Some reflections on the National Day of Prayer
1) President Obama did not cancel it. In fact, here is his proclamation affirming it:
2) There has always been tension between church and state. For 2,000 years. Not just in America. To kings, the idea that there is another King has been problematic. Always has been, always will be.
3) There never has been a time when any national government and the true, faithful Christian Church were fully aligned.
4) Christian activity rises and falls in America. It goes in waves. Great Awakenings. The Pentecostal Azusa awakening in 1906. The big post WW2 churchgoing boom. The Jesus movement of the 60’s and 70’s. We are not in a post-Christian era. We are between booms.
5) Our Founding Fathers of the USA were neither the Focus on the Family Republicans the “right” makes them out to be, nor the “enlightenment Deists” that the “left” makes them out to be. Thomas Jefferson considered himself to be a devout follower of Jesus, but would hardly move to Colorado Springs to be with his peeps if he lived in our generation.
6) We cannot COERCE people to pray. Government should never coerce any faith practice. Jesus never coerced anyone. He let them walk away. But, on the other hand, the fact that some are OFFENDED by us “intentionally, publicly spiritual people,” does not obligate us to practice our faith only in private.
Any OFFENSE on the part of others, because of any of our faith practice, private or public, when we are not being coercive, is NOT another reason to push us out of the public practice of our faith (which is totally guaranteed in the Bill of Rights). That was a long, complicated sentence, but I don’t know how else to say it.
It seems like, lately, whenever what we do offends someone, some court makes us stop doing it. This is not constitutional. We are not properly distinguishing between coercion and offense. The former is wrong, the latter can’t be helped in a free society. The systematic elimination of all offense leads to a controlled, non-free society.
7) No government can cancel a national day of prayer. Any more than churches can legislate tax code.
8.) Over 90 percent of Americans pray regularly. Not just born-again Christians. Everyone prays before algebra exams. 🙂 Humans come hard-wired for prayer. Built in wi-fi.
9) As a free-market family-values conservative, I have the right to criticize our own movement. We have gotten way less attractive since Bush left office. We are more prone to conspiracy theories than ever before. A lot of us have just turned off our brains.
I just confronted a man who was looking for signatures using a poster of our president with a Hitler mustache in front of our post office. We are going to lose the next elections if we don’t work on our image. Middle America is not going to vote with what they see as crazy people.
Elections are won and lost with the moderates. We are alienating them. We come across as extremists (remember how may votes Goldwater got?) who love big guns, big business running our health care, closed borders and deportations, conspiracy theories, and people who hate gay people. Reagan (as opposed to Goldwater) got huge votes because of what he was FOR (free markets, strong America, positive-optimistic attitude).
10) We have another national day of prayer, instituted by Abraham Lincoln: Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a transitive verb which requires an object. And that would be God.
11) For the record, I believe:
-in having “in God we Trust” on our money
-in school prayer
-that the Bible should be taught in public schools, at least as literature and history
-that intelligent design should be taught in public schools along with spontaneous non-designed evolution.
-that marriage is between one man and one woman.
-that faith conversation and prayer belongs in the marketplace, the public square, the government, the media, and our schools. It is a part of who we are and free societies are free to be who they are.
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