Conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck was told by officials at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that he can't lead his audience in prayer at his August 27 Divine Destiny event.
Beck has rented out the facility the night before his "Restoring Honor" celebration at the Lincoln Memorial for "an eye-opening evening...that will help heal your soul."
As Beck relayed to his radio audience Monday, his religious plans during the festivities were a serious point of contention before the powers that be came to their senses (video follows with transcript and commentary):
GLENN BECK: They have told people on the steps of the Supreme Court that they cannot pray there. They have told students on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial they can't sing the National Anthem there. And last week I was told by the Kennedy Center that we could not pray there. We were told by the Kennedy Center in no uncertain terms that we could hold our event there, sure we had a contract. But they weren't told that we were going to have an opening prayer. The program is has the word divine in it, our divine destiny. We couldn't pray at the Kennedy Center. So my attorneys came to me and said, Glenn, are you willing to compromise on it? And I said, I sure am. You tell them that not only will I do an opening prayer, I'll do a closing prayer, and the entire program may be a prayer. In fact, take this down. It is a night of prayer. You'll see if you are lucky enough to get a ticket to the Kennedy Center, and they are not for sale. You will see in the program how I described it. I described it that way. So they could print that in their program at the Kennedy Center which they insisted on having after they told us we couldn't pray. I said, let me dictate this one. Friday night I was supposed to have a meeting today at 1:00 with their attorneys and I had already talked to my attorneys. Zero compromise. We asked them, where is that in your I didn't see that in your rules and regulations. "It's not written down." No prayer at a federally funded building.
Friday night I think they got a hold of Common Sense. They alerted me Friday night that they will allow prayer to happen on the stage of the Kennedy Center. I told them, thank you so much for your graciousness. I appreciate the scrap from the table. America, our religion and our faith is under attack and whether people care to realize it or not, it is.
Ironically as our friends at The Right Scoop noted, prayer isn't allowed in government buildings, but the current President "can still have a Ramadan dinner at the White House."
That said, Beck informed his readers of this event Wednesday:
Glenn Beck's Divine Destiny is an eye-opening evening at the historic Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C that will help heal your soul. Guided by uplifting music, nationally-known religious figures from all faiths will unite to deliver messages reminiscent to those given during the struggles of America's earliest days. The event will leave you with a renewed determination to look past the partisan differences and petty problems that fill our airwaves and instead focus our shared values, principles and strong belief that faith can play an essential role in reuniting the country.
Those interested can read more about Restoring Honor here.