Conservative columnist Cal Thomas writes:
A bipartisan group of 19 House lawmakers demanded Wednesday that the federal government appeal a week-old ruling by a federal judge that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional.
“She’s made a decision that seems on its face patently absurd,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), during the hour-long press conference sponsored by the Congressional Prayer Caucus.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled in Wisconsin on April 15 that a National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional, violating the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
Members sounded confident that the ruling would fall on appeal in the Seventh Circuit. And Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.) said he’s “certain” the Obama administration will issue a proclamation for a National Day of Prayer on May 6, despite the ruling.Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/36160.html#ixzz0lne57EOq
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Does-the-state-need-to-encourage-prayer_-91706444.html#ixzz0lngGLYYS
The larger question is: What difference does a national day of prayer make? Does every American pray on that day? If so, to which God? There are many faiths in America, including non-theistic ones.
Does a presidential proclamation aim to ask such people to pray to those gods? And if it does, then the entire exercise is meaningless. Sending letters to the same person at different addresses would mean that most aren't delivered.
Each faith has a different view of God and prays in a different way. The Jewish God is one whose initial covenant with the Jewish people remains in place. The Christian God sees that old covenant as having been replaced by a new covenant in Jesus Christ, who they believe is God's son. The Islamic God, Allah, believes Jesus was a great prophet, but not God's son, and that Ishmael, not Isaac, is the child of Abraham whose line (the Muslims) God chose to bless.
Theologically this matters. Politically it shouldn't. It is of no concern to me if this president, or any president, issues prayer proclamations. I can pray, or not, without government encouragement.