What I Saw at the National Prayer Breakfast

I was in the same room with President Obama, the Dalai Lama and NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip at the National Prayer Breakfast.

When Obama equated Christianity with ISIS — which is exactly what he did — he sucked the air out of the room.

I was lucky to be seated where I could observe the entire room. There were many Muslims there and when Obama compared Christianity with terrorism, the Muslims DID NOT applaud. They DID NOT stand up. They were disappointed, just as I was, because they know this is not a comparison that should be shared at an event that promotes unity.

Since the 1950s — coming out of the experience of a global war — the National Prayer Breakfast was created to bring unity in prayer. That’s why there are so many representatives from the world’s major religions at this annual event.

There’s something I need you to know that was not reported:

King Abdullah from Jordan was supposed to speak. But after one of his country’s pilots was burned alive in a metal cage by terrorists, he needed to return to his country. In his place, a representative read his speech. After hearing it, I knew it was written from someone who knows the difference between good and evil. Someone who stands with Israel and Christians in the Middle East. And someone who yearned for a response from the world’s only superpower, only to be told by our President that Christians are just as evil as terrorists.

President Obama lectures Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Friend, King Abdullah’s speech restored air to that room. He received a standing ovation and thunderous applause. As we talk about a clash of civilizations, he referenced Martin Luther King:

I will never forget visiting our hospitals after extremists bombed a Muslim wedding party in Amman last November. My wife Rania and I grieved with and for fathers, mothers, sons and daughters who saw their families viciously, deliberately, murdered. Such wanton acts demonstrate that extremist terror is not indicative of a clash between civilisations. Rather it is an attack upon civilisation. As Dr Martin Luther King said: “Civilisation and violence are antithetical concepts.”


Before Obama spoke, NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip addressed the Breakfast and spoke about his conversion to Christianity after a car wreck nearly took his life. He said “I got down off my high horse and got down on my knees … and that was the greatest day of my life. That changed everything.”

Darrell Waltrip, NASCAR driver, shares his conversion story.

It wasn’t the only time the term “high horse” was used: President Obama also used it to criticize Christians and the West while he dismissed the barbaric acts of terrorists as a simple nuissance:

“Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

How progressives and you and I understand the difference between good and evil defines the difference between us.

Like King Abdullah, we must not allow progressives to dismiss evil with moral relativism. Evil is not just a simple nuissance.

A captured pilot from Jordan prepares for death at the hands of terrorists.

As you reflect about funding CURE — as we grow into new communities across America — I hope you will read King Abdullah’s final paragraph of his speech:

Together, we have a duty to this generation and many to come, to witness to the positive role of faith in public life. Humbled through that faith, strengthened by that faith; we can, with God’s help, create a more just and peaceful future. It begins by standing together and upholding the principles transgressed by those who oppose us. As the Bible says: “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12).

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  1. I’m curious as to why you, Star, an African-American woman, would post Biblical scripture to support your position, when clearly your ancestors were brought to this country by Christian slave traders?

    In addition, if we are, indeed, posting scripture, what are we to make of Jesus’ words in this passage?: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34”

    • Rob, to say they were Christian Slave traders is a very broad brush not supported by the facts. Though some probably were Christians at least in name, or from so called Christian countries that means little when you cannot consider their actions as Christian. If a person’s actions are not consistent with the label, you change the label. They were Slave Traders not Christian Slave Traders. Your Jesus quote is out of context as those who don’t know the Bible are prone to do. That is not a sword of violence but of division and distinction. It is used metaphorically.

      • We may not describe them as Christian in today’s terms, but in those days, acceptable.
        Is his Jesus quote out of context? There are Christian literalists.

    • Rob…you totally miss the point….we are not living in the past, if we were should we now hold all white people who’s ancestors were slave traders responsible today?

    • Also that scripture you are attempting to use out of context refers to a specific intent correlated to judgement for a sinful world…not as an excuse to ruthlessly kill innocent women and children, or burn people alive.

    • Rob: Don’t forget that it was also Christians who worked and fought to free the slaves in America. Even the ones who owned slaves never cut their heads off or burned them to death or tortured their children and buried them alive or allowed them to starve.

