The 68th National Breakfast was held on Feb. 6, 2020 in Washington D.C. with U.S. President Donald Trump in attendance. There were major attendees such as Vice President Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi.
At a prayer meeting after the acquittal of President Trump's impeachment in the Senate the day before, Professor Arthur Brooks (Harvard Kennedy School) said in a keynote that "Jesus loved his enemies."
"[The same Jesus] who taught us to love God and taught us to love each other," said Professor Brooks, who teaches public leadership. "The biggest crisis facing many countries, including the United States, was called 'contempt and polarization' that divide society.
"In this crisis resides the greatest opportunity we have ever had as people of faith to lift our nations up and to bring our people together," he said. " It is important to think differently to get new and effective solutions to old problems such as contempt and polarization. "
He added: "You heard in Matthew chapter 5, 'You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." "It can sound as counterintuitive and subversive today as it was in those two thousand years ago," Brook said.
"To apply this word to today's polarized society, we have to approach it personally," he said. "My parents were devout Christians, but they were politically liberal, unlike conservative beliefs.
"How many of you love somebody with whom you disagree politically?" he said. " "Moral courage isn't standing up to those with whom you disagree."
Brooks then presented the audience with three tasks, asking them to "pray to God to give you the strength to do this hard thing, to go against your human nature, to follow Jesus' teaching." He then urged others to promise to "refuse to annihilate."
Professor Brooks said, "It could be an opportunity for moral integrity. This is because people change the country when they treat you with hatred and answer you with love," he said, "I'm like a missionary. This is an opportunity to show people what leadership is," he said.
He went on to say, "If you leave the event today, you will face many worlds of contempt. 'Look at it as your chance'," he said. "if we see the world outside the room as mission territory, we will be able to mark this day as the point where national healing begins."