Tag Archives: National Prayer Breakfast

POTUS drags politics into National Prayer Breakfast

I have been aghast at what I heard Donald John Trump say this morning at the National Prayer Breakfast.

The event is designed to be an ecumenical gathering of all faiths. From what I’ve seen of it in the past, it generally steers far and wide from politics. Then again, that was before the Era of Trump, who today dragged the Prayer Breakfast into uncharted territory.

“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong.” The target of that jab was U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the lone GOP senator to vote “guilty” on one of the impeachment counts leveled against Trump; indeed, Sen. Romney is the first senator in U.S. history to vote against a president of his own party in a Senate trial..

Romney is a devout Mormon, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. He spoke of his faith while announcing his findings that Trump had, in Romney’s mind, abused the power of his office. Trump was having none of it, actually challenging the sincerity of a fellow American’s religious faith.

Despicable, indeed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also drew some heavy fire from the triumphant president, who said he doesn’t like someone “who says ‘I pray for you’ when they not that is not so.”

What’s more, Pelosi was sitting on the dais just a few feet away from Trump when he made the catty remark.

I should say as well that Pelosi has been known for decades as a dedicated and devout Roman Catholic. She has said that she prays for the president, for the country, for its government leadership. I guess Trump was having none of that as well.


What I suppose makes this even more disgraceful is that this president has virtually no relationship with Scripture. He uses religion as a political tool, a doctrine to be bartered.

So he has decided to politicize what historically has been a non-political event that aims to cite the value and power of prayer.

God help us.

Get ready for the pounding, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump is going to get a social media whipping over a gaffe he uttered today at the National Prayer Breakfast.

He made a reference to those who fought for “the abolition of civil rights.” As the saying goes, “Oops.”

I’m going to give the president a pass on this one. That kind of thing happens. Public figures say things mistakenly. They get thoughts muddled in their heads from time to time.

I do have two questions: Was the president reading those remarks on the Teleprompter or did he blurt it out extemporaneously?

I do hope it was an ad-libbed gaffe, which would be a bit more understandable than if he read it off some prepared text.

If it’s the latter, then we have to ask: Did the text actually contain that gaffe? If not, then what did the president think he was reading?

If Trump was reading the text and recited what was scrolling up on the device politicians use to keep them on track, well . . . then someone has some serious explaining to do.

Trump is wearing me out

I’ve long considered myself to be a fairly modern fellow … but I do like tradition.

I dislike the designated hitter rule in baseball, I dislike what I call “gymnasium football” that is played in stadiums with roofs, I prefer to eat my salad before consuming my entrée — and I want presidents of the United States to behave in a manner befitting the office.

Donald J. Trump cannot fix the first three examples, but he damn sure can address the final one, dealing with how he handles himself as president.

We aren’t even one stinking month into Trump’s term in office and I am worn out already. I don’t know if I have the stamina to keep up with this guy’s weird/bizarre/goofy machinations.

The tweeting. The strange utterances. The strange phone calls with world leaders. His feuds with congressional leaders. The strange roles his sons and daughter are playing in his administration. The notion that his wife won’t live in the White House while hubby seeks to “make America great again.”

None of this is what I consider to be “normal.”

What continues to trouble me about this fellow is that I cannot figure out to what ever-lovin’ end is he seeking to accomplish.

Trump had zero public service experience when he announced his candidacy for the presidency in July 2015. His entire adult life has been geared toward personal enrichment. Public service never has been on this man’s radar. He doesn’t know what public service entails.

And not yet one month into his presidency, he isn’t showing any indication that I can discern that he grasps the concept of public service.

He stands before the National Prayer Breakfast audience and asks them to pray for the man who succeeded him as host of “Celebrity Apprentice”; he goes to the CIA and — standing before a wall that honors fallen CIA officers — talks about his electoral vote “landslide”; he berates Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over his country’s immigration policy and then hangs up on the head of government of a nation that arguably is our most loyal ally.

Presidents of the United States don’t normally behave like this.

Holy cow, man! We’ve got 47 more months of this!


Collusion between … Donald and Arnold?

I smell a stinky rat.

Donald J. Trump stood before the National Prayer Breakfast audience — of all places — and poked fun at the ratings of “Celebrity Apprentice,” which is now hosted by one-time muscleman/movie actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnold responded with a video dig at the president, suggesting the two men should trade jobs, given that Trump is such an expert on TV ratings. Arnold said he could become president and therefore enable Americans to “sleep comfortably at night.”

Oh, wait! Donald used to host the “Apprentice.” He retains the title of executive producer, even though he’s now got a fairly full plate trying to “make America great again.”

