, Arroz con Mango.
    Social Justice Warriors…..taking the moral high ground?
    As Billy Graham (or his wife) said a while back……if God doesn’t Judge America, He’d have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.
    That road with good intentions leads straight into the gates of hell.
    Uwe
    (Jude 3)
    Post Tenebras Lux

  10. If you want to see a present-day example of Revelation’s Jezebel, look her up in your Webster’s dictionary and you will see Hatmaker’s (or Rachel Hollis’) mug.

  11. “Almighty God, you have given us this good land as our heritage.”
    “He didn’t. He didn’t give us this land. We took this land by force and trauma,”

    The only improvement in the prayer would have been to define “our” more fully.

    Native Americans were not native to America but emigrated here. The Native Americans were rocked by tribal wars all over North, Central, and South America. Every nation on the face of the earth established its country by force of arms. American Indian tribal nations were no different. As a matter of fact, Native North Americans brutally suppressed and enslaved rivals, committing a good bit of genocide on rival tribes for centuries before Europeans arrived. They frequently fought colonizers in a genocidal way–killing men, women, and children. In the Colonial period, they formed alliances with the French and British, and in the South with the Spanish. Cortez overthrew the Aztec Empire with a tiny army because so many of the native people were crushed and enslaved by the Aztecs joined the fight with him.

    The Bible is clear that God raises up kings and nations and brings them down. Famine, pestilence, war (for economic, security, and territorial gain), and death (demographic collapse) were the common means by which this churning of nations and peoples took place. This is the way of history. Christians believe that God works His providential plan through these movements of history, through all the messiness of good and evil. Now that America as a nation has existed for over 300 years, indeed, this Land is our heritage in the usual sense of the term. It’s the heritage of the Native Americans, descendants of the colonists, and those who emigrated here–of all citizens–and from a Christian perspective from God. Who else?

    By the standards of the critics, every country in the world is illegitimate. Everyone has a history like ours, even Israel, God’s elect country. These critics put a purity magnifying glass on the past like no other people on earth. I suppose they could leave, but where would they go? Only countries with bloody histories like ours are available.

  12. If she really believes what she says then why doesn’t she just give her stolen assets to the original owners of her property? And why are you reporting on someone who has shown herself not to be a Christian anyway?

  13. “If God gave this land to anyone, it was to the Native community who always lived here.” There was no “Native community.” There were various tribes, frequently warring and migrating. All of the land that Europeans took had been previously taken from someone else.

    It is the consistent story of five millenia of recorded human history.

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