Thursday, February 02, 2006
  National Prayer Breakfast...
Thanks to GetReligion.

Apparently a group called The Family or the Fellowship Foundation organizes the National Prayer Breakfast every February.

It's mission statement is as follows:
"To develop and maintain an informal association of people banded together, to go out as "ambassadors of reconciliation", modeling the principles of Jesus, based on loving God and loving others. To work with the leaders of other nations, and as their hearts are touched, the poor, the oppressed, the widows and the youth of their country will be impacted in a positive manner. Youth groups will be developed under the thoughts of Jesus, including loving others as you want to be loved."

This year the breakfast will be co-chaired by Sen. Norm Coleman who happens to be Jewish. Apparently he was invited because certain rabbis believed that the breakfast was "overtly Christian" and they had a concern about "proselytizing literature". Rabbi Goldin also said that "(a)t a nondenominational event, there should be a recognition that different religions worship differently and believe differently".

Now it is my understanding that something that is "non-denominational" is still Christian as is something that is ecumenical. Of course people of different religions worship and pray differently. That's a no brainer. I'm not objecting to a Jewish person being a chair, co-chair, speaker, or filling any other role. What I don't understand is a statment by Representative Jim Slattery (D-Kan), "this is an event for Jews and Muslims and Christians and Hindus and Buddhists".

It's an event started by Christians, presumably for Christians. The Family talks about "modeling the principles of Jesus, based on loving God and loving others". That's beautiful, but a bit confusing. Are they going to tell these Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists that as conservative Christians (which it sounds like these fellows are) that they believe that Christ is the only way to the Father?

My liberal side wants to applaud them for their spirit of inclusion, but isn't this a bit like opening your pulpit to the Dalai Lama? Nice, but it makes no sense given your beliefs. Does anyone else see a disconnect?
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