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February 2nd, 2011
04:55 PM ET

Rep. Giffords' husband to address National Prayer Breakfast

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' husband will speak at the Thursday's National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on the congresswoman's behalf, her office announced Wednesday.

Capt. Mark Kelly, a NASA astronaut, will deliver closing prayer at the event, the Arizona congresswoman's office said in a statement.

President Barack Obama will also speak at the breakfast, an annual event in Washington for 58 years.

Giffords was making "lightning speed" progress for a brain injury and had the drain for brain fluid removed from her head, her doctors said last week.

Authorities say that Giffords was the primary target of a shooting that left six people dead and 13 more injured in Tucson, Arizona on January 8.

Giffords and Kelly were married in 2007.

The National Prayer Breakfast was founded in 1953 and has been attended by every sitting president.

The White House will be streaming Obama's remarks live on its website.

Read more about Giffords' and Kelly's marriage.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Faith Now • Politics

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Evolved DNA

    Now, if this prayer meeting was held in, say, an aircraft in flight, with the pilots bailing out at 40,000 ft.. and the plane landed safely that would be impressive. But some how I bet they are not that sure prayer works right ?

    February 4, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  2. Bryan T

    Australia has an openly atheist prime minister.
    Why are Americans so interested in which invisble friend their president believes in?
    I always hoped that Obama – unlike Bush – wasn't guided by what his god told him to.

    February 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  3. Ron

    I wish the National Day of Prayer had people representing ALL religions in this country. Then it would truly be a National Day of Prayer rather than what it really is, a national day of celebrating christianity.

    February 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Magic

      It should be called the National Day of Wishing...

      February 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  4. A BREATH OF FRESH AIR!

    TOLD YOU THERE WOULD BE NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT POTUS, PEOPLE LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE SO DAMN HATEFUL. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO JUDGE EXCEPT WHOEVER IS UPSTAIRS MEANING WHATEVER YOUR BELIEF IS. POUTS AND HIS FAMILY WHETHER CHRISTIAN, BUDDISHT, MORMON, JEWISH, MUSLIM, ATHIEST, WHATEVER, THE FAMILY IS A GOOD FAMILY AND WHY YOU CHOOSE TO CRITICIZE HIM AND HIS PERSONAL LIFE IS NOT OK. JUDGE HIS POLICIES AND HOW HE IS DOING AS POTUS BUT HIS RELIGIOUS BELIEFS ARE HIS AND HIS FAMILY AND NO ONE ELSE.

    February 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  5. realitybites

    Thak you, okikooffice

    I really think God love simple folks b/c he feels sorry for them and how easily pliable and misled they are by the power hungry. They just don't have the intellect to even come close to understanding his awesome power. God gave you a brain use if for a change instead of leaving it at the Church door and regurgitating what you've been fed. You only get it once. It's a big disservice to him if you don't. That goes for all religious people from whatever belief system. By the way you aren't gonna get any conversions if you belittle others for the way the believe in God. That's the same kind of arrogant belief system that practically wiped out the Native Americans and supported slavery. The God chose us and not you belief. Get off your high horse and start living what Christ taught. You'll find that the streets outside of your little resort hotel don't look so clean and perfect. He didn't find it easy and neither should you. Dragging the president into this petty bickering and hatred is not making the world a better place. Remember evil can pervade everything including good Christians and Muslims. For some readers of this, I feel sorry for you b/c this will be like throwing bread at a stone wall. Waste of bread on a hard stubborn surface.

    February 3, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  6. okikooffice

    We are all sinners and Obama know the only way to find forgiveness is by the Blood of Christ. It is in Christ you can find inner peace that superses and be strengthen in times of trials and challenges. You never find peace in Muslim religion.
    Christianity has given us the freedom to choose. You can seek and follow Christ if you want to.

    February 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  7. okikooffice

    The Holy Bible said "Choose You This Day Whom You will Serve". To follow Christ is a relationship and Christ made it clear HE is the Way and no one goes to God but through Him. President Obama has studies the Holy Bible and studied the Holy Quran and has made his choice.
    Obama has chosen the serve Christ with his family,because he knows Christ and Christ only is Life.
    "Choose You this Day Whom You Will Serve"

    February 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  8. jpmichigan

    I wonder if the President has that date on his calender and plans to attent National Prayerday. By not attending as he didn;t last year, one has to wonder what kind of Christian is he.

    February 3, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  9. Reality

    Some background on the organizer of said topic breakfast:

    Fellowship Foundation Mission Statement-

    To develop and maintain an informal association of people banded together, to go out as “ambassadors of reconciliation”, modeling the principles of Jesus, based on loving God and loving others. To work with the leaders of other nations, and as their hearts are touched, the poor, the oppressed, the widows, and the youth of their country will be impacted in a positive manner. Youth groups will be developed under the thoughts of Jesus, including loving others as you want to be loved.

