Thursday, May 05, 2005


Love it when the date numbers are all the same. Wouldn't this be a good day to buy a lottery ticket?

On my calendar I see that today is the Feast of the Ascension, Cinco de Mayo in Mexico, Children's Day in Japan, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and National Day of Prayer in the USA.

That last one caught my eye so I looked the phrase up on the Internet and found The Annual Day Of National Prayer Official Website. This is what they had to say about the creation of a National Day of Prayer:

In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.

They go on to say:
The National Day of Prayers is Ours
The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans. It is a day that transcends differences bringing together citizens from all backgrounds.

At first I found the idea of a National Day of Prayer disturbing as it looks like a separation of church and state issue but the above statement set my mind at ease. This group is not promoting one religion over another but saying this day belongs to all Americans and see it as a way of bringing us all together. I can live with that.

Then I read this in the About NDP section:

Official Policy Statement Of Participation Of "Non-Judeo-Christian" Groups In Nation Day Of Prayer

The Nation Day of Prayer was created by an act of Congress and is, therefore, intended for all people of faith to pray to the God of their understanding.

However, our expression of that involvement is specifically limited to the Judeo-Christian heritage and those who share that conviction as expressed in the Lausanne Covenant*. If people of other faiths wish to celebrate in their own tradition, they are welcome to do so, but we must be true to those who have supported this effort and volunteered their time to promote it. Nation Prayer Day is not a function of the government and, therefore, a particular expression of it can be defined by those who choose to organize it. This is not a state church issue.

They are admitting that they are using National Day of Prayer to help spread the influence of Christian beliefs and then have the gall to say it is not a separation of church and state issue. The arrogance expressed in the statement, Nation Prayer Day is not a function of the government and, therefore, a particular expression of it can be defined by those who choose to organize it is breathtaking. The idea that this day has been co-opted by religious bigots is appalling.

National Prayer Day may not be a "function of the government" but it was created by a branch of it and I for one will be writing my congressional representatives in protest.

*From The Lausanne Committee For World Evangelization website:The Lausanne Covenant is a declaration agreed upon by more than 2,300 evangelicals during the 1974 International Congress to be more intentional about world evangelization. Since then, the Covenant has challenged churches and Christian organizations to work together to make Jesus Christ known throughout the world.

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