In just a couple of days, Valentine’s Day will be here.
Last Thursday was the National Prayer Breakfast. It was held for the 68th year since Billy Graham encouraged President Dwight Eisenhower to hold the first in 1956. Ike, as Eisenhower was called, felt faith, patriotism and free enterprise were fundamental in keeping our nation strong, and asked Graham how we could have a spiritual revival of faith.
At that first one at Hilton’s International Ballroom there were 400 political, religious and business leaders. Today it is closer to 4,000 attendees. Some news reports said it is always nonpolitical, but Mother Teresa condemned abortion with President Clinton, of opposing views, in the audience
I remember when Dr. Ben Carson spoke of the danger to our nation of politically correct” speech instead of being truthful with others. President Obama was in the audience. Afterwards some said Dr. Carson should have apologized to the President, but he said the President didn’t say anything or he would have discussed it with him further.
The speaker at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast was Arthur C. Brooks, whom I wasn’t familiar with. He is a professor at Harvard Kennedy School and senior fellow at Harvard Business School (and father of three teenagers, as he requested prayer!). He admittedly isn’t a priest or pastor, but he is Catholic and a follower of Jesus…”who taught us to love God and taught us to love each other,”
Brooks called Jesus, “society’s “greatest entrepreneur” and thinker,” and shared Scripture from Matthew 5: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
“Today, I’m here to talk to you about the biggest crisis facing our nation and many other nations today: It’s the crisis of contempt and polarization that’s tearing our societies apart.” He also said, “In this crisis resides the greatest opportunity we have ever had as people of faith to lift our nations up and to bring our people together,”
“Some people say we need more civility and tolerance. I say, nonsense,”
“Why? Because civility and tolerance are a low standard. Jesus didn’t say, ‘tolerate your enemies.’ He said, ‘love your enemies.’ Answer hatred with love!”
Later, President Trump said he was sorry, and admitted that loving one’s enemies, as Brooks discussed was hard.
“It’s not easy folks”. I’m doing my best,” said Trump
Do you think that contempt and polarization are the greatest crisis facing us today?