National Prayer Breakfasts, political correctness, and spirituality

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SAN JOSE, February 10, 2014 – Last Thursday, February 6th, was the anniversary of the National Prayer Breakfast which was not so prayerful according to an article by Leslie Larson in the New York Daily News.

Actually, last Thursday was the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast, and Larson attempted to make a point of how “spiritual” President and Mrs. Obama were this year among the Prayer Breakfast held for “thousands from the Washington elite.” Larson’s case for the Obamas showing their spiritual side was a little thin.

The real irony in the article is that Larson ever-so-subtly reminded readers of how this year’s National Prayer Breakfast “hit a decidedly more spiritual tone than the highly politicized spirit at the 2013 occasion.”

The reference was made to last year’s event in which Dr. Benjamin Carson, the retired Johns Hopkins’ neurosurgeon, spoke out strongly against the dangers of “political correctness” when he said that, “PC is dangerous because it puts a muzzle on people from discussing important issues while the fabric of this nation is being changed.”


Carson’s challenge took courage at the time, as he stood just a few feet away from where President Obama, a major guru of political correctness, was seated.

Needless to say, the comments were not appreciated by the Commander –in-Chief. In truth however, Carson actually had less to be concerned about how political correctness is able to muzzle people, and had more to be concerned about when the IRS came knocking on his door. Apparently, much later, The Washington Times reported that Carson admitted that “I had the first encounter with the IRS shortly after the speech.”

The IRS move may have been a bit obvious, but the IRS scandal swirling around the Obama Administration for quite a while causes one to wonder if being politically correct as Dr. Carson has warned does indeed cause so many Americans to hesitate before saying anything or speaking out against any subject that might bring some form of personal retribution, or even worse: a potentially destructive law suit. Amazingly, since the National Prayer Breakfast last year, Dr. Carson has become a highly sought after public speaker, and a potential candidate for President of the United States.

Larson’s New York Daily News article seemed to disparage how political the doctor’s tone was during the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast , and zoned in on “highlights” of President Obama’s message which made him seem more “spiritual.” One point touched upon was when the president called attention to those who are currently “enduring religious persecution worldwide.” Larson noted that Obama “praised America’s commitment to freedom of worship,” and quoted him as stating that “religion strengthens America.”

It appears that Larson equates words in a speech referring to religion as or freedom of worship as a semblance of spirituality, which may be acceptable to those who observe spirituality from a distance, or who view it through secular lenses. Whether or not the President and Mrs. Obama are spiritual people, is not established by the article. It was a difficult task to begin with considering the subject of study.

When an intelligent person looks at the bigger picture regarding freedom of religion, or freedom worship, this issue is closely tied to freedom of speech and freedom of the press – freedoms bound together by the Bill of Rights as part of the Constitution of the United States. The Obama Administration may have a ways to go before the words in the president’s speeches are not undermined by what the Administration actually does in practice. In essence, for Obama’s words to be more than mere words, to be words that ring true, they need to be aligned with actual deeds.

To genuinely spiritual, or religious people, when one speaks of the value of religious freedom, a person who believes what he/she says, will match word with deed. The fact of the matter is that President Obama’s words indicate one thing, but his actions are discordant and exhibit a different set of objectives. Especially, if one considers the recently enacted Obamacare healthcare legislation as a case in point because due to the Administration mandates, religious-based employers are required to provide compensation for contraception, and that undermines religious faith and religious principles of good conscience.

For those who pay attention to history, Senator Obama demonstrated his very spiritual side when as a Senator in Illinois, he voted against Illinois state legislation that would have provided newborn babies their rights as citizens, as opposed to being treated as medical waste by doctors intent on getting rid of unwanted human life. To be sure, Obama is more political than spiritual and it is hard to make the case for his spirituality whatever the venue.

While it is easy for someone – anyone – to sling words and phrases around as they tell others what they should or should not do, it is truly difficult to live the spiritual way of life. People tell each other what to do all the time – it does not make them a genuine advocate of their admonitions to others. How people actually live their lives speaks more loudly than their word. Of course someone once said that long, long ago. Does America need a refresher course on that?

One true test of a sincerely spiritual person is the depth of faith within their heart as it shows up in their daily lives. President Obama’s words obviously do not ring true. Even people involved in sports, who do not easily appear to exhibit their spirituality, they know that the great players are the ones who not only talk the talk, but they also walk the walk. However to some, if the President appears spiritual, there should be no problems associated with those who are forced by the government to sacrifice their beliefs for the sake of those who could care less about religious beliefs or convictions of conscience.

Maybe it is time for people to re-evaluate the whole concept of political correctness as Dr. Carson challenged last year. Maybe it is time for truly spiritual people to show their true colors and speak up. Maybe it is time America looks deeper than mere words to judge the people that are elected to positions of leadership and authority, especially for those elected to the highest offices.

Maybe it is time for people like Dr. Carson to move out of their comfort zones and speak up for the values upon which the nation was founded.

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Dennis Jamison reinvented his life after working for a multi-billion dollar division of Johnson & Johnson for several years. Now semi-retired, he is an adjunct faculty member at West Valley College in California. He currently writes a column on US history and one on American freedom for the Communities Digital News, as well as writing for other online publications. During the 2016 presidential primaries, he worked as the leader of a network of writers, bloggers, and editors who promoted the candidacy of Dr. Ben Carson. He founded the “We the People” Network of writers and the Citizen Sentinels Project to pro-actively promote the values and principles established at the founding of the United States, and to discover and support more morally centered citizen-candidates who sincerely seek election as public servants, not politicians.
  • Death2Unions

    Dr. Ben Carson for President!

