At Trans/Missions, Lee Gilmore reflects on the opening blessing at Obama’s Tucson speech last week by Carlos Gonzales, a medical doctor on the faculty of the University of Arizona who identifies as Yaqui and fifth-generation Mexican-American:

One of my fellow bloggers has already noted the tacitly required scriptural references and broad civil-religious themes in Obama’s widely lauded speech last week at the memorial for the victims of the Tucson shooting. Others have noted the debt that Obama’s rhetorical gifts owe to the Black Church. But scant attention has been paid to the selection of a Native American to open the ceremony with a prayer from his tradition. Like a visit from brother Coyote, the trickster archetype in many indigenous Southwestern myths, the prayer was a tweak on the nose of our religious assumptions.

Read the rest of Gilmore’s piece here.