National Day of Prayer

A US District judge in Wisconsin has ruled that the law mandating that the President must declare an annual National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional .

There is a legal tradition going back to 1988 for the President to declare a National Day of Prayer each year.  This was several decades in the making several decades in the making.  At issue in the recent ruling is the oft-trumpeted goal of separation of church and state.  The presidential proclamation is tantamount to the government advocating religion, something which is said to violate the First Amendment of the Constitution which asserts that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion “.  
Of course, this is not what the law or the proclamation is doing.  You can see that clearly enough here is the text of the 2009 Presidential Proclamation.  On the other hand, it seems clear that the intentions behind the law that finally passed in 1988 after 30 years of work and effort is not really very generic.  I’m fairly certain that Billy Graham and James Dobson were not intending to pass legislation encouraging Muslims to pray to Allah and Christians to pray to God and Hindus to pray to Vishnu.  The lobbying effort for the legislation is clearly Judeo-Christian in emphasis.  
Not surprising, since despite our president’s assertions that the US is not and has not ever been a Christian nation, in fact we have been and far and away demographically still are a Christian nation.  Not a nation that endorses or mandates Christianity as a national religion, but a nation that recognizes that the vast majority of it’s population is Christian.  A nation that understands that the rationale for it’s very existence as opposed to still being a British colony is grounded firmly in the Judeo-Christian God who has indeed “created all men equal”.  
I can empathize with those who argue that this proclamation is generic enough as to not really cause anyone any unrealistic offense.  Frankly, I didn’t even know this day existed – let alone that it was mandated by law – until this week.  Shows the type of press coverage this proclamation gets, and the amount of emphasis it receives in the media each year.  Pretty much none – outside of Christian media.  
I tend to suspect though that the National Day of Prayer is not something worth fighting to maintain, either.  I’m kind of hoping to hear some passionate arguments about why I’m wrong.  Christians are enjoined to pray constantly (Ephesians 6:18).  We should pray for our leaders.  We should be doing this at least weekly in worship, and preferably on a daily basis.  What does the National Day of Prayer add to these sort of expectations?  Shouldn’t every day be a national day of prayer for Christians (and presumably for Muslims and Hindus and any other belief system that incorporates prayer)?

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