By Jack Jenkins
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney declared at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday (April 23) that faith drives the Trump administration’s policy proposals, arguing that “the principles of our faith (are) being manifest” under the president’s watch.
Also in attendance at the breakfast — a largely conservative religious gathering that meets annually in Washington — were two deputy assistants to President Trump, United States Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback and Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey.
Mulvaney, who is Catholic, opened his talk with an anecdote about speaking several years ago at a prayer breakfast in his home state of South Carolina at the invitation of then-Sen. Jim DeMint. Mulvaney explained that as a novice to prayer breakfasts, he inadvertently chose to read a passage from the Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus encourages believers to pray in private, not in public. He said a priest later interpreted the passage for him, arguing it does not bar public prayer but is part of Jesus’ call to do “the opposite of what is popular.”
The Trump administration’s policy agenda, Mulvaney suggested, constitutes just that sort of unpopular but faithful action.
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