The Door's National Imprecatory Prayer Brunch
Each year on the first Thursday in February The Wittenburg Door hosts its prestigious National Imprecatory Prayer Brunch in Washington, D.C., which brings together theological and government policy wonks for brainstorming, joke exchanges and furious bagel noshing.
The event is conducted at the Universal Donut Shop, located a few streets over from the Washington Hilton Hotel, where the more widely known National Prayer Breakfast is usually held.
The planning session for this year's event is now under way:
Editor: "So, who spoke last year?"
Board Member 1: "I believe we had Mitch McConnell and Nadia Bolz Weber. The challenge was to try to make McConnell crack a smile during his speech. I think we determined the man has no sense of humor whatsoever. But Nadia was funny. And she even got a new tat to commemorate the event."
Editor: "Hmm. OK, well Nadia is a Lutheran, but I think this year we need to lean even harder on the theology side. Maybe N. T. Wright. Or even the Anglican Primate. Yeah, apparently they let primates be in charge of stuff over there. We've never had an Anglican. We could work up some good jokes about hermeneutics and syncretism."
Board Member 3: "How's this - 'Do you prefer her meneutics or mine?'"
Editor: "Uh, Yeah, I definitely hear a rim shot after that one. Not. On second thought, let's cast farther afield. How about someone from Asia - a Buddhist or Hindu. Are there still any Confucians left?"
Board Member 2: "Ravi Zacharias has sort of an Asian name, but he's dead, so..."
Editor: "Hey, this is totally out of left field, but how about the Dalai Lama? He's compassionate, playful and he just gave the keynote at the Global Joy Summit. 'Awake, not Woke.' Very zen. I like it."
Board Member 1: "The problem, as always, folks, is that the press ignores us. No coverage. Only that one reporter from the washingtoncitypaper.com who ate all those bagels and then didn't even write a story."
Editor: "We need to generate some coverage and make some news, people! Put the 'imp' back in 'imprecatory!' We need an internal scandal, like those National Prayer Breakfast sponsors, The Fellowship Foundation. That might get Jeff Sharlet over here to investigate us. How's our plan going to subvert America's sense of propriety?"
Board member 2: "Remember, we dropped that back in 2016, when it became apparent there was no propriety left to subvert."
Editor: "Oh, right. Darn. Well, back to the choice of speaker - we may have to go with a sports figure, someone with a political connection, who engenders laughter, who is both overly pious and yet can cuss with the best of them."
Board member 3: "I guess that would be Herschel Walker. He should be available."
Editor: "Perfect! Book him, and then we'll start working on the menu."
The Wittenburg Door's National Imprecatory Prayer Brunch will be at 10:30 a.m., Feb. 2, 2023, in the back room of the Universal Donut Shop, Washington, D.C. The event is by invitation only.
Update: After this article was written, The National Prayer Breakfast announced it is no longer being sponsored by The International Foundation (The Family), but instead this year will be coordinated by the newly created National Prayer Breakfast Foundation. It will also be a scaled down affair, without the usual Grand Slam breakfast, this year offering only bagels, coffee or tea and hosted Feb. 2 at an auditorium at the Capitol Visitor Center in the U.S. Capitol. No kidding.
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