Obama! Separation of Church and State please. Cut out the National Day of Prayer.
Obama must feel awkward acknowledging the National Day of Prayer, or he wouldn't have scaled back the involvement of the White House. The President needs to stop pussyfooting around, and declare that henceforth his administration will not participate in a religious event that promotes monotheism (particularly Christianity) above the thousands of other religions.
I looked at the National Day of Prayer website and this is the mission.
The National Day of Prayer Task Force's mission is to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, mobilizing the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership in the seven centers of power: Government, Military, Media, Business, Education, Church and Family.
It was only with President Bush the Lesser that the State began melding observances in the public eye. I'm sure the National Day of Prayer people are whining today because Obama isn't going to make a big hoopla out of it like Bush did. But, again, really, Obama needs to get out of the business of establishing religion.
and, in fact, there's a lawsuit that was filed last year about it. The ADF, which supports it, says this on their website.
"What many of these people who ascribe and claim that they are for free speech really want to do is shut off the speech of others. They want to silence the voice of the Christian from the public square," Alan Sears, president and general counsel of ADF, says.
The NDP Task Force, which is privately funded, represents "a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible," according to the organization's Web site.
That's nonsense. Nobody is stopping anyone from praying on the courthouse steps or doing other things in the public square. IF there are those who seek to do that, then lawsuits are filed, and those governmental entities are stopped. But Obama and the White House have no business being involved in what is not only a religious observance, but an observance created for only ONE religious branch.
I like what Freedom of Religion has propounded- A National Day of Reason.
A privately-sponsored day of prayer would not be a problem," says Foundation co-president Dan Barker, author of the books Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist and Godless, "but it is boorish and it is unconstitutional for the president and governors to be dictating that citizens pray. This excludes and disenfranchises up to 15% of adult Americans and up to a quarter of young people in this nation who are not religious."
- Foster unity within the Christian Church
- Protect America's Constitutional Freedoms to gather, worship, pray and speak freely.
- Publicize and preserve America's Christian heritage
- Encourage and emphasize prayer, regardless of current issues and positions
- Respect all people, regardless of denomination or creed
- Be wise stewards of God's resources and provision
- Glorify the Lord in word and deed
More. From the Mansfield (Ohio) News Journal
What does the task force say to all those non-Christians who might like to offer prayers on our nation's behalf? Here's their official policy:
"The National Day of Prayer Task Force was a creation of the National Prayer Committee for the expressed purpose of organizing and promoting prayer observances conforming to a Judeo-Christian system of values. People with other theological and philosophical views are, of course, free to organize and participate in activities that are consistent with their own beliefs. This diversity is what Congress intended when it designated the Day of Prayer, not that every faith and creed would be homogenized, but that all who sought to pray for this nation would be encouraged to do so in any way deemed appropriate. It is that broad invitation to the American people that led, in our case, to the creation of the Task Force and the Judeo-Christian principles on which it is based."
Is the National Day of Prayer an exclusively Christian event? The task force answers: "No. This government-proclaimed day is offered to all Americans, regardless of religion, to celebrate their faith through prayer. However, the efforts of the NDP Task Force are executed specifically in accordance with its Judeo-Christian beliefs."
Got that? Have fun at your own event, but don't crash our party. What a loving, unifying, open-minded gesture ...
This is why, unless the government wants to commemorate and sponsor national days of whatever for EVERY religious group, it needs to stay OUT of this business.
I watched the movie "A Man for All Seasons" the other night and was reminded again about what happens when the State becomes embroiled in religion and deciding to put the stamp of approval on this or that. That is exactly why, becuase people DO have their own faiths, their own beliefs, just like Thomas More who went to his death because he refused to sign a loyalty oath that would violate his religious principles, government needs to stay out. And why this country was founded with freedoms that prevent those with one particular view from forcing it on the rest of us.