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Prayer and Politics (Part 2) Print E-mail
by Wes Riddle    Mon, Jun 7, 2010, 09:57 AM

It would be a huge step towards peace and progress in the Middle East if those countries in that region would allow freedom of worship and for Christian ministry to compete on equal footing with Islam. But frankly I wonder sometimes if we aren't becoming more like Saudi Arabia instead of the other way around, as we lose freedom of worship in these United States-or just as bad in terms of effect: the loss of our worship in freedom caused by omission and disuse, by historical forgetfulness, and by present day cowardice. One has to practice to pray, just like one has to practice to play beautiful music on the violin or practice to sing a beautiful solo. That's why it is so insidious for the Courts to have banned prayer in schools, and why that and so many other examples banning expressions of faith and religious symbols are injurious to this Republic.  

Apparently in Florida an atheist created a case this year against Easter and Passover. The guy hired an attorney to bring a discrimination suit against Christians and Jews in observances of their holy days. The argument was it was unfair, since atheists had no such recognized days. Fortunately the judge knew better and dismissed the case-he said his state does in fact set a day aside for atheists and it is called April 1st/April Fools' Day! To prove his point he cited Psalm 14:1, which reads: [only] "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." Now that's obviously a light-hearted way of viewing our problem, but it really is no laughing matter what's been happening to freedom of worship. Consider the controversy leading up to this very day, when U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb of Wisconsin ruled the National Day of Prayer violates the First Amendment's prohibition on government endorsement of religion. Well, I don't think she's getting very far with that.  

But piggy-backing on this the American Humanist Association suggested that we ought to replace it with the "National Day of Reason"-amazing really, since the Founders in the Age of Reason, saw absolutely no inconsistency between their rational faculty and calling people to pray. Nor would they have ever dreamt the Constitution would be turned so inside out. Is it for want of a People committed so much to prayer they would never abide by restrictions we now endure? Has it gotten to the point the loss of worship in freedom doesn't bother us that much, because we've simply fallen too much out of the habit of praying daily?  

The leadership of the Revolutionary Army would never have buckled like the U.S. Military did today, over something as slight as political correctness, by canceling an appearance at the Pentagon of the country's leading evangelist, Rev. Franklin Graham, because he said things untoward about the religion of those we are fighting. It has gotten to the point that it makes no sense at all. Hence one of our prayers, as Scripture tells us, should always be Lord, help us never to be put to confusion.  

Whatever condition it is we live in today, it is not the condition of Freedom our Founders would recognize. An administrative, bureaucratic tyranny maybe-it is not the ordered Liberty we once enjoyed and which heralded the ascent of these United States. Today historically speaking, the United States is by whatever markers you may choose to look at, a nation in decline. We are the Rome of the Age, and the American Century is behind us if we choose at this juncture to do nothing. It will take more than hard work, volunteering, contributing money to just causes and candidates. Only by adding prayer to that mix, have we something potent enough to save, to propitiate for sin, and to move America onto the right course. Prayer is not the same as doing nothing. Remember that. It changes chemicals in the body. It brings unseen infinite resources to bear. It strengthens resolve, and is a powerful activity involving mind and spirit.  

Many of our leaders have known this. The National Day of Prayer as an annual event was passed by joint resolution of Congress in 1952 and signed into law by President Truman. The tradition of calling for special days set aside for prayer goes back much further, indeed to the American Revolution and to the First Continental Congress in 1775. The National Day of Prayer is currently observed on the first Thursday of May.  

And although the National Day of Prayer is an occasion for many prayer breakfasts around the country, I should point out there is also such a thing as the National Prayer Breakfast, a semi-public, technically private event. Although for most of the twentieth century business and professional people, as well as groups like the Gideons, held regular meetings at breakfast for Bible study, it was President Dwight Eisenhower who presided over the first National Prayer Breakfast in 1953. It was in the context of the life and death struggle that was the Cold War he said, "The problems of the world are so great that they won't be solved unless the leaders get together and pray."  

_____________________

Wesley Allen Riddle is a retired military officer with degrees and honors from West Point and Oxford. Widely published in the academic and opinion press, he ran for U.S. Congress (TX-District 31) in the 2004 Republican Primary. Article based on remarks to Central Texas Republican Women at their annual prayer breakfast in observance of the National Day of Prayer (6 May 2010), Temple, Texas. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Comments (6)add comment
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written by Ray Ingles , June 07, 2010

It helps, when making one's case, to stick to claims that are actually true:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/atheist.asp



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written by ElHombre , June 07, 2010

Ouch. Wes has been schooled again. lol


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written by History , June 07, 2010

Not so. Inflection in the speech made it clear that the April Fools joke was, well, just a joke. Even in the text, there should be sufficient ambiguity to tip you off that it isn't being cited for the case number--only the humor. Wes


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written by Rob , June 07, 2010

What is up with these poor Christians who find it impossible to pray unless they can get some kind of official government endorsement or other special support from elected officials?

Does practicing to pray REALLY imply that you have to do it in a way that shoves it in the faces of others who do not share your beliefs? Should this be more voluntary to be meaningful (instead of slapping everyone else in the face by insisting that your beliefs get a privileged priority)?


By the way, i recommend that people read the ruling about the natuional ay of Prayer. The judge did NOT (I repeat, not) find the day itself to be unconstitutional. How absurd! Read the ruling. It's educational.

She did rule, and rightly so that the government cannot tell be to pray, or not to pray, or how to pray, or when to pray. That's simply not the proper function of a secular government.

Pray if you want, but please stop whining so much about how the atheists are destroying your faith and killing your god. They are doing no such thing. You are. All they want is to be included in the government which is for ALL the people, without having your peculiar superstitions given special rights. Go in your closet and pray, like Jesus tells you in the Bible -- or maybe Jesus is an unpatriotic fool, too?

Prayer causes more problems than it solves. Pushy religious charlatans who want to perpetuate their pious frauds are doing no favor to honest religious people who are both ABLE and WILLING to pray with no government support needed or requested. What a concept.



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written by Pluto Animus , June 09, 2010

"Whatever condition it is we live in today, it is not the condition of Freedom our Founders would recognize."
You're so right! Americans no longer have the freedom to own (and trade) slaves, like our great, illustrious Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson did. They owned slaves, and they were good Christians. Both God and Jesus sanction slavery. What has happened to our great country?



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written by BIG C , June 09, 2010

Typical idiotic arguements by the leftist crazies. Please re-educate yourself on our founders and put yourself in that time period. There is nobody alive today that could touch the honor and intelligence of our founders. But this comment is a typical publically educated individual that believes what he is told instead of having enough intellect to actually do the research necessary for a real understanding of liberty.



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