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National Day of Prayer

April 28, 2013

To the editor: One of the things that makes our nation great is the faith of its people expressed in prayer....

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Apr-28-13 9:13 AM

What a huge contradiction of the separation of church and state. Churches, have a prayer day. It should NOT be a day nationally recognized by the government.

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Apr-28-13 3:36 PM

The National Day of Prayer is observed by Americans of many faiths, including Christians of numerous denominations, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, etc.

It was enacted in 1952, observed by every President since, signing a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray or meditate.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation wants it banned. I'm real tired of this group trying to take faith based rights & traditions away. It's one day out of the year, & if they don't want to pray, they can just meditate or do nothing, but they should leave it alone & let us keep it.

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Apr-29-13 12:04 PM

So Ring, what do you have to look forward to after you die?

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Apr-29-13 1:31 PM

Just what are "faith based rights and traditions" ?

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Apr-29-13 1:52 PM

There is a difference between "freedom OF religion" and "freedom FROM religion". The Constitution does not guarantee the latter.

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Apr-29-13 2:27 PM

I am in no way saying that churches shouldn't organize a national day. I am not suggesting taking your time to pray or organize group prayer away. What is not appropriate is for the government to endorse/suggest that you pray. This should have never been a presidential proclamation in the first place. Because it is doesn't make it right. Why isn't it okay to just be content with the religious freedom you enjoy? Why is government involvement needed?

Christians are fine with Day of Prayer because it amplifies their belief system. I am guessing the same people commenting here would be opposed to a National Day of Fasting for Ramadan. There is no difference between that and a National Day of Prayer. So please be careful what you wish for. Government should be religiously neutral or it doesn't represent all of its citizens. What is does do, however, is create a separation.

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Apr-29-13 8:57 PM

A "National Day of Fasting for ramadan" would endorse one religion, and that would be wrong. National Day of Prayer endorses no religion. In God We Trust.

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Apr-29-13 11:03 PM

What a crazy mixed up world this is.

I just hit the agree button on MIT's latest post.

What next, a woman president?

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Apr-30-13 8:41 AM

Why do the faithful need to be called to prayer through a government proclamation ?

Where is the government need to participate in such an endeavor ?

Isn't it all just another ploy to make our politicians look like "regular guys" to the rest of us ?

I'd rather judge our elected leaders on their more mundane and routine tasks like balancing our budget, education, national security, etc. If having our politicians coming out being "pro prayer" makes you all warm and fuzzy inside - then so be it. Just remember, you're being duped.

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Apr-30-13 4:22 PM

MichaelT what do you haave to look for after death NOTHING OR IN MOST CASE'S*****

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Apr-30-13 7:41 PM

And no one answered- not even Michael: Why do you need a government recognized prayer day? Why can't this be done without the government? Anyone??

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May-01-13 8:24 AM

It's not a matter of "need". The government chose to endorse this day because it felt that it was important to the country and the country's well-being as a whole. At no point did the president wake up with a "need to endorse". Govt reps vote based on their faiths all the time, separation of church and state is a punch line that has no white or black, but complete gray.

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May-01-13 11:57 AM

How is this important to our country's well being ? Are we all just supposed to pray our way out of our economic woes ?

If a politician wants to use "their faith" as a basis for voting on key issues then so be it. I think more of them use a higher calling, however. They vote based on what will garner them the most money in their re-election coffers.

The government has no reason to promote any religious practice even one as generic as prayer.

Are you religious people so weak in your own faith as to need the goverment to tell you it is ok to pray ?

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May-01-13 3:35 PM

Why argue about it ? For the same reason you feel compelled to dictate who others can marry.

Some people don't pray. Some people have no particular religious affiliation. When the goverment advocates a particular religious practice it is taking sides and demonstrates it is pro-religion when by design it is to remain neutral. Individuals can practice their religions to their hearts content but there is no stated purpose for our government institutions to do so - at least no viable reason that any of you have been able to state.

Michael, the majority of Americans support same-sex marriage do you feel it is another one of those things we shouldn't be arguing over ?

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May-01-13 6:14 PM cannot have freedom OF religion without freedom FROM it. That is the same as saying the constitution says you have to have a religion. That argument always makes me laugh. Sort of, if I wasn't so depressed by it. We don't need the gov't proclaiming a day of prayer, that is what our churches are there for. And one can pray any where, and any time voluntarily.

