Posted on January 25, 2021

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

Emily McFarlan Miller, Religion News Service, January 21, 2021

Jen Hatmaker was “proud” to offer the final prayer in the liturgy for the inaugural interfaith prayer service Thursday (Jan. 21) 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.”

“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.


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. The song does not mention the land once was Native American land.

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