America’s National Prayer Breakfast Shows There’s Still a Place at the Table for God

During the 2016 presidential campaign, many people said Donald Trump did not have a prayer.

As it turned out, he had more than a prayer. He also had enough votes to upset the favorite, Hillary Clinton. And now Mr. Trump is involved with prayer again.

Last week the 66th annual National Prayer Breakfast was held at the Washington Hilton Hotel in the nation’s capital. There Trump reminded Americans about our Judeo-Christian roots. As well as the centrality of religious faith.

The president said that God rests at the center of everything. From our dreams to our founding documents to our monuments, our mottos and even our money.

Trump Gives Credit Where Credit Is Due

Every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has attended the National Prayer Breakfast. Here are some of Trump’s remarks during the recent event:

“Our rights are not given to us by man. Our rights come from our Creator.”

“Faith is central to American life and to liberty.”

“As long as we open our hearts to God’s grace, America will be free, the home of the brave and the light to all nations.”

“America is a nation of believers, and together we are strengthened by the power of prayer.”

God and Country Is the Theme

It’s nice to hear a president utter those types of words, isn’t it?

Especially when so many people today want to remove God from our everyday lives. Including conversations, our written documents and even the public square.

But as Trump pointed out, God is still at the forefront of our nation’s consciousness.

He reminded his audience that the Declaration of Independence mentions God four times. Printed on our coins and currency is “In God We Trust.” Our Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase, “one nation, under God.” And etched on the top of the Washington Monument are the words, “Praise be to God.”

Atheists Diss Trump for Christian References

Needless to say, atheists were not pleased about the event in general. And especially about some of Trump’s remarks.

They said he only referenced Christianity – specifically Jesus Christ – in his remarks. And left out other faiths.

Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association said, “Trump has taken these government-endorsed prayer breakfasts to a new low, demonstrating his ignorance and disdain for the growing diversity of faiths and philosophies found in the country he’s supposed to be leading.”

He also criticized Trump for attributing the recovery of an ill 9-year-old girl to God. Rather than to doctors and scientists.

Scalise Says His Faith Was Strengthened

The National Prayer Breakfast’s keynote speaker was Representative Steve Scalise. He is a Republican from Louisiana.

If you recall, Scalise was shot during a charity baseball game practice last year in Alexandria, Virginia. He needed several surgeries to recover.

About the shooting, Scalise said, “It’s only strengthened my faith in God, and it’s really crystalized what shows up as the goodness in people.”

Previously, Scalise said the tragedy had given him a “renewed faith.”

Trump Compared to Paul Harvey

One Fox News commentator compared Trump’s National Prayer Breakfast address to what many of us used to hear from the late renowned newsman, Paul Harvey.

Although their personalities were very different, both appealed to a large conservative base.

The writer pointed out that Harvey and Trump had these things in common:

  • They were both unapologetically pro-America.
  • Neither shied away from controversy.
  • They both shined the spotlight on American greatness.
  • They were both proud salesmen and negotiators.
  • They were both white-collar guys with blue-collar sense.
  • They were both brief and to the point.

High-Profile Keynote Speakers

The National Prayer Breakfast typically draws about 3,500 guests from more than 100 countries.

The event is organized on behalf of U.S. Congress members by a Christian organization known as The Fellowship Foundation.

Past keynote speakers have included Mother Teresa, neurosurgeon and presidential candidate Ben Carson, author and pastor Max Lucado, U2 singer Bono and former NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip.

The 67th annual event will be held in early February 2019.


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