The president is required by law to sign a proclamation each year encouraging people to pray on the first Thursday in May.

Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer, an annual day of observance that encourages people across the country to join in prayer. Signed into law in 1952 by President Harry Truman (at the direction of the Rev. Billy Graham), the National Day of Prayer has long been celebrated by religious groups as an opportunity for Americans to unite and connect with their faith.

But the actual text of this observance seems to nod specifically to Christianity – it asks people “to turn to God in prayer and meditation.” And each year, the president is required by law to sign a proclamation encouraging people to pray on the first Thursday in May.

Online Backlash

As you might expect, not everyone is enthusiastic about a government-sponsored day of prayer. Just look at some of the responses to this tweet:

Many critics also insist that the annual celebration is an unconstitutional intrusion of faith into public life. Others argue that this de-facto endorsement of religion has a tangible negative effect on their lives:

As it turns out, this isn’t the first time such arguments have been made as part of an effort to end the National Day of Prayer.

Past Legal Challenges

In 2008, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed suit against the federal government, alleging that designating a National Day of Prayer was an unconstitutional breach of separation of church and state. As cause for the suit, they cited the alienating affect an official day of prayer has on those who are not religious.

After a series of decisions and appeals, a circuit court ruled against the FFRF, noting that “a feeling of alienation cannot suffice as injury.” The court went on to state that “the President is free to make appeals to the public based on many kinds of grounds, including political and religious, and that such requests do not obligate citizens to comply and do not encroach on citizens’ rights.”

As part of their decision, the court also cited Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, which included seven references to God and three to prayer.

Should the Government Sponsor Prayer?

Where do you stand on this issue? On the one hand, nobody is obligated to participate in the National Day of Prayer, nor does it explicitly endorse Christianity as the “correct” religion. For those opposed to it, one could argue the best approach is simply to live and let live.

On the other hand, however, visuals are powerful. Sure, a Christian rock band playing on the White House lawn doesn’t unequivocally say “this is the right way to worship” – but it certainly does have strong pro-Christian undertones. And is that performance being funded with taxpayer money? If so, the argument surrounding separation of church and state becomes a lot more compelling.

172 comments

  1. Sharon says:

    Why do some many people LACK resiliency? ANDWhy are they laying like they are the “victims” of everything? Or they are “offended” by this or that? If you are not “religious” turn it off!! Don’t listen to it!!! The next thing you know –the simply wearing of a cross or a pin that symbolizes “religion” will “offend” someone!! Each person interprets life through their own rose colored glasses and blinders!! Take them OFF and see the bigger vision!!!

    1. berryadventurous says:

      The issue here is whether or not a person is religious. Or even whether or not a person chooses to pray or not. The Constitution of our country strictly lays out the separation of church and state in the body of the document. Then the founders found it so important to clarify this separation and rights to practitioners of all faiths, that includes atheism, that the first amendment to the Constitution aka the beginning of the bill of right is as follows:

      “Amendment I
      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

      The reason this day of pray has been controversial for the past 65 years is because all of of Presidents have been Christian and celebrating praying in a Christian manner. To spend tax payer dollars of a glorified secular Christian holiday is where people find fault.

      Meditation opposed to pray has now been scientifically proven to be beneficial for all humans. It is a part of all religious, spiritual, faith traditions around the world and here in the USA. It is also a common practice of stress relief to non-religious, and atheists citizens.

      If the name was changed to National Day of Meditation it would be easier for all faiths and non-religious citizens to support.

      Why should Christianity be the one religion that continues to get special privileges to be out above others, when all religions are legally supposed to be separated from our governmental functions of the state?

      Either all religious and non-religious groups need to receive the same privileges or we need to actually follow the separation of religion and the state set forth in the USA constitution.

      1. Shawn Grothe says:

        The first amendment prohibits the government from interfering in religion but not the other way around. Second, Christianity is not the only religion that prays: Jews, Muslims, as well as Christians pray.

        1. Shadow VanDusen says:

          The first amendment should also provide our entire system of government IMMUNITY AGAINST INTERFERENCE by any and all religions as well, since it clearly states that “no law” concerning [any] religion shall be made. But since there IS a law that the POTUS MUST encourage people to pray, then the first amendment HAS BEEN VIOLATED.

          This is the flaw, and it needs to be fixed.

          Changing it from a “National Day of Prayer” (in which its terminology defines it as religious in nature), to a “National Day of Meditation” removes the influence of religion (by replacing the limiting word with a broader and more accepting one), while maintaining the ability to hold on to everything that people enjoy about the observance… except for the bias.

          ALL religion should stay out of government. Period.

          1. Kawika says:

            “Separation of Church and State (SoCaS)” means, simply, that the two entities DO NOT INTERFERE, INVOLVE nor ENDORSE eachother.

            A law requiring the POTUS to endorse a “Religious Practice” is Clearly a Violation of the principal of Separation of CHURCH and STATE and is therefore a Violation of Law if the US Constitution States that there should not be a secular law requiring religious practices.

            SoCaS was the thing that prompted the pilgrims from western Europe to migrate to America.

            Our leaders, in the beginning of the history of the US, were influenced by powerful fraternities and not religion; although these leaders were interested in providing an environment where practicing individual religious dogma would not be interfered with by government, and vice versa.

          2. tom says:

            Shadow…well constructed comments…Peace…Tom B

          3. Joanne Martin says:

            Does it say “how” everyone has to pray.

            Prayer definition -An earnest hope or wish

            Maybe it is meant to remind our country to reflect on goals and wish for the future. Therefore, the law is not concerning any religion at all which keeps the law constitutional. It doesnt say to pray to God or all praise Jesus…it simple states to pray and last time I check no one was being forced to take part if they didnt want to. The only person who could claim this is against their rights is whoever is residing in the White House if it require that they observe this day…does not say all US citizens must partake.

          4. Sheila says:

            Can’t be done. All decisions are based on that individual’s religion -everyone in government included esp. narrow-minded atheists (not that all atheists are narrow-minded, but the ones who are, are so whiny and controlling). Atheism is religion. Stop forcing it on me. You just want all other religions eliminated except your own – for you and others like you to be the only people free to practice their religion at all times and in all places. Others are NOT forcing their religion on you. You aren’t forced to do other religious practices, just forced to tolerate it if you are capable of being tolerant. But, you, you would force all other religions not to be practiced for the sake of only yours getting to be used.

            Hypocrite. And an unintelligent one.

    2. TigerMoon2 says:

      How about getting off your high horse and looking at it from a non-Christian’s, or non-religious person’s point of view. Christians like to think they are the ONLY legit path to righteousness. While the rest of us believe you are delusional at best, insufferable or maniacal at worst. And I am SO sick and tired of having to repeat the law of the land in this regard, which is SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!!! What part of that is confusing to you?
      I couldn’t care less if you choose delusion/fantasy worship, it’s your INSISTENCE that everyone else must participate and indulge you in that we object to. This country was founded on the prospect of FREEDOM, both OF and FROM it! Anything else falls under persecution. Just quit being disrespectful of other’s religions, or lack thereof, and we COULD all get along. As long as Christianity is divisive in their holier-than-thou attitudes and infringement upon others, we will keep calling you out on it. You need to understand just who is hounding who, here.

      1. Diana Lee McAnsh says:

        Total agreement.

      2. Shawn Grothe says:

        Separation of church and state is not the law of the law. The law states, government can not interfere with religion, but does not prohibit religion from influencing government.

        1. Kawika says:

          “…does not prohibit religion from influencing government…”

          I have seen religious Lobbyists try to sway secular actions by legislators.

          It’s very disturbing to see government consider the agendas of the religious persuaders and pressurised.

          All religions are considered equal by our government and government does not involve itself with religion as a common practice.

      3. Joanne Martin says:

        I am not a Christian…well not a practicing Christian but I was raised Catholic and can say without a doubt that stating that Christian’s, as a whole, “believe they are the only legit path. We all, hopefully, believe that what we believe is the the correct path or we wouldn’t be on it, correct?

        We l we’ve in a country that is mostly Christian which is why most things are centered around Christian faith. As with any faith, if you are comfortable and strong in your own faith you do not feel the need to force you beliefs on anyone. My strongest Christian friends have NEVER tried to convince me that what I believe is not correct in any way. Being as rooted in my own spirituality, I do not get offended when they verbalize their love of Jesus because I feel blessed for them that they have such a strong faith in something (which more people need to find their own thing to believe in and stop worrying about everyone else. The only thing you can control is what you choose to believe and how you chose to behave)

        1. Anna Brown says:

          “The only thing you can control is what you choose to believe”. People do not choose their beliefs. An argument/position is presented and you are either convinced or you are not. I did not choose to be an atheist. I no longer accepted the god hypothesis due to the lack of evidence. Never thought about it as a kid attending 12 yrs of Catholic school and all that goes with it.

          1. Joanne Martin says:

            I can see what you are saying. And I have respect for anyone who is not just deciding they believe in anything because they are told to. That’s not faith its a learned behavior.

            I will agree that after so many years of being raised Catholic and never quite feeling comfortable in my own I skin I went out and studied and asked questions and did everything i could to see if there was anything that made any sense to me. When I found my “truths” it wasn’t convincing myself it was the truth, I just knew it in my heart. I started from there and moved on. So yes, it’s not a choice like picking out a new jacket, where you decide what you may like or even worse..pick one as a way of retaliating against something or someone in you life. But a choice in the way that, even in your case, you knew what it was you wanted answered in order to continue down one path or another. Deciding that your rational mind could not find evidence of the Divine and therefore there has been nothing for you to believe to be any more than what we are experiencing here (I am not being specific, I have had many Athiest friends who all have their own view of what that means to them, so please accept my apology if I am misrepresenting your understanding in anyways. Just using an example). So then we can all “choose” to believe or not believe in any way we want. It took me many many years to find anything to grasp onto and still find myself falling back on “Fear of God” since I spent the majority of my childhood having it cemented into who I am.

    3. Nathaniel Robert Hunt says:

      I have shown up to prayer day events and been asked to leave when they find out I pray to the old Pagan Gods and not the Christian one…Freedom of religion means all religions and no religion is protected

      1. Sheila says:

        Annoying when people are jerks without even knowing it. Thank you for being the tolerant one regarding christians. Keep up your seeking through prayer, etc – and I christian I will, too. If I had a prayer event, you’d be welcome to it. I’m one of those C.S. Lewis christians. Still doesn’t mean I’m right, just means I think I’m right.

