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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Today is the National Day of Prayer

On April 30, the president issued the customary proclamation declaring May 6 as a national day of prayer:
Let us remember in our thoughts and prayers those suffering from natural disasters in Haiti, Chile, and elsewhere, and the people from those countries and from around the world who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to render aid. Let us pray for the families of the West Virginia miners, and the people of Poland who so recently and unexpectedly lost many of their beloved leaders. Let us pray for the safety and success of those who have left home to serve in our Armed Forces, putting their lives at risk in order to make the world a safer place. As we remember them, let us not forget their families and the substantial sacrifices that they make every day. Let us remember the unsung heroes who struggle to build their communities, raise their families, and help their neighbors, for they are the wellspring of our greatness. Finally, let us remember in our thoughts and prayers those people everywhere who join us in the aspiration for a world that is just, peaceful, free, and respectful of the dignity of every human being.
As noted earlier, a federal judge recently ruled that a statutory day of prayer is unconstitutional. (The ruling did not apply to presidential proclamations.) According to Gallup, however, relatively few Americans have a problem with the idea:

As You May Know, in 1952 Congress Designated a National Day of Prayer, Which Will Be Held on May 6th This Year. Do You Favor or Oppose Having a National Day of Prayer, or Doesn't It Matter to You Either Way? Among National Adults and by Whether Religion Is Important in One's Life