      • Yeah, slavery just wasn’t that bad because they weren’t BURNED to death. Worked to death and lynchings are only 4/10 compared to the savage mooslems.

    • Thank you Star Parker. I know there is always more that needs to be laid out than what the MSM puts forth for comment. I am not surprised that the air was sucked out of the room. I believe there are just good people who want this world united against ISIS and their unspeakable evil. Be they Christian, Muslim, Hindi or the like, it should not matter. President Obama does not want that it would seem.

    • Rob, there are two sides to every slave transaction -the buyer and the seller. Who was selling those slaves to the ‘Christian’ slave traders in Africa? Who was going out into the villages and farms of Africa and capturing the slaves, transporting them in caravans to the slaving ports for sale? It was Muslims. Do you really think that Muslim-controlled territories (and all of North Africa was Muslim) were allowing Christian raiders into their lands to hunt for slaves? Read a little more history and delve into it a little deeper, and you will see that the slave trade to the New World would not have existed without both Christians and Muslims equally participating.

    • It was Christians that also brought an end to slavery. Read about John Newton who wrote Amazing Grace. As a former slave trader he dedicated his life along with William Wilberforce that brought an end to the English slave trade which brought an end to the slave trade in America. It was Christian abolitionists in the North that took on their Christian brothers in the south and challenged them to end slavery. Christians played a huge part in bringing the slavery issue to the forefront. Christians are not perfect and have committed many crimes in the name of God but Christians also call each other out on it and end it. Who do you think ended the Salem Witch Trials? Other Christian pastors. Now in regard to that bible quote, Jesus came to turn the world up side down. He did not come to bring peace (passivity to the current way of life) but with the sword of truth, Jesus wanted things to change. He ideas of loving your neighbor, seeing the poor as people and bringing love and charity to them, of looking at your own sin before you look to the sins of neighbors (never saying you cannot judge your neighbor…if your neighbor has just molested his child by all means judge it and stop it but if you are molesting your child you better stop that too before you tell others to stop!). Jesus spoke about living a different kind of life that today we take for granted. This message did not bring peace to people back then but made them feel uncomfortable because now they had to see the poor has their neighbor. It was like a sword of truth going through their hearts. Christians are striving to get Jesus’ message right and haven’t always been successful (crusades, Ireland, corrupt popes) but that doesn’t mean that the message is corrupt, people are. Christians to this day still challenge each other to be better (The reformation did a good job with this) and live as the bible (New Testament – Christians are in a covenant with the New Testament) commands. My hope is that Muslims would challenge each other to live in accordance with their faith.

      • Mary, beautifully said.

      • I stopped reading after the north and south crap. obviously you believed the propaganda of that time, because if you knew the truth about the south your ignorance would not prevail. Let me enlighten you, the Southern states did not want slavery either, it took the jobs from the people of the south, thus shutting down the economy. We resorted to share cropping and your wonderful Gov. decided to go to old English rule and wanted 10% of everything produced on farms from the people that couldn’t pay taxes and that’s why the south went to war with their brothers. The South actually was protecting the rights of the north’s poorer farmers as well, so please get your story right. WE all know the civil war was not about slavery, because the south had many African Americans fight with them upon their freewill for the southern states. I had Grand father on each side of the civil war. The reason the north wanted to end slavery was because their industry was getting ready to be taken over by slaves and put their people out of work. Also, look at the map of 1860, they keep hidden from people, along the Mississippi and you will notice all the plantations were owned by rich Northerner or people from other countries. One other thing, my great grandfather down south, gave land to the African American family that was share cropping with him when they were freed. So please get it right, if you gonna speak. Read the book “The Unknown Lincoln,” copyright 1936, by a man from New York, that researched the truth at that time. One other thing, if you will notice, most all the generals of that time fought for the south, the Government had to go pull a drunk out of the bar to fight for their lies. By the way, no one won that war, we all lost, and that is why we are in the mess we are in today, because united we stand and divided we fall. This will most probably not be posted, because this is the last thing politicians want, is the truth to be told and for the people to be united. If we had the communication we have to day that war would have never been fought. God Bless.