    4. Kawika says:

      Government needs to stay as far away from a perception of endorsing religious practice, and dogma, as possible!

      No half-measures allowed…!

      1. Anna Brown says:

        AGREE!

  2. Wayne Stevens says:

    Look people if you don’t want to pray don’t breathe but if you do want to Pray by all means pray I don’t think anybody is going to come into your home and force you to do either one at least I hope not anyway have a blessed day

  3. Wayne Stevens says:

    Please be aware that there was a mistake made in the first comment and do not include that in any second comment was the one that I intended

    1. Howard Pippin says:

      How come everyone, including the Universal life Church, always find problems with Christianity?Are we really that bad? I don’t believe practicing gays should be The leaders in my church, No more than the town drunk or the thief that keeps on stealing, should lead my church, and there are not. They are more than welcome to come and worship with me, another sinner. I have no problem with what you do in your church, do you have a problem with mine? If not, thank you.
      Howard

      1. Mark Hannon says:

        First of all, I don’t have to “practice” at being gay. I’ve always done it like a professional.
        Secondly, when churches start having enough people you approve of to volunteer for the leadership positions they have then you won’t need the rest of us.

      2. Michael Brooke says:

        Howard,
        Since we are all sinners, how do you decide which sinners are “qualified” to lead your church? Seems like we all (yes me too) like to be selective in choosing who to point our fingers at. So a gay person in a committed same sex marriage is “disqualified” in favor of a hetero person who is somehow more of a “worthy” sinner?

        1. Howard Pippin says:

          Michael Brooke. In case you didn’t get my other comment, please refer to first Corinthians chapter 6 verse nine.

      3. Kawika says:

        Howard Pippin,

        I highly suggest you proofread your comments before publishing them…

        Being unaware, or just blatantly ignoring, the feelings of others is something very injurious.

        Religion allows the practice of bigotry, prejudice, and xenophobia within its dogma.

        Is this the way you want to be known for?

        1. Howard Pippin says:

          Kawika. Could you please be a little more specific?

          1. Kawika says:

            Here you go…

            Read what you wrote:

            “May 3, 2019 at 5:40 pm
            How come everyone, including the Universal life Church, always find problems with Christianity?Are we really that bad? I don’t believe practicing gays should be The leaders in my church, No more than the town drunk or the thief that keeps on stealing, should lead my church, and there are not. They are more than welcome to come and worship with me, another sinner. I have no problem with what you do in your church, do you have a problem with mine? If not, thank you.
            Howard”

          2. Howard Pippin says:

            Here you go…

            Read what you wrote:

            Kawika-Please read first Corinthians 6 chapter verse nine. If that doesn’t work, please turn to Romans first chapter verse 26 through 32.If you need more, I think there are some. As far as I know you are welcome to come and set in my pew in church. I’d love to have another sinner to visit with.

          3. Sheila says:

            Kawika – so you’ve a problem with religions that believe being gay is sinful. How intolerant of you – freedom of religion!
            I mean wow – Howard Pippin IS tolerant of other churches completely finding the idea of gay as not associated with sin. He is TOLERANT of other beliefs while sticking to his own. I applaud just about anything that is “Live and let live” like Howard Pippin is doing – and I applaud him for being tolerant of other beliefs.
            I’m ok with KKK members if they have the same TOLERANCE for other beliefs – though I really dislike people finding themselves believing in races being superior to other races, but I can tolerate the belief if hateful actions are not to follow.
            Many religions demean the value of women – I’m a woman, and as much as I disagree, I can tolerate these beliefs if hateful actions are not to follow.
            There’s people downright hateful toward materially “rich” people, which I disagree with, but I can tolerate if hateful actions are not to follow
            The Bible can be used to show negative things about gays, women, and rich people (there’s more, but just some examples) – and because it feels so wrong to be biased against gays or women (though probably easy to feel biased against rich people unfortunately which I think is due to people’s natural inclination to covet) it just very much seems that Paul had difficulty explaining things well, which he did confess he had a problem with: 2 Corinthians 11:6, 2 Corinthians 10:10, 1 Corinthians 2:4 , 2 Peter 3:16
            Lots can be pointed about Paul seemingly hypocritical regarding women, also in comparison to what Jesus said about women, and considering even in the OT Debra was God’s chosen judge to lead Israel.
            But, I can tolerate people believing gay is wrong, even in the NT; and that there’s things wrong for women to do in comparison to men – but it does help me that at least I can see where they are getting their ideas from. Most gay people are not going against their natural inclination by being gay. I say most, because the Bible in NT does describe heterosexuals going against their natural desires to behave homosexually instead (Rm1:26-27). Seems clear to me that heterosexuals choosing to be gay is definitely immorality. But, it’s not clear to me that it’s immoral when gay is the person’s inclination to begin with. Sex outside a committed relationship is promiscuous and is sexual immorality (I consider a lot of people married by 7-year marriage law – 7 years together after consummation, but likely I believe that just because it makes me feel better). People who divorce and remarry (& the ex isn’t dead) are living in adultery and so sexual immorality – yet there’s no example in NT of commanding or even encouraging such people to divorce again and be alone just so that the adultery didn’t exist anymore. Seems clear to me it’s the being promiscuous that the NT is referring to that cannot go to heaven. And, all of us commit sins in that list to some degree. I believe when our sinful natures are finally completely done away with, then so are the titles.
            I have witnessed people who beyond that shadow of a doubt believe gay is sinful, but are not at all hateful toward gays, and gays attend that pastor’s church although the pastor is open about that he believes gay is sinful. BTW, the gays attending the church continue to be gay. Probably not all of them, but I’m just guessing nearly all of them stay gay.
            “A Course In Miracles” has a somewhat negative stance about homosexuality in T 13: 3&4 , but basically says heterosexual attitudes can be similarly distorted, but do contain a more natural potential because sex relations are intended for having children. Yet, it does not condemn homosexual relationships that I see.
            I know a gay man who heals people using qigong (he’s a Buddhist) who is married to a man. The Bible does tell us that one cannot be doing miraculous healings except if that person is from God – John 9:33 ” If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” I do not believe this refers only to Jesus (the Messiah) because the Jews were well aware of that Elijah and Elisha also did miraculous healings – obviously because they were from God, although unlike Jesus, they were sinners.
            It doesn’t make sense that someone from God is going to be incapable of going to heaven.

            What is annoying from my perspective is that in this day an age, it is so vehemently politically incorrect to talk about the merits for why people believe gay is sinful regardless of whether it’s promiscuous or not. Such people that believe gay is sinful most definitely does not make them hateful people – but some people who believe it’s wrong are murderously hateful people. Like that makes any sense in light of the new covenant – no, it does not make any sense. I am intolerant of murderous people, even if it is their religion.

            I don’t think racism is a bad thing to get out into the open either. All In The Family was considered very humorous for it’s time – viewers not afraid to look at how ludicrous racism is, and not afraid to NOT hate the racist. Now that’s a trick!

            Ok, anyone who didn’t hate me before, likely does now.

            Wordy enough for you, Kawika ?

      4. Joanne martin says:

        Not all…however, because people of all Faith’s and backgrounds are invited to the Universalist Church (which in theory, could be an amazing progression), it gives an open forum for people to attack Christian’s in a country that is majority, Christian. I was raised a Catholic and now have me roots in Buddhism but have found a connection and bond in all faith’s and religions and believe that any person who feels alienated in a Christian strong country and has been made to feel they are wrong for what they believe are only retaliating as a way to gain some sense of power. So it is counter productive to the argument that everyone has the right to believe and have faith in whatever they choose when they have now decided Christians as a whole should be attacked. Maybe someday when we fight for the right to be individuals and believe in what we want we will, as a whole, then stop trying to tell everyone else they are wrong. I personally apologize on behalf of others if you have now been made to feel like the enemy for you faith…EVERYONE has the right the worship, pray or not believe at all, in any way they choose and no one has the right to tell anyone else what to believe. We each chose out own path, so why some feel the right to tell someone else they dont get the same freedom is wrong.

      5. Joanne Martin says:

        Please tell me you did not just compare homosexuality to drunks and thief’s?

        I had your back through your first sentence and then got sick. This comment is the EXACT reason why maybe you as a Christian is causing a problem for all Christian’s. If you were trying to make a larger statement, you lost.

        You have the right, as do we all to worship 8n any way you choose. You have the right to have faith in whatever you choose and in general it is backwards that people with different Spiritual backgrounds seem to feel compelled to chastize Christianty because it is the majority faith in this country. Fighting for your right to honor your own faith has no bearing when you tell another person that they are not allowed to do that same.

        With that said, if you choose to fight for Christianity and Christian’s alike (I was raised Catholic and now have a strong spiritual foundation rooted in Eastern Philosophies like Buddhism), then on behalf of my many Christian friend and families I ask that you dont confuse you’re bigoted and discriminatory views as part of your faith.

        1. Howard Pippin says:

          Please read 1st Corinthians chp 6 verse 9 and tell me what you think it says.

          1. Sam says:

            It says that god is a homophobe?

          2. Howard Pippin says:

            Sam
            May 17, 2019 at 6:47 am
            It says that god is a homophobe?

            You read it Sam, you tell me what it says. I don’t know what that word even means.

          3. Sam says:

            I told you what I think it says. Why don’t you tell me what YOU think it says. Then look up the meaning of that mystery word I used in my previous comment. After that, go back and read that verse again.

      6. Mark Hannon says:

        Did Jesus not make more wine at a wedding where all the wine was finished off and then a worker noticed that this wine was the best wine held out for last when everybody would be too drunk to notice?

        1. Howard Pippin says:

          So scripture reads.

  4. Miranda Allison Young says:

    Out of 365 days a year, I see no reason why we cannot have one day of prayer. If a person is not religious, then they do not need to pray. It won’t hurt them.

    1. Lionheart says:

      Yes, yesterday 2nd May was National Day of Reason. I just wish it was endorsed by the Government like the National Day of Prayer is.

      🦁❤️

      1. Ann Wood says:

        Amen

      2. Catherine M Fears says:

        Ah, TRUTH!

