Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Religious Leaders to Announce American Prayer Hour

Multi-City Prayer Hour Offers Alternative to the National Prayer Breakfast Whose Sponsors Have Apparent Ties to Uganda’s Draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill

As we’ve previously reported here and here, Uganda is considering a draconian “Anti-Homosexuality Bill.” If passed, the new law would unleash a vicious campaign of persecution against LGBT citizens.

On Tuesday, February 2, at 10:30 a.m. EST, key religious leaders will hold a press conference to announce the formation of The American Prayer Hour, a multi-city event on February 4, 2010, with key events held in Washington, DC, Dallas, Chicago, Berkeley, and other cities. The American Prayer Hour events will affirm inclusive values and call on all nations, including Uganda, to decriminalize homosexuality. The event will spotlight the National Prayer Breakfast, which is sponsored by The Family (aka The Fellowship), a group with disturbing ties to those spearheading Uganda’s oppressive Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

David Bahati, a member of The Family, sponsored the legislation. Ugandan president Museveni, who initially backed the bill, is also a member of The Family.

The American Prayer Hour will show that such cruelty and extremism does not represent most people of faith.

Leaders participating in the Feb. 2 press conference will include Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church; Frank Schaeffer, author, “Crazy For God: How I Grew Up As One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right and Lived to Take All Back”; Harry Knox, the Human Rights Campaign, Director of Religion and Faith; Moses, a gay Ugandan man seeking asylum in the United States; Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, Metropolitan Community Church, Board of Elders; Bishop Carlton Pearson, Senior Interim Minister at Chicago, Illinois’s Christ Universal Temple.

Leaders from Lutherans Concerned/North America and from many other organizations will participate in a parallel, supporting event at the Creating Change Conference 2010. This event will be led by the Rev. Dr. Stephen Sprinkle of Brite Divinity School and will be held in Dallas on February 4.

For those who would like to get involved in the American Prayer Hour project, here are four ways:

1. If you live in a city where a major American Prayer Hour event is already occurring, please consider attending. Additional events are listed here.

2. If you are interested in creating an American Prayer Hour event in your hometown, please contact Wayne Besen.

3. Spread the word about the American Prayer Hour and the truth behind the National Prayer Breakfast.

4. Pray where you are—wherever you are—for a world safe for all families regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

For further background info, see:
An article in the New York Times.
A series of blog posts at Box Turtle Bulletin.
Transcripts of broadcasts on National Public Radio here and here.

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