National Day of Prayer Hijacking Complete
tacitus printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu May 04, 2006 at 07:18:49 PM EST
The National Day of Prayer has been a traditional part of the religious life of the America since 1952 when President Truman signed its observance into law.  It is supposed to be a chance for the nation to join together in a non-sectarian manner to pray for the country. Here is the President's proclamation for this year's observance, May 4th:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 4, 2006, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God's continued guidance and protection. I urge all Americans to join in observing this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

Now, we can debate the merits or otherwise of a government issued proclamation concerning such a religious matter, but that's not the purpose of this post.  My concern is the brazen way the religious right, in the form of the so-called National Day of Prayer Task Force (NDPTF), chaired by none other than James Dobson's wife, Shirley, has hijacked the observance and reshaped it into a purely sectarian occasion.

There is nothing subtle about the way Shirley Dobson and her organization has muscled their way into this position.  Just take a look at their website: http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org

The banner reads  "National Day of Prayer Official Website" and there is a prominent link to the President's proclamation right in the center of the home page.  Now, how on earth could anyone not think that the NDPTF was the official organization in charge of this event for all peoples of America?

You have to go to their About page before you are clued into the sectarian nature of the organization.  Under "Who We Are" you begin to get an idea of what they are really about:

We are the Judeo-Christian expression of the National Day of Prayer which was established in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The United States was born in prayer and founded on a relationship with God while instituting His biblical principals and moral values.

And finally, at the bottom of the page, we get to their disclaimer, their weasel words:

Official Policy Statement on Participation on Participation of "Non-Judeo-Christian" groups in the National Day of Prayer:

The National Day of Prayer was created by an act of Congress and is, therefore, intended for all peoples of faith to pray to the God of their understanding

However, our expression of that involvement is specifically limited to the Judeo-Christian heritage and those who share that conviction as expressed in the Lausanne Covenant. If peoples of other faiths wish to celebrate in their own tradition, they are welcome to do so, but we must be true to those who have supported this effort and volunteered their time to promote it. National Day of Prayer is not a function of the government and, therefore, a particular expression of it can be defined by those who choose to organize it. This is not a church/state issue

Here is a link to the Lausanne Covenant for those who are unfamilar with it.  Now what in the world does the Lausanne Covenant have to do with the National Day of Prayer?  Well, nothing.  It is a statement of faith for evangelical Christian who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible.  In other words, despite all appearances, if you're not a Christian Fundamentalist, then the NDPTF have nothing to offer you.

Now, despite the deliberately deceptive "official" presentation of their website, there is no law against the NDPTF limiting their efforts to the evangelical community.  However, they go further, much further.

First, if you listen to today's Focus of the Family radio show, the presenter mentions Shirley Dobson as the "Chairman of the National Day of Prayer" and introduces their guest, Dr. Henry Blackaby, as the "Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer".  That is an unabashed lie, and they know it, and they know they can get away with it since their organization is the only one that gets national TV coverage whenever this date rolls around. (Dobson will be on Hannity and Combes this evening, I'm told.  Any bets as to how she will be introduced?)

But even worse than that, they have even managed to hijack many of the 50 state National Day of Prayer proclamations.  Many of them (access the links at the bottom of this page) include a phrase similar to this one:

WHEREAS, the motto of the National Day of Prayer and the State Day of Prayer is "America, honor God" a reaffirmation for the biblical exhortation in I Samuel 2:30 "Those who honor me, I will honor" (Idaho)

I haven't looked at them all, but as well as Idaho, the proclamations from Georgia, Ohio, New York, and Florida all mention the "theme". (Surprisingly the one from my home state of Texas does not this year--perhaps someone complained).

Now, where does this motto/theme "America, honor God" come from? There is no mention of it in the President's proclamation, and this is the only official government press release about the NDP.  Hmm. Tough question... Well, of course, the NDPTF thought it up:

This year's theme is "America, Honor God" and is based on 1 Samuel 2:30 NIV - "Those who honor me, I will honor" National Day of Prayer Chairman Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder and chairman Dr. James Dobson, said "at a time when so many principles found in Scripture have been rejected by society, it's all the more vital that God's people stand firmly in defense of the precepts He's laid out in His Word. As we wage this cultural battle, however, none of our efforts are assured success without consistent, fervent prayer for God's intervention."

