Some religious leaders blasted a letter from the Fresno mayor's Prayer Breakfast Committee that suggested Christianity is the only solution to the city's problems.
A portion of the Prayer Breakfast letter, which was sent to those who have bought tickets for the March 17 event, read:
"We believe that submission to the Lord Jesus Christ is the best way--in fact, the only way--the people of Fresno can be effective in facing the problems confronting our community."
Rabbi Robert A. Seigel of Fresno's Temple Beth Israel called the letter "insensitive" and "bigoted."
"If Christianity is considered the ONLY way to solve the problems of Fresno, then all of Fresno's Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and other citizens are being disenfranchised," he said in a fax to Mayor Jim Patterson.
Patterson, a born-again Christian, said the statement is an opinion of the committee, not his own.
The mayor's prayer breakfast is a 40-year-old annual tradition that is arranged by a loose coalition of Christian volunteers. Despite its name, it is not affiliated with city government, officials said.
The breakfast will feature Bill McCartney, founder of Promise Keepers, an evangelical men's movement that held a regional conference in Fresno last summer.