Might there possibly be a wink-wink agreement between the men to gin up a fake controversy to, um, boost ratings — and deliver more money to the president of the United States of America?

Why, such a thing would be so very “unpresidented.”

If only Arnold could switch with Trump …

I do not favor amending the U.S. Constitution to allow naturalized U.S. citizens to run for president of the United States.

But a brief retort from a noted former politician/superstar actor/turned reality TV host has me pondering. What if … ?

Donald J. Trump tossed a dig at Arnold Schwarzenegger over his ratings as the new host of “Celebrity Apprentice.” He made the remark at the National Prayer Breakfast — of all places — this morning. “Pray for Arnold,” the president said.


Well, Arnold — a former California governor — responded to Trump. It’s in the link below.


Arnold said that since Trump is an “expert” at ratings, let’s switch jobs.

It has me thinking. You know I think I actually would vote for Arnold for president were he eligible to run for the office. Too bad the Austria-born muscleman can’t.

Crusades, slavery … in the name of Christianity?

Barack Obama cannot possibly have a tin ear to the prevailing attitude among his harshest critics.

Can he?

The president stood before the National Prayer Breakfast audience Thursday and managed to offend Christians by invoking the memory of the Crusades and ol’ Jim Crow laws in scolding those who contend that Islam is the only great religion that produces horrible acts against humanity.

Not true, the president said. The Crusades and slavery were carried out — in the minds of many — in the name of Jesus Christ.


Let’s understand something: President Obama spoke the harsh truth about the Crusades and U.S. laws that placed Americans in bondage.

He said: “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

His comments enraged some Republicans. According to the Washington Post: “’The president’s comments this morning at the prayer breakfast are the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime,’ said former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore (R). ‘He has offended every believing Christian in the United States. This goes further to the point that Mr. Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share.’”

Have we gotten over-sensitized to hearing such harsh scolding from our politicians? I’m beginning to think that’s the case. The late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy used to admonish Americans for not exhibiting more understanding and compassion toward others and he, too, enraged critics by speaking words not everyone wanted to hear.

Barack Obama’s own Christian faith ought to give him some license to tell the truth the way he sees it.

That, of course, won’t sell to those who continue to insist he has “Muslim sympathies,” or even that he’s actually a “closet Muslim.” He has proclaimed his faith in Jesus Christ more times than I can remember, but that won’t quell the critics this time.

Then again, the Constitution of the United States declares there should be no religious litmus test for those seeking public office. But what the heck, that’s another story for another time.


Jefferson, Madison … and Bill Press?

Who does Bill Press think he is?

The one-time CNN news commentator and Democratic Party “strategist” posted a Facebook message today in which he blasted the idea behind the National Prayer Breakfast. He called it a right-wing attempt to blur the line between church and state.

“The last thing I want to see is Republicans and Democrats saying how much they believe in the Bible,” Press said with an apparent scorn on his face.

He said President Obama has been “suckered” into attending the annual event.

Holy mackerel, Bill. You need to take a deep breath.

Presidents who attend these events always are careful to maintain a certain ecumenical air about their remarks. The National Prayer Breakfast is open to people of all faiths and the prayers recited are universal in nature, given that they aren’t Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Shinto or Buddhist in nature.

That’s the spirit of the Constitution that participants seek to preserve at this event.

The most hilarious part of Press’s screed against the Prayer Breakfast was this: “Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would never attend the National Prayer Breakfast. And neither will Bill Press.”

OK, not only did this clown place himself side by side — symbolically — with two of the greatest Americans who ever lived, he referred to himself in the third person. I can’t decide which of those things is more offensive.

Knock it off, Press.

Note: Here’s Press’s Facebook post.


OK, I know what you’re thinking: Bill, why are you on the air today? Why aren’t you at the National Prayer Breakfast with President Obama and the Dalai Lama?

Are you kidding? I’ve been in Washington 15 years now. I’ve been invited to the National Prayer Breakfast every year. And I’ve never gone – and never will.

In fact, I hate the National Prayer Breakfast. Because I think it’s nothing but a right-wing attempt to tear down the wall of separation between church and state, which too many Democrats – including President Obama – get suckered into.

The last thing I want to see are Republicans and Democrats standing up and telling everybody how much they believe in the Bible. I don’t care whether they believe in the Bible.

I want to see Republicans and Democrats standing up and telling us how much they believe in the Constitution. And I want to see Republicans hiding behind the Bible to try to undermine the Constitution – like they did on slavery yesterday, and like they do on gay rights today.

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would never attend the National Prayer Breakfast. And neither will Bill Press.

That’s my parting shot for today. I’m Bill Press.