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May-01-13 7:19 PM

You can not have freedom OF religion without freedom FROM it. The below quote is from A.Cline and explains it best:

"Freedom from religion does not mean, as some mistakenly seem to claim, being free from seeing religion in society. No one has the right not to see churches, religious expression, and other examples of religious belief in our nation — and those who advocate freedom of religion do not claim otherwise.

What freedom from religion does mean, however, is the freedom from the rules and dogmas of other people’s religious beliefs so that we can be free to follow the demands of our own conscience, whether they take a religious form or not. Thus, we have both freedom of religion and freedom from religion because they are two sides of the same coin."

And Michael- no one is asking the government to be Atheist. Religiously neutral will do.

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May-01-13 9:53 PM

Now, MIT, you were doing just fine, don't go off the cliff.

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May-01-13 11:21 PM

If you don't want to observe National Day of Prayer, then don't! I generally don't observe it. I also don't observe Presidents' Day, Columbus Day, MLK day or many other government holidays or whatever they choose to call them. Just because I don't observe them doesn't mean that I think the government shouldn't proclaim them. Quit being so d@me uptite.

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May-01-13 11:22 PM

If you don't want to observe National Day of Prayer, then don't! I generally don't observe it. I also don't observe Presidents' Day, Columbus Day, MLK day or many other government holidays or whatever they choose to call them. Just because I don't observe them doesn't mean that I think the government shouldn't proclaim them. Quit being so **** uptite.

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May-02-13 10:03 AM


You are the only one twisting things. There is absolutley nothing wrong with our founding fathers or any current government official practicing their religion. It is the institution of government that has no purpose in advocating or engaging in religious practices. There is no conflict or twisting of the first amendment in my previous statement.

The argument you put forward here is the same flawed argument you use to oppose same-sex marriage. Our government has no reason or purpose for defining marriage on purely religious grounds. It is not our government's place to define religion or it's practices for anyone in our country including those who wish not to practice any religion at all.

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May-02-13 10:33 AM

Where is the outrage when Pres. Obama gives speeches asking for Americans to pray after horrific events in this country? No one's on here talking about prayer endorsement by govt then. Maybe, in those instances, prayer is ok? Even if it's endorsed and asked for by our govt? Just wondering, since this is a black and white issue, obviously.

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May-02-13 10:56 AM

This debate is preposterous and ill informed. 1. The National Day of Prayer is not an endorsement of any one faith, but rather an endorsement of prayer, which is not exclusive to any single religion. 2. There are many days of observance issued by presidential proclamation. Many that appeal to a much more narrow demographic than prayer, so let's not inflate the issuance of a presidential proclamation to official government endorsement or creation of any sort of state run church. 3. The christian faith has more aggressively organized events relating to the national day of prayer, but this has in no way discouraged or dissuaded any other faith in organizing their own events.

Please take some time and research different days of observance and the national day of prayer specifically before engaging any further in this argument.

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May-02-13 5:01 PM

Presidential proclamations by definition are used to set public policy. This differs greatly in substance and context when compared to a speech. A speech is delivered by a person (the president) and may include personal commentary includung their closely held beliefs. A proclamation, on the other hand, is only delivered by the president and represents the official stance of the federal government and all of its people.

Just because the president may make other proclamations doesn't excuse him from making one relating to the affirmative practice of religion. Our federal government has no purpose in promoting any religious practice even one as benign as prayer.

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May-02-13 10:16 PM

Michael- he is a writer/educator. Considering your "expertize" on atheism I'm surprised you didn't know that. And it's beside the point anyway. It doesn't matter who he is and I only included his name as to not take credit for someone else's words. He makes a very valid point (freedom of religion/from religion need each other). What about it do you disagree with?

And regarding ignoring the constitution- you seem to be more than willing to do this when it comes to restricting the rights and pursuits of happiness of same-sex couples. Do you ever tire of talking out of both sides of your mouth?

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May-03-13 9:41 AM


Washington made his prayer proclamation ten years before he was president and eight years before our constitution was ratified. He was then general of the continental army. So his proclamation wasn't made as prsiddent and was done before the first amendment was even in existence. So, just was your point ?

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