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Race, interfaith clashes creep into National Day of Prayer debate in Loudoun

Pastor Michelle Thomas leads Holy & Whole Life Changing ministries. Times-Mirror/Rick Wasser
A prominent Lansdowne pastor says she has concerns the National Day of Prayer event in Leesburg slated for Thursday isn't inclusive enough.

Pastor Michelle Thomas of Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries told the Times-Mirror the annual prayer day event, organized by Loudoun Awakening and held at the Loudoun County government center, isn't inclusive when it comes to race and interfaith representation.

The event is “for evangelicals by evangelicals,” Thomas said, adding she has never received an invitation in her 10 years as pastor.

“There's thousands of invites sent out, but only three or five African-American pastors have been invited,” Thomas said. “Those are the same pastors who are invited each year.”

President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law in the United States in 1952.

Patricia Phillips, a representative of Loudoun Awakening and the organizer of the Loudoun National Day of Prayer local task force, refuted Thomas's claim that the event was exclusive.

“We haven't sent invitations to every church, but we have reached out to churches of all ethnicity,” Phillips said. “I think really highly of Michelle. I feel really badly that Michelle was offended. We will all be praying for our country and state.”

Phillips told the Times-Mirror Thomas will absolutely get an invitation next year.

As for Thursday, two separate prayer events will be held at the county government building. The first, organized by Loudoun Awakening, will commence at noon.

The second event, organized by Thomas and Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries, will take place between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. also at the same location.

Thomas said she met with Phillips to see if they could work together and invited Loudoun Awakening to join her prayer group for lunch.

Phillips remembered the meeting differently and said both sides had already put plans in place for separate prayer events, and the lunch invitation conflicted with Loudoun Awakening's prayer event.

Phillips went on to say her group will hold its luncheon at Providence Baptist Church, which has a significant African-American congregation.

Thomas called Loudoun Awakening's decision to hold their lunch at that particular church “disingenuous.”

In previous years, atheist groups have called into question government buildings being used for National Day of Prayer events, arguing it's against a Constitutional mandate that religion and government be separate.

In a statement, Loudoun County Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) said “the county building is paid for by Loudoun County taxpayers,” and “people of faith have the same opportunity and rights as atheists to use county facilities.”

Comments


Apparently Thomas is not on the evangelical email subscription list. If your not invited to the party Thomas, why not just ask instead of raise a fuss. Just have your own prayer gathering, but you might want to start with praying for humility.


I don’t know what golden is talking about—80% of white evangelicals most certainly did NOT vote for Obama, even once.  Golden’s second comment is even more off-topic than the first is incorrect.


But on Election Night, it was clear the surveys had missed a massive surge in some places and shifts in others of white, working-class voters in Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that helped Donald Trump pull off the upset.

These maps show where the Trump surge happened and the places that flipped from supporting President Obama in 2012 to going for the Republican nominee and billionaire real-estate mogul just four years later.


How do I explain that 80% of white evangelical voted twice for Obama?

Answer- As total fiction.

White ‘Christian’ bible thumper evangelicals have a long history of pulling the lever for Hollywood type characters with multiple marriages. The logic is hard to explain. Kinda like when the people who voted for the guy they’d ‘like to have a beer with’, picked the teetotaling guy who didn’t; drink beer.

You can’t make this stuff up


That same 80% pulled the lever twice for Obama so how do you explain that without bringing up race.


When it comes to thinking about the politics of white evangelicals, keep you eye on the white…not the evangelical part and you’ll have no trouble figuring it out. 

More than 80% of them pulled the lever for Trump.

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