Conservative religious groups are criticizing President Obama for what the Associated Press called his “muted” observance of National Prayer Day Thursday. “At this time in our country’s history, we would hope our President would recognize more fully the importance of prayer,” said Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of National Day of Prayer Task Force, which organizes the prayer day festivities. The Family Research Council said Obama’s decision to not have a big White House prayer event constituted a “de-emphasis on prayer.”

Also a de-emphasis on silly walks.

I think this is actually a case of religious conservatives having cut off their noses to spite their faces. Putting aside for a moment the question of whether it’s appropriate for the White House to be involved in encouraging prayer, this particular occasion has evolved in a way that almost guaranteed its demise.

The Bush White House had National Prayer Day run by a conservative, evangelistic Christian group. The mission statement on the Task Force’s Web site states that “in accordance with Biblical truth,” the Task Force seeks to, among other things:

“Foster unity within the Christian Church”
“Publicize and preserve America’s Christian Heritage”
“Glorify the Lord in word and deed”

The event became a showcase for religious conservative Christians to lead the nation in prayer…

Eight years of public butt-kissing doesn’t make ritual and superstition automatically part of the Constitution.




  1. Mister Mustard says:

    #118 – Scottie

    Nope, I’ve sadly been preoccupied with activities IRL. I’m back now, for a while. I see that the more things have changed, the more they’ve stayed the same.

    And you are correct, I won’t quote Scripture at you. I may pass along some wisdom derived from Scripture for your consideration, that’s all.

    Just be thankful that I don’t be quoting Changó at you. That’s one orisha you do n ot mess around with. In fact, I may go looking for a goat to sacrifice, for even writing his name. I should spell it Ch-ngó, like the Jews write “G-d”. “The orisha that dare not write its name”, to borrow a concept from the Prophet Oscar Wilde.

  2. BubbaRay says:

    Welcome back, Mr. Mustard! Come visit us at Cage Match, too! Scott’s a guest editor and I throw my 2 cents in once in a while. KD lets me comment there as well.

  3. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    According to the official website, thousands of “events” were held from coast to coast. These political activists apparently forgot to consult their Bibles when they organized this National Day of Prayer. If they had, they might have run across this uncomfortable set of prayer instructions which seem to preclude public events such as this, not to mention school prayer as well:

    “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

    “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

    “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.”

    (Words attributed to Jesus in Matthew 6:5-7, New American Standard Bible)

  4. RBG says:

    37 Greg Allen

    “A president could easily believe that a day of prayer is constitutional but not personally participate some times.”

    You do not salute the man, you salute the uniform. If the Office of the President of the US believes in what they are saying, then that Office should put its money where its mouth is and lead by example, else its called hypocrisy. What else does the President say he’s for but doesn’t really mean it? There’s no way to tell.

    RBG

  5. Uncle Patso says:

    When did this blog become the Alfred1 show? What’s with the obsession with pedophilia? I keep expecting him to start going on and on about our Precious Bodily Fluids…

    (Don’t bother your parents with it, kids, just Google it.)

  6. m.c. in l.v. says:

    #77

    What, no Flying Spaghetti Monster on your list?! Heretics! May his noodly appendages smite you a good one!

    Yeah, what is Alfie the Ignorant’s obsession with pedophilia? Is he trying to tell us something? Next he’ll be saying that he’s playing the naked movie star game with Chuck Norris underneath the car wash on the corner of Sepulveda and Marine in SoCal. Is this the McMartin Pre-School hysteria all over again? Maybe he was one of the deranged little kids that made up the whole story in the first place. That would explain a lot.

  7. badtimes says:

    #126- I share your outrage. Aaaargh me maties!
    #125- I do not avoid women, Mandrake. I do deny them my essence.

  8. Dallas says:

    It’s fun observing rational people trying to have a conversation with irrational ones. It’s like different levels.

    It’s sorta like watching an episode of COPS intervene in a domestic disturbance.

  9. Paddy-O says:

    # 106 bobbo said, “We will well served when religion is studied only as a cultural artifact.”

    That’s been tried in several countries. The result was 10’s of millions slaughtered.

  10. bobbo says:

    Hi-Ho-Paddy-OOOOoooo==Why not blame war on sauerkraut or vodka?????

    Silly person, I pass gas in your general direction!

  11. #122 – BubbaRay,

    Just to further your cagematch plug, I want to make sure everyone is aware that it is a forum, not a blog. If you don’t like the content or feel some important topic is not covered, start your own threads!! It’s a forum. Anyone can start threads there!

  12. #125 – Uncle Patso,

    I keep expecting him to start going on and on about our Precious Bodily Fluids…

    Great reference!! No need to google for me. I just re-re-rewatched that the other night. Purity Of Essence indeed!!

