The Rt. Rev. Douglas LeBlanc and I did have a bit of a debate this week about religion in the latest edition of "The Time 100" list of the movers and shakers on planet earth. I was struck, the previous year, by the high number of entertainers and academics on the list, in contrast to the three formal religious leaders. Doug was struck by the high level of religious and semi-religious content in the references to a variety of different leaders in the new list. Both are totally valid points.
But here is the key: I think we would both agree that when people create lists of this sort, it offers a window into the values of those who created the lists in the first place. Can I hear an "Amen" in this congregation?
This brings me to another interesting list from this past week.
I would imagine that the competition to get on the invitation list for a white-tie state dinner at the White House is a bit stiff, unless one's last name is Bush or Cheney. At the same time, it is a chance for those who are in power to show gratitude where gratitude is due and, at the same time, show the person being honored -- in this case England's Queen Elizabeth II -- something about what is best and brightest in this nation. It's a dinner party. Who did the leader of our nation want to salute?
With that in mind, study the list. I find it rather interesting.
Notice any patterns? Any glaring, newsworthy gaps? Any interesting political and cultural patterns? Was anyone asked to say grace before the dinner?
Cmdr. Heber Ackland, Royal Navy, equerry in waiting to the queen.
The Countess Of Airlie, DCVO, DCVO, lady in waiting.
Leonore Annenberg, former U.S. chief of protocol, Reagan administration, FAPE board member, and Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif. (guest).
Anne Armstrong, former U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, and James L. Armstrong (son).
Lee M. Bass, Lee M. Bass, Inc., and Ramona Bass.
Sid R. Bass, president, Sid R. Bass Inc., and Mercedes Bass.
Margaret Beckett, MP, secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs, United Kingdom, and Leo Beckett.
Rep. John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, House minority leader, and Deborah Boehner.
Joshua Bolten, White House chief of staff, and Analouise C. Bolten (mother).
Calvin Borel, jockey, winner of the 2007 Kentucky Derby, and Lisa Funk (guest).
Katherine E. Boyd, Katherine E. Boyd Interior Design, and Eva Elkins, sister-in-law (guest).
Miss Barbara Bush and Jay Blount (guest).
Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, and Columba Bush.
Elizabeth L. Cheney and Philip J. Perry, partner, Latham & Watkins.
Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne V. Cheney.
James Click, president, Jim Click Ford, Inc., and Carrie Click (daughter).
John Danilovich, CEO, Millennium Challenge Corp., and Irene Danilovich.
Rohan De Silva, pianist.
Marta Domingo, wife of Maestro Placido Domingo.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
Donald L. Evans, CEO, Financial Services Forum, and Susan Evans.
William S. Farish, former U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, and Sarah Farish.
Fred Fielding, counsel to the president, and Maria Fielding.
Brad Freeman, general partner, Freeman Spogli & Co.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Becky Gates.
Christopher Geidt, OBE, deputy private secretary to the queen.
Martin Gilbert, historian, and Esther Gilbert, London.
David Gregory, NBC News correspondent, and Beth Wilkinson (wife).
National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley and Mrs. Robert Hadley (mother).
Elisabeth Hasselbeck, host of "The View," and Timothy Hasselbeck, professional football player.
Peter Hayes, principal private secretary to the secretary of state, United Kingdom.
Steven Holland, Reuters correspondent, and Lucie Holland.
Ray L. Hunt, chairman of the board, president and CEO, Hunt Consolidated, Inc., and Hunter L. Hunt, president, Hunt Power, L.P. (son).
Brig. Miles Hunt-Davis, KCVO CBE, private secretary to Prince Philip.
Robin Janvrin, KCVO, CB, private secretary to the queen.
Agriculture Secretary Michael O. Johanns and Stephanie Johanns.
Clay Johnson III, deputy director for management, Office of Management and Budget, and Anne S. Johnson, director, arts in embassies program, State Department.
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and Patricia Kempthorne.
Richard D. Kinder, chairman and CEO, Kinder Morgan, Inc., and Nancy Kinder, president, Kinder Foundation.
Henry A. Kissinger, former secretary of state, and Nancy Kissinger.
Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., chairman and president, Kohler Co., and Natalie B. Kohler.
Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Tricia Lott.
David Manning, KCMG, British ambassador to the United States, and Catherine M. Manning.
Peyton Manning, professional football player, and Ashley Manning.
John Marion, honorary chairman, Sotheby's North America, and Anne Marion.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.
Charles B. Moncrief and Kit Moncrief.
James W. Nantz III, CBS sportscaster, and Ann-Lorraine Nantz.
Joseph J. O'Donnell, CEO, Boston Culinary Group, and Katherine O'Donnell.
Gen. Peter Pace, USMC, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Lynne Pace.
Arnold Palmer, professional golfer, and Kathleen Palmer.
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson and Wendy Paulson.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Paul Pelosi.
A. Jerrold Perenchio, chairman and CEO, Chartwell Partners, and Margie Perenchio.
Itzhak Perlman, violinist, and Toby Lynn Perlman.
Boone Pickens, BP Capital, LLC, and Madeleine Pickens.
Colin L. Powell, former secretary of state, and Alma Powell.
Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, and Nancy Powell.
Nancy Reagan, former first lady.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Gene A. Washington, director of football operations, National Football League (guest).
Chief Justice John Roberts and Jane Sullivan Roberts.
Robin Roberts, ABC.
Penny Russell-Smith, LVO, press secretary to the queen.
Michael Sacco, president, Seafarers International Union, and Sophie Sacco.
Gerry Shaheen, group president, Caterpillar, and Pam Shaheen.
George P. Shultz, former secretary of state, and Charlotte Shultz.
Harold C. Simmons, chairman, Valhi Inc., and Annette Simmons.
White House press secretary Tony Snow and Jill Ellen Snow.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and Robert Spellings.
Surgeon Capt. David Swain, CVO RN, medical officer to the queen.
Robert Tuttle, U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, and Maria Tuttle.
Mark Vincent, brother to Mrs. Cheney, and Linda Vincent.
Richard Wolffe, Newsweek, and Paula Cuello (wife).
White House photo