      3. Anna Brown says:

        So true and so sad.

    2. Ann Wood says:

      Praying in public is harmful, no matter when, nor where. If you are secure in your religious beliefs, then you will follow the scripture that says “when you pray, go into your closet and pray in private”. If you feel you must have a political
      endorsement for your beliefs to be legitimized, then you must not truly believe they are correct. How about a day of atheism? “It won’t hurt them”

      1. Rev. CH says:

        Many who object to state-led or school-led prayer are not anti-prayer or anti-religion. It’s the state or school led part they have a problem with. Separation of Church and State and the prohibition on establishment of a state sanctioned religion is a vital part of our Constitution. It was put in place to prevent government abuse of religion and vice versa. We need only look to other countries to see how people in power can use and abuse religion as justification to discriminate and even kill people they disagree with. As harmless as a state led prayer may seem to be, it’s the first step down a slippery slope. If allowing government officials to establish religion becomes the norm, it’s just a matter of time before the influence spreads. The more it spreads, the more its beliefs will be forced on others. I think some Christians in this country see this as a good thing. Consider this though, not all Christians believe the same things. There may be some core values, but they’re most certainly not on the same page with many issues. Whose brand of Christianity gets to rule the country? It might not be yours, but eventually, you’d be forced to abide by their rules or face discrimination or worse. I’m using Christianity here because it is the one group dominant group with the most political influence right now, but depending on social trends, it could become any religion.

      2. Catherine M Fears says:

        You are correct, Anne.

      3. Sheila says:

        Matthew 18:20 New International Version (NIV)
        20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
        &
        2 Chronicles 7:14 – NIV
        If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

        No, it’s most definitely NOT about only going off to pray by yourself. Praying with others is ALSO biblically encouraged.

        1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 English Standard Version (ESV)
        16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

        “Praying without ceasing” is most definitely NOT confined to praying by yourself.

        You’re not supposed to pray for show is what the Bible says Please take the WHOLE thing into context of EVERYTHING contained within it.

        Praying for the sake of gathering together is NOT for show. Praying to look good such as what the Pharisees were doing IS for show and is wrong. Praying that you may gain attention of others that they may find Christ, is also NOT for show. Pharisees weren’t trying to save people – they were flaunting their reputation of being considered important.

        I’m not sympathetic at all to atheists not having “their day.” Just imagine it, the “National No Prayer Day.” Just like no one is forced to pray on the National Day of Prayer; no one would be forced NOT to pray on the National No Prayer Day. What would be the point? At least from the Christian perspective, the National Day of Prayer has purpose. From a scientific perspective National Day of Prayer has purpose – many a scientific study has been done on how positive results occur apparently due to prayer because it goes beyond placebo. It floors me how loads of atheists are so lacking in empathy to not realize how their beliefs are constantly being pushed on the public. Find yourself a country that only allows the atheism religion if you don’t like the freedom of religion the US has. You can tote your “freedom from religion” supposed garbage absurdity all you want, but if that’s what you want to believe, it’s NOT in the US Constitution. From your absurd point of view then, atheism is illegal in the US. But, it’s all a part of the atheism game of feeling wise in one’s own eyes. Except for atheists who actual admit it’s their religion, they have far more understanding than the atheist who won’t admit this. Whiniest religious bunch EVER – is atheists. Not that all atheists are that way, but the ones who are, are the sorest thumb ever seen. Forcing their religion on everyone else because they lack tolerance. It’s brainless really.

        1. Kawika says:

          Sheila,

          After reading your comments I just have to ask,

          You don’t think that christians rub their religion in the faces of others like you say the atheists? Like any other religion?

          What one religion says is “wrong” and “sinful” of another is, quite interestingly, the same thing they are quilty of.

          1. Sheila says:

            You ask me, “You don’t think that christians rub their religion in the faces of others like you say the atheists? Like any other religion?”

            Your second question, “Like any other religion” is far harder to answer since the possibilities are infinite. So, to answer the question – I don’t know.

            Now your other question about christians rubbing their religion in the faces of others like [some] atheists do. I added “some,” because in no way, shape, or form did I say ALL atheists do that. To answer your question, yes some christians do, and some christians don’t. The ones that do, have a maturity issue within their growth as a christian (all christians do, as well as everyone else for that matter regardless of what beliefs are right). Other times, the christian is NOT rubbing it in a person’s face – and it’s the perspective of the offended person that’s the problem – as long as the offended person’s religion is being tolerated, too. Legally in our country we are supposed to tolerate all religion that doesn’t break laws such as murder people, etc. And “tolerate” doesn’t mean you can’t express disagreement with what you are tolerating.

          2. kimberly says:

            Matt 18:20 is a passage specific to the apostles. It was not a generic passage directed at any “Christian”. Taking such a specific passage and applying it generically to one’s own agenda is the poorest form of biblical interpretation.

          3. Sheila says:

            Kimberly – I did not realize that about the context of Mt. 18:20 the first 5 times I read the Bible from beginning to end. I just took it for what it was saying – no agenda on my part. I hope you realize you don’t need an agenda to make a mistake.

            BTW, do you see a problem with public prayer when it’s not for show?

          4. kimberly says:

            Sheila…Public prayer goes hand in hand with public preaching. Jesus and the Apostles prayed publicly in several instances although it was Jesus’ practice to isolate himself when he prayed. But he called the temple the “house of prayer” (Matt 21). In my opinion, one of the greatest examples of public prayer was that of Stephen who prayed to God while being stoned to death (Acts 7). And, were the disciples not exhorted to be of “one mind” and “one mouth” in glorifying God (Rom 15:6)?

            ” That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

          5. Sheila says:

            Kimberly – Yes, thank you!

            And thank you that you know a lot of the ins and outs of taking the Bible into context.

        2. Sam says:

          “many a scientific study has been done on how positive results occur apparently due to prayer because it goes beyond placebo”

          What studies? The ones I’ve read say just the opposite. Point me to just ONE double blind, peer reviewed study that says that.

          Atheism is not a religion no matter what you say.

          1. Sheila says:

            You say, “Atheism is not a religion no matter what you say.”
            Hmmm… proof you’re hoity-toity.

            Never mind that the spirit of the law in the Constitution says atheism is a religion, and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary says atheism is a religion. You’re going to make yourself feel better by attacking me as the supposed know-it-all authority.

            Grow up – it’s not about what I say, it’s about what’s true. Stop believing what you want to just because it makes you feel better – and beyond that, even superior. That’s lame.

            You say about prayer studies, “The ones I’ve read say just the opposite.” Of course the ones you’ve read say the opposite. You’re one of those narrow-minded atheists that’d only find that.

            You say, “Point me to just ONE double blind, peer reviewed study that says that.” – meaning positive results occur apparently due to prayer because it goes beyond placebo.
            Why stop at double blind? This one is triple blind – & showed positive results occur apparently due to prayer because it goes beyond placebo:
            https://truthbrothercom.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/facts-and-proof-of-god-existencescience-medical-studies/

            There more if that ONE triple blind study isn’t good enough for you.

            Atheism is religion, because the dictionary told me so.

          2. Sam says:

            Sheila,

            Hoity-toity? So your first sentence is an ad hom? How quaint. Who’s attacking who here? In fact, your comment is riddled with logical fallacies throughout. Nice work.

            You said, “Never mind that the spirit of the law in the Constitution says atheism is a religion, and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary says atheism is a religion. You’re going to make yourself feel better by attacking me as the supposed know-it-all authority.”

            First, I would never presume you to be the supposed know-it-all authority. In fact, so far, I haven’t found you to be particularly authoritative on anything , and I derive no pleasure in pointing that out.

            And secondly, I do mind because I don’t think you understand what that means. The courts have held that the establishment clause is equally applicable to the nonreligious and the anti-religious. As the 7th Circuit Court stated, “Atheism may be considered, only in this special sense, a religion.”

            “Atheism is religion, because the dictionary told me so.” LOL! I almost spit coffee when I read that. Hey, if it’s on the internet, it must be true!

            The Merriam-Webster dictionary does not say that atheism is a religion. The second definition indeed says, “a philosophical or RELIGIOUS position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods.”

            Religion and religious are different words that mean entirely different things, and substituting one for the other is disingenuous at best, ignorance at worst.

            It’s funny you should site Merriam Webster, the ONLY dictionary that has the word “religious” in one of the definitions of atheist. Try the Oxford and Cambridge Dictionaries, or the dozens of others for some perspective and context.

            Even funnier, Noah Webster’s first compilation of American English in 1823 defined religion as involving the worship of God.

            Where did you ever get the idea that I am an atheist? My wife thinks that is hilarious! You wrote, “Of course the ones you’ve read say the opposite. You’re one of those narrow-minded atheists that’d only find that.”

            And then you point me to a Christian blog about a study? Really? That’s the epitome of hypocrisy. Fortunately in my narrow-mindedness, that study is one I found in the journal that actually published it, and I read it years ago. You obviously did not.

            It is a meta-analysis of three studies, one finding that prayer helped, one finding that it didn’t, and one finding that prayer actually made things worse! I’d say that’s inconclusive at best. Certainly not a win for the efficacy of prayer. Try again, you said you had plenty more.

            If you’re really so sure prayer works, pray that I will not reply again. Hell, get all your prayer warriors together to help you. That’ll show me by God!

            I say your Kung Fu is no good!

          3. Howard Pippin says:

            Sam
            May 19, 2019 at 5:47 pm
            I told you what I think it says. Why don’t you tell me what YOU think it says. Then look up the meaning of that mystery word I used in my previous comment. After that, go back and read that verse again.

            Sorry Sam I won’t play your game
            Howard

          4. Sheila says:

            Sam – Quaint? Sure, such a word would serve you well as a nickname, or “Hoity-toity.” Your pick.

            You know what’s quaint is you accusing me of doing a fallacy known as “personal attack,” by in turn actually using ad hom directed at me. Yes, quaint indeed.

            Your realize that with ad hom “genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.”
            So you, instead of having a genuine discussion of the topic that it’s hoity toity for an atheist to say, “Atheism is not a religion no matter what you say” ; instead you go ahead and attack my keen observation and me by using your whole first paragraph as an ad hom. Yeah, I guess nice work on your part. No, it’s not.

