Trump at National Prayer Breakfast: 'Faith is essential to American life'

Saul Bowman
February 9, 2018

President Donald Trump got up very early Thursday to plug his National Prayer Breakfast appearance.

"Great religious and political leaders, and many friends, including T.V. producer Mark Burnett of our wonderful 14 season Apprentice triumph, will be there".

"America will flourish, as long as our liberty, and in particular our religious liberty, is allowed to flourish", Trump said.

This year Trump's address to the gathering was much more standard National Prayer Breakfast fare.

"Trump has taken these government-endorsed prayer breakfasts to a new low, demonstrating his ignorance and disdain for the growing diversity of faiths and philosophies found in the country he's supposed to be leading", Mr. Speckhardt said in a statement.

He made a reference to North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho, who was a guest at Trump's State of the Union last month, and said he repeatedly prayed the Lord's Prayer until he was free from the totalitarian regime.

Noting that the American Founders evoked the Creator four times in the Declaration of Independence, he said that no earthly force can take away the rights found in America's founding documents.

Trump's words about religion and following God's teachings came a day after his White House struggled to react to a report that his staff secretary, Rob Porter, physically and otherwise abused his two ex-wives. "America will forever be the land of the free, the home of the courageous, and a light to all nations".

"When Americans are able to live by their convictions to speak openly of their faith and to teach their children what is right, our families thrive, our communities flourish, and our nation can achieve anything at all".

Her goal was 10,000 prayers, Trump continued, but she surpassed the goal, even getting the president and members of his administration to ask God to intervene for her health.

And although Trump rarely attends church himself, the emphasis on the role of God in his vision of America is something with which a growing number of citizens disagree.

The president highlighted issues like the nation's opioid epidemic and religious persecution carried out by ISIS during his remarks, saying "today the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated nearly 100 percent of the territory just recently held by these killers in Iraq and all throughout Syria".

The National Prayer Breakfast is held every year, and is attended by senior US politicians and foreign guests.

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