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Prayers and policy

"Prayers and policy" Continued...

Obama added that, “as Christians, we place our faith in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus Christ.” He also described the faiths of Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Sikhs, and discussed the “deep and abiding faith in this nation” that he said all Americans share.

The bipartisan event, hosted by members of Congress and organized by a religious group called The Fellowship, also included speeches about unity and faith given by Republicans who have long clashed with Obama’s policies.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas and one of the breakfast’s co-chairs, discussed the importance of the weekly bipartisan prayer breakfasts held for lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“It’s a surprise for some people after they see how we go back and forth in debate, that when it comes to the prayer breakfast, it’s truly bipartisan,” he said. “We work together, we pray together. It does make us better. It makes us stronger, and it makes the government work better.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions, a Republican from Alabama and another Obama political foe, stressed that American is “one nation.”

“Thank you for being my president,” Sessions said to Obama. “Thank you for being our president.”

This year’s breakfast did include some policy news. Obama announced that the long-time head of his administration’s version of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Joshua Dubois, is resigning. Dubois, who has led the office since 2009, will reportedly write a devotional book using the daily meditations of Scripture that he has emailed daily to the president.

“The comfort that Scripture gave Lincoln and King and so many leaders throughout our history, the verses they cherished, and how those words of God are there for us as well, waiting to be read any day that we choose,” Obama said in his speech.

Edward Lee Pitts
Edward Lee Pitts

Lee teaches journalism at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and is the associate dean of the World Journalism Institute.


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