Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pray It Ain't So

I read an article recently on a how federal judge in Wisconsin ruled the National Day of Prayer to be unconstitutional and the backlash this has created among both conservatives and liberals alike. Among the typical omnipresent and omni-verbose figures (cough…Palin…cough, cough) raising an outcry, even President Obama has weighed in on the decision with plans to challenge the ruling. This article was very interesting to me for quite a few reasons. First and foremost being…We have a National Day of Prayer? Did you know this? Did anyone know this? Second, I would love to know how Wisconsin has successfully taken care of all possible legal issues to allow this particular judge such a plethora of time as to feel the need to make a ruling on this. I can see her sitting in her office, behind her mahogany desk flipping through some cases – Let’s see, we have antitrust violations...corporate fraud...discrimination...interstate cheese thievery...What’s this? National Day of Prayer?! Well, that’s just wrong!

I can sleep so much better at night now.

In actuality, my real issue with this entire debacle is not the nature of the ruling, or that there was even a ruling at all. My real issue is that we felt the need to institute a National Day of Prayer in the first place. According to U.S. Code Section 119, “The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United State may turn to God in prayer”. Why thank you, how kind! Except that what you call a Day, I call my everyday. Should not those who would be willing to participate in such a day be doing so already, not at the government’s behest? Have we become so inundated with mundane daily details that our own governing body – the same body that executes the death penalty and declares war – must remind us to pray as well? I pray because I believe Someone is listening to me and loves me, today, the National Day and every day after that, not because Section 119 told me to.

I suppose that I agree with the ruling. Go ahead, abolish the day and put the onus of faith on the individual, whether they want to exercise it or not.

I pray that they will.

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