Wednesday, April 21, 2010

National Day of Prayer

I suppose National Day of Prayer has always gotten a lot of heat before, but this year, the heat intensified when a Wisconsin judge ruled it unconstitutional. More coals were added since Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, was invited to speak at the Pentagon on May 6, National Day of Prayer, since he's this year's honorary chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. The honorary chairman of the task force is annually invited to speak at the Pentagon on the National Day of Prayer.

Graham has received criticism for saying that Islam "is a very evil and wicked religion," and "as a minister...I believe it is my responsibility to speak out against the terrible deeds that are committed as a result of Islamic teaching." He said this after the 9/11 attacks.

Quickly, my thoughts: If you're getting overheated about Graham's statements, I ask you why. How many times have Christianity been slammed in this way? And for good reason. Many people killed in the name of God. But is God to blame? Don't account the greed and corruption of man. What if someone killed in your name? Are you to blame? No, not unless you hired the killer. If you want to make that case, that God in a way hired the killers, then put God on the stand. Quit riding Graham on what he said 9 years ago. You've said the same thing about Christianity. If you're the average person, it's most likely not the religion of Christianity you slammed, but Christians. You can say all you want about Graham offending those of the Islam faith. Many of the Christian faith has also been offended & continue to be offended. What really happened is that a Christian called you* out. Cool your menopause and man up. You feel offended. Welcome to the club.

*By "you" I mean the general public. Yes, Graham specifically spoke about the Islam religion but I'm referring to all the people offended by his statement, not just those of the Islam religion. I'm referring to all the people who have also given similar statements about Christianity and Christians.

Mikey Weinstein is the president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He said he doesn't object to the National Day of Prayer, but instead objects to the Pentagon's working relationship with the National Day of Prayer Task Force because they are a Christian based task force. Weinstein and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) are against the government's involvement in the National Day of Prayer, citing separation of church and state. The National Day of Prayer was designated by the US Congress in 1952. The FFRF sued President George W. Bush, Jim Doyle, Shirley Dobson, and White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. When the Obama administration asked US District Judge Barbara Crabb to dismiss the case, the FFRF also included President Obama and Press Secretary Gibbs in the lawsuit. Judge Crabb ruled that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional but also stayed her ruling until all appeals are completed.

I don't see complete separation of church and state in the United States happening. Our history is steeped with religion, faith, and yes, Christianity (even Lincoln issued a day of prayer saying our nation has forgotten God...geez, what will he say if he was here today). It just seems like to completely get rid of all traces of Christianity in our government is to completely rewrite the truth of our history as a nation. Why can't people just accept and respect the fact that many if not all of the men that built our nation were religious and even Christian? Yes they wrote the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, but they also lived in a time when their faith openly carried into their work in government. And they weren't persecuted for it. If they were, not as much as they would be today.

I get it the argument. I do. When the government is involved in an event regarding the Christian God, I get the argument. It doesn't seem fair to other religions or to people with no religion. What seems petty and grade school to me is suing all these people and leaders. And when the Obama administration asked to dismiss the case, they sued Obama and the Press Secretary too. Quick sidenote: is the Press Secretary a PRESS secretary, as in the messenger? Did they just kill the messenger? Anyway, this whole suing of leaders and presidents thing just feels like someone said, "Let's make an example out of somebody, and make that somebody a someone so people won't forget." Another sidenote: I think the Obama administration asked to dismiss the case because they needed to save face and get it out there that you can't just go around suing the leaders of this nation. They might take the side of pride, but I say don't go around suing the leaders of this nation because they have better things to do. Like fixing our economy for one! You people taking up all their time and then complaining that they're not doing enough. Shame on you.

And why can't other religions push for their own National Day of Prayer? So the first Thursday of May is taken up with the Christian based National Day of Prayer. And it may be too established with Christianity for other religions to want to join in. Well, there are other days of the week and other months if you like Thursday. I'm okay if Congress invites other religious leaders to speak at the Pentagon. I'm secure about my faith and I know where I stand. So yes, I'm okay with that. Suing I'm not okay with. Like I said, leave our leaders alone so they can do their job. If you take up all their time, don't be complaining about our economy or the health bill or whatever it is you feel like complaining about.

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