The Obama Administration canceled the White House service to observe the National Day of Prayer, causing a big stir among those who may be looking for reasons or examples to question the President’s faith. It turns out that the President did not cancel the actual day, but rather the ecumenical service, a tradition that only started under the previous administration.
Writing for the LA Times, Johanna Neuman reports:
On the first Thursday of May, dedicated as the National Day of Prayer, President George W. Bush hosted an ecumenical service in the East Room, a big public endorsement of evangelical Christians. (This event is different from the National Prayer Breakfast, held outside the White House gates every year on the first Thursday of February.)
President Obama opted not to have a service in the White House this year.
“Prayer is something that the president does every day,” explained White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, adding that Obama will sign a proclamation to recognize the day. “I think the president understands, in his own life and in his family’s life, the role that prayer plays.”
There is a huge difference between canceling the entire National Day of Prayer and just the White House service that recognizes it, though that confusion appears to be something that critics of Obama have latched on to, judging by Google Trends.
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