            So, the one example you gave of my supposed abundant use of ad homs, was not even an ad hom. No surprise. You’re not very open-minded in your thinking. You look to find what will support your sense of superiority. Hence, hoity-toity.

            You say, “…I would never presume you to be the supposed know-it-all authority.” Then don’t spew some nonsense about, “Atheism is not a religion no matter what you say.” Like typically it’d matter to you what I say, but for this topic you are so utterly entrenched that it doesn’t even matter what I say. But, since you’ve abundantly clarified that’s not what you meant; that only leaves that you meant that you are the supposed know-it-all authority, and so what I say couldn’t possibly matter in comparison to what you know to be absolutely true (never mind that of course it’s not). But really I think I was right on track. You meant that no matter what I say, since really I’m no one of readily verifiable significance on the subject, atheism is not a religion (never mind that it most certainly is). And, to attack me, who is in no authority to impress you to believe otherwise, makes you feel better. In other words, easier to go after a small fish (me) than to take on a big one. Of course it’s possible those are not the only 2 possibilities of what you meant about, “Atheism is not a religion no matter what you say.” If not, then what did you mean? Why your emphasis on me in that comment?

            So of course I wasn’t going to keep the focus on pretending an impressive authority on the subject is you or me. Instead I pointed out it’s absurd not to recognize what Constitution and Merriam Webster Dictionary say refuting your claim that atheism is not a religion.

            You say, “Hey, if it’s on the internet, it must be true!” in sarcasm that because the Merriam Webster Dictionary is on the internet, one ought to question whether it’s true. Yet, you know it’s a true as the hard-copy. Mine’s from 1986, and there’s not a lot of difference between the two for content of definition. Though I suspect you fall for a whole lot of the propaganda on the internet – so much is from “respectable” authorities.

            Anyway, yes atheism is a religion according to Merriam Webster Dictionary by #4 definition that religion is, “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.” Although the 3rd definition may fit most atheists better as, “scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS,” meaning that it must fit their criteria for determining what’s real, not known yet, for sure false, etc. But, #3 & 4 also fit for agnostics, etc.
            Religion and religious vastly different from each other? Uh, no. Religion #3 “scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS,”
            Religious #3 “scrupulously and conscientiously faithful.”
            As for your quote about the 7th Circuit Court stating, “Atheism may be considered, [only] in this special sense, a religion,” you can see now that the correct way to write it is with “only” in brackets. Which means “only” is an inserted word. So, how did it originally read? I’d guess it was, “Atheism may be considered, in this special sense, a religion.” Meaning, it’s not the #1 definition in the dictionary for religion. Don’t you see yet your constant search for feeling like the superior religion in the simplest way possible of pulling yourself out of the category. As logic dictates, that’s not possible, because atheism is a religion.

            You ask, “Where did you ever get the idea that I am an atheist?” Because you buy into the idea that there aren’t any studies that show that prayer works. But, as it turns out, really you HAD read such studies showing that prayer works, but I’m guessing you decided to think nothing of them because of the ultimate conclusions of a study that compared study finding that prayer helped, study finding that it didn’t, and study finding that prayer actually made things worse. You claim, ” Certainly not a win for the efficacy of prayer.” Yet, the most obvious is that it IS a win for the efficacy of prayer. It IS showing up in some studies as better than the placebo effect would. So it’s no so much as question as to whether it happens, but why in some cases, and some cases not? Is this the study you are referring to: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2802370/ ? That’s the study I used that contains studies showing that prayer works. There was even a study of bush babies (the primate animal used) that showed prayer works.
            There’s many more. You were asking for just one, why are you wanting more?

            You said, “And then you point me to a Christian blog about a study? Really? That’s the epitome of hypocrisy” about the prayer study I showed for what you asked. That’s not hypocrisy whatsoever. Where’s the hypocrisy in that? I found that study within https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2802370/ , which is how I found it elsewhere. What’s the hypocritical part of all that? You said you’d never seen ANY. I did my best to pick ONE abundantly clear that such studies exist.

            You say, “If you’re really so sure prayer works, pray that I will not reply again.” Oh yeah, like it’s a good idea to pray for something I don’t want. Or, like anything I pray for, God will say, “yes.”
            Luke 11:11-13 Jesus says, “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
            Now the obvious flip side of that is if you ask for something bad for you from your parent, the parent isn’t going to give it to you.
            And, there are parents who’d give their children bad things to be mean; and it would have been perhaps interesting to hear the wisdom Jesus would impart if any of the people listening had been a child with a parent like that.
            My point, is God doesn’t promise to give His children whatever they ask for. He does promise to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask for the Holy Spirit, and not to give them something bad in response for asking. So when Paul prayed for God to take away his physical affliction, and God didn’t do it. God wasn’t giving him something bad, there was loving parental purpose for it. Each of the apostles (except John) was martyred. Despite how the ways of man understand that to be bad, it was not. God’s ways are higher than our ways FAR beyond a child not understanding the loving withholding of something by a parent (no you don’t get to play with the loaded gun little 3-year old Johnny, etc.)

            BTW, just because if arguments happen to be fallacy, it doesn’t mean the premises is false.

          5. Sam says:

            Sheila

            Obviously you are in the grip of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, and your incoherent rambling word salad reveals your desperation to win at all costs. The fact that you can’t see that speaks volumes, and I’m praying your eyes will be opened.

            I won’t be engaging with you any further as I’m taking Mark Twain’s advice;

            ‘Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.’

            Have a super sparkly day!

          6. Sheila says:

            Sam – Sam – Wow, you replied back. I prayed you would!

            Yes, you’re an idiot. But, I’ll take the advice in proverbs over Mark Twain’s.
            4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
            or you yourself will be just like him.
            5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
            or he will be wise in his own eyes. (Proverbs 26:4-5 NIV)

            Although very similar to Mark Twain’s, a difference is that which is more important?
            A) Compassion for your brother to sacrifice becoming a fool yourself so that he might not continue to be wise in his own eyes, even though after all the effort he may still be wise in his own eyes, and you have become like him.
            or
            B) Don’t take the risk of helping your brother because it’s going to harm you unless he does not continue to be wise in his own eyes.
            or
            C) B mightn’t be a true option. Instead it might referring to don’t take the risk of helping your brother because it’s going to harm you if he continues to look wise in his own eyes or even if he doesn’t. In which case you both fall into the pit of folly; or your brother gets out because of your compassion, but you’re definitely in the folly pit to stay.
            &
            D) Mark Twain’s says the idiot is definitely going to win. So with his, there’s no sunny side up – no point in trying.

            I like to try to side with a decision of compassion, but I don’t always do that.

            I do know I do listen to advice (I consider it) and I am willing to learn. I suppose one day I’ll be wise if I’m not already. How about you? (being an idiot in one or more things doesn’t make you an idiot in all things – you have hope)

            “If you listen to advice and are willing to learn, one day you will be wise.” (Proverbs 19:20 GNT)

            My advise for you is that you knock of the ad hom, and instead engage in genuine discussion of the topic at hand.

            To be avoiding the topic to engage in ad hom instead, is just the telltale sign you’re hiding being the loser of some debate you have in mind.

            Such as I found the ONE study you asked for – that was all you required. And you acted incapable of engaging in genuine discussion about it. Like LOSER even really matters.
            You couldn’t even attempt to explain to me how me providing you to a link to a Christian blog about a study that fulfilled your requirements was somehow “the epitome of hypocrisy.”

            I mean if we’re both going to be such poor sports about it (gloating is unbecoming of a winner) – may as well take that to it’s logical conclusion. Two poor sports having it out – interesting.

    3. Kawika says:

      Miranda Allison Young,

      Let’s see, there are about 4300 religions worldwide. It’s not known the exact number, but, if our government tried to accommodate just a fraction of these religions, there would not be enough days in the year.

      Just keep the church and state separate…

      1. Joanne Martin says:

        Does the law say you have to pray to particular deity?

        The occupant of the Qhite House chose their way to pray and you can choose yours.

        No one had close their business or spend a day secluded in their house and off the roads because the government is forcing everyone to drop to their knees and pray. So why is it such an ordeal. Maybe a Buddhist President will meditate during their term in office.

        We are not being forced to partake or even watch any coverage. Dont we have enough things going on in the world and mostly in our own lives that we dont have to search for fights to fight.

        Maybe double check on the strength of your own faith that the mere ideo of someone worshipping in any way that doesnt coinside with our own beliefs seems to upset us so much. I have been in the park when a Muslim family laid down their mats for prayer and I didnt all of a sudden feel offended because they must want me to join them…when trivial things bring you such anger…take a look within and make sure you aren’t having trouble with your own belief and strength of faith

        1. Kawika says:

          Joanne Martin

          You are making some assumptions here. It is amusing to read.

          1. Joanne Martin says:

            I do keep myself amused…

            However I dont think I am making assumption just observations…

        2. Kawika says:

          …keep church and state separate…

          1. Joanne Martin says:

            Prayer is not just religious…and the state is not yelling what or how to spend that day…its an “observed” holiday. Isn’t it a lot more Peaceful in your life when you simple ignore something that does not impact your day to day life AT ALL…looking for things to get angry about that do not directly effect you small circle in the universe is simply asking for the spred of unnecessary hate

      2. Sheila says:

        Can’t be done. All decisions are based on personal religion.

    4. Joanne Martin says:

      Exactly..no one is forced to watch fireworks on the 4th of July…

  5. Sharon Shores says:

    What is it about people that they are “offended” by things? If they do not want to participate then don’t! It’s getting to the point of ridiculous that soon –people will be “offended” by someone wearing a necklace (cross) or anything! Prayer means different things to different people. As well perceptions are all different with each person. That’s what makes our country diverse!!

    1. A druid says:

      Sharon I agree with you.
      Parenthetically, I wear a small golden pentagram on a chain which raises ire of christians so your soon is already here.

      1. Kawika says:

        LOL…!!!

        I tried wearing an upside-down cross necklace to a Christian gathering with my Christian family once… Sure enough, and in about 5 minutes after arrival, I was approached by a couple who informed me that an upside-down cross was a sign of satanic worship and that the social gathering that I was in did not appreciate the symbol.

        I told them calmly that I was wearing this symbol in honor of a very spiritual man who was killed because of his spiritual views.

