By Doug Mainwaring
To the delight of the 3,500 people at the 68th National Prayer Breakfast in the nation’s capital, President Donald Trump strode into the cavernous Washington Hilton ballroom and flashed a newspaper with a giant headline blaring, “ACQUITTED!”
It was less than 15 hours since the United States Senate had acquitted the president of impeachment charges, and just a day and a half since the President’s State of Union address where he again showed himself to be a pro-life champion.
Sitting at the head table a few seats away from the president at this morning’s breakfast was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had led the impeachment effort.
Before Trump spoke, the addled-looking California Democrat took to the podium and read a prayer for religious liberty.
“Let’s honor the spark of divinity in all,” she said, and crossed herself “in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost,” as she concluded. Pelosi professes to be Catholic, but supports abortion on demand and same-sex “marriage.”
She neither addressed nor acknowledged President Trump, forgoing an opportunity to publicly apologize for her recent insulting gesture on national television, ripping the text of his State of the Union speech as she stood behind him.
Recent events have hurt our great nation
“Our great country, and your president, have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people,” said Trump. “They have done everything possible to destroy us, and by [doing so], have very badly hurt our nation. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they put themselves far ahead of our great country.”
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” he said. “So many people have been hurt, and we can’t let that go on.”
Pelosi frequently brought up prayer as she led impeachment efforts, and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), the lone Republican to vote “guilty” on one of the impeachment charges, cited his Mormon faith as a reason for doing so.
Renewing our national spirit, restoring hope, protecting faith
Following the morning’s theme of religious liberty, the President recounted a portion of his State of the Union address.
In everything we do we are creating a culture that protects freedom, and that includes religious freedom.
In America, we don’t punish prayer. We don’t tear down crosses. We don’t ban symbols of faith. We don’t muzzle preachers. We don’t muzzle pastors. In America, we celebrate faith. We cherish religion. We lift our voices in prayer, and we raise our sights to the glory of God.
“To protect faith communities, I have taken historic action to defend religious liberty, including the constitutional right to pray in public schools,” continued Trump, sparking an enthusiastic round of applause.
“We’re upholding the sanctity of life,” he said, “and we’re pursuing medical breakthroughs to save premature babies because every child is a sacred gift from God.”
“As we revive our economy, we are also renewing our national spirit,” he declared. “Today we proudly proclaim that faith is alive and well and thriving in America, and we’re going to keep it that way.”
“We are standing up for persecuted Christians and religious minorities all around the world,” he noted.
“Faith keeps us free. Prayer makes us strong,” he said. “And God alone is the author of life and the giver of grace.”
“We’re restoring hope, and spreading faith. We’re helping citizens of every background take part in the great rebuilding of our nation,” he said. “We’re declaring that America will always shine as a land of liberty and a light unto all nations of the world.”
President Trump concluded with a prayer:
This morning let us ask Father in heaven to guide our steps, protect our children, and bless our families. And with all of our hearts, let us forever embrace the eternal truth that every child is made equal by the hand of Almighty God.
Building a bulwark of faith, dismantling the anti-faith agenda
“What he’s doing and what makes the left so mad is that he’s dismantling the infrastructure that they’ve used to advance an anti-faith, big-government agenda and they’re not going to be able to jump back into the driver’s seat and take off again,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, explained on Fox & Friends in advance of the event. “It’s going to take them decades to rebuild.”
“This president has not only ceased the war on people of faith, but he’s building a bulwark where people of faith can openly practice their faith,” added Perkins.
Perkins said that as Trump is attacked, “people lock arms around him because they know he’s fighting for the things they care about.”