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A National Day Of Prayer, Hardly

Monday, April 19, 2010 10:43 AM Comments (105)

Last week it was widely reported that a Federal judge, in an absurd decision, killed the National Day of Prayer.

No she didn’t.

It has also been widely speculated that the decision of the descriptively named Judge Crabb will be over-turned by a higher court and the National Day of Prayer will live again.

No it won’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I think this absurd decision - a decision which willfully ignores everything the framers thought and stood for - should be overturned.  However, The National Day of Prayer was dead long before Crabb killed it and it will take more than reversal on appeal for it to ever really live again.

Truth is, the National Day of Prayer signifies nothing more than a blurb on a government calendar.  For your average Joe, the National Day of Prayer is no more relevant than Arbor day.  It is a day that is merely set aside for us to feel good about ourselves. Actually, I take that back, its not a day set aside at all.  That is the problem.  It is a day like any other.  We don’t pray as a nation anymore and we haven’t in a long time.

The last time I saw this nation pray was on September 11-12, 2001.  I remember when I arrived at Church that horrible evening and found the mass that usually attracted less than fifteen churchgoers almost filled to overflowing.  This was on Long Island and so everybody had friends, neighbors, or relatives that work in downtown if they don’t work there themselves.  That day these people, my neighbors, felt a palpable sorrow and helplessness and it brought them to Church and to their knees.  There was nothing left to do but pray and man did they pray. That was a national day of prayer.  That’s what it took to have this nation kneel and pray, truly, together as a nation.

So now the atheists have had their hearing and they have, at least temporarily, chipped away at the rights of all Americans to pray as one.

Maybe that’s what it will take.  Maybe after the secularists and socialists take away every right that we took for granted, maybe then we will get back on our knees, pray, and take our country back.  Maybe, just maybe, after we have lost our right to pray at all we will finally pray together again as a nation.

Is that what it will take?  Are our hearts so hardened?

During the passover seder children ask, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” Perhaps one day after we have lost it all we can once again have a National Day of prayer that means something.  A day in which children can ask, “Why is this day different from all other days?” and we can answer the question.

“Because once we forgot to pray and then we were not permitted to pray.  We pray now because we can, and because we should, and we do not want to forget again.”

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About Pat Archbold

Pat Archbold
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Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company. Patrick, his wife Terri, and their five children reside in Long Island, N.Y.