  13. Mr. Fusion says:

    #123, Gary

    The Eight “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts”

    1. I’d really rather you didn’t act like a sanctimonious holier-than-thou ass when describing my noodly goodness. If some people don’t believe in me, that’s okay. Really, I’m not that vain. Besides, this isn’t about them so don’t change the subject.

    2. I’d really rather you didn’t use my existence as a means to oppress, subjugate, punish, eviscerate, and/or, you know, be mean to others. I don’t require sacrifices, and purity is for drinking water, not people.

    3. I’d really rather you didn’t judge people for the way they look, or how they dress, or the way they talk, or, well, just play nice, okay? Oh, and get this into your thick heads: woman = person. man = person. Samey = Samey. One is not better than the other, unless we’re talking about fashion and I’m sorry, but I gave that to women and some guys who know the difference between teal and fuchsia.

    4. I’d really rather you didn’t indulge in conduct that offends yourself, or your willing, consenting partner of legal age AND mental maturity. As for anyone who might object, I think the expression is “go fuck yourself,” unless they find that offensive in which case they can turn off the TV for once and go on a walk for a change.

    5. I’d really rather you didn’t challenge the bigoted, misogynistic, hateful ideas of others on an empty stomach. Eat, then go after the bastards.

    6. I’d really rather you didn’t build multi-million dollar synagogues / churches / temples / mosques / shrines to my noodly goodness when the money could be better spent (take your pick):
    1. Ending poverty
    2. Curing diseases
    3. Living in peace, loving with passion, and lowering the cost of cable
    I might be a complex-carbohydrate omniscient being, but I enjoy the simple things in life. I ought to know. I AM the creator.

    7. I’d really rather you didn’t go around telling people I talk to you. You’re not that interesting. Get over yourself. And I told you to love your fellow man, can’t you take a hint?

    8. I’d really rather you didn’t do unto others as you would have them do unto you if you are into, um, stuff that uses a lot of leather/lubricant/vaseline. If the other person is into it, however (pursuant to #4), then have at it, take pictures, and for the love of Mike, wear a CONDOM! Honestly, it’s a piece of rubber. If I didn’t want it to feel good when you did it I would have added spikes, or something.

    The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

  14. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    #133 Mr. Fusion, those are principles that completely undermine nearly every purpose for which religion was invented.

    Excellent principles indeed!

  15. meetsy says:

    Yeah, I prayed that the ultra conservative rabid Christians would do that thing where they vanish and leave all their earthly belongings behind. I can get behind that.
    I’m sick of the arrogance.

  16. #133 – Mr. Fusion,

    Funny … I never noticed that FSM switched from decimal to octal …

  17. BubbaRay says:

    #131, Scott, thanks for the additional Cage Match info. Correct, anyone can start a topic as long as they are registered. That’s what makes it fun.

    Mr. Fusion, thanks for the gospel of the FSM. Enlightening!

  18. Mr. Fusion says:

    Gary, Scott, & Ray,

    Hey, It’s on the internet, it must be true!!!

  19. #138 – Scottie

    >>Funny … I never noticed that FSM switched
    >>from decimal to octal …

    He didn’t. “Eight” is not an octal number. That numbering scheme only goes up to seven (including zero, that’s eight numbers). So he’s still decimal.

    All hail the FSM.

  20. #139 – MM,

    Dang!! You’re right, of course. Why didn’t He start His numbering with zero. Maybe even FSM is not all-perfect.

  21. #130 – MistaBobbolina

    >>Hi-Ho-Paddy-OOOOoooo==Why not blame war on
    >>sauerkraut or vodka?????

    As part of my new program, sticking up for Paddy-Rambo, allow me to answer that question.

    He doesn’t blame it on sauerkraut or vodka, because those who eat sauerkraut or drink vodka generally do not view those who eat cole slaw or drink rum as morally inferior, intellectually challenged, and dishonest. At least not to the extent that they’re willing to slaughter 10’s of millions of them.

    That’s generally not the case with militant atheist evangelizers, who often view those whose spiritual beliefs differ from their own to be a problem, whose only solution is The Final Solution.

    All too often, in the kingdom of the militant atheist evangelizers, life is cheap. Dirt cheap.

  22. Mr. Fusion says:

    Mustard & Scott,

    Captain Mosey was given ten tablets of stone with the “I really wish you didn’ts”. Only he dropped two so we’ll never know what “didn’t” we are afoul of. Or not.

    The general theme seems to be, If your ass puckers when someone does it, then turn your back and ignore them. It just ain’t none of your effen business in the first place.