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Citizen Voices

God Bless America?

Did you know today is the 57th Annual National Day of Prayer ? Oh, stop rolling your eyes. Our country desperately needs all of the prayers it can get right now. The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. What? Are those crazy Christian fanatics at it again? No, this annual look to the heavens was actually created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress (PDF) , and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.

"What about separation of church and state?" you worry (or in the case of Florida, the separation of church and plate ). Where in the Constitution does it say as a nation we can't pray for divine guidance? Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history. Benjamin Franklin observed "the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men... and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"

I would submit that a nation can certainly fall without it. Some would say that America is on a precipice right now, very much in need of inspired aid.

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Candace Suerstedt
May 02, 2008 at 06:29 PM
Trina, I don't understand why you think one would roll their eyes. It may come as a surprise to certain Christian sects but most traditional Christian churches, Protestant and Catholic, include a great tradition of prayer, sacrament, and worship. But then so do Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim faithful, among others. The church I attend prays regularly for the state of this country and the rest of the world as well, though we mostly don't count on God to be an American. It's funny, though…when I clicked on the "National Day of Prayer Event Search" link and put in my zip code it told me there are no registered churches in my area. Who does a church have to be registered with to be included? The resolution says: WHEREAS, The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans, transcending differences and bringing people together; I think that's the important thing…allowing people to chose they way they worship, free from judgment of others. This current agenda of calculated innuendo which has as it's intent to confuse, distort, and cast aspirations is ungodly.

Trina from Carlsbad, CA
May 03, 2008 at 05:33 AM
I got attacked for being patriotic, so I figured people would start rolling their eyes when I started writing about religion. Of course, anyone is allowed and even encouraged to pray. I believe that everyone should be allowed to worship how, where, or what they may. I think when they ask for churches to register it's so that their specific event will be included in the official National Day of Prayer listing. Candace, do you think the recent developments with Obama and his Reverend will hurt his campaign?

Randy from North County SD
May 03, 2008 at 01:44 PM
I'm rolling my eyes. How about if I pray that legislators quite giving into to religious groups and stop all this nonsense. I hope this wasn't announced in congress and that they didn't waste time letting all know about this nation's faux piety especially in light of all the problems that are going on in our nation right now, not to mention all things that were done in the name of religion that harmed innocent people. Here's a quick part of my prayer requests....please join me in your chosen path and join the prayer party! "Dear God, please stop the war and bring to light the real reason our government went to Iraq in the first place." "Oh Allah, please give us enough food to feed the people of our war torn nation". "I enter nothingness from a place of suffering where I can't go and visit my sick mother because gas is too expensive." "Oh Goddess of The Earth, Land and Sea, I supplicate for a world free of attacks on my sisters who are being forced into slave labor and are being mutilated for religious purposes." "Dearest Spirit of Our Ancestors, please help us understand why Christians came from Europe and took away our land and culture. Did they pray to their three in one god to have this come to pass?"

Trina from Carlsbad, CA
May 05, 2008 at 12:50 AM
Randy, I agree. Some of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind have been done in the name of religion. Does that mean that God doesn't exist? No. Does it mean that God doesn't hear our prayers? No. Does it mean that God doesn't have his eye on this country? No. Does it mean we're all hypocrites and in need of divine help? Yes.

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Randy from North County San Diego
May 09, 2008 at 09:26 PM
Dear God, Please stop the religious right fundies from spouting words of hate, distrust and quasi informed perspectives on your existence. Trina, the eyes are doing cartwheels!

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