        They ask me who, “in all that is holy,” could that possibly be…

        “This person’s name was ‘Peter.’ He was a disciple of Jesus Christ and he was crucified on a cross… upside-down, I said slowly…”

        The female bible-thumper gasped and the male bible-thumper pulled her by the arm to leave…

        Interesting that these holy-rollers, who profess to completely know and follow their bibles, immediately thought that anything out of the average for them was satanic…

        Laugh out loud…!!!

        1. Joanne Martin says:

          My question is…do you always where the jewelry, or did you want to wear it specifically to go to gather of Christians.

          Being able to display your belief in any way you chose such as with jewlery, is your right and should be respected. Wearing or displaying anything just to disrespect the people you are meeting with a different issue.

          My husband wears a rosary and my necklace displays a Buddha and Lotus flower and I’m pleased to.say we have not brought about Armageddon. However, I would never go out of my way to try and offend anyone for their beliefs, in any way. It’s more about respect for other people and being a good person with strong values and less to do with standing up for you right to have faith in whatever you want to.

          1. Kawika says:

            Joanne Martin

            I suggest you take what you read at face value.

          2. Joanne Martin says:

            I will ask the same of you Kawika

    2. Shawn Grothe says:

      Sharon you’re right, prayer does mean different things to people. Look at the ancient Greeks and ancient Romans they were polytheistic and prayed to different kinds depending on the different situations they were in in in our current worldly situation we have three main religions across-the-board Judaism Christianity and Islam each of them pray to one gu look at the ancient Greeks and ancient Romans they were polytheistic and prey to different kinds depending on the different situations they were in in in our current worldly situation we have three main religions across the world Judaism Christianity and Islam each of them pray to one god. In Judaism they have different names for the one guy whether it’s Jehovah or Yahweh in Christianity it’s God and in Islam it’s Alah.

  6. Ann Wood says:

    We are allowing the separation of Church and State to erode by all the powerful legislation enabling religious . activities to occur
    in public places. Schools, political parties, and military activities push the Christian doctrine on all who are in attendance at events
    in these venues. Perhaps when there are numerous areas of our country where prayer rugs of Muslims are frequently spread for
    prayers in schools and in all public spheres we will see a pull back of the far right regime which seeks power by forcing a uniform
    belief system with no evidence to justify such beliefs..

    1. Sheila says:

      There’s always evidence. You just aren’t looking for it – except to support your own religion which I’m guessing is atheism. You’ve no idea what it is to be a person experiencing atheism being pushed on all who are in attendance. None. When you supposedly felt christian doctrine pushed on you – were you afraid you were going to be arrested if you professed to be atheist? Were you afraid of getting into any FORMAL trouble whatsoever? There will always be morons who will beat you up just because your atheist (and morons who will beat a person up just because they are christian) – but were you truly in fear of being in trouble with the authorities? If not, then you’ve absolutely no idea what it is to have something like atheism pushed on you when you are NOT an atheist. Reality check is you are being whiny and being intolerant of other religions other than your own atheism.

      1. Kawika says:

        Sheila,

        Why do you feel that it is okay to treat atheism with distain?

        It is a spiritual belief…

        Like yours…

        Why is your spiritually higher than a person who is comfortable with a no-god belief?

        1. Joanne Martin says:

          This a perfect example of how so many will fight so they do not feel persecuted for what they choose to believe and/or have faith in, however, have no problem putting the same shame on others for what they believe.

          We all have the right to choose what path we follow and if you have been able to chose what you believe in then everyone else should have the respect for their own choices.

          We have to stop keep trying new was to be angry and new battles to fight where there is no need for one. Maybe one day there with be an Atheist in the White House and they will have their own way of representing NPD. If a Buddhist president chose to meditate then this argument would.be with a whole new set of people. As I have said before, you are not REQUIRED to set off or even watch fireworks displays on 4th of July, so maybe just check.out of social media or “searching” for something to be get angry about on this day
          (Personally I didnt even know this existed until this post so I find it hard to understand what has gotten everyone so wound up. I was able to go about my day without even the knowledge anything was going on, so I cant say that they were forcing prayer down.our threats and the government is making me do anything)

          1. Sheila says:

            Thank you for your piece and peace. Thank you for not forcing your beliefs on others, and for being tolerant of other’s beliefs.

            You are a breath of fresh air – thank you!

        2. Sheila says:

          You ask me, “Why do you feel that it is okay to treat atheism with distain?”
          What are you talking about? What’s an example within something I’ve written that treats atheism with disdain?

          Yet, this is an example of you treating christianity and all other religions that are not atheism with disdain:
          “We are allowing the separation of Church and State to erode by all the powerful legislation enabling religious . activities to occur
          in public places. ”
          So, the better question is, why are you doing that? In your own mind, why is your no-god belief higher than a god belief?
          You can’t escape religion. All of us use a religion of sorts, most definitely you, too. So, you’d impose on others that it’s only your no-god activities that are ok to use in public places. Yes, that makes you a hypocrite. Why are you doing that?

          I kind of don’t expect you to answer since you didn’t address my other questions to you either. So, try surprising me and actually answer. Not to push it on you – it’s just my disdainful response to people in general who hypocritically ask questions when they themselves won’t answer questions. And, yes, I’m lumping you into that category of people. I hope it’s not some sort of huge practice of yours.

          And, here’s a question of yours I find to be a no-brainer:
          You ask, “Why is your spiritually higher than a person who is comfortable with a no-god belief?”
          Well duh – because I’m right. Truth is higher than falsehood.

          Now here’s another no-brainer. Just because I say I’m right and you’re wrong doesn’t make it so. It does mean I believe I’m right and you’re wrong. But, can you be tolerant of that belief of mine?

          Now to get things all convoluted and see if you can follow – I believe I’m right, and contrary beliefs are wrong, and I believe that just because I believe that doesn’t make me right and other contrary beliefs wrong. I can tolerate the idea that beliefs contrary to my beliefs may actually be right, and my beliefs may be wrong.

          So, are you tolerant of that?

          1. Kawika says:

            Sheila

            Brevity my friend…brevity…

            It appears that your worthiness is directly proportional to your level of insecurity.

          2. Kawika says:

            Replace “Worthiness” with “Wordiness.”

          3. Sheila says:

            Himmm… you say “It appears that your wordiness is directly proportional to your level of insecurity.”

            Must be your short way of saying, “Yeah, when you get things all convoluted and challenge me to follow what you are saying, I just can’t do it. I understand a 1st grader can probably do it – but I just can’t. It’s beyond my ability.”

            Hmmm… Well, too bad for you, but great for the 1st grader.

        3. Joanne Martin says:

          I have read most of Sheilas comments and she has never made any comments that “treat atheist with distain”.

          Another example of searching for hate and anger that some turn inward and claim to being attacked.

          Just because a person doesnt agree with you does not mean that they are “attacking” you…especially since I am going to go out on a limb and say that she doesnt even know you. So anything she could say that may make you feel with disdain may be your own doubts about your own stand on the sunject.

          1. Kawika says:

            Joanne Martin

            You are hilarious. I love the amusement.

            Here, the bottom line:

            A law requiring POTUS to endorse religion is not only unconstitutional but flies in the face of the principal of Separation of CHURCH and STATE.

            …the rest of the rhetoric is simply funny.

          2. Sheila says:

            Kawika,

            Only because you’re comfortable with your hypocrisy do you find it amusing.

            Being amused is more important to you than accepting truth.

            Must be bliss – so is ignorance.

          3. Sheila says:

            Kawika,

            As usual, you probably aren’t seeing your stark hypocrisy. Here it is:

            You said, “A law requiring POTUS to endorse religion is not only unconstitutional but flies in the face of the principal of Separation of CHURCH and STATE.”

            Yet, this is EXACTLY what YOU want. You want a law allowing ONLY atheism in government – endorsing ONLY the religion of atheism.

            There is no separation of church and state. There is required no endorsement of any one religion.

            Separation of church and state can’t be done.

            Though there are laws that disrupt non-profit status if you use a church to endorse a political party, etc.

            Ok, to endorse people, but not at church services or a church’s format, and not at the polls.

      2. Anna Brown says:

        Sheila, atheism is NOT a religion. It is simply put a lack of belief in gods. I would love to speak to you more about how atheism has been pushed on you. And, yes, I have “played” along with the religious so I would not be victimized by them. Yes, I have not spoken out for fear of FORMAL trouble. Again, how has atheism been pushed on you? I do believe that some religions teach that being a victim/martyr for the cause is the right thing to do and your reward will be greater.

        I tolerate religion because most people are religious. But I want my government to be neutral on religious beliefs of any kind. It has to be. Suppose the government endorsed a specific Christian view you did not agree with? I recently read a fictional story where this happened. The President decided the U.S. would adopt a specific christianity and since there are over 3k diff types of christian, he decided to go with the one group that had the most followers, Roman Catholics. Let us pray to the Virgin Mary, and the Pope will be your spiritual leader from now on. Just think about it.

        Jesus advised to pray in private, not in public. I can agree with that.

        1. Joanne Martin says:

          Anna, Atheis may not be a religion but it is still a belief system and those who identify as Athiest have just as many rights and reason to back up why they believe what they do.

          However as with any belief, if you have enough strength in what you believe then no one needs can push anything on you.

          Spiritual people can say Athiest push their belief on you and Athiest can then talk about the impact of religious items being sold during the holiday season (I said holiday so as to not start a whole separate argument) but the truth is that no one can force their belief on you unless you are open to receive them. My suggestion is that if you find yourself angry when another person merely mentions and aspect bnbof their belief that do not coinside with what you think you believe in so much…maybe you haven’t quite found your “truths” in spirituality yet and I will hope that one day you can be at peace within your own skin too….

        2. Sheila says:

          Fortunately for you atheism is a religion, and the freedom to practice it is protected by the US Constitution. One of the definitions of religion in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is, “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.”

