Saturday, May 02, 2009

What's wrong with a National Day of Prayer?

Lots of things are wrong with it, and AU has done a good job of summing it up nice and neatly for those who may not get it. (And many fundies still won’t because of their mind blocks.)

As we know, the first Thursday of May has been declared National Day of Prayer by an act of Congress. Religious services are held at the local, state and federal levels of government. So, what’s the big deal?

From Americans United for Separation of Church and State:

Americans don’t need the government to tell them when or how to pray.

Americans have the right to pray for whomever they want and in what manner they like. But we don’t need an officially designated government proclamation to do that. Our people are free to engage in worship whenever they want. Allowing government to set aside certain days for prayer and worship implies that the state has some say over our religious lives when it does not. It is simply not the business of government to advise when, if and how people pray.

The National Day of Prayer has been hijacked by the Religious Right, which uses it to promote religious bigotry.

In recent years, most NDP activities have been coordinated by the “National Day of Prayer Task Force,” an organization based in Colorado Springs and run by Shirley Dobson, wife of Religious Right radio broadcaster James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family.

The National Day of Prayer has become a vehicle for spreading misinformation about American history and society.

In years past, the Task Force has used the NDP to promote bogus “Christian nation” history and advocate for erroneous claims that fundamentalist Christians are being persecuted in the United States or denied their right to spread their faith.

The National Day of Prayer is not historical.

The NDP is of recent vintage. It was created by Congress in 1952. The scheduling of the event used to change, but it was codified by Congress in 1988 (after pressure from the Religious Right) as the first Thursday in May.

The National Day of Prayer Is Unnecessary.

America does not need an official, government-mandated “National Day of Prayer.” Religious individuals who feel strongly about the country are free to pray for it at any time. They do not need to be directed or encouraged by government.

To read more, visit the AU website.


CyberKitten said...

What exactly are you supposed to be praying for?

[looks confused]

Stardust said...

Cyberkitten, every god-believing politician thinks that they have a direct hotline to their god and Republicans are praying for certain things, Democrats are praying for certain things, Independents praying for other things, Green Party members praying for other things. And they all think that there is this great sky wizard who can sort through all the prayers, all the petitions of all the politicians and will make political decisions from his great throne in another dimension...along with the governmental matters of all the people of all the god-believing nations around this tiny speck of a planet in the vastness of the universe...THEN that's not all, there are the murmurings of all the billions of god believers to sort through, and supervising of kid sports events, adult sport events, talent shows, auditions, job interviews, corporate decisions, personal life matters, and I could go on forever with all the selfish beggary that is going on in the world that god believers think that their god is participating in.

Humans are weird...extremely weird and absurd and too often irrational.

Stardust said...

Prayer…the easiest way to do ABSOLUTELY nothing and still feel like you’re making a difference!