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For Immediate Release - Office of the Press Secretary - February 7, 2002 - 08:45 A.M. EST

Address by the President

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, my fellow Americans, and thank you for joining me at this National Prayer Breakfast. I want to welcome all of you who have accepted the Lord Jesus as your one true God (who, so He can get around better, has divided into three true Gods) and Personal Savior. I also want to welcome the rest of you who have embraced fake, made-up gods that you somehow find comforting in times of trouble even though they have no power to give you the cool stuff you pray for.

As I look out on the crowd today, I see that most of you are already praying. Praying that I won't talk too long and your scrambled eggs will get cold. (Laughter.)

To show how inclusive we are in this prayer stuff, I have asked a few Christian ministers to come on up here and say a few words. So, without further dew, let's roll.

Lisa Beamer: Mr. President, those two words are copyrighted. That'll be $1,000. Just give it to my friend and mentor Coretta Scott King. "Let's do it!" -- because it is three words -- will cost you $1,500. "Let's" is only $500 -- so keep that in mind when budgeting your speech.

President: Friends, what you have just seen is the American spirit, which can turn any tragedy into a boatload of profit. Now, for our speakers. First, I'd like to introduce Pastor Hawkins from the Butcher Hollow Pentecostal Church in West Virginia: (Applause.)

Hawkins: Thank you to all you saved folks out there for coming. And a "good morning" to the Catholics and Jews I was talking to earlier, too. Just looking out on this gathering of folks who are not embarrassed to draw attention to their piety, makes my heart swell. An atheist so-called scientist might claim that it is because blood is pumping through my veins. And they would be right. It is the blood of Jesus, my friends. And the Holy Spirit is anointing me this morning. I can feel His powers now. Yes, Praise! Glory! I can feel the Holy Spirit entering me now! WOOOOOOOO! Aaaarpapapaphula. Oooooregino. Oreololo andoligolgollyboric alloweeeenie.

The President: Can anyone in here translate tongues? That gibberish is about as meaningless to me as when my sister-in-law starts speaking Mexican. Well, why don't we just pop him in the corner by that flag until he snaps out of it?

Now, direct from Dothan, our next speaker is Pastor Clements with the Church of God. (Applause.)

Clements: Thank you Mr. President for making it fashionable once again to have a national mascot – the Lord. First, I want to apologize for earlier. Me and a couple members of my congregation apparently got Sleighed in the Spirit and were flopping around on the carpeting for about ten minutes there in the back of the room. It wasn't until afterwards that someone told me that Mrs. Johnson, in a fit of Glory, kicked over the buffet table. I apologize for this, but the President tells I that the kitchen is sending up some fresh rolls to tide everyone over until they can fry up some more bacon. Man may not live by bread a lone, but it sure is a nice start! (Laughter and Applause.)

After eight years of godless liberal diseased trash in the White House, who, out of Christian decency, will go nameless, I just want to say that it is wonderful that we have a president who is willing to bring back respect of faith. Our faith is something that is all-too-often regarded as something that ought to be so-called "deeply personal." But as all True Christians know, the people who are quiet about their love of the Lord probably ought to be – cause He is going to be sending them right on down to Hell, my friends. I want to thank this Republican president for letting people know the power of prayer – and, in doing so, bringing back dignity to worship. Dignity and respect. Now, you see these buckets, my children are going from table to table with? These, my friends in Christ, are for love offerings. Pile 'em high cause the Lord shouldn't have to look down into the bottom of the plastic pale to see how much you love Him. While they are passing them around, I have a very important question for all of you. Anyone got cancer? You, who is raising her hand! Come on down! The Holy Spirit has moved me to HEAL you for half price this morning! Praise! HEAL! Anyone got an itchy scalp? HEAL! HEAL! HEAL! (Applause and Cat Calls.)

President: Pastor Clements, could you do that in the Rose Garden? We've already had enough trouble with folks falling over in here. Now, for our last speaking I want to introduce Minister Marshall from the Presbyterian Church up the street.

Minister Marshall: Thank you, Mr. President. While I think the spiritual renewal I am seeing in this wonderful country of ours is heartening, I think we need to be careful about showy, public displays of our faith through ostentatious praying. Particularly when these displays of prayer are only for the purpose of scoring political points. (Mild Boos.)

Jesus warned us not to make public displays of praying – because in doing so, we are not communing with the Lord, but being supercilious before man. Jesus said in Matthew 6:5-6:

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

(Loud Boos.)

President Bush: Well, it looks like Minister Marshall has been winged by about fourteen grapefruit halves. But I think it was the juice glasses that knocked him out. Well, I apologize for his remarks. Quoting Jesus like that. I tell you, there is a bad apple in every bunch. Now, would everyone hold off on your prayers until CNN gets it satellite connection back? Ouch! What the heck was that?



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