    • Rob… Read some history and figure out we’re all sinners. You don’t refuse God because of what man does. As far as the sword verse… I know you have the intelligence to do better than that.

    • Rob, I’m curious.

      Has your tiny insignificant brain prohibit you from “thinking?”

      You do realize that all religions participated in the slave trade, and man has exploited religion as propaganda to serve his agenda.

      Even atheists support brutal oppression through eugenics and abortion. Also, non-religious people in the United States owned slaves, you fucking nitwit! Even communist governments participate in the slave trade today such as Bangladesh and Burma. Now Syria and Iraq controlled by ISIS, extort people for money by kidnapping and selling them for ransom. It’s still slavery. No different from Palestine with the Muslim Brotherhood.

      “Even the Devil can cite scripture for his purpose.”


      • Knows many Atheists, but none that support or even talk about….eugenics. lol… eugenics. That’s just Glenn Beck talk..

        I also know many Athiests and non-Athiests who support women’s right to choose, but also believe Abortion is a last resort and more attention should be put on pregnancy prevention and education for those who are not wanting children. We sound so horrible don’t we?

    • Silly fool, how do you know they were Christians, because Obama said so, LOL. It’s funny you would question her faith when this would be the best thing for the African Americans. Remember in the old western days, Christians freed Americans of scum by the gun. They stood tall and died to keep their people and belief safe, thank goodness they were more Christians than scum, because i would hate to see how the world would be like, if not. Not to be disrespectful in any way, but i believe that, the only way our African American friends are to be freed of their miseries is by the Christians among their race, because i know to many of them with great lives and they all can have that if they wanted, but the right message has to be there. God Bless you Star, and keep up the good work.

    • The Arab “Muslim” Slave Trade of Africans went on for many centuries longer than the Atlantic “Christian” Slave Trade and many African slaves brought to the Americas were purchased from Muslim slavers. What religion would you suggest she follow?

  2. Thank you so much for this. Thank you for letting those who take the time to read listen to an actual first hand account about what really took place. I applaud the King of Jordan and his realistic words as well as yours. Can’t thank you enough for this and I am going to share it as well.
    I agree with the King of Jordan and the only way people can’t fight evil is to unite together. Not by making outlandish and unsupported rhetoric veil the truth. Thank you again Star and you use whatever you need to use to express your opinion to include the Bible. Wow… Blown away by this…

  3. Christian American men granted slaves freedom and died to do so in the hundreds of thousands in the 1850’s…when slavery was common place across 3/4 of the globe. People remember and exploit the wrong half of the history.

  4. After reading the transcript and listening to the hub-bub since the event last week, I would say that you Star are drawing conclusions that are not supported by the transcript. I see and hear Christians frothing at the mouth suggesting that the President was denigrating Christianity. He did not because there is truth what he said. Christians don’t like to admit any of the messy history but we do a disservice to ourselves and non-believers trying to spin history. While Christian Abolitionists were definitely instrumental in changing the mindset of a good number of people about slavery, there were as many or more good Christians who believed the Bible supported their ownership of our ancestors. Spanish priests along with soldiers arrived in Florida and came up from Mexico to evangelize the indigenous people of the Americas. Native people were given ultimatums – convert NOW or die. 90+% of all indigenous people in the New World were wiped out due to Manifest Destiny. Not all were slaughtered through violence but in some cases the use of diseased blankets were the means. Terrible deeds were done the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition in the name of Christ. Weren’t Protestants and Catholics bombing and killing one another in Northern Ireland until a few years ago? The point the President was trying to make is that no religion has been spared from the violence of evil men. Religion is not the source of violence. It is the wickedness of man that is the source of violence. Some people rationalize their evil deeds or look for cover from religion.

    I am very disappointed by the author’s outrageous equivocation and twisting of not only the President’s words but also his intentions. Read the transcript because there is no way that Christianity was equated with ISIS. ISIS is a terrorist group that is justifying their barbarity by using Islam as cover. Stop being so dishonest.

    • Nutshell, yes horrendous things have been done in the name of Christianity… yet the things presently being done in the name of Islam are remnants of medieval times. This is the 21 century.
      Historically, Christianities’ transgressions have been self-rectifying.
      And the Crusades were a failed attempt to recover what had been lost to a Muslim Holy War.