          How has atheism been pushed on me? It floors me when atheists aren’t aware of this, esp. from atheists who whine about christians. When prayer was eliminated from school, you really don’t have any idea how that looks and feels for a christian, huh? It tells the christian, “What you believe is considered not credible – but what these people who don’t believe in God believe – that stuff is all true without argument.” Yet, as a christian you can blatantly see that’s false, but it’s being PUSHED on you REALLY HARD. You’re scared to talk about God with your friends, afraid you’ll get caught. You’re afraid to pray to do well on a test, afraid you’ll get caught. Afraid you’ll get in FORMAL trouble – as in the principal. Maybe that was never a scary though for you – but it was for me and other christians. As, it turned out (figured it out at least a decade later) none of us really would have gotten into trouble. But, we did not know that, and the truth of the matter that we didn’t know therefore had no impact on the intense FEAR we had – Atheism PUSHED on us.

          I didn’t hear from an atheist claiming just the opposite until I was 23. I thought he was fooling around – messing with my head by throwing my own fear experiences back at me – but as it turned out, that really was his true perspective as an atheist. Yet, no fathom whatsoever how schools were PUSHING atheist beliefs on christians. I mean for him what an annoyance to see Jesus everywhere – all these people believing in these annoyingly untrue tales about Jesus – and then throwing Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny into the mix – oh the horrors! No fathom of “if you don’t like it, ignore it” and no inkling of the flip side of what it’s like to have Atheism PUSHED on you as BETTER than what you most definitely know to be true (you probably can’t fathom that because it flies in the face of how atheists believe what must exist for something to be proven true). And, like you, a difference between him and me was that he didn’t have fear he’d get in FORMAL trouble for his atheism.

          So, you don’t want to allow public prayer. That’s you FORCING your Atheism beliefs on those who are not atheists – and all for the sake of you not having to get annoyed by the display. You pull Matthew 6:5–8 out of context of the rest of the Bible because you want to. Jesus’ focus was on why people were praying in public. Praying in public for the sake of gathering of believers, not a problem. Praying for show – that’s a problem.

          You don’t tolerate religion – you PUSH your religion. We can’t simply ignore your atheism when your atheism denies us the practice of our religion. Duh!

          The government cannot be free of religion – ALL decisions are made based on personal religion. Your example of forcing Roman Catholics on everyone is not hard to imagine whatsoever – I’ve already lived through what it’s like to have only atheism allowed in the government. Of course, it hasn’t truly happened. But,all the empty rhetoric about it is there, and atheists recognize it’s not true either and seek to have all religions removed except atheism. But the empty rhetoric needs to go. Government is not without religion, and never will be without religion. And, it is against our Constitution to uphold Atheism as above all other religions. Stop being so closed-minded, it comes off as being so unintelligent.

        3. Sam says:

          Dammit Anna, stop trying to use logic, you’re confusing some folks, and it makes them say incredibly moronic things. Just remember, you can’t argue with an idiot. They’ll drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience. 😛

  7. tom says:

    Respectfully…the government should actually or impliedly endorse religion…Peace…Tom B

    1. Tom Blumenthal says:

      should have said “Not”…we do not have a government for the purpose of advising people to pray…Peace…Tom B

  8. Carl Elfstrom says:

    National Prayer Day doesn’t imply who or what anyone prays to. You don’t even have to believe in a god to say a prayer. It’s just a little something to do to get out of ourselves. Not that anyone could be so self-centered as to ever do that, without a little nudge in the right direction. Having a day of prayer doesn’t make it a crime to not pray on that day. It just gives those who do pray a good reason to do it on that particular day. I guess it makes a lot of people feel good to think they’re engaging in a constructive activity with the rest of the country,too. Whatever the case, it can’t hurt. And it has absolutely nothing to do with praying in public, although that really can’t hurt, either. How many times have you heard someone say “God bless you!” Even that is a prayer. Try to stop that. That’s called freedom of speech.

    1. Sam says:

      You seem to be missing the point. No one is trying to stop anyone from praying. The issue some people have is that the government made National Prayer Day a law. I personally have no objection to a National Prayer Day, but making it a law is unnecessary and teeters on the edge of establishment.

      1. Kawika says:

        Sam,

        I fully agree.

        The Government must stay as far away from the appearance of collaborating with religion as possible.

        The combination of Religion and Government together is like combining fire and dynamite. It’s a blast at first then, very soon after, death…

        1. Sheila says:

          Hypocrite.

          1. Kawika says:

            Sheila

            Are you an expert on hypocrisy?

          2. Sheila says:

            Kawika – Aren’t we all an expert on hypocrisy?

      2. Joanne Martin says:

        I just wonder if all the same people would have a problem with this day if the resident of the White House was celebrating NPD in accordance to a different spiritual faith that now is more in line with their own.

        8f we had a Buddhist President and they celebrated with meditation, would this argument now be led by Christian’s and defended by those who followed Eastern Philosophies? Just something to think about

        1. Anna Brown says:

          For me, it is a matter of Sep of C & S. No way should the government promote a day of any kind of prayer. As Carl above mentioned you don’t need to believe in a god to pray. I don’t know how you can pray without a god being involved.

          1. Joanne Martin says:

            One definition of prayer is an earnest hope or wish. It also states that you pray to a God or object of worship. Buddhist dont pray, we meditate.

            The only one being forced to pray and observe this day is the POTUS, so I guess until they find an issue with this day it will stick. I have said it a few times now, but why waste so much energy getting angry about something that has been going on for a very long time and I can guarantee that it is not observed by anyone i have ever met. So just dont observe it. No one is forced to light off a fireworks display on the 4th of July…so should the firework display done at the White House be canceled.

      3. Sheila says:

        Aren’t we all?

    2. Nathaniel Robert Hunt says:

      Carl Elfstrom as I posted above , non christians get turned away alot from prayer day events , I have been told I prayed to the wrong gods so its not a real prayer

    3. Kawika says:

      Government needs to stay as far away from a perception of endorsing religious practice, and dogma, as possible!

      No half-measures allowed…!

  9. Carl Elfstrom says:

    I’m nothing like a Christian, but pray numerous times everyday, to numerous divine deities. Just because it was started by some Christians, and Christians sing and pray in Christian ways, doesn’t mean it’s a Christian thing. One of these days the Whitehouse will be full of people of a different religion, like Satanism or something, and you won’t be hearing a Christian choir around there then. Although, even then, the priest might be pllaying music at the Whitehouse. You know, Judas Priest, who was named after St. Judas,Jesus’ gay lover, who caught Jesus cheating on him, which is why he snitched on him.

  10. Carl Elfstrom says:

    Just think, if Sammy Davis Jr. had been elected president they might be singing If I Were A Rich Man, from Fiddler On The Roof, on the Whitehouse lawn. Wouldn’t that be cool?

    1. Sam says:

      Hell yeah! Love me some Sammy Davis Jr. I’d pay good money to see that!

      1. kimberly says:

        Apparently you’ve never read the book “Ordeal”. About good ole “Sammy” giving Linda Lovelace’s abusive husband a BJ in a movie theater. Would Pee-Wee Herman be the VP since he was caught mstrbtng in a movie theater?

        1. Sam says:

          Tell me why I should care about something that’s none of my business. Judge much?

  11. Rev. Brien says:

    I am a bit confused by this one as i do not understand what the problem is. This to me is not about any one single religion, but meant more as a day of reflection. Everyone has a belief that helps to keep them grounded, even those that subscribe to no belief still believe that. Why do we always chose to create division by involving government when no such involvement is needed? Must we always fight with each over over nonsense? Sometimes I just do not get it. Please, ULC, enlighten me….what are you trying to accomplish here?

    1. Wolf Paradox , Merc (@TheWolfParadox) says:

      The only issue is in most events its only christian prayer allowed and non christian religions are turned away

      1. Rev. Brien says:

        I understand your reasoning on this but where I am that has changed to Christian is the only belief that is not allowed. It seems the knee jerk reaction involving government protocal has opted for the “everything else except”, way of doing things. In the public schools, Islamic prayer is allowed for those students yet christianity has been banned on all public school property. I am niether for nor against either one, but they should be treated the same. Peace

        1. Alicia says:

          Christians have always been “allowed” to practice their faith. The issue comes when these Christians try to push their beliefs on others. That’s why some schools won’t let kids bring bibles, or have prayer circles, etc.

          I have never seen any other religious group post so much on social media. Everywhere you look, pictures of Jesus with the caption “Share if you love Jesus” or (the ones I hate the most) “I bet no one will like or share because this is Jesus”.

          If schools allowed the bibles and prayer meetings, how long would it take for these kids to start preaching in class or the halls or the cafeteria?

          1. Rev. Brien says:

            As I said, I am neither for nor against, but what ever decision is made MUST be the same for ALL religions. You cannot just pick and chose. I am amazed that no one sees the built in conflict. I am not looking to be convinced, I am just trying to drag the wortless conflict out into the open. Peace

          2. Jean Bakula says:

            They preach all the time already. I think it’s the way some Christians try to push their beliefs on others. Or think “their” church is the only right one. And it’s so much in politics in the US now. I meet new people and the first thing they say is, “I’m a Christian.” Not, Hello, or Nice to Meet You, Or My Name Is. It’s like “I’m a Christian is supposed to explain everything about them.” It’s annoying, so I feel I don’t want to know them any further. If so, before you know, they want you to have a copy of “their” Bible, etc.

          3. Sheila says:

            You say, “Christians have always been “allowed” to practice their faith.” Truth be told, that’s bunk even in the US. But, beings that your obviously atheist, no surprise you wouldn’t recognize that. Not that some atheists don’t recognize that christians are NOT always allowed to practice their religion in the US – but many, such as you, don’t recognize it.

            You say, “I have never seen any other religious group post so much on social media.”
            Hmmm… so what?
            BTW, I don’t remember seeing those on Facebook. Beings that I’m christian, I suppose they don’t stick out to me, and doesn’t sound like something I’d participate in. Bad experiences with chain letters is probably why – so I find stuff like that at the least to be somewhat annoying. But power to it if it uplifts others.

            You say, “If schools allowed the bibles and prayer meetings, how long would it take for these kids to start preaching in class or the halls or the cafeteria?”
            So what?
            Oh, I get it. You’d much rather see your religion FORCED on others by sheer not allowing others to practice their religion in a reasonable manner. Hoity-toity atheists like you are so annoying.

            Really – you don’t get it? You want absence of God in schools – absence of Him. That’s the very definition of your religion. Hoity-toity to the extreme.

