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'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, (original, huh?) airs on Tuesdays at 10:PM and Saturdays at 8:PM, Eastern time on RainbowRadio.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

The National Day of Prayer.


It doesn't surprise me that Conservatives largely favor the National Day of Prayer... They've never really been all that invested in actually SOLVING problems or DOING anything about them.  So "prayer" fits into their agenda nicely.

The National Day of Prayer was established in 1952 - the same era that added "Under God" to our Pledge of Allegience, and did any number of other uncostitutional things all while fearmongering about the Commies.  And I have basically no respect for the view of the 1950's, and their Red-Scare McCarthyism, as the "Good ol' days."

The 1950's? Really?

You had segregation and the hula hoop.

We've got gay rights and the internet.

The '50's sucked.  'Nuff said.

I enjoyed very much hearing the exchange on NPR today between Annie Laurie Gaylor, Representing the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and a certain Reverend Hunter (which would be a GREAT name for an atheist, wouldn't it?) who was defending - pathetically, I might add - this unconstitutional nonsense which is the National Day of Prayer. OK, I'll admit that my postion on the matter is hardly an objective one, but IMHO she mopped the floor with him, while he tried repeating the same old, tired and irrelevant arguments that the Federal Appeals courst has already ruled aginst.

BUT - lest you think that this is no more than another purely atheistic tirade - let me say that the very best argument AGAINST the National Day of Prayer that I've ever read comes not from an Atheist, or even from a Constitutional Scholar, but rather from a man of the cloth!  I encorage everyone to read, and THINK about, Reverend Barry Lynn's April 20th Article fro HuffPo.  THIS is my real problem with the National Day of Prayer.  As Rev. Lynn  points out, it actually UNDERMINES Religious faith and true practice.  And THIS is what the Religious Right in this country just doesn't get - or doesn't care about.  Because the Religious Right has NEVER been about Religion.  It's has always been about POWER and MONEY.  Or, more specifically, using RELIGION to get the religious to put them in POWER, so they can take their MONEY.

...And if there was any signifciant population of Christinas in this country who had any sense of real Christian principles, there's no way we'd have, "In GOD we trust" printed on so base and material thing as our MONEY.

But that a rant for a different day.

Happy National Day of Prayer. 

(I'm going to celebrate MY "religion" by continuing to think and act rationally.)

5 comments:

  1. In the 50s, one average joe working one job could comfortably support an entire family. Those are the good old days we need to get back to, the days of wealth redistribution and unions.

    "I'm going to celebrate MY 'religion' by continuing to think and act rationally." -- ah, too bad. I'm going to celebrate my religion on its many religious holidays. And I get the whole shebang -- thinking rationally, skipping work, getting drunk, everything.

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  2. God and Prayer are above institutionalized religion. We as human beings need to believe in some Superpower as we are nothing. Look at the natural disasters that leave us helpless or to the manmade disasters such as Greece's bankruptcy that could spread and erase the economy of the world.

    I think a national Prayer Day is a nice idea, although I'm not familiar at all with the way it's celebrated.

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  3. Steve -

    Oh, I totally agree on the 1950's as described in YOUR post! That was exactly what I was getting at in my "proportionate pay" post awhile back that IIRC you reposnded pretty positively to.

    As for holidays? Hey, we atheists get all the benfits of leaving work, drinking beer, and partking of the gift-giving and gluttony that usually ensues. We just get an earlier start because we don't go to church before hand. XP

    Duta,

    If believing in and praying to a higher power comforts you, or gives your life meaning (or more meaning) then by all means practice and believe as you wish. For my part I've never found anything conforting, or derrived any special meaning from it, or really seen any aspect of the spiritual world to be anything but immaterial. But that's just me.

    As for our Nat'l Dot of prayer? In truth, it's NOT really celebrated. The law says that the President shall (each year) issue a procalmation declaring the first thrusday in May as "A national day of prayer" and various religious group use it as an excuse to get together, pray, and talk politics. When the Rev. Billy Graham proposed the idea back in '52, it was far more about just encoraging people ot pray and believe. But Graham kept himself largely above partisan politics. The Rev. James Dobson, who is not so principled, kind of high-jacked it in the late '80's and turned it into a Right Wing, Ecvangenlican Christians-only, rallying point. (As the Rev. Barry Lynn pointed out, in the articel I linked to, religious LIBERALS were no longer welcome!) But, in truth, I see no beneift eitehr way - if you want to pray, PRAY. There's nothing stopping you. (In fact it would be unconstitutional to stop you, and that's exactly as it should be!) But if you need the gov't to set aside a day for you to pray (which in most countries is called "SUNDAY") then you're not really much of a christian / jew / muslim / hindu / buddist / etc then... are you?

    Also, our Constutuoion, as you may know, GUARENTEES our freedom of Religion, by prohibiting the Gov't from establishing an official state religion or endorsing a specific faith. And the seperation of church and state is a critically important concept, in protecting religious freedom. By issuing this proclamation, and recognizing this day, our government is marganalizing and disenfrachising all those who don't believe and/or don't pray. Basically: The gov't has NO BUSINESS telling me that I should pray. (Any more than they have telling me I shoudl not!) It unecessary, but it also encorages a certain world view which is hostile to non-believers or non-practicioners.

    Thank you both for you comments.

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  4. I am an unabashed Jesus Freak. I am also very religous. In other words I not only believe but I practice religion in the ceremony of my beloved church, the Episcopal Church. We are the ones that caused heads to explode by consecrating a gay bishop, Gene Robinson. I could care less if there is a day of prayer. You know, I take that back. If a day of prayer puts me in the same unholy stew as Sarah Palin and Rick Warren then thanks, but no thanks. Plus I dont really like the continued sort of legitimacy the rabid right wing fundamentalists get. And I am just sick to my stomach listening to the sorry rants of Hannity and Huckabee and Coulter that Christianity is under some sort of siege. Yeah and white guys have really got it bad, too. If you are such fine humans then show some compassion to the less fortunate by like maybe supporting health care reform. Respect and care for the environment by maybe supporting a climate bill. Oh and how can I say this gently?...WE ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION!!!Keep your stone age religion and your right wing ideology away from me. If prayer is so important....then effing pray!!!!Quit making Christians look like intolerant, backward, finger pointing, critical, hateful buffoons. Keep the wall between government and religion wide and high!! A lot of progressives may find it hard to believe but the religious left exists. I am not the only religious left wing person in the world. I guess we just dont make as much noise as the religious right.

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  5. Jlaure,

    If every {Christian} [Religious Person] in {America} [the World] were like you, {this country} [it] would be a much better place. I probably would still not go to church... but at least I might actually almost feel bad about it. LOL

    Thanks for your comment.

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