Thursday, May 5, 2011

National Day of Prayer Bru Ha Ha

The first Thursday of May used to be The National Day of Prayer. Started by evangelical Billy Graham in the 50's, the government sanctioned a day of prayer until last year, when a federal judge overturned it as unconstitutional. This video is a rare time when a Fox news anchor actually gave uninterrupted time to an opponent, and the results are awesome. Yay for reasonable discourse!

What do you think about prayer? Do you do it? Is it something that should be in the public arena, like a sanctioned day or in public schools? As a religious minority, I like what this atheist has to say about a secular society. What do you think?


  1. As a mainline Christian pastor who serves outside the boisterous evangelical brand of Christianity, I also applaud what this atheist has to say about the government having a "hands off" role in religious practice. I find this day of prayer inappropriate and offensive for so many reasons. People can pray anytime and anywhere and any way they want without government support, prompting or even permission.

    As for a proper government response to tragedies like the oil spill, terrorist attacks, etc., I would say that to call people to prayer as "the" solution distracts from the more practical and immediately effective responses that are expected from government leaders and agencies.

    This idea that Christianity is "normal" or "American" is dangerous to our free society. I also don't think it's appropriate to include patriotic symbols (the American flag) in church. I could write a book ... !

    Thank you for posting this, Witch Mom!

  2. I know our Federal Government was founded on the premise of Secularism and freedom of religion; however, when you look at the political machine today you can see religion everywhere--from the print on our money to the importance of religion in our political candidates. Our Government for the most part can claim to be unbiased, but the people who make up our government are not. Because we are so diverse it is definitely important to keep our First Amendment rights strong!

    We pray in our household; at the dinner table, for family/friends/fellow humans in need and for personal guidance and strength. I believe it is a powerful tool and everyone could benefit from it. But in a nation of freedom and diversity it is important for Government to remain as impartial as it can so all people can truly be free.

  3. @Sharon: I am so glad to see UU and UCC folks standing up for religious minorities. Keep on keepin' on!

    @Gaia: I also believe in prayer- I would just never foist my kind of prayer on others in a collective space. I think of it the way I think of missionary work- rude and offensive!

  4. I applaud Sharon's response and as an interfaith, specifically Pagan minister, am also a member of a UU Fellowship...which doesn't mean we have an exclusive on this feeling. I find that many mainstream Christian churches do as well. Anyone is free to pray anytime they want-on the way to work, at lunchtime, during recess. There doesn't have to be a designated time.We live in a world far different than when Billy Graham instituted National Day of Prayer. In my opinion, it has outlived it's usefulness.


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