GOP governor: Obama ‘minister of God’

By William Murray

Barack Obama is “an appointed minister of God to do what is good,” according to the prayer of Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell at the Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast held at the Richmond, Va., convention center.

The annual breakfast yesterday drew more than 1,000 people, including many of the state’s leaders. In addition to McDonnell, others offering prayers included Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, House Speaker William Howell and state Democrat Chairwoman Charniele Herring.

McDonnell asked, during his prayer for Obama, that God give him “the wisdom of Solomon.”

The opening prayer was delivered by the mayor of Richmond, Dwight C. Jones, a Democrat. Jones, an African-American, sat next to Cuccinelli, a tea party favorite who currently is running for governor to replace McDonnell.

All those at the head table sat quietly as McDonnell prayed for Obama and his family. McDonnell prayed for Obama’s “wife Michelle and his two girls to have normalcy.” For Obama’s duties of office, the governor prayed that he would “get done what is right and just for the people.”

Speaking of all elected officials in the nation including himself, the governor asked God that “all do what is right in the eyes of God.”

It is not the first time McDonnell has advocated prayer for Obama.

Early in 2012, he told a Boy Scout troop to “pray for Mr. Obama, because he’s got a lot of hard decisions to make.”

That request came as the troop was on a tour of the Capitol that included a meeting with McDonnell.

S. Bernard Goodwyn, a justice on the Supreme Court of Virginia, asked God to direct all those who sit in judgment in the Commonwealth and in the nation to be just.

House Speaker William L. Howell introduced “those who would talk,” pointing out jokingly that there was “only one speaker in the House.” Before becoming speaker and while still a delegate, Howell formed a prayer group consisting of just four delegates, 16 years ago. One of those delegates is now the governor of Virginia and one is U. S. Congressman Randy Forbes.

Howell introduced the two main speakers for the prayer breakfast, the founders of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, Democrat Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Forbes.

Taking the idea of a prayer meeting in the Congress a step further, the two men founded the Congressional Prayer Caucus, which now has more than 100 members. In his address, Howell recalled at the beginning just about every lawyer employed by the Congress showed up to explain why it could not happen.

When one asked him for a precedent, Forbes pointed to a painting of a prayer meeting held by the Continental Congress which drafted the Constitution.

Today the Congressional Prayer Caucus is an influential force.

When Forbes was informed that he could not include a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance when sending a flag flown over the Capitol to a constituent because it contained “under God,” his Prayer Caucus took action and forced a rule reversal.

When the new visitors’ center was built, the architect of the Capitol refused to place the nation’s official motto on the wall because of “separation of church and state.” The Prayer Caucus forced a reversal of that rule, and “In God We Trust” is now engraved in the wall of the center.

A protest was staged outside the event by homosexuals – even though many of the elected officials offering prayers for the nation were Democrats whose party favors a multitude of “gay rights.”

After the events, a group of activists associated with the Virginia Family Foundation marched around the Virginia Capitol Building praying for the assembled legislators.

A separate Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast will be held Jan. 21 from 7-11 a.m. at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park hotel.

The master of ceremonies for the event that is expected to feature U.S. House Chaplain Father Patrick J. Conroy, “Harbinger” author Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Pat Robertson, Jan Crouch, Pat Boone, Joseph Farah, Sen. Roy Blunt and others, is state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, of Pennsylvania.

He has explained it is important to pray for Obama “and our Congress, and others in authority.”

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