On this, the National Day of Prayer, I am praying for the end of the National Day of Prayer. There is absolutely no reason to have the government involved in something like this and I'm already tired of the faux outrage from the right because Obama is choosing to pray privately (which is what it says to do in the Bible). We've got too much prayer in this country, too many people wearing their religion on their sleeve, how about a National Day of Secularism? Or a National Day of Logic? And how about we celebrate it 365 days a year?
The funny thing about this bullshit holiday is that it's only been around since 1952. My dad is older than the National Day of Prayer, so it's just more evidence that this country has been hijacked by the religious right and they've been at this for quite a few decades. It is a direct violation of the First Amendment and the exact opposite of what our Founding Fathers intended. Let's take a look at some quotes from our third president:
"Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the time for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and right can never be safer than in their hands, where the Constitution has deposited it. ...civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents."
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State."
Many of our Founding Fathers were believers in one way or another, but they were also very critical of religious institutions and they actually questioned the very idea of religion. Benjamin Franklin once said, "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason," imagine if a candidate today said that. He'd be run out of town, tarred and feathered by the right-wing propaganda machine and his political career would be over. Today, you don't necessarily have to be as crazy as George W. Bush and hear voices in your head, but you do have to have some religion. Of course, this is unconstitutional, but it's an unwritten law, so there's really not much rational people can do about it.
You know what I hope Obama is doing to celebrate today? Working! He's the President of the United States, he's got far more important things to do. Prayer sure as hell isn't going to get us out of recession, get people back to work or solve the crisis in Pakistan (actually I think prayer is the exact cause of the crisis in Pakistan), so I'd much rather him be getting shit done. I know Barack Obama is a man of faith, but for the sake of this nation, I hope he's lying. We had eight years of a man who thought he had magical powers and look where that got us... maybe it's time for an appeal to reason? Pray on your own time, do what makes you feel good, but keep it away from our government.