Biden calls new Congress with 'more religions ... gay, straight' an example of 'infinite creativity of God'

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast at the U.S. Capitol on February 02, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The National Prayer Breakfast is a yearly bipartisan event that brings together religious leaders and politicians for a morning of prayer and reflection. | Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Joe Biden told those gathered for the National Prayer Breakfast that he found the religious diversity found in the newest Congress to be a reflection of the “infinite creativity of God.”

Speaking to those gathered at the U.S. Capitol building and before those watching online Thursday morning, Biden talked about the ethnic and religious makeup of the 118th Congress.

“Loving our neighbor is also a part of the essence of the American promise. A promise that comes with a new Congress that is more diverse and more different,” said Biden.

“More religions, more races, more diversity than ever before in our history. People of all faiths, some people of no faith. Gay, straight, immigrant, Native American. Differences express the infinite creativity of God, who is able to see His reflection in countless ways in different people.”

Biden also declared that “we can come together and do big things for the country, we can join hands and get things done,” adding, “we can redeem the soul of America.”

“What’s the soul of the nation? The soul is the breath, the life, the essence of who we are. The soul makes us us. It's embodied in the sacred proposition: we’re all created equally in the Image of God,” he said.

Biden called this “sacred proposition” something that is “rooted in the Scripture and enshrined in the Declaration of Independence” and that “Dr. King invoked when he told us about his dream for the nation.”

Biden emphasized the need for civility, stating that “in our politics and in our lives, we too often see each other as opponents and not competitors. We see each other as enemies and not neighbors” and “there is so much more that unites us than divides us.”

Biden’s remarks came as part of the National Prayer Breakfast, a gathering of elected officials and others that has been observed every first Thursday of February since 1953.

For decades, the event was overseen by a nondenominational Christian ministry and was held at a local hotel, sometimes having around 3,500 attendees in person from numerous countries.

Last month, however, it was announced that a new organization, known as the National Prayer Breakfast Foundation, would be overseeing the event, with attendance being reduced to just federal government officials, their families, and a few guest constituents.

Additionally, the gathering would be held at a Capitol Hill venue rather than a local hotel, though it would still include guest speakers and be livestreamed on C-SPAN and elsewhere.

Former Sen. Mark Pryor, president of the board of the new Foundation, told The Christian Post in an earlier interview that the changes were made as an effort to “return” the event “back to its origins.”

“Back with President Eisenhower [the event] was just the president and members of Congress, House and Senate. And so, that's what they wanted to get back to,” Pryor explained.

Pryor described this year’s breakfast as being “smaller,” “more intimate,” with this “following the wishes of the House and Senate to restore it back to what it used to be."

The group that used to host it, which is sometimes called “the Family” or “the Fellowship,” will be holding their own events over the span of the next couple of days.

According to the Pew Research Center’s latest Faith on the Hill report, released last month, Christians represent 88% of the voting members of Congress, while 65 members identified as other religions and 21 members identified as unaffiliated or “humanist.”

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

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