Minnesota DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar, fresh off a recent witty appearance before the National Press Club, kept the laughs coming this morning at the National Prayer Breakfast after Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah had an awkward moment with his electronic leash. Good thing, too, because from the sounds of it, the gathering was a pretty heavy affair.
The solemn morning was interrupted by a few moments of humor, including when Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, stepped to the microphone to offer a prayer. Just as he did, the alarm on his Blackberry went off and was amplified throughout the hotel ballroom.
As he apologized and fumbled to turn it off, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, turned to him and said: "It's time for prayer!"
The annual D.C. gathering is sponsored by The Family, a secretive sect of conservative Christians that aims to use the instruments of government to further its religious agenda. Not that Capitol Hill politicians have ever paid much heed to that potential church-and-state conflict in the past -- they all want to be seen as good, clean prayerful and patriotic Americans on TV for the folks back home.
Who's in The Family? There's Rep. Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat who succeeded in tying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in knots while demanding an amendment to health care reform legislation that attempts to go well beyond the current restrictions on taxpayer support for insurance programs offering abortion services.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is also a member of the family. He's the married-with-kids, family values guy who fell hard for a Latin American lovely and humiliated said wife -- to say nothing of his state -- by trying to pass off his absence with some hooey about hiking the Appalachian Trail.
This year, there have been numerous news reports that some members of the The Family have been linked to an effort in Uganda to jail and execute homosexuals, but that didn't appear to put a damper on things. President Barack Obama used the occasion to call for civility -- and for folks with Obama Derangement Syndrome to stop questioning his patriotism and his Christian faith. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her keynote address to hammer "religion cloaked in naked power lust, used to justify violence."
Here's some video on the Uganda connection: