Why The President Was Asked Not To Attend The National Prayer Breakfast
An ethical watchdog group, Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, asked the president and congressional leaders to stay away from the annual National Prayer Breakfast.
The objections are focused on the sponsor of the breakfast, a secretive evangelical Christian network called The Fellowship, also known as The Family, and accusations that it has ties to legislation in Uganda that calls for the imprisonment and execution of homosexuals.
The Family has always stayed intentionally in the background, according to those who have written about it. In the last year, however, it was identified as the sponsor of a residence on Capitol Hill that has served as a dormitory and meeting place for a cluster of politicians who ran into ethics problems, including Senator John Ensign, Republican of Nevada, and Gov. Mark Sanford, Republican of South Carolina, both of whom have admitted to adultery.
More recently, it became public that the Family also has close ties to the Ugandan politician who has sponsored the proposed anti-gay legislation.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan says, “It is a combination of the intolerance of the organization’s views, and the secrecy surrounding the organization. It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be allowed to hold their breakfast; of course they should. The question is, Should American officials be lending legitimacy to it, giving their imprimatur by showing up.”
There is a liberal alternative this year to the National Prayer Breakfast.
Liberal members of the clergy and gay rights leaders organized the alternative events in haste this year, calling theirs the American Prayer Hour. The will convene at places like Calvary Baptist Church in Washington; Glendale City Seventh-day Adventist Church in California; the bishop’s chapel of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York, in Rochester; and Covenant Community Church in Center Point, Ala.Click here for reuse options!
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