  5. President Obama is NOT qualified to lecture Christians

  6. It is unfortunate the atrocities of christianity were long enough ago to predate photography, for none of their believers can remember, or apparently imagine how jesus himself manifest through the hands of his fanatics, one hundred and twenty two women burned alive at the stake in Massachusets. Photos like that would really come in handy for those who choose to forget… forget they are just as manic as any other religion.

  7. Obama did not equate Christianity with ISIS. What he said was the bare truth: people have committed atrocities and at the time they said they were doing it in the name of Christ. What he’s equating with ISIS are such people, not Christianity as a whole. It was plainly, clearly, obvious, and it was an intelligent thing to say. Please be careful where emotions are involved to make sure you are processing what is in front of you and not adding to it.

  8. President Obama did not liken Christianity to Isis. He likened terrorist to terrorist. There is no question Isis and other Muslim groups are evil terrorists. There are also groups who claim to be Christian who do terrorist acts in the name of their beliefs. For example: Westboro Baptist Church; certain sects of Mormonism; certain charities funded by Christian churches that take those funds over to Africa and use them to manipulate certain governments to make laws that include putting to death gay people. You see, alot of “Christians” here in the US are so abhorred by homosexuality that they would like to see them put to death here, but they know there isn’t much chance of that happening here.
    So, no, he wasn’t calling you and I terrorists. He was referring to certain groups who use Christianity for their evil. Anyone with a middle school education could tell who and what he was referring to.

  9. He didn’t say that Christians are evil. He said that people have committed atrocities and claimed it was all for Jesus. Clearly, it wasn’t because Jesus is against violence against other people, but people have still used his name to get away with evil acts. Just as terrorists are just using Islam to commit violence even though the majority of Muslims don’t interpret Islam as condoning violence and murder. The point is that religion is a tool that tyrants have used historically to wreak havoc and pass it off as just. But to commit evil in God’s name and claim God willed it is about as sacrilegious as it gets.

    • What Onama eloquently said is people do very bad things in the name of religion. His comment was 100% true. He wasn’t attacking Christians. He was attacking attrocities done starting they had “God’s” backing. He was right. Our high horse was a reference to a moral barometer that I guess even blacks need to reach for.

  10. The many vicious things that have been done in the name of Christian value are too many to mention the key lynch afro American men in the name of Christian value enough said fox news is a arm of the key where there racist rants are given everyday

  11. Sorry, but you all are a bunch of idiots if you think slave trade was done in the name of Christ and any thing evil for that matter. God calls people like you fools, and so do I.

  12. Yes, Obama smugly did equate Christianity’s bad actors with ISIS. The problem? Christianity’s bad actors were at least 100 years ago. Equating one wrong with another is NEVER an argument. Yes there were some evil Christians, but RIGHT NOW we are dealing with evil men who burn people alive and behead them. We shouldn’t be made feel guilty that some 100 years ago, there was a bad Christian somewhere. ISIS needs to be dealt with, and by bringing up misdeeds that are generations old, they just told ISIS that old time Christianity is the moral equivalency of what they do. And to people like ISIS that creates propaganda to more butchery.

  13. Poorly written inflammatory opinion piece without a shred of useful information. Inaccurate quotes…smh. Journalism has truly gone down hill in this country. Thanks for adding to that Star.

  14. What I noticed is that the phrase “verbal rape” was NOT repeated in this article. I also don’t see where Obama dismissed barbaric acts of terror as a simple “nuissance”. I don’t see any refutation of what Obama said about terrorist acts committed in the name of Christ. There’s no doubt what ISIS and any other group is doing is terrorism and barbaric, but I’ve read some accounts of lynchings in America, and as unimaginably horrific as the burning was – I DO NOT exaggerate here – that pilot got off lucky. Imagine being castrated, raised and lowered over a bonfire for over two hours, lynched,burned to a crisp – and then having pieces of your body cut off and kept by onlookers as souvenirs. The whole time you are going through this, the crowd is acting as if they are at a carnival or festival – smiling, cheering, etc.
    Just because it happened in the past, we can never ignore it, forget it, or pretend it didn’t happen…