An American political cocktail: nationalism, religion, and nostalgia

WASHINGTON – On the first Thursday of every February, religious dignitaries, politicians, and other guests are invited to Washington, D.C. to attend the annual National Prayer Breakfast. It is sponsored by the Christian organization called The Fellowship Foundation and has been an American tradition since 1953. This year was no exception. On Feb, 2. President Trump attended his first breakfast, held at the Washington Hilton.

Updates: Interfaith in South Carolina, Marianne Williamson, Nones, and More!

Here are some updates on stories previously mentioned or reported on at The Wild Hunt. At Patheos, Holli Emore, Executive Director of Cherry Hill Seminary, writes about her meeting with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, as part of an interfaith proclamation that was issued for the month of January. Quote: “I don’t support Haley politically. But that is not the point; politics is not what brought us together on this occasion. Once elected, Haley became my governor, and I am deeply grateful for her support of interfaith work. To our knowledge, South Carolina is the only state in the U.S. to acknowledge the importance of religious plurality and issue a formal proclamation.

Two Prayer Breakfasts, Two Visions of America

Today the political elite of the United States engaged in an annual tradition, the National Prayer Breakfast, attended by every president since Eisenhower, and held up by supporters as a peace-making, problem-solving moment of unity. “The purpose of the National Prayer Breakfast, which will be held for the 60th time on Thursday, is to attempt to bridge political and even religious differences through what is called “the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth” in order that leaders consider a Higher Authority to Whom they are ultimately accountable and answerable. […] One can debate whether the National Prayer Breakfast engages in a type of “civil religion,” but there is much good that emerges from it. For at least a short time, politicians — from the President of the United States on down — acknowledge they are not as powerful as the Almighty.” However, as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) point out,  the organizers of this event, the Fellowship Foundation (aka “The Family”) use its influence to further a noxious agenda.