Before the more public prayer breakfast at Florida A&M Tuesday morning, Gov.-elect Rick Scott spent his first hour at FAMU behind closed doors at a private breakfast. Scott’s inaugural team said nothing about the private breakfast, but Florida Baptist Witness editor James A. Smith tweeted that many of those attending were Southern Baptist Convention pastors. Meanwhile the public prayer breakfast drew about 1,500 people to FAMU’s Lawson Center, the university’s new basketball arena. It was an overwhelmingly white crowd at the historically black college who sat through an hour of songs by the FAMU choir, Scott’s brother, Stephen, who did a rendition of ‘God Bless America,’ and prayers from clergy including a rabbi, a priest, an imam and several ministers. Scott daughters, Alison and Jordan, took a turn, with each providing a scripture reading. Breakfast keynote speaker Chuck Colson, the former Nixon aide and Watergate criminal who has spent the past three decades as a prison minister and motivational speaker, focused on the role of individual responsibility in shaping government. Drawing on history and philosophers including Alexis deTocqueville and Soren Kierkegaard, Colson said that, “In a democracy, you get the government you deserve.” He went on to deride the current “sick culture.” Colson said the 2008 economic collapse was largely a result of the “abandonment of the Protestant work ethic.” Character and ethics need to be taught in schools, Colson said. “We caused the collapse,” Colson said.
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