September 7, 2012 1:47 PM
Charlotte DNC prayer room empty
In DNC prayer room, lots of quiet timeBy Patrick Hruby, The Washington Times, Thursday, September 6, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If you want to escape religion at the Democratic National Convention, there is only one place to go: the official Charlotte Convention Center prayer room.
Located above a row of vending machines on the building's second floor, the prayer room is a designated spiritual oasis amid a ceaseless churn of harried delegates, half-heard cellphone conversations and clattering laptop keyboards.
Mostly, the room is empty.
A dormitory-room-sized box made of album-thin white plastic panels and silver aluminum framing, the room contains 16 banquet chairs, which largely have remained unoccupied over the course of the week.
During a two-hour-plus stretch Thursday afternoon, the room's sole inhabitants were a newspaper advertorial insert, a promotional card for American Muslim Alliance Foundation policy seminars and, briefly, two delegates from North Dakota.
"I'm here to pray," said one of the delegates, who declined to give his name -- and then spent most of his abbreviated time in the room conversing with his colleague.
Still, it's probably a mistake to read too much into the symbolism of the oft-empty prayer room.
Sure, Democrats squabbled over including the word "God" in their party platform and long have struggled to connect with evangelical voters -- a June survey by the Pew Forum found that 35 percent of Americans view Democrats as friendly toward religion, while 54 percent felt the same way about Republicans.
But expressions of belief in and around the Charlotte convention are nearly as commonplace as President Obama buttons.
Read more at The Washington Times.