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Comments about ‘Do we need a National Day of Prayer?’

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Published: Thursday, May 1 2014 9:40 a.m. MDT

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morpunkt
Glendora, CA

When people such as James Dobson, of Focus on the Family, was averse to LDS participation in this event, it really turned me off.

The Skeptical Chymist
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

A particular church, or a group of churches, should be able to proclaim a particular date a day of prayer, but it is a breach of the First Amendment for the government to proclaim a day of prayer. The government should not be telling Americans to pray in a Congressional Proclamation. They should not be telling Americans to pray, not to pray, whom to pray to, or when to pray. Indeed, the government should be totally silent regarding prayer.

This is a perversion of the Constitution that was first created at the height of the Cold War to distinguish our country from "godless" Communism. Then and now, it is an exercise in pandering to the religious feelings of theocratically-inclined Americans in a cynical attempt to gain their support.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Mr. Jefferson, build up that wall.

my_two_cents_worth
university place, WA

If the national day of prayer were truly a day of unity and gathering for the common good of all I might be less offended by it but it is not. It has been hijacked by the most extreme side of the "Christian right" and is more becoming a special event for the "right" kind of people. The Dobson group out of Colorado Springs are using it as a platform for their narrow view of Christianity and here in WA state, the Tacoma keynote speaker is one of the most toxic fundamentalist "Christians" and jurists in the nation: Judge Roy Moore of Alabama. How do we find "unity" when our keynote speaker has called for the criminalization of homosexuality, snubbed his nose at the very constitution he has sworn to defend, and made it clear that only those who worship the god he worships and only the way he finds appropriate are worthy of their day in his court.

OneWifeOnly
San Diego, CA

Do Christians really need our nation's politicians to remind them to pray today? Ironic that a group who claims they want government out of their lives needs our government for this. Just as ironic is the statement in the article that atheists and secularists need to fight back.

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

For me and my family, every day is a day of prayer. We don't need a specially-designated day to remind us to pray.

From a political standpoint, it is not the governments place or position to foster prayer. Individual politicans can, speaking for themselves, urge people to pray but the government cannot (or should not) since that would be an establishment of religion which is contrary to the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Religious congregations, hierarchies and related organizations can, of course, suggest a National Day of Prayer any time they want, pursuant to said First Amendment.

jasonlivy
Orem, UT

I would ask, why is prayer such a threat to certain people? All it is is a simple expression of humility and love. People can choose whether or not they want to believe in God, but those of us who do, we believe that prayer is our way of showing that there is more to this life than what we observe and involve ourselves with on a daily basis. Prayer is a simple plea to help me do better and be a better person. If people feel threatened by that, they have much bigger issues they need to concern themselves with.

When we as a nation don't think we need God anymore, then that is when we should start worrying about the future of our nation.

jasonlivy
Orem, UT

To me, all it is is a simple reminder that prayer is still important to, hopefully, the majority of the citizens of our nation. Once those who pray become the minority, that is when we should worry.

People can politicize it all they want, but for many this might be the only time they put any thought to the need for prayer. It also shows me that our nation has not abandoned God and understands His role in the creation of country.

I, for one, will use this day to remember the sacrifices so many have made and will kneel on my knees in humble gratitude for everything I have. I would encourage all to do the same.

RedShirtCalTech
Pasedena, CA

To "The Skeptical Chymist" luckily most of us know that you are wrong.

The constitution only says that there cannot be a state religion. Having the government ask people to pray to the God(s) that they believe in is not establishing a state religion. It is no different than the government asking you to use less water or electricity. They can ask, but are not forcing you to do anything.

EternalPerspective
Eldersburg, MD

The Skeptical Chymist

Let us remember that the national day of prayer is not an obligatory requirement on how to pray, whom to pray, what to say, or any such mandate. Rather, it is an observation to worship whatever form of diety is your target of faith (or choose not). There is no specific regulation for Christian, Jewish, or any other religious doctrine confirmity.

The statements you make are simply not true. They assume the government is imposing religion on the people, but it instead extending an invitation to express the inherent human desire to ponder and reach towards something more than the intelligence of the creature. It is a moment of reflection in our busy lives we all so desparately need.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I pray often each day. It could seem silly to think one day of prayer could do any good. But, as it is in the Church, so too, when leaders remind us to pray, it is more than the act. Rather, it is also the symbolism of our nation's roots and foundation that were certainly instilled and inspired by the framers of the Constitution.

my_two_cents_worth
university place, WA

@jasonlivy

I would ask, if prayer is not a threat to certain people why then the need for Federal Recognition and set-aside day for prayer? Why do only "Christians" insist on continuing the practice? Why are other religions NOT joining in the day's activities? Why are only the most extreme of American Christian groups so actively promoting the day? The answers to those questions, for me, defines the threat to my religious liberties.