(From the same page linked above)

So there you have it.  The takeover of the National Day of Prayer by the Christian right, in the form of the Dobson Empire, which has been underway for a number of years, is now virtually complete.  Almost by default, they have become the only national organization affiliated with the event, and have no shame in allowing others to assumed that they act in an official capacity on behalf of the whole nation.  

The NDPTF website lists hundreds of events to take place all around the country tomorrow--and they make it easy for you to list your own, except, you have to sign a statement of faith before you do:

You must be: Commitment to Christ. A volunteer must be an evangelical Christian who has a personal relationship with Christ. I acknowledge that I am working for the Lord Jesus Christ and the furthering of His Work on earth and agree to perform my work with the highest standard of Christian faith.

That's tough luck if you're a Muslim, a Hindu, or even a moderate Christian.  In essence the Dobsons are saying "You are not welcome here at this, the official NDP website--go find your own prayer meeting. Oh, and good luck with that."




Display:
from Tony Perkins: "The theme of this year's observance is both a promise and a warning."

And his official National Day of Prayer Statement escalates that "warning" into a red alert.

Those who honor me, I will honor.

1 Sam. 2:30

Never has it been more necessary for us to honor Him. And never has it been more controversial to honor Him. Around the world today, we see Christians being persecuted for their faith. The century just ended saw the worst mass persecutions of Christians in any age since the Advent of Jesus Christ.
:::
The attempt to drive religious free speech--and those who would speak it--from the public square must be resisted. We owe it to the martyrs of twenty centuries. We owe it to our fellow Americans. And we owe it to God Himself. Let us honor Him.

So ... is the cabal of godless secular humanists in charge of the country holding an auto da fé somewhere this weekend that I haven't heard about? And who's bringing the marshmallows?


by moiv on Thu May 04, 2006 at 10:13:29 PM EST

Actually, I'm afraid that instead of marshmallows I bought Ghiradelli chocolate chips and a fifth of Buffalo Trace for the Secular Humanist Derby Party and Auto da Fé.  (I could have sworn I sent out the memo after getting my Sooper-Sekrit Secular Humanist Society Membership Card.

(Damn.  And I was hoping you'd bring the casserole.)

by dogemperor on Thu May 04, 2006 at 11:11:24 PM EST
Parent



I was aware that the "National Day of Prayer" had been hijacked, but it's very useful to have it so succinctly delineated :

It's really the  "National Day of Focus on the Family's Prayer For Christian Triumphalism and the Principal of Biblical Inerrancy"....

Or something like that.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri May 05, 2006 at 10:35:05 AM EST

I sent them a email either last year or the year before asking them why they were being so deliberately misleading on their website.  No reply, of course, and it's only gotten worse since then.

One thing I hadn't realized until this year was the inclusion of NDPTF-created themes into the state NDP proclamations.  I wonder if the ACLU has noticed yet....?


by tacitus on Fri May 05, 2006 at 11:42:44 AM EST
Parent

Even for a big org. such as the ACLU there's an awful lot to track.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri May 05, 2006 at 05:03:37 PM EST
Parent



A very large poster for this event was on the bulletin board at work.
The words America, Honor, and God were NOT part of a sentence separated by a comma (America, honor God) but presented as three separate commands with America on top (nationalism), Honor in the center (values?), and God at the bottom.  
This looked, as I suspect it was intended, to conflate nationalism, religion and "values."

My response?  
A quick Sharpie edit in large black letters, Matthew 6:5.
I tire of these folks misusing my faith!

by nofundy on Mon May 08, 2006 at 01:12:03 PM EST


Excellent article...sad that most secular Americans and progressive Christians don't prioritize rollbacks of things like this very highly when push comes to shove.

How can talk2action sympathizers ensure our next non-Dominionist president takes a few minutes of his first administration to de-legitimize FotF's hijacking of this and other events with a few well-placed signatures on revised, inclusive proclamations?

Who's keeping a to-do list of these seemingly esoteric, off-camera yet vital reclaimings of the public sphere we'll need come some post-inauguration January soon?

by zentrumspartei on Wed May 17, 2006 at 03:55:34 AM EST



WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (330 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (178 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (98 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (93 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (105 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (127 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (115 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (79 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (228 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (55 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (153 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (173 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (53 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (54 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (210 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (240 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (87 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (171 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (143 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (141 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (146 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (144 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (123 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (185 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (142 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (83 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (189 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (77 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (107 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (105 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.