About This Petition
Every year, more Democrats drop the National Prayer Breakfast (NPB) held in February. Why? As journalist Jeff Sharlet revealed in his books and Netflix documentary series, it’s run by a secretive, theocratic Christian organization known as The Family. The breakfast defies democratic accountability – the guest list is secret, as is who decides who gets to come. It also violates separation of church and state, endorsing not just religion, but prayer, and evangelical Christianity. Just last year, TYT Investigates revealed that anti-LGBTQ evangelist Franklin Graham is secretly bankrolling the event. Democratic participation in the breakfast gives it the impression of being a bipartisan, semi-official event – and that lets The Family use the event to empower and mainstream right-wing, anti-LGBTQ activists and leaders around the world.
The handful of Democrats still willing to lend their name to the event say that it creates unity. But that’s not what the record shows:
- After Pres. Biden spoke last year, Franklin Graham attacked him for his remarks;
- When Pres. Trump spoke, the audience applauded his divisive, partisan attacks;
- The Family used the breakfast to turn MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell into a religious and political extremist;
- The Family lets anti-LGBTQ officials from other countries hand out tickets to build their networks;
- The Family helped Russian political activist Maria Butina and Russian politician Alexander Torshin use the breakfast to network with right-wing Christians;
- The breakfast guest list tilts overwhelmingly toward right-wing Protestantism; secular, progressive, black, and LGBTQ leaders are almost totally excluded;
- The Family has used the breakfast to elevate and mainstream right-wing celebrities;
- LGBTQ organizations have warned that giving prayer breakfasts the appearance of right-wing support helps them mainstream far-right networks and ideas;
- The Family’s allies in other countries are almost exclusively about as far right as each country’s political discourse allows.
Democrats who believe in transparency and accountability should not be aiding an organization that conceals its donors, leaders, personnel, and activities around the world. Democrats who believe in the separation of church and state should not lend their official-seeming endorsement to an event that violates this precept. Democrats who support LGBTQ rights should not aid anti-LGBTQ activists in expanding their influence. Democrats truly invested in harnessing prayer and faith for good can find or create alternative venues to do so.
If you want to learn more about The Family and the National Prayer Breakfast, Sharlet’s work uncovered decades of global wrongdoing. More recently, the New Yorker, the New York Times, and others have revealed new details about the money behind the NPB. Last year, TYT Investigates obtained secret, internal Family documents that led to the launch of an ongoing investigative series, which you can find at TYT.com/insidethefamily. Individual stories can be found here:
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