Today is the National Day of Prayer, in which our country seems to assume that religious people are incapable of deciding on their own when and how and with whom to pray without the direction and support of a worldly government.
They are also required to only allow Christians to run the show: “I commit that [National Day of Prayer] activities I serve with will be conducted solely by Christians while those with differing beliefs are welcome to attend.”
Auldrich has remained true to her pledge. “It’s a Judeo-Christian observance, and people of other faiths who ask about participating are encouraged to set aside their own day of prayer,” Auldrich told This Week Online in 2006. In other words, if you are not an evangelical, you can go hold your worship somewhere else.
Somehow, religion in our country managed to limp along until President Truman officially declared a National Day of Prayer. Phew! But it seemed that religion was still in such bad shape that it eventually also needed legislative action in the form of Ronald Reagan’s more permanent Day of Prayer solution.
Happily, this must alleviated the problem for most religions. But, apparently, evangelical Christianity is still in such dire straits that it needs some extra-special head-patting attention from Caesar in order to get on with its faith business.
Jews on First says the true meaning of the Day of Prayer has been lost. “What began as President Truman’s declaration of a National Prayer Day for all Americans is now excluding and dividing us on religious lines,” the group said.
Seriously though: why would anyone have ever expected anything different from anything involving the political process? As the founders realized, the practice of government is all about factions fighting for worldly power. It is a process that is both inevitably corrupting and rather obviously unnecessary to the free exercise of religion.
Congressional nonsense on the order of things like National Broccoli Week is silly enough (as the first President Bush rightly realized) without the government presuming to have any role to play in religious matters as well.