In the interest of fairness to the President of the United States, I would like to offer an eye-witness, ear-witness, soul-witness to the President's words and spirit shared at the National Prayer Breakfast. My wife and I were in attendance as guests of our U.S. Congressman, and esteemed friend, the Honorable John J. Duncan, Jr., R-TN.
We are two non-partisan participants, among many, who are dismayed by the vitriolic attacks on the President and his address by an unnamed news organization. Hearing their reports we wonder if we were present for the same Prayer Breakfast.. By disingenuously lifting two sentences out of context from approximately 130 sentences in the President's speech, the news agency, and other political enemies of the President, have managed to misconstrue the confessional, bridge-building nature of Mr. Obama's remarks. (The speech in its entirely is available online for your personal adjudication by googling, "President Obama's National Prayer Breakfast Speech.)
We shared a breakfast table with Dr. and Mrs. Julio R. Huaranga, Congressman and wife from Peru, and other new friends from the Ukraine, Israel, and the United States. No one at our table was offended by the President's remarks. In fact, the President, rightly, strongly condemned ISIL for its savage brutality. His tone was conciliatory as he asked us not to condemn Islam for the evil of some, reminding us, after all, of past evil done in the name of Christianity. That was it.
Upon completion of his remarks, the President was given a standing ovation by the 3,600 attendees from all 50 American states and 150 nations. The Prayer Breakfast was beautiful, unifying, profoundly spiritual.
Then came the reports, . . . the ironic opposite.
J. Randall O'Brien