          4. Sam says:

            Congrats Alicia! You’re now a member of the Hoity-Toity Society, defenders of Truth, Justice, Equality and Freedom!

          5. Sheila says:

            Sam, you say your Hoity-Toity Society are defenders of Truth, Justice, Equality and Freedom.

            No, you most definitely are not.

            Find a country that doesn’t have freedom of religion so your atheism can legally reign supreme as the only allowable religion.

      2. Howard Pippin says:

        Hi Wolf. You don’t suppose that the other religions that work hardship on those that follow them and on all of those that don’t follow them or maybe fake religions? Below is a little example of what fake religions do to people of other faiths. You suppose Christianity is the only right one? By golly we might be on to something.

        n late November of last year, AFA asked you to contact Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging him to use his influence to help secure the release of Asia Bibi. She is a Pakistani woman, a Christian, a wife, and a mother of five children. As a result, more than 33,000 letters poured into Pompeo’s office. (See the AFA Action Alert here.)

        Thanks be to God for your prayers and action! We are glad to let you know that as of today, Asia is free and has arrived safely in Canada to begin a new life with her family!

        She had spent the last nine years on death row, condemned to die for giving a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name to her Muslim co-workers. They accused Asia of defiling the vessel that held the water by drinking from it herself as an infidel. She was charged with blasphemy, found guilty, and sentenced to die.

        Through your prayers and the efforts of many Christians, the Supreme Court in Pakistan reviewed her case and acquitted her. Unfortunately, she continued to be held in custody. Through God’s grace, Asia in now free!

        Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement saying, “The United States welcomes the news that Asia Bibi has safely reunited with her family. This important step follows the decision of Pakistan’s Supreme Court to acquit her of blasphemy charges in October 2018 – a decision that was subsequently upheld in January 2019. Asia Bibi is now free, and we wish her and her family all the best following their reunification.”

        I want to thank you for your continued prayers for the freedom of Christians around the world, and especially for getting involved and supporting our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

        Thank you,

        Tim

        1. Anna Brown says:

          I would like to see the same action and support of atheist who are imprisoned or killed by the religious around the world.

  12. kim says:

    The problem is that atheists and others who object to this nation being “under God” is that they confuse God with religion. There is a distinct difference. Religion today involves some kind of “religious” organization. But, God involves a fundamental intuitive acknowledgement hardwired into the human genome that while (more often than not) is included in religion, it isn’t limited by religion. Even though most religious organizations attempt to surpass the acknowledgement of God by some form of descriptive definition of God compliant with their agenda. In point of fact, the fundamental intuitive acknowledgement of God is the RIGHT of all men everywhere and that is what the constitution has been designed to protect. Consequently, God is included in the American constitution but the development of a theocracy is NOT. To attempt to take God (not religion) out of our great country is an attempt to deny the RIGHT of its people to acknowledge God’s existence. This is a dire attack on this country by those who would strip away our rights that MUST be stopped because it will not end until those who attack our way of life will eventually strip ALL rights from us in their zeal to gain theocratic power (regardless of whether it is atheistic or not).

    1. Sam says:

      People who bloviate such non-sense, are what will destroy our country.

    2. Anna Brown says:

      Kim, god is not referenced in the Constitution
      https://allthingsliberty.com/2016/02/why-god-is-in-the-declaration-but-not-the-constitution/

      And when you say “God” which god are you referring to…

      1. kimberly says:

        the constitutions of the states of California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Colorado, Washington, Nevada, Iowa, Texas, and Massachusetts, and the U.S. territory Puerto Rico, do reference God.

        I choose to acknowledge the existence of God in absolute singularity as described innumerable times in the books of the Bible. Such existence is intuitive based on historical evidence that the existence of deity is hardwired into the human genome. No group of people in all history has been without deity.

      2. Sheila says:

        Ironic that you of all people (who claims atheism is NOT a religion despite the spirit of the law in the Constitution and what the Merriam-Webster dictionary says) would claim God is not in the Constitution. By your own twisted definition of religion, God most definitely is directly in the constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” According to you, religion can ONLY refer to God. So there He is listed as of the utmost importance, prominently, right there in the Constitution. No scouring involved for finding Him.

        Get your head on straight.

        BTW, just because you read it on the internet doesn’t make it true. Example, hefty authorities everywhere claim NO ONE has been killed by a diptheria vaccination. Just a little bit of research into something that’s obvious misinformation to the point of propaganda, and you find that prior refrigeration, yeah, people were killed by the diptheria shot. And, you find that thousands are dying yearly of it by SIDS when a study refuting that was revisited (http://vaccinepapers.org/high-mortality-dtp-vaccine/ )

        For future reference, any time something says “none, ” “never,” “always,” it’s likely a crock. Not always, but likely. Think it through next time.

  13. Minister Post says:

    There used to be a time when you pledge allegiance to the flag to show your patriotism to a great country we live in. To show our gratitude for the freedom of rights. Anyone who makes a stink about this is not an American. I think they should go back to there country and learn so humility and be truly grateful.

    1. Sam says:

      Yes, indeed there was a time when you pledged allegiance to the flag to show your patriotism to the great country we live in. That would have been before 1954 when “under God” was added, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization. There’s little doubt they meant a specific God.

    2. Anna Brown says:

      “The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.

      In its original form it read:

      “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

      In 1923, the words, “the Flag of the United States of America” were added. At this time it read:

      “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

      In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge we say today. Bellamy’s daughter objected to this alteration. “

    3. Sheila says:

      I think the Jehovah’s witnesses are definitely American when they are American citizens. I feel amazing pride for our country that they don’t pledge to the flag. It is idolatry for them. The Bible even says if you think something is wrong, you should not do it. It is wrong for Jehovah’s Witnesses to pledge to the flag. I feel proud about it because it’s our county’s freedom of religion at work. It’s an awesome thing to see. I too hold my God above my country – but I pledge to the flag as something of lower ideal than God Himself. I’m reminded of the greatness of God in greater starkness when I witness Jehovah’s Witnesses not pledging.

  14. Robert Bruce Kelsey says:

    The idea of a separation of Church and state as a constitutional ‘gag order’ on Christianity is an urban legend. The Establishment clause prohibits establishing a religion (logically distinct from participating in and/or support an existing one that dominates the Republic), and it prohibits restricting existing religious freedoms. The Clause does not, under any recent SCOTUS ruling I’ve seen, prevent exercise of specifically Christian behaviors unless the action fails the (also beleaguered and problematic) Lemon Test. In fact, Scalia has documented multiple instances of what sociologists call the Civil (Deist Christian) Religion of the US, as well as inconsistent use of the Lemon Test by SCOTUS (See McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union of Ky., 545 U.S. 844 (2005)). Further, Jefferson’s Danbury Baptist letter, where the separation theme appears, is in context not at all a restriction on Christian behaviors.

    Personally, I find Scalia’s distinction between religious freedoms and “irreligious” attitudes far more dangerous in the long run than a national day of prayer, for it suggests that only ‘accepted’ religious ideas and behaviors are protected from disparagement or curtailment, NOT atheist (or possibly non-popular!) ideas and behaviors. Lionheart, along with members of cross-over religions like Christopaganism and non-Wica forms of paganism, may have an uphill battle in the future.

    1. Sam says:

      Well said Robert, and not a single ad hom attack!

  15. j says:

    Sponsor (Put funds towards?) NO. Permit & encourage prayer? YES. Gov should run the country, NOT get into private enterprise. Disban government funded NASA, Disban government funded recycling programs & related laws. Disban milk subsidies, etc etc. Let the industries run on open market (safely regulated, yes) but NOT run by gov.

  16. Robin White says:

    This should have been researched before being asked.
    There are over 1,500 National Days of something, from bacon to popcorn eating to chocolate cake day.
    If anyone feels slighted, all they need to do is go to the National Day Calendar (if you google that, it’ll take you to their website – right at the top is a button to click to register a National Day. If some feel there should be a National Day of atheism, do it, most can choose which date they’d like to use.
    Our country has always leaned toward Christianity, every president I am aware of has been a Christian (there’s a difference between a Christian and a Holy rolling saint). Almost every president has remarks about Christianity.
    The country is shifting, as people here lose faith, but that’s no reason to stop believers from having their day – for if you want one, all you have to do is register.
    We have a National Day of speaking like a pirate. Does everyone speak like a pirate for 24 hours? Of course not! It’s fun.
    SO is the National Day of prayer. I’m not saying people don’t take it seriously, but Christians of many denominations unite at one church in a given area and pray together. We get to meet believers from all around our area for a few hours once a year.
    No one is forced, just like pirate speaking.
    There’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day, (and month)! Should they be abolished by people who don’t want to think about sadness?
    Stop being silly.
    Do add to the fun of the National Calendar by adding your favorite thing.
    We are becoming FAR too sensitive around here. Lighten up, live and let live.
    Peace is always better than war or bitterness. Find your joy, and relax.

    1. Sam says:

      You seem to have missed the point entirely. If you actually read and comprehend some of the other comments here, you may begin to understand.

  17. Sharon Shores says:

    I’ve posted comments and they are not showing up??

    1. Howard Pippin says:

      I can say the same thing.

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        I’m just glad they post any of mine at all. This blog is not a free for all. The only comments that get posted are the ones the ULC approves of. In retrospect I’ve realized that some of my comments have been pretty far out in left field. I hear tell this blog has something to do with spirituality.

  18. Alicia says:

    A National Day of Prayer doesn’t specify which gods you must pray to. But maybe for all those who get butt-hurt about anything that has to do with religion, perhaps renaming it to National Prayer/Remembrance Day would fit.

    What is wrong with people that they must find offense in everything?

  19. Wayne Stevens says:

    That’s what I say Live and Let Live February how about a live-and-let-live day I don’t know just to talk

  20. Mark Hannon says:

    The government needs to pray as much as they can.
    There isn’t enough sage to smudge the dirt out.

  21. kim says:

    President Trump is answered prayer.

  22. Alma Kirkland says:

    I believe the problem with America today is that we have taken God out of everything. This country was founded on religious freedom and it is reflected on our currency, our pledge of allegiance and surely we must realize if a national day of prayer is law then regardless of religious preference or beliefs a moment of silence certainly can’t hurt.

