Congress Reveres Guest Prayer Leaders
Maintaining that whole separation of church and state split is a tightrope act on any given day of the year.
Church has, as of late, taken the lead on Capitol Hill thanks to the contributions of high-profile, and intimately connected, spiritual leaders.
Last week, Rep. Scott Peters experienced the rare privilege of having his father, retired pastor and civil rights activist Harvey Peters, usher in the legislative day with a prayer.
“Few members of Congress get the chance to see a parent speak in the House chamber, and I am truly thankful that I was able to share this moment with him, and with my Mom, RuthAnn, who watched from the gallery,” the California Democrat shared on the House floor. “His work instilled in me and my three sisters the values of courage and equality that I’ve tried to bring to my own service.”
An aide to the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, the chaplain of the House of Representatives, told HOH that the chaplain’s office has limited data regarding immediate family members who have presided over the morning prayer, but confirmed that Peters is in a fairly exclusive group.
Rep. Bruce Braley is in the club.
The Iowa Democrat got to see his brother, Rev. Brad Braley, prepare Congress for the work ahead during the of summer 2010. “Welcoming my brother to the Capitol as Guest Chaplain is one of the proudest moments of my career. I wanted to be like Brad when I was growing up and that’s still true today,” the Iowa Democrat gushed in a release .
Lawmakers and staff from both sides of the Capitol fell all over themselves last week when the Dalai Lama made the rounds.
House GOP leadership spokesman Michael Steel, though clearly awestruck, still managed to pepper his adulation with a pop culture reference.