The National Day of Prayer was established back in 1952 and it wasn’t until 1988 that President Reagan decreed that it would be held on the first Thursday of May.
Well, today is the first Thursday of May and, as I noted the other day, President Obama will be issuing the proclamation but won’t be holding an official White House event. That is a change from the last administration, when George W. Bush hosted White House observations annually.
The official Bush events were themselves an anomoly, because no president had ever done anything like that. But apparently the fact that Bush alone among presidents did it means that it is now a tradition for which Obama can be slammed for desecrating by the likes of the Family Research Council:
A presidential spokesman did make it clear that there would be no NDP event at the White House. That, of course, is a break with the tradition of the Bush administration, which hosted an annual NDP event at the White House.
Should we be surprised? Concerned? No and yes. While there is a long history of Presidents praying and calling the nation to prayer (dating all the way back to George Washington), a de-emphasis on prayer in this administration should not come as a surprise. What can we expect of an administration whose policies cheapen human life, increase dependence upon government and threaten religious freedoms?
And Vision America:
The theme for this year is “Prayer… America’s Hope” and is based on the verse from Psalm 33:22 which states: “May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Unfortunately for our nation, our current President apparently doesn’t agree. In his press conference on April 6 in Turkey, President Barack Obama stated, “One of the great strengths of the United States is… we have a very large Christian population — we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”
So perhaps it’s not surprising that President Obama has now cancelled the annual public observance of the National Day of Prayer! For the last eight years, prominent evangelical and other spiritual leaders were invited to attend an event in the East Room of the White House. But this year, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs announced the Obama administration plans to recognize the National Day of Prayer on Thursday with a paper proclamation, rather than a public event at the White House.
Not to be outdone is Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, who sees the decision as proof that Obama has no faith and hates everything for which America stands:
“For those of us who have our doubts about Obama’s faith, no, we did not expect him to have the service,” said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America. “But as president, he should put his own lack of faith aside and live up to the office.”
Referencing a remark the president made at a recent press conference in Turkey that Americans “do not consider ourselves a Christian nation,” she added: “That was projecting his own beliefs, but not reflecting what the majority of Americans feel. It’s almost like Obama is trying to remake America into his own image. This is not a rejection of Shirley Dobson; it’s a rejection of the concept that America is a spiritual nation and its foundation is Judeo-Christian.”
Allow me to just point out once again that there have been 12 presidents obligated to proclaim a National Day of Prayer and exactly one of them, George W. Bush, held annual observances at the White House … something even the sainted Ronald Reagan did not do.
Yet somehow this return to tradition by Obama is seen by the Right as a sacrilege and proof of his own “lack of faith.”