Finally, I am an American who loves his country. I wore the uniform of the United states Army for most of my adult life and still affirm my commitment to defending our great constitution. I am also an atheist. When people insist on linking the survival of our great nation, to their "God" I am offended. I am offended not because of your belief but because your insistence that *god is what is protecting this country* is dismissive to my service and the service off all non-believers who have served.

Finally, since it is the National Day of Prayer I will issue my own: "Lord, I pray that you will protect me from your believers."

jasonlivy
Orem, UT

my_two_cents_worth

We need Federal Recognition because this nation was founded on a firm belief that God existed and that He inspired, as evidenced by our Founding Fathers, the Constitution! This nation, that you love so dearly, was founded on Judeo-Christian values and philosophies! The United States of America exists because our framers relied on prayer to help them form this nation! The government is not promoting religion, but acknowledging the need for prayer. You may not need it in your life but I can guarantee you this nation desperately needs it!

Federal Recognition is an indication that we are not haughty, arrogant, and so self-absorbed that we feel we can do it all on our own. Federal Recognition means that as a nation the majority still fears God more than it fears man.

I also served in the Army and if it wasn't for prayer I wouldn't have made it through. It gave me the strength and courage to do what was needed.

If you feel threatened, it is based on your own self-conceived, and totally irrational fear.

Ranch
Here, UT

@jasonlivy;

Zeus is beginning to get very, very angry and is going to start tossing his lightning bolts around any day now...

Your god isn't any more relevant to this country than is Zeus, Odin, Ra or Mr. Bean.

my_two_cents_worth
university place, WA

@jasonlivy

You said "...because this nation was founded on a firm belief that God existed...as evidenced by our Founding Fathers, the Constitution! "

Really? I did not know that. Guess it's time for me to dust of my copy of the constitution and have a look. Oh, look, here it is in Article VI: "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but NO RELIGIOUS TEST SHALL EVER BE REQUIRED as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." Oh, wait, that can't be right. Perhaps you are referring to this: Amendment 1, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Oops. Not there either. I'm confused can you show me exactly where this firm belief is evidenced in our founding document?

bandersen
Saint George, UT

I know the difference between those I teach in school who rely on prayer and those who don't. Those who rely on prayer are less likely to be involved in immorality, drugs, and welfare than those who rely on it! For me, that's a good enough reason to promote God in the classroom. You can promote the false and deceitful lie that Thomas Jefferson wanted a wall between God and Government, but the truth is that he wanted to make sure that there was no such thing as a government that promoted its own state religion. Anyway, for the athiests, government is their religion, which is ironic and makes me more than leary of their claim that they want religion out of government. Where would they be if not for government? They would actually have to start making their own decisions in life rather than relying on someone to make their decisions for them.

nonceleb
Salt Lake City, UT

Just so we are clear on the founding of this nation, there is an oft-repeated myth about the creation of the Constitution. When prayer was proposed at the convention Alexander Hamilton said they did not need any "foreign aid." Prayer was voted down and there was no request for the services of a chaplain. It is fine for us to believe the Constitution was divinely inspired, but if we do, remember it was done without a request. Another myth is George Washington praying at Valley Forge. Washington, like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and other early patriots, was a deist. They did not believe in a personal god, but a god as the "creator," who does not intervene in the affairs of man. This prayer of Washington myth was invented by the minister Mason Weems, who also fabricated the cherry tree story.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

lighten up folks.

So, someone says it is a National day of prayer. Or Groundhog day or mothers day.

You dont have to do anything different.

And it is not at odds with the constitution. No religion is being singled out.

There are many areas where people try to push their religion on you.

This is not one of them.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: EternalPerspective, “There is no specific regulation for Christian's.”?

2 John 1:10-11 NLT, If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.

(`1John 4:1)Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world”. Verse 12, No man hath seen God at any time.

(1 John 3:16)… the love of God, because he laid down his life for us….”God on the Cross..

(1 John 5:20)And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is(Jesus) the true God and eternal life”.

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

@ nonceleb -

They did not believe in a "personal god"? Then these quotes must be fabricated:

"(T)he propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained" George Washington

“The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”
John Quincy Adams

“The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: 'that God governs in the affairs of men.' And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?" Benjamin Franklin

"I have tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty; through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Him for mercy; pray for me." Alexander Hamilton

AL The Younger
Gilbert, AZ

EVERY SINGLE DAY

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