    1. Sam says:

      Indeed if it were called “National Moment Of Silence Day”, I don’t think we’d be having this conversation. When you say this country is founded on religious freedom, then in the same sentence you point to our currency and pledge of allegiance as examples, it’s problematic. Our money says, “In God We Trust” and the pledge says “One nation under God”. Which God would they be referring to? Before you answer, research how those phrases got on our money and in our pledge. If your answer is anything other than the Christian God, you aren’t being honest.

  23. Amber says:

    A national day of prayer isn’t something that forces people to pray. It is something that allows people to recognize prayer as a viable part of the life of those who do. Frankly it isn’t that important to me. I have other days I feel are important to me but I don’t feel the need to make them nationally recognized. It’s a point of vanity if you really think about it and honestly just not my thing.

    All that said, for a country that is suposed to be built on the idea of separation between church and state, these lines are blurring horribly over these last several decades. No laws are suposed to be made in favor or or restricting any one religion or practice as long as the active practices go against the law. Making laws that break that are suposed to be unconstitutional and should be removed from the books.

  24. kimberly says:

    When you remove one religion, another will step in to fill the void. As Christianity is eliminated, Islam is making inroads. Once the transition is complete voluntary prayer becomes mandatory. Then we won’t be having this discussion. Freedom isn’t free. And good only triumphs over evil when good is very very careful. I don’t see that happening today. We’re throwing our freedom out in complete ignorance that getting it back will be very very costly.

  25. William Matthew Vinson Jr says:

    Our founding fathers carefully crafted the US Constitution to clearly separate government and religion. Religious freedom allows any expression (or none) as an equal right for all Americans. There is no need for a government-sponsored prayer day. Believers make every day a prayer day. All Blessings and Peace Profound, Pastor Willi

  26. Jeff Grippe says:

    Do I think there should be a “national day of prayer”? No! Do I think it’s worth making a big deal about? Probably not since we are not being forced to pray. It doesn’t appear that this is a slippery slope that leads to state sponsored religion. It’s been around for a while and we atheists have not been forced into belief in god. People like me can be atheists if we want to.

    Where I think we need to focus in this debate is when legislation or judicial decisions are based on religion. That would include the current attack on abortion rights. Focusing on prayer days or ten commandment monuments isn’t productive. While I agree that these things shouldn’t exist, the big problem is legislating from religion. Let’s stop that first and then worry about symbols and other things.

  27. Charles 'rents says:

    Americans do so worry about the important things

    1. Wayne Stevens says:

      I don’t know what is important how about starvation hungry threat of War wife in the whole human race out you tell me

  28. SGT Flosnake says:

    Some people complain about cold ice cream.

  29. Gerald Duggins says:

    The actual words in the First Amendment of the Constitution read as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. The intent was to avoid a creation of one national church, such as the Church of England or which the Queen or King is the head of. There is nothing that prohibits religion or the government participants from practicing a religious belief. This whole story of separation of church and state is from a letter the Thomas Jefferson wrote and has nothing to do with the Constitution. Why do people that are off on their own course and it happens to be one that is contrary to the masses, insist on trying to force other people to bow down to them and stop doing what they believe in?

  30. Priestess Starwolf says:

    I find it interesting that a country “established” (and I mean that loosely because it was already established) by those wishing to escape persecution for their religious beliefs, and with ideas of creating a new society built on the ideal of freedom, would put into law a National Day of Prayer, yet not open up the White House to alternative forms of such. Why were not Pagans, Muslims, Jehovas, Budhists, Satanists, etc…not sent open invitations to participate at the White House? If we are going to have a NDP, then the WH should allow ALL religions/non-religions to openly participate, publically, on the lawns along with the Christian musicians and priests. Just my opinion.

    1. Jeff Grippe says:

      Now you’ve hit the nail on the head. If you limit NDP to a single religion, you have government legislating it as official. You can say all you want that this doesn’t force you into being christian, but it does have the government officially endorsing christianity. This is the point of action. NDP all by itself is meaningless. Any action that endorses one religion at the exclusion of others, whether it’s NDP or something else, must be confronted.

  31. Oldaabill says:

    It seems secular rather than an establishment of a particular religion by Congress. (NIV) Matthew 6;5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

  32. zerq says:

    america needs a national day of reason and or critical thought

    1. Wayne Stevens says:

      I declare a national day of reason I think that’s what we all need

  33. TigerMoon2 says:

    Hehe… yes, I recently met one of my ‘neighbors’ down the street while out walking our dogs. We had a wonderful conversation right up to the point when she asked me if I ‘know Jesus’… When I told her I was Wiccan she replied, “Oh, well then you DON’T know JESUS!” That’s how fast all of the ‘pleasantries’ were dropped. It was all in her ‘tone’ of voice. I just walked away, smdh. Now wondering how long it will be before my other neighbors start snubbing me, after she’s done telling them all. A good time to discover what’s really in their hearts and minds, I’d say.

  34. Joanne Martin says:

    Like any other government-recognize “day”, you can choose to participate or not participate.

    Pay attention to the coverage or not. Why does everything have to be such a huge ordeal. Why cant we just just choose to worship, or not worship, in the way we choose and allow others to do the same. So the White House recognizes those of faith on a particular day…would you rather they push their religious view daily?

    Climb down off the soap boxes and just switch the channel or turn the page when the celebrations do not coincide with your interests. It’s that simple. Stress and anger are going to be the destruction of all people.

    1. Sam says:

      Yes, let’s all just bury our heads in the sand while our rights are eroded.

      1. Joanne Martin says:

        I’m sorry maybe it’s just different where I live but did you have to conduct you day in any different manner on this day because the government “forced” you to pray? Nothing changed in my day.

  35. jhelms says:

    While I am never comfortable praying outloud, I think if it is done sincerely and from the heart it is beneficial. Saying that I must say that I try my very best to never judge who is sincere and who isn’t. That is between that person and God. I know that in Matthew Jesus says that you should go behind locked doors to pray so that you are not doing it for show, but you can also read in Matthew that you should not put your light under a basket. Rather, let it shine and glorify God.

    All of this is to say, I don’t think you should pray in public to make a show but public prayer is not bad in and of itself. If done sincerely it is an expression of love, respect and honor.

  36. David says:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”. No law means NO LAW. There is no doubt in my mind that requiring the President by law to conduct a religious ceremony is by definition unconstitutional. I don’t think it is wrong, but I do believe it violates the Constitution.

  37. Norma Battes says:

    Everyone need to calm down. Many here appear to misinterpret the first amendment. As it applies to religion, the government cannot establish a “national” religion. However there is nothing written that any religion or another cannot influence government.

  38. Fred Howard Walker says:

    Who prays on prayer day and how and when is for the individual to decide just as it is throughout the year. Prayer day has only the purpose of acknowledgement of its importance like mother’s , or father’s day or earth day or the many “days” we are pointing at. Most religions and indeed life philosophies like Buddhism pray and meditate. No group has a lock on this life quality activity. Christians, which I am, need to stop thinking egocentrically and open to all humanity. We all can pray together.

    1. Joanne Martin says:

      Well put and , I believe, absolutely point on. It is because of our freedoms that everyone can voice their opinions on issues such as this, however it doesnt have to be an issue. Change the channel, ignore any coverage (I want even aware this existed until now)…I was raise Catholic and now I embrace all spiritualities with a root base in Buddhism.

      Let’s look to the day where there is a Buddhist or wiccan in the White house, then they will be able to “pray, and celebrate in their way and we will be yielding backlash from the Christian’s. It’s time to stop making stress and anger in places there doesnt need to be any. Life can be hard enough…if it offend you or bothers you…walk away, shut off the computer or turn the TV off…its that simple -Namaste

  39. Sam says:

    I’m flummoxed by several comments claiming that NDP doesn’t violate the first amendment because it has nothing to due with establishing a “national” religion. Are ya’ll reading the same Bill of Rights I am? Are you even vaquely familiar with how the Supreme Court interprets it?

    The NDP was found to be unconstitutional in 2008 by a Federal Judge in Wisconsin as the result of a suit by the FFR foundation. That ruling was never enforced before it was overturned on appeal in 2011 by a 3 judge panel. They didn’t overturn it because the Wisconsin judge ruled improperly, it was on a technicality related to the standing of the plaintiff. Reading the entire appeal ruling, it is clear to me that the judges twisted the definition of harm to suit their agenda of making the suit go away.

    In order to be constitutional, a policy must:
    1. Have a non-religious purpose;
    2. Not end up promoting or favoring any set of religious beliefs; and
    3. Not overly involve the government with religion.

    The law establishing NDP is on a slippery slope. The question I have is, why do we need a law establishing NDP? Why did the government decide we needed to? It’s because Billy Graham went on a week long prayer crusade, culminating in a speech before Congress urging them to do it. And then they did!

    If that ain’t establishment, I’ll eat my hat.

  40. Joanne Martin says:

    Again, NPD does not have to have ANY effect on your life unless you chose for it to. Not everything has to become such a huge spectacle. Maybe next we should stop showing fireworks displays in TV because those people over there dont like fireworks.

    If it doesnt interest you, ignore it. Causing such an issue where there is no need to even pay attention to it makes no sense to me

    1. Sam says:

      What a ridiculous analogy. There isn’t a National Fireworks Day enacted by a law that violates a constitutional right. If you don’t care about preserving our rights, that’s your business, but stop telling the rest of us to get over it. Anyone with a drop of patriotic blood should be outraged every single time our government tries to usurp the bill of rights.

  41. Secretary3rd says:

    It is nice to see Allah has its day in America as well as the lesser religious people.

  42. Bobbi says:

    Has anyone considered God\s view of humanity?
    Do you believe that God by what name you call him by would limit positive personal choices?
    God birthed each soul into being which makes each His child for eternity. It might help to read the message below a few times and honestly apply it to choices you have made.

    “The basic threads woven in the fabric of sustenance providing nourishment for the soul in the physical realm are the same for every religion.
    This sacred fabric is viewed differently based on cultural and human defined viewpoints. However, the basic threads woven into this singular fabric of sustenance for every religion remains unchanged and unaffected.
    For those of you who respond with concern and compassion for those in need regardless of your differences, you have quantified in physical form the basic threads within God’s fabric of sustenance, His divine unconditional love, The Holy Family, and other Holy Beings whether you believe or not.”

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