  • 848484

    GOSPEL ACCORDING TO OBOZO: TO AS I SAY AND NOT AS I DO. THAT’S ALL FOLKS!

  • Downtooearth

    I agree we need more people like Dr. Ben Carson to stand up and say what they think. We the people need to stand up and say what we think. The only way to change what’s happening is to stand up and do something about. When one person stands up another should follow and so on. Can the IRS intimidate every single one if millions stand up? I think not.

  • ANNE

    RUN RUN RUN FOR PRESIDENT PLEASE WE NEED MORE LIKE YOU

  • knowsit

    Obama is the most shameless and frequent liar ever to occupy the W.H., but the press covers up his every lie and become liars themselves in the process.
    The question really is just how much longer can, or better will, the press cover all his lies, go down with Obama in their self destruction.
    How much longer will the public be willing to get lied to every time they listed to this “modified news”

    • just me

      Well to be honest the press had plenty of practice covering up lies when Clinton was in office so by the Time Obam got there they were more than expert

  • lokiswife

    The difference between Dr. Carson and Obama is like night and day, one caring about the US and her people; the other only caring about his radical/Marxist agenda and how he can get what HE wants…..

  • v macdonald

    RUN BEN RUN!

  • Michael Rayford Powell

    I totally agree that Obama and Michelle are not what I classify as Christian God fearing people, but I will admit they are religious, as there is a large reality gap from that of perception with religion and Christianity, basing religion on ones beliefs rather than what Gods word teaches us, and being a Christ Follower is what we need and would have in Dr. Ben Carson for President of the United States, and not a religion supporter that even backs the religion of peace that is truly violence ridden in Islam, with the radical Muslim Brotherhood of which Obama supports as well! If we are to ever regain the Republic we once had, we must vote into office a candidate with the perceptions of Ben Carson that adheres to God, and our Founding Fathers desires as one nation under God and not Islam which is trying to dominate the world! Just my opinion, and we all have one and no disrespect intended for anyone and their beliefs…but for me, I am a Christ Follower and I read and heed to Gods teachings in his word…The Holy Bible!

    It is definitely time that we as american patriots and believers in God and our US Constitution that was closely studied and written by God fearing patriots, put and end to the candidates such as Barack Obama, and the Clinton Dynasty…Hillary is planning a run for office and we will get the same oh same oh from her with just a touch of a true TRAITOR to her country, at least Obama wasn’t born in the USA, as covered up by the Government with persons/tyrants like Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, among others like them that could care less about the direction of our Republic over that of their own selfish personal agenda!

    • daledor

      Satan believes in God but opposes Him. Compare Barach and Jesus and see how God would rate him. None of us meet up to God’s perfection so we need THE Savior, God’s Son – Jesus, to please God – all others are thieves and will not enter into Heaven.

      I told one person that the difference between him and a Christian was that he had no shame for what he did wrong but a Christian does not want to do wrong and grows to be more like God but is saved by Jesus not their own works (sorry Pope).(“By faith (in Jesus) you are saved, not of works lest anyone can boast.” – In other words, our works don’t impress God but relationship with Him through Jesus does.– Also, “I am the Way (to God), the Truth (of God), and the Life (of God). NO ONE GOES TO THE FATHER (GOD) EXCEPT THROUGH ME (JESUS).” Jesus was crazy/delusional, a liar (no truth in Him), or Who He said that He was! He did not lie and was not crazy and should not even be accepted by Muslim’s a Prophet by Muslim standards. He should be accepted as Who He was and IS.

  • Pamela Shumway

    I was reading a biography of Booker T Washington yesterday, who believed the impossible — that one day there would be a black president — and was absolutely certain he would be horrified that Obama became the result of his struggles (they eventually did him in at 59) to gain equal rights for blacks. Obama gets a pass on every level bc he’s black. Washington was emphatic about earning the position one attained. BO hasn’t earned the accolades to run a lemonade stand.

  • Pamela Shumway

    Someone who’s religious shows some tiny sign of it. Obama says he doesn’t go to church bc he doesn’t want to distract the congregation w his almighty presence! Or show favoritism. Now that’s spirituality at its finest! I hadn’t thought of that reason as an excuse to skip church. It must be in Scripture somewhere.

  • Dr. M Pockey

    I think more folks would read your commentary completely if you were more succint. I’m for Dr. Carson and his viewpoint. Let’s just accentuate the positive and ignore the naysayers.

  • Brad Bryant

    RUN BEN RUN – for President

    • daledor

      Run Ben! American’s wake up the DNC and RNC are New World Order Controlled – clean them out first with prayer then with peaceful opposition (hopefully they don’t impose martial law) and vote vote vote and make sure the voting booths are not rigged to change your vote or ignore people they don’t want to count. Pray and act and have faith in the power of God to change things (don’t waste time on prayers that have no faith in God’s ability to help you)!

  • daledor

    Obama is about as spiritual as Hitler – wrong spirit. Anyone that tries to go around the Constitution and God ordained freedom of religion (choice) and ram his Muslim religion down everyone’s throats has not good spirituality – instead agenda driven motivation rather than a pursuit of God, a pursuit of power and control.