This country provides us with the freedom to conduct religious gatherings and worship, or not worship, as we please ["National Day of Prayer Task Force Knocks Obama White House," usnews.com]. That is the role of our government—to protect us and our rights. There are a lot of significant issues left behind from the Bush administration that are requiring Obama's attention and we should support him by respecting his decision and taking this task on ourselves instead of expecting the government to lead the way. Wouldn't the Christian thing to do be to look within instead of looking for fault? Now get over it and go out and pray to your hearts' content because you can in this great country. Quit looking for an issue here. Happy National Day of Prayer.
Comment by Lisa of CA
Whether or not any other president held the prayer breakfast in the East Room does not matter. If the president was a man of Faith and Religion (whatever religion, even Muslim), you would think he would want all the help he could get in running our great nation during this scary time in our history.
Comment by Mark of IL
The Bible says that my God is omnipresent, which means it is unnecessary for any organization to come to the White House with the intent to recognize National Prayer Day. We, as Christians, are to always seek God. Sitting in a room within the White House walls does not draw God any closer to the president, the White House staff, or the guests. Pray when you want to and how you want to! Don't try to tell our president when and how he must recognize God. God does not only love and belong to conservatives!
Comment by Pearl of IL
I am very disappointed in our president. He says he is a Christian—then prove it. We should be praying at all times. I am very sorry that he cannot host an event in the White House. I believe our God is very disappointed too.
Comment by Barbara McMahon of IA
I am so thankful to God to live in a country that respects freedom to gather, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion, among numerous other freedoms. I have people in my family from nations where those freedoms do not exist. I have been to several peaceful (non performance-nonpolitical) National Day of Prayer events. They have been very inspiring with prayers offered by sincere, humble people. They have been a great encouragement to continue to pray for my leaders and nation and remember to humble myself and pray even more often. I am thankful for a Day of Prayer and reflection. Each religion has traditions of prayer they feel are most effective, but might be offensive to others. It's good to gather together on many occasions ... but it's hard to pray together. If you choose to pray, I encourage you to join whatever gathering that day you find is most effective in helping you pray with sincere love for those who hold other opinions.
Comment by Annie of NY
Focus on the Family does not include non-Christians in its observance of the National Day of Prayer. The title of the day is not the Christian National Day of Prayer. We are all aware that the people who make up our great country come from many religious and spiritual traditions. Our president serves and represents all of us—Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, non-theists, Christians, and followers of many other faith traditions. It would be completely inappropriate and hypocritical of President Obama (please see his words during his inaugural speech and during the National Prayer Breakfast) to hold or support a National Day of Prayer event that excluded all faith traditions except Christianity, as the Focus on the Family group is doing and would expect him to do. Excluding non-Christians is just plain wrong. And holding a Christian-only prayer event on the steps of our national Capitol is also wrong. America is not a Christian nation. We do not have a state religion. The Focus on the Family group is sending a message to non-Christian Americans that says we don't count; that we are somehow less good, less decent, less spiritual, and less American than those who profess to be Christians. I am not Christian. I am also not God-hating, unpatriotic, or un-American. I understand and support President Obama's decision to not hold an event. I only wish he could have a National Day of Prayer event at the White House comprised of leaders of all faiths who would stand side by side with him to pray together in a spirit of love, acceptance, and support for each other, for our country, and for our world.
Comment by Sue Bailey of GA