Thursday, May 07, 2009

Black ministers arrested on National Day of Prayer

May 7, 2009 -- Although President Obama did not host a National Day of Prayer observance, two African-American ministers prayed outside the White House today, even though it led to their arrest.

The Rev. Johnny Hunter and the Rev. Stephen Broden, both longtime pro-life activists, were taken into custody briefly after holding a "prayer picket" outside the White House to publicly oppose the president's decision not to participate in the National Day of Prayer (NDOP).

"[It's] the National Day of Prayer, and the president refuses to participate in it?" said Hunter, who leads the Life Education and Resource Networks (LEARN) in Fayetteville, N.C. "Before at least presidents were nice enough to open their doors and let some Christians come in and pray. ... Not this one. So since he wouldn't do it, we took the prayer to him."

The ministers said they knew they were risking arrest but held signs saying: "Jesus Christ Is Our Lord and Savior. BHO is not" to protest what they see as a dangerous trend toward broader abortion access and acceptance of homosexuality that has occurred under the Obama administration.

"We believe this republic is under great duress right now and stress, and we believe prayer is the means by which we can change things here in America and in this government," said Broden, pastor of Fair Park Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas.

"... We prayed that God would either stay the hand of judgment or quicken the hearts of men and women of faith for them to recognize that they need to come to the streets, they need to come to the public square and make it clear that we are not in favor of same-sex marriage, we are not in favor of this scourge ... [of abortion], we are not in favor of the kind of trickery and gamesmanships that are being played in the house of Congress and the house of the Senate. We are fed up, and we are tired of what this nation is doing and what are leaders are doing relative to their role and responsibility for protecting our freedoms."