Saturday, May 3, 2014
California Representative Protests Hypocrisy of National Day of Prayer event
On Thursday, at the annual National Day of Prayer gathering hosted on Capitol Hill, Rep. Hahn left in protest after the highlighted speaker, Dr. James Dobson (husband of self-designated "National Day of Prayer Task Force" [NDOPTF] chair Shirley Dobson), used his time to denounce President Obama and labelling him "the abortion president."
Hahn was appalled. “We have this annual, national day of prayer, which is supposed to bring the whole country together to pray for our nation, and typically you put politics aside and you come together,” Hahn told CQ Roll Call. “James Dobson just absolutely violated that, and I really think he did damage to what we try to do up here in Washington, D.C.”
Dobson is the founder of the conservative group Focus on the Family and also hosts a conservative Christian-themed talk show “Family Talk.” His organization has controlled the National Day of Prayer celebrations for over two decades and has regularly used it to exclusively promote Christian Dominionism. All volunteers for the NDOPTF are required by the organization to sign letters affirming Jesus Christ to be their "personal Lord and Savior".
Rep. Hahn still, however, thinks the event is worthwhile. “I’m the co-chair of the weekly Congressional Prayer Breakfast,” she explained. “I was the co-chair this year of the National Prayer Breakfast. And I work so hard at putting my politics aside every week and coming together with members of Congress I don’t agree with, but we find an hour a week where we put politics aside and pray for our country, and so far, it’s worked. … I was so upset today I felt like abandoning everything I’ve done to try to be bipartisan.”
Americans United and other pro-secular groups have been complaining about the exclusive and partisan nature of these annual events for some time, as well as for its inherent contempt for and undermining of the secular nature of our country's constitution. We applaud Rep. Hahn for being willing to publicly denounce the sham event and urge her and Congress to distance themselves from the NDOPTF for the future and to stop endorsing and supporting this Constitutionally hostile event.