    Total revenue reported on their IRS Form 990 for 2008 was $16,265,873.

    Their highest paid employees are four associates who average about $120,000/yr each including benefits.

    The Coe family is heavily involved with this non-profit with two members being associates as noted above and with five other family members working for the group averaging about $12,000/yr.

    Strangest grant made in 2008 was to the Golf Ministry of Argentina for $11,000.

    On the 2006 IRS Forms, they list the Wilberforce Foundation as a related exempt organization located at the C Street Center. Wilburforce’s treasurer is David Coe. One of the VP’s is his brother Tim Coe. Both brothers are also associates at the Fellowship Foundation . David’s salary from Wilburforce is $125,000/yr including benefits. Tim Coe’s salary is $116,000. These are the same salaries listed on the Fellowship Foundation’s 2008 IRS 990 Form. One assumes that the brothers are getting salaries from both organizations i.e. $250,000 and $232,000/yr to include benefits. Marty Sherman also works for both organizations and one assumes gets the double salary of approximately $250,000.

    The Fellowship Foundation sponsors the National Prayer breakfast every year. On the 2008 Form 990, the breakfast cost $1,097,465 but was offset by ticket sales and donations of $1,173,584.

    The Family Coe involvement: (from Wikipedia)

    Hillary Clinton described meeting the leader of the Fellowship in 1993: “Doug Coe, the longtime National Prayer Breakfast organizer, is a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship to God.”[25]

    There has been much debate over some of Doug Coe’s previous comments about a number of Nazi leaders and their efficiency. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fellowship_(Christian_organization)

    February 3, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  10. The reality is...

    Anglican – Certainly Christ would want better conditions for the poor and that is why he said, "give and it will be given to you, a good measure pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap; for with the measure you give it will be given to you." Luke 6 But he did not say we should take other peoples' money and give to the poor. That is called stealing and we know he does not approve of that.

    February 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Anglican

      The reality is. Ok. Love God and love your neighbor. Then, sale all you have, give to the poor and follow me. You may not go "all the way", but anything less is less than the Lord ask. Keep your money and I am sure you will be ok. I am sure you can make yourself feel better. Gold or Lord.

      February 2, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • i wonder

      How many elderly people are the taxpayers supporting because they gave away too much money to their churches and didn't plan for the expenses of their 'golden' years? 'God' will provide – hmmmm....

      February 2, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Anglican

      Wonder God will provide. There is more to this life than money. Most do not give more than than can. What do you give to your fellow man?

      February 3, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  11. GozieBoy

    Wonder if Barack Al Bama will boycott this year's prayer breakfast once again? How sad for our country to have such a pathetic "leader".

    February 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Anglican

      G-boy. Are you sure your dislike is not something else? There is no more pre-existing conditions, no more donut hole for seniors? Do we not have better oversight on Wall Street? Would Christ not want better conditions for the poor? I ask you.

      February 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • dolfina

      He's our president and you should be ashamed of yourself.

      February 2, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  12. Keith

    What would be a breath of fresh air is that if this man is a Christian, then he would pray in the name of his Lord, Jesus Christ and not face censorship by the Obama regime for doing so.

    February 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Anglican

      Keith. Obama has a record of attending Christian churches I believe he is very careful to respect all religions, beliefs, and the lack there of. Give him a break.

      February 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • dolfina

      Stop yer hatin'!

      February 2, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
  13. A BREATH OF FRESH AIR!

    WITH SO MUCH FIGHTING IN WA AND WHAT IS GOING ON IN EGYPT THIS STORY PUTS A POSITIVE APPROACH AS HOW LIFE CAN BE SO BEAUTIFUL WHEN CIVILITY TAKES OVER. I AM SURE SOME GOPERS AND TEA BAGGERS WILL HAVE SOME NEGATIVE COMMENTS ON POTUS AND THAT IS OK BUT ARE THEY THAT STUPID OR INSENSITIVE TO PUT A NEGATIVE LIGHT ON MARK KELLY AND REP GIFFORD, I WOULDN'T PUT IT PAST THEM.
    @ CLAUDIA HOUSTON TX, YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD BUT WE CAN NOW ADD MICHELLE BAUCHMANN TO THE LIST

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • GozieBoy

      Unfortunately, they are way down the list which is headed by you two imbeciles.

      February 2, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Rep. Giffords husband is a navy pilot, astronaut, shuttle commander, college educated as well his wife. Now let's compare Palin's husband Todd, high school drop out, dog racer, fisherman and now pimp but that makes her compatible to him.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  15. Anglican

    Navy pilot, astronaut, shuttle commander, and one of the faithful. His twin is actually the commander of the international space station. Much science, much faith.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm |

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.