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 ...1
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