Wow. That’s Offensive.

28 April, 2008

As many of you may already know, May 1 is The National Day of Prayer.  Wow.  That’s offensive.  For one day, federal government buildings will cease serving all Americans and, instead, by allowing federal buildings to be used as churches, will serve only theists.  To me, this means that, on May 1, ten percent of Americans will, effectively, be excluded from the secular United States Government. 

It gets worse, though.  The National Day of Prayer Task Force is a private, non-governmental organization responsible for organizing the day of prayer.  That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?  Well, it sounds really bad when you consider that Shirley Dobson chairs the task force.  Who is Shirley Dobson?  She is the wife of religious right whacko christianist fundamentalist James Dobson.  As in, Focus on the Family James Dobson.  As in ‘America is a Christian Nation’ James Dobson.

So.  What happens when you combine a National Day of Prayer with a task force run by Shirley Dobson?  This happens:  every speaker must sign a statement of belief.  That statement reads in part:

“I believe that the Holy Bible is the inerrant Word of The Living God. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only One by which I can obtain salvation and have an ongoing relationship with God. I believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, his virgin birth, his sinless life, his miracles, the atoning work of his shed blood, his resurrection and ascension, his intercession and his coming return to power and glory.”

So I guess Catholics and Mennonites can’t speak.  Nor can Wiccans or animists.  Buddhists, Sikhs, Shintoists, and Santerians are muzzled.  So are Muslims and Unitarians.  Actually, most Christian sects are excluded.

This means I need to restate that first paragraph.  This National Day of Prayer does not exclude the ten percent of Americans who are non-believers.  Instead, it excludes the 72% who are not right-wing christianist fundamentalist theocratic Bush supporters.

Wow.  That’s offensive.



  1. you are an idiot

  2. Heh. I assume Charly McMurray is a “right-wing christianist fundamentalist theocratic Bush supporter” then. He or she also has no clue about the fundamentals of sentence-forming. There should be a capital “Y” at the start of the sentence and a full-stop/period (or exclamation mark if preferred) at the end.

    I would feel very uncomfortable about disproportionate government funding for one religion or indeed lack of religion. Because you can bet there won’t be a similar day for Jewish or Muslim Americans. I don’t think that statement would necessarily exclude Catholics, although I certainly don’t know any Catholics who believe the literal word of the Bible. It depends, I suppose, on whether one thinks that a ripping yarn about the creation/formation of the universe put into terms a nomadic tribe could understand 4000 years ago can still be “inerrant” or not.

  3. Charly: Why, specifically, am I an idiot? Because I do not believe exactly the same thing you do? Because I disapprove of the damage to the American economy, constitution, and world standing done by President Bush? Because I expect the federal government to follow its own rules and actually avoid supporting any specific religion? Or is it because I disapprove of the attempts by right-wing theocrats to take over our secular America?

    Whichever reason, I could, actually, care less. Narrow-minded bigotry disguised as patriotism is always offensive.

  4. I wonder how Charly would feel if the government was sponsoring the National Day of Prayer but only those who believed in the “literal truth of the Koran” were invited. Wait, I know, he would cry persecution, separation of church and state, and government oppression. Yep, that about covers everything when Christians don’t get exactly what they want.
    By the way, I think American Atheists are calling it the National Day of Reason, and we’re supposed to give blood or donate money. That way we can show how you can do more good, by doing good as opposed to praying to your magic man for it.

  5. I don’t think I’ve “outed” myself as religious on here before, but I have on other pro-evolution, pro-atheism blogs, usually at times just before I start laying into fundamentalists for ruining religion for the rest of us.

    I can’t tell why Charly thinks you are an idiot, I suspect that any one and all of the reasons you come up with would be correct. He/she betrays that they are an idiot by being unable to engage you in rational debate, and instead moving straight on to ad hominem attacks.

    Back to my point though. I am religious, but I would have very little faith (excuse the pun) in any politician who betrays the fundamentals of American government, and makes this “statement of belief” (or pledge, or selling your soul, however you wish to view it). Despite my faith, I want to live under a fundamentalist Christian theocracy about as much as I want to live under an Islamic theocracy. Or indeed any theocracy. And that is to say, not in the slightest.

    Lets leave the job of governing to secular authorities. Religion is the private sphere. Government has no business bothering religion. And religion has no business bothering government.

    Or are the aims, intentions, and actual words of the Founding Fathers only worth listening to when it suits the right-wing. I often feel if they insisted on as literal an interpretation of the Constitution as they do on the Bible, then things would be so much better.

  6. In fairness, charly doesn’t even capitalize his own name so we can’t fully fault him his lack of sentence capitalization, but I do find the lack of punctuation troubling. Let’s remember that he did spell all his words correctly. Usually his crowd doesn’t, although his brevity kept the difficulty scale low, and that will hurt his overall score with the judges. I believe they’re also looking into whether “charly” is an acceptable variant or is in fact a misspelling of his own name, which would be a major point reduction.

  7. Shouldn’t this have happened last month instead, on April 1st?

    Seriously, I feel for you. I spend a fair amount of time reading atheist blogs, and whilst I may moan about living in a (technically) non-secular country, it seems to me that compared with the States we have it easy. This should be protested as loudly and widely as possible.

    (At least that’s what I thought until I came across charly’s elegantly phrased, coherent, logical and profoundly moving rebuttal. Having read that, I naturally renounced all opposition to Pray-Day, and ideed, accepted Jesus into my heart on the spot.)

  8. Paul: Belief and/or non-belief is not what I look for in people. I look for rationality, intelligence, open-mindedness and, when commenting, grammatical skills. You appear to be rational, intelligent, open-minded and you can use the English language. You are welcome here, outed or not.

    Philly: So, on a scale of 0 to 42, what is his score (42, of course, is highest as it is the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything)?

    Yunshui: Welcome. I don’t know if the US has more than its fair share of whackos, but, I guess because of our large population and freedom of speech, we seem to have a large number of public ones. I did notice, however, that, after reading charly’s eloquent rebuttal, your spelling skills immediately declined (ideed). Coincidence? I think not.

  9. […] on the left as a starting point and knock yourself out). However, I learned from a recent post of (((Billy)))’s about America’s National Prayer Day. Now that’s worthy of comment even on our […]

  10. This National Day of Prayer crap is a good reason to celebrate the National Day of Reason. Then again, I really don’t need any extra reasons because I support what the National Day of Reason stands for – doing something worthwhile in one’s community rather than simply groveling before some imaginary sky daddy.

  11. Still awaiting a ruling on “charly”, but I’m leaning to maybe a 9 or 10. He got his thought across without effort on our part to make sense of his typing. That’s worth something. Unfortunately, his thought was an assertion that came with no argument and/or proof, and that’ll cost you. He might do ok with the Mongolian judge, since they fancy brevity, but that does nothing to win over either the French or Italian judges. Yup, I’d be surprised to see him break the teens, a far cry from the magical 42.

  12. The Russian judges will be merciless. They’re sticklers for proper form.

  13. And here we are, once more, down the rabbit hole…

  14. Philly: As for the “assertion that came with no argument,” in his defense, mayhap he read some of my writing?

  15. Funny…

    Even in my super-Christian community I hadn’t heard anything about the NDP until I read it in secular blogs. Now I have to go stir up some shit. Nothing’s happening in NOLA, but across the lake there will be some praying down at city hall. Maybe I can take a long lunch.

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