Is the National Prayer Breakfast unbiblical?
Addressing about three thousand attendees at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday, President Bush directed his praise to an unlikely object. "All of us believe in the power of prayer. And for a lot of people here in Washington, a prayer has been answered with three words: Coach Joe Gibbs," he said. He went on to praise U.S. troops in Iraq for promoting religious tolerance.

"The Iraqi people are mostly Muslims, and we respect the faith they practice. Our troops in Iraq have helped to refurbish mosques, have treated Muslim clerics with deference, and are mindful of Islam's holy days," he said. "Some of our troops are Muslims themselves, because America welcomes people of every faith. Christians and Jews and Muslims have too often been divided by old suspicions, but we are called to act as what we are—the sons and daughters of Abraham."

Halfway through his speech, Bush was interrupted by a sound many described as like machine-gun fire. "It was an interaction between wireless microphones and the sound system, akin to a feedback effect," White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy said. "It was not a 21-gun salute." (The sound can be heard 9 minutes and 15 seconds into this video.)

That wasn't the only negative feedback of the day, however. New Republic blogger Gregg Easterbrook yesterday called for an end to the National Prayer Breakfast. He's less concerned about its political aspects than its public ones. "Christ repeatedly said that people should pray in private, and followed his own advice, leaving his disciples when he wished to address God," Easterbrook writes. "The Washington Hilton ballroom is today's equivalent of the 'street corners' on which hypocrites used to pray 'so ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's executive editor. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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