A friend has been spending time in Washington, D.C., working for immigration reform; part of the coalition asking for change is a broad swath of the nation's faith community, from Roman Catholic social justice groups and Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners to the National Association of Evangelicals and the National Latino Evangelical Coalition.
Last week, eight members of clergy met with the President in the Oval Office to discuss reform, and Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, closed the meeting with a prayer, Religion News Service staff writer Sarah Pulliam Bailey reported in PHOTO: Obama, Biden holding hands during Russell Moore prayer on immigration:
White House photographer Pete Souza posted a photo last night of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden holding hands during a prayer at the end of a meeting on immigration.
As Speaker of the House John Boehner signaled there would be no immigration legislation by the end of the year, members of Obama’s administration met with leaders on Wednesday.
The closing prayer was led by Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, one of the eight clergy invited to the Oval Office meeting. Moore’s prayer was extemporaneous so his spokeswoman said there is no text from the prayer available. . . .
More on the real controversy--the release of photos of "private" meeting by the White House to use by the media--here in a moment.
Verily, Bluestem says onto you, DeAngelis hasn't been quite this shrill since she fainted over Obama's temporary installation of a Norman Rockwell painting in the White House to honor the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. monument or imagined that the President wanted to "eliminate" black children.
Now she's sure that joining hands to pray is just so gay, and thus an excuse to bash Obama. Roll over, Norman Rockwell.
The wife, mother and grandmother of three writes in Prez and VP’s Prayerful Handholding Session:
Some may find it heartwarming, others may find it disturbing, and still others might find it downright weird! The oddity in question is the picture, tweeted out by White House reporter Pete Souza, featuring the abortion-supporting Roman Catholic Vice President Joe Biden and Barack Obama, the crucifix-covering Commander-in-Chief, grasping each other’s hand in prayer.
The president and his main squeeze … er, I mean main sidekick, Joe Robinette Biden, Jr., gathered together with other faith leaders to discuss how to go about foisting thirty million gate-crashing interlopers on the American people.
. . .The heartwarming moment took place while asking an unnamed higher power for blessings and direction on how to go about finding a way to allow criminals who broke the law to remain in America.
. . .The result [the photograph] was a historic record of two great leaders, unabashed in their devotion to God. America’s momentous half-black Muslim-raised president Barack Obama and Joe the Irish-Catholic guy with the bad hair plugs simultaneously displaying affection for each other while humbling themselves before the Almighty in the name of comprehensive immigration reform.
Well then. That's some awesome imagination about a prayer to which she had no access. Either that, or she's divinely inspired. Or something. Never mind the other people in the prayer circle who, though out of focus, also appear to be holding hands, as is custom when folks pray.
It's difficult for Bluestem to wrap our mind around DeAngelis' notion that Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, is going to pray to some unnamed higher power after he asked his companions to join hands in prayer.
Certainly is the most peculiar attempt at argument against immigration reform that we've read, outside of a Bradlee Dean radio rant.
Moore and his friends seem to have had other ideas about why the Baptist pastor ended up visiting the Oval Office. Here's a sample call and response on twitter:
@MidwinterJames thank you brother! I really appreciate that!— Russell Moore (@drmoore) November 13, 2013
Far more worrisome concerning this photo for Bluestem? The White House policy banning press photographers, while distributing those snapped by the house photographer. Politico's Hadas Gold reports in Media protest White House photo ban:
. . .The White House often releases official government photos and videos in lieu of allowing photojournalists to cover events with the president. The WHCA letter lists several occasions when photographers were barred, only to have the White House release "official" photos, some on social media. They include meetings with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Hillary Clinton, and Malala Yousafzai.
"While certain of these events may appear 'private' in nature, the decision of the White House to release its own contemporaneous photograph(s) suggests that the White House believes these events are, in fact, newsworthy and not private," the WHCA writes. . . .
Obama isn't the only President Souza has helped look good; he also served as official White House photographer during Ronald Reagan's second term.
Photos from meeting by Pete Souza via twitter.
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