Monday, January 30, 2006

Governor's Prayer Breakfast: Non-Xians Shut Up and Sit Down!

Last Tuesday, Kentucky governor Ernie Fletcher presided over the 43rd annual Governor's Prayer Breakfast in Frankfort. In past years, attempts were made to pay at least some lip service to non-Xian faiths, but not this year. This year, the speakers were all Christian. The program consisted of prayers (some naming Jesus), Bible readings, Gospel songs, and a call to convert!

The organizer of the Breakfast, Dale Ditto(head?), tried to spin this as courtesy to non-Christians:
"I consider the Jews my brothers and the Muslims, we're all descendants of Abraham," he said. "But I'm not going to ask them to pray in Jesus' name and they shouldn't ask me to pray in Allah's name."

As evidence of their ecumenical courtesy, the hosts pointed out that some of the Xian speakers had read from the Old Testament (don't everyone clap at once), and they had created a 'kosher' buffet line - serving breakfast bars instead of sausage. Even this Hellene knows there's more to 'kosher' food than being pork-free.

Dittohead explained why only Xians could lead the service:
"We wanted people that believe in the power of prayer and that would pray sincerely. We wanted people to sing who knew how to sing."

One attendee put it more baldly:
"I have been to tent revivals that were more secular. Pat Day's "speech" was a holy-roller full-on testimony including an actual call to come to Jesus and cards on the tables to fill out so church leaders could come browbeat you individually in the privacy of your own home.

It wasn't just Christian, it wasn't even just Protestant; it was no-holds-barred evangelical Southern Baptist only-the-saved-need-apply worship service."

All state employees were invited to this bash, along with several state officials. Non-Xians weren't barred from the event, but were expected to simply go along with the festivities. In other words, either pretend to be Xian for the morning, or, better, convert. I don't think it'd be hard to connect the dots here: If you want to participate in the leadership, be Christian. I suspect this philosophy isn't limited to breakfast.

And Fletcher's take on the hoo-hah?
"I certainly have utmost respect for different faiths," he said. "But I think most people knew when they were voting for me they were voting for somebody who held the Christian faith and I'm not going to be somebody different than who I am."

He did become something different when he was elected, though: the governor of Kentucky. And the governor is supposed to work for, and be answerable to, all the citizens in this state, especially when he hosts an official "Governor's" function on state property. What Fletcher does in his own church or at privately hosted functions is his own business. When he invokes his standing as governor, however, it calls him to a greater role, one that includes every person in the state of Kentucky. It's up to us, as citizens, to remind him of this.

Ways you can contact Ernie Fletcher:

Mailing Address:
Governor Ernie Fletcher
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100
Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone: (502) 564-2611
Fax: (502) 564-2517

On the Web:

Sarah G


At 1:33 PM, Anonymous amy phillips said...

I noticed you mentioned "Criminal Minds" in one of your blog posts ( I run "", a fansite for the show. I am trying to create a place for fans and was hoping I could get a link from your CM post (or anywhere on your site) to my site. I'd be incredibly greateful.

Thanks so much and keep on bloggin'. I'd love to hear back if you have the time (

At 1:25 AM, Anonymous Mariah said...

That's not surprising if this is connected with National Day of Prayer- which is organized by Focus on the Family or something- and only publicized among evangelical types- though they claim it's open to people of any faith.

Funny thing is it sounds like they didn't even try to make it ecumenical- basically fundie Baptist.


Post a Comment

<< Home