WASHINGTON — Attendees of President Donald Trump's inaugural prayer breakfast on Friday morning left with a hopefulness that with prayer, Americans of all races and colors will become united under the presidency of the billionaire real estate mogul.
A number of prominent religious figures, politicians and Trump supporters of different ethnicities gathered for the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. and heard addresses from a number of prominent political and religious leaders, including suspended Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Alveda King, Los Angeles-based African-American bishop Clarence McClendon and others.
Speaking to The Christian Post outside of the Trump hotel, attendees explained that the overall theme of the breakfast was to promote prayer and unity in what has become a politically divided American society that has tried to push faith out of the public square over the last few decades.
Although a number of prophetic right-wing Christians believe that God has appointed Trump to be president in a time such as this to "make America great again," King, the niece of iconic civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. reminded the prayer breakfast audience that America can "never be great until the yolk of racism is broken."
She cited Acts 17:26 to assert that it was of "one blood" that "God made all the people to live together on the face of the Earth."
"We are not supposed to be colorblind," King stated. "We should be able to seek each other but those wonderful colors should bring us together, not divide us. So, I really pray that the new president and vice president and cabinets are bringing all Americans together and set an example around the world."
Such a message resonated with John and Lisa Weber, who traveled from Illinois to attend the prayer breakfast and inauguration.
"We are all one blood and we have to realize that if we will change this nation back, we have to be all together," John Weber told CP. "I think it is great that we all come together to pray for our country, for the president, for all the people of the United States. I think we need more of that and that was one of the points within the prayer meeting."
Tim Barton, who works with the Texas-based WallBuilders LLC, an organization founded by Christian activist David Barton that promotes the idea that America was founded on religious and constitutional principles, told CP that the theme of the breakfast was promoting the idea that America needs to lift the president up in prayer in order to "see a unity in our nation with all colors and races, and that was kind of the theme throughout."
"He was not who I was initially leaning for, but when it came down between him and Hillary [Clinton], I feel like that was a choice between a Jezebel and Sampson," Barton said. "On one side, a lot of Hillary's positions is that if you believe in traditional values, you would be punished for it. Although Trump does not promote those values, he did not want to punish people for them. With Sampson, he is not a morally solid guy but certainly someone that God used to bring deliverance to the people."
Constanza Areizaga, an Hispanic Christian from Nevada with Mexican heritage whose father and husband are from Mexico City, echoed those thoughts.
"It was a sense of unity and positive Christian progression because we are progressing into a new era where can be free to express ourselves," Areizaga explained. "Basically, [the theme] was that we are taking our nation back as a Christian nation again and recapturing where we came from and getting away from the negative."
Even though prayer breakfast attendees are hopeful that Trump will bring in a sense of unity in America, many on the Left have criticized Trump over his call to build a wall on the U.S. southern border.
Jeffress, the senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Dallas, exclaimed during his remarks at a separate service at St. John's Episcopal Church that "God is not against building walls." Jeffress cited the biblical account of Nehemiah, who helped to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem after the people of Judah were exiled from Israel.
"Nehemiah had his own share of critics. Two of his chief antagonists were named Sanballat and Tobiah. They were the mainstream media of their day," Jeffress explained, according to the Washington Post. "They continued to hound and heckle Nehemiah and spread false rumors while he and the Israelites were building the wall."
While many of Trump's critics claim that walls only divide people, Areizaga said she doesn't have a problem with Trump's rhetoric on immigration.
"Even as Christians we have rules and regulations and God has commandments and when you break the commandments there are consequences as a Christian. The same goes as a rule breaker, whether you are in this country or another country, you are breaking the rules and you need to do things the right way," she said. "Donald Trump is going to be smart and I feel that he is going to help people who have proven themselves to be here and grandfathered in most likely. But everyone needs to start doing the right thing to build our country and make it solid again. Without a solid foundation, we are a house of sand."
Additionally, many of Trump's critics have claimed that he is a racist, considering that he has said inflammatory remarks about Mexicans and was praised by former KKK leader David Duke.