‘Purpose over politics’ at the National Prayer Breakfast

Religion News Service | 2/8/2018 | Jerry Pattengale
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WASHINGTON (RNS) — This week, the National Prayer Breakfast reminded us that the dream needs to be stronger than the struggle.

This year’s breakfast proved to be an inspirational teaching moment in line with the 17th-century maxim “I Those ideas especially surfaced among the keynotes, U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise (R) and Cedric Richmond (D), both representing neighboring districts in Louisiana. Different ethnicities. Different political ideologies. But the manifestation of unity, liberty and charity writ large. They shared converging viewpoints of the June 14, 2017, shooting at the Republicans’ practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity.

Breakfast - Crowd - Heard - Scalise - Account

What the breakfast crowd heard was more than Scalise’s inspiring account of survival — crawling after the gunshot wound until his arms went numb. Rather, it also was about competing ideologies’ embracing the same notion of life’s sanctity. Richmond, an outspoken Democrat, was the first member of Congress to reach the hospital to visit Scalise. “We put purpose over politics,” Richmond said.

Also uplifting was his obvious closeness with Scalise’s family, mentioning them by name. And the two lawmakers heralded the Washington police officers, both African-American, who had been wounded but still managed to shoot the assailant. To accentuate the microcosm of American diversity in that single episode, the crowd was reminded that the officers were a man and a woman, and that the female officer is gay.

Audience - Conservatives - Stripe - Applause - Alongside

The audience, steeped with religious and political conservatives of about every stripe, rose in applause alongside liberals. Near me were executives from faith-based organizations The Navigators, Focus on the Family and Badge of Hope Chaplaincy, as well as members of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, and a cadet and a youth pastor — and all stood for those heroes. Richmond reminded us that “we don’t disagree on the end goal.”

And though the baseball banter between the representatives — each teasing...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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