Sunday, April 25, 2010

Task Force pulls out of Pentagon prayer event

An official with the National Day of Prayer Task Force believes the strongest military force in the world has bowed to pressure from a small group of people who oppose prayer at the Pentagon.

John Bornschein was responding to news that the Pentagon has withdrawn an invitation for evangelist Franklin Graham to take part in an interfaith ceremony at the Pentagon.

Plans called for Graham to be part of an ecumenical service at the Pentagon during the National Day of Prayer event set for May 6, but after groups such as the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and the Council on American Islamic Relations complained about statements Graham had previously made about Islam, the Army announced it had withdrawn its request for the evangelist to speak.Bornschein, executive director of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, explains that although the prayer event is sponsored by the Army chaplains, the organization would help by providing resources and speakers. But when the announcement came that Graham had been disinvited, the task force pulled out of the Pentagon event.

"In 2003, this same issue arose. These groups that are not only attacking the National Day of Prayer as [unconstitutional] tried to take shots at every aspect of the day of prayer, whether it's contacting our governors [or] contacting the Pentagon," Bornschein explains.

He reports that "collectively, these are all very small groups. Even if they were all to join forces, they probably wouldn't fill an office space of 30 people. And yet they are taking advantage of an opportunity – the media – to [persuade] the largest, most powerful military force on the planet to not have a prayer event. And for whatever reason, they have actually conceded to that this year."

Other events sponsored by the task force will be held as scheduled at the Capitol.

[by Allie Martin - OneNewsNow]