Faith, Family and Values
Having coached youth sports for several years, Mike founded and co-chairs the Congressional Caucus on Youth Sports and has been instrumental in bringing together an alliance of support from the national level to support sports, recreation and fitness programs at the community level, including such organizations as the NFL, the PGA, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and U.S. Olympic Committee, among many others.
Mike was honored on Capitol Hill recently with the “Champion of Fitness and Health” Award for his leadership, and the National Parks and Recreation Association have honored him for his work in this area.
As a founding co-chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Responsible Fatherhood, Mike as worked with the National Fatherhood Institute in several of its programs to promote positive fatherhood.
An advocate for children and youth long before his days in Congress, Mike has co-chaired a task force on children and families, and he hosts a Youth Leadership Summit annually to listen to the concerns of and challenge young leaders selected by the public and private high schools throughout the district. Heralded by educators across the Seventh District, this Youth Leadership Summit has dramatically touched the lives of hundreds of students from across Eastern North Carolina and inspired them to take more active roles in their schools and communities.
U.S. Representative Mike McIntyre spoke at the 60th Annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. as the President, Members of Congress, and representatives from around the world gathered in Washington. You can watch his remarks here.
McIntyre, who is Co-Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Breakfast and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, delivered remarks on behalf of the U.S. House to the assembled guests.
Congressman McIntyre stated, “The true source of power cannot be found in the halls of Congress, or the Oval Office in the West Wing, or in the chamber of the Supreme Court. The true source of power is on our knees before the throne of Grace, before Almighty God.”
The keynote speaker at the breakfast was award-winning film producer and writer, Eric Metaxas, who is the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, which was recently named “Book of the Year”. Metaxas is the 2011 recipient of the Canterbury Medal awarded by the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom. President Obama also addressed the international audience, as has every President since President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Heisman Trophy winner, Robert L. Griffin, III offered the closing prayer.
The night before the breakfast Congressman McIntyre led a spiritual heritage tour of the U.S. Capitol, which highlighted the role of faith in our nation’s history as reflected in the Capitol building itself.
Joining Rep. McIntyre was his wife, Dee, who helped host several events for Congressional and international spouses. Dr. Mark Miller and his wife, Beth, of Fayetteville were special guests.
This year, more than 3600 guests, representing 140 nations and all 50 states and U.S. territories joined together at the breakfast to reaffirm our trust in God and to recognize the reconciling power of prayer. Among those participating in this year’s National Prayer Breakfast were President and Mrs. Obama, and Members of both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, military leaders, foreign dignitaries and other state and local officials, as well as lay leaders in business, education, law, health care, the clergy, and the private sector.
Throughout the more than 200-year history of our nation, prayer has played a vital role in strengthening the fabric of our society. The purposes of the Congressional Prayer Caucus are to 1) recognize the vital role that prayer by individuals of all faiths has played in uniting us as a people and in making us a more generous, more cooperative, and more forgiving people than we might otherwise have been; 2) collect, exchange, and disseminate information about prayer as a fundamental and enduring feature of American life; 3) use the legislative process – both through sponsorship of affirmative legislation and through opposition to detrimental legislation – to assist the nation and its people in continuing to draw upon and benefit from this essential source of our strength and well-being. Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus also work together to preserve the presence of religion, faith, and morality in the marketplace of ideas.
Below, please find some of the initiatives that I have worked on as Co-Chairman of the Prayer Caucus.
Ensured that our nation’s religious history was included in the Capitol Visitor Center
I joined with 108 Members of Congress to send a letter, expressing concern about inaccurate and incomplete historical religious content in the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC), including the omission of the national motto “In God We Trust” and the Pledge of Allegiance. After receiving assurances from the Committee on House Administration and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee that the inaccuracies and omissions would be corrected, Members supported legislation to allow the CVC to open.
Members of the Prayer Caucus also supported and voted for H.Con.Res.131, directing the Architect of the Capitol to engrave our national motto, “In God We Trust,” and the Pledge of Allegiance in a permanent and prominent location in the CVC. This bill passed the House on July 9, 2009 by a vote of 410-8, with 2 voting “present,” and passed the Senate on July 10, 2009 by Unanimous Consent; the motto and the Pledge have since been added to the CVC. Members also obtained an agreement that the CVC would work on developing a permanent religious heritage display, and are still working to ensure that the display is developed.
Supported the National Day of Prayer
In April of 2010, a U.S. district court in Wisconsin held that the statute establishing the National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional. The following week, nearly 30 Members of Congress and leaders of faith held a bipartisan press conference, defending the constitutionality of the National Day of Prayer and calling on the White House to appeal the district court’s ruling. The next day, the Obama Administration announced that it would be appealing the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Members of the Prayer Caucus then signed onto an amicus curiae brief filed at the Seventh Circuit by the American Center for Law and Justice to affirm the constitutionality of the statute establishing the National Day of Prayer. On April 14, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit dismissed the constitutional challenge to the National Day of Prayer.
Asked For Prayer To Be Included At 9/11 Ceremony In New York
I along with my colleagues in Congress wrote to the Mayor of New York City, encouraging him to include prayer in the ceremony commemorating the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Prayer is at the foundation of our great nation, and it should be a part of the 9/11 ceremony in New York City. Prayer has and continues to be an important part of our daily lives, drawing strength and understanding in tough times and allowing us to give thanks for the many blessings of life. On this special commemorative day, prayer should be front and center in all of our lives. Prayer is as appropriate today as it was on that day ten years ago.
NBC Apologizes to Prayer Caucus for its Omission of “under God” from Pledge of Allegiance
I joined with 107 Members of Congress in sending a letter to NBC Universal expressing disapproval over the network twice-editing the words “under God” out of a video montage that aired during the U.S. Open. It is important that we remain vigilant in ensuring that references to religion remain in the public discourse, and that our nation’s Pledge of Allegiance is honored with every word and reference to our nation’s great religious heritage.” The letter asked what steps NBC has taken to prevent America’s religious heritage from being obscured in that manner again, and it requested that NBC implement a policy to ensure that the Pledge of Allegiance is not altered in future broadcasts.
McIntyre Attends Easter Prayer Breakfast
After touring the utter devastation and sheer raw force that April storms unleashed on the people of North Carolina, I had the opportunity to go to the White House. I am grateful that President Obama acknowledged his concern about the devastation back home and the people who were affected by this storm needing help. This Easter prayer service was a special time to remember those whose lives have been changed, and to look for ways to rebuild and restore hope. It was a powerful time of testimony, prayer, and song.