Some Object to White House’s Take On Day Of Prayer

May 6, 2009

Author: Manya A. Brachear

Source: The Chicago Tribune/The Boston Herald

After a standing invitation to the White House during the Bush administration, evangelical Christian organizers of National Day of Prayer activities have not been invited to attend White House ceremonies on Thursday.

In fact, it’s unclear whether there will be ceremonies in the White House at all.

“We are disappointed in the lack of participation by the Obama administration,” said Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, who for the past eight years has attended a White House ceremony with her husband, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson. “At this time in our country’s history, we would hope our president would recognize more fully the importance of prayer.”

But some accuse the Dobsons and others of hijacking a day intended for interfaith prayer and reflection to promote a conservative political and social agenda.

Last month, the Interfaith Alliance joined others in urging Obama to support a National Day of Prayer and Reflection, “that restores and respects our nation’s best values by explicitly inviting clergy from diverse faith traditions to participate equally and fully-especially in events held on government property.”