You've been pretty busy lately!
Yesterday was May Day, Mission Accomplished Day, and, I noticed one day too late, National Day of Prayer.
My calendar just isn't big enough for all those holidays. Maybe I need to get the one GWB had in his pocket five years ago.
Shirley Dobson, who's running the show, had to do something to top last year's sermon, "A Nation Abandoned by God" (Sarah Posner thinks it's because of lesbian sex). So she brought out the big gun, Oliver North.
Isn't this a great use of tax dollars?
The National Day of Prayer was created by Harry Truman to bring all people together in prayer, no matter what religion, if even they don't have a religion.
As shaky as that idea is, I suppose it could work in some abstract sense if the people involved tried. But since they put Shirley Dobson in charge of their National Day of Prayer Task Force, I'm going to guess that they gave up on the inclusiveness.
Indeed, their mission statement repeats standard-issue Religious Right garbage about working in the Judeo-Christian tradition:
The National Day of Prayer Task Force was a creation of the National Prayer Committee for the expressed purpose of organizing and promoting prayer observances conforming to a Judeo-Christian system of values. People with other theological and philosophical views are, of course, free to organize and participate in activities that are consistent with their own beliefs. This diversity is what Congress intended when it designated the Day of Prayer, not that every faith and creed would be homogenized, but that all who sought to pray for this nation would be encouraged to do so in any way deemed appropriate. It is that broad invitation to the American people that led, in our case, to the creation of the Task Force and the Judeo-Christian principles on which it is based.
"Judeo-Christian" is still a far cry from the fully inclusive vision it started with, but still sounds better than the reality that it's all about fundamentalist Protestantism now:
Using her vast powers as chair of the national task force, Dobson requires her coordinators to sign this statement of faith.
I believe that the Holy Bible is the inerrant Word of The Living God. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only One by which I can obtain salvation and have an ongoing relationship with God. I believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, his virgin birth, his sinless life, his miracles, the atoning work of his shed blood, his resurrection and ascension, his intercession and his coming return to power and glory. I believe that those who follow Jesus are family and there should be unity among all who claim his name. I agree that these statements are true in my life.
I wonder how many Jewish people would be willing to sign that statement of faith? Or how many Catholics? Or Eastern/Oriental Orthodoxies? Mormons? Liberal or moderate Protestants?
The National Day of Prayer, when people of all religions and beliefs can come together to accept Jesus Christ as their savior and agree that every word of the Bible is literally true.
The Minnesota Monitor takes a look at the list of attendees at their state's festivities and finds that they're all evangelical, and a few are working explicitly against LGBT equality.
So the federal government is, along with state governments, celebrating a holiday to celebrate how cool one specific brand of one religion is compared to others. If that's not endorsing a religion, I don't know what is.
And the fact that they can get away with making their own "God Damn America" speeches (we all know what "A Nation Abandoned by God" means) and not only get accepted as the center of American Christianity but also promoted by the government makes me pretty grumpy.