To pray or not to pray

No, this is not a post about reactions to the financial meltdown. It’s about National Day of Prayer (thanks to Orientalia4all for an interesting post).

We Europeans, especially in countries with a better tradition of separation between church and state (French readers, anyone?), are always taken aback when we hear that American civil institutions explicitly endorse religious rituals, such as a “Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance”. It reminds us of other American amenities such as the Creation Museum. Yet, according to the official website of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, a National Day of Prayer was first established by President Truman in 1952, after a joint Congressional resolution, and then signed into law with the official date of the first Thursday in May by President Reagan in 1988.

Last week, the Freedom of Religion Foundation sued President Bush and others over the law. It’ll be an interesting lawsuit.

I keep thinking that the post-apocalyptic world imagined by Neal Stephenson in Anathem, where learned people live in seclusion, do not use money and are resolutely atheist (while the rest of the world’s population is decidedly unlearned, shopaholic, and worships all sorts of gods and prophets), is not an improbable outcome.
For proof that religion and commerce these days are relentlessly intertwined, look no further than the home page of the National Day of Prayer Task Force site.

3 thoughts on “To pray or not to pray

  1. “For proof that religion and commerce these days are relentlessly intertwined, look no further than the home page of the National Day of Prayer Task Force site”

    Sadly, what you say is true, but God did not intend for prayer to be like this. Making out of anything to do with religion a profitable enterprise is the result of men’s fallen nature, and one day those who hide under the guise of religion with no other real intention than to make a profit for themselves, will be revealed and held accountable for it.

    Having said that, there are also millions out there, like myself, that seek nothing out of prayer other than an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father. We are not all bad so let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.

    ransom33 @ http://www.ransom33.wordpress.com

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