National Day of Prayer Boycotted By Obama

Posted on May 8, 2009. Filed under: A Theology of Patriotism, American History, Contemporary Religion, Courts and Legal Matters, News of the Day |

Yesterday, May 7, 2009, was the National Day of Prayer, and it was fraught with more controversy than recent Day’s of Prayer. At issue was whether or not President Obama would choose to participate, or even issue a proclamation. In following the stories it looked obvious to me that Obama did not want anything to do with the annual observance (since 1952), but in the end, agreed to issue a proclamation, but not to attend any of the events. This was yet another calculated political maneuver, and I believe, probably another sign that his real religious beliefs likely lie closer to Mecca than he has let on.

It should be noted that Pres. BHO did attend and speak at the National Prayer Breakfast back in Feb. Why attend that observance and not the larger event of the National Day of Prayer? The National Day of Prayer was led by Shirley Dobson, wife of Dr. James Dobson, one of the most influential voices in evangelical conservatism for over thirty years. Dr. Dobson has been hugely critical of Pres. Obama. Clearly then, Obama did not want to associate himself with his political enemies which would upset his base- homosexuals, atheists, etc. See the below article for his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast:

Here is a brief history of the National Prayer Breakfast:

In the above story you will notice some of the speakers at the National Prayer Breakfast have included leaders from Muslim and Hindu States, thus it is a muslim friendly event, whereas the National Day of Prayer seems to include more Christians and Jews although many of th ePresidential proclamations include all religions. This is a significant difference that supports my thesis above that Obama’s spiritual loyalties lay closer to Mecca than Nashville.

That all being said, I must, in all fairness, criticize Pres. George W. Bush along the same lines. Evangelicals welcomed him as one of their own, but, over time, I observed that his personal theology was seriously compromised. His choice to include muslims in various religious funcitons such as the 9/11 memorial service, and his actually going inside a mosque, and his various remarks about islam being a religion of peace and basically assuming that we all worship the same God….sorry, but that kind of insidious compromise disgusts me and shows that you are not an evangelical. That is not to say that I think the man is not a Christian. I saw a lot of signs that he is what he claims to be, a Christian, unlike the current usurper in the White House.

But here are the questions: Should there be a National Day of Prayer in America which is now so multicultural, so secular and so divided? Are we a Christian nation? Does National Day of Prayer compromise our doctrine of ‘separation of church and state’? Does it compromise any truths of Scripture?

Here are some links to the history of the National Day of Prayer:

But, there are some theological difficulties with such events besides the well known legal difficulties. Let me begin my relating a persona story of an event where I was invited to give the public invocation, yet declined due to certain theological difficulties. After 9/11 the company where I was working at the time held a company wide meeting where the CEO, a committed Evangelical Christian, was going to share his thoughts on the tragedy and share a brief testimony (he was going to tell how he came to God). I had previously, on a few occasions led in prayer at some company events so I was asked to pray before the gathering which would likely have about 400 people in attendance.

I declined this opportunity because there had been one restriction placed on me: do not pray in Jesus’ name. Just pray to God, but leave out the name of Jesus. The reason given was that because it was a company wide meeting, not quite mandatory though, and people of other faiths would be present, they wanted it toned down. I politely turned down the request. I could not compromise my convictions in this regard.

I believe I could participate in a prayer event with Catholics, and even Jews, if I was allowed to pray in Jesus’ name. While I believe the God that the Jews worship is the same God who I worship, I do not believe the Jews have a right relationship with that God because the only way to have a right relationship with God is through God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

The larger problem comes with attempting to include muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. These religions do not worship the same God I do, they worship demons. There is no way that I could participate in any kind of a joint religious venture with them.

An even more complex problem arises with Mormons. They also worship a demon, in that the false god they have constructed is in no way related to the God who is, even though they use the Bible. Yet, the Mormon religion in its surface features is closer to Christianity than any of the other world religions. Frankly, I just don’t know what to do with them.

Now enter the National Day of Prayer. Is it pleasing to God for a nation, our America, to set aside a day of prayer when you realize that many who are participating are unbelievers, Jews, Mormons, muslims, Hindus, etc.? Or, are the false prayers of idolaters adding insult to injury? Furthermore, when you understand what some Baptists think about the dangers of a Civil Religion, where people assume they are ‘saved’ because they are Americans and are generally religious, then does something like the National Day of Prayer actually confirm them in their sins?

These are some of the complicating factors involved. Would I want to attend a National Day of Prayer with President Obama leading it? NO!

But is the whole effort a good thing? Or are the atheists right on this one?

Although there is much evidence for staying away from such events, I am going to side with the National Day of Prayer because I believe that some symbolism, even though it may be attended by much hypocrisy, is important and pleasing to God. I believe this principle is embedded in the sacrificial system God established through Moses. The sacrifice on the DAy of Atonement was for all Israel, but actually saved no one. It was a symbolic sacrifice for the nation that did look forward to the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. There were plenty of Israelites who trusted in God with great faith, and there were no doubt many who had no faith, yet were under the general blessing of the annual sacrifice by the priest on the Day of Atonement.

I believe there is a need for such religious events and symbolism in our country, that such things do seek the blessings of the God who is, even though many, perhaps even most of Americans, are not genuinely saved by the blood of Jesus. I believe that the ‘radical separationsists’ who seek to remove all religious observances and symbols from our national scene are dead wrong and are harming our country.

I believe that America is still a ‘Christian Nation’ in that our religion is more Christian than any other, and our history is clearly mostly Christian, and our laws and culture are broadly Judeo-Christian in origins. Our founding fathers and documents are clearly from a judeo-christian background. Therefore, having a largely Christian national day of prayer is a good thing, as is having the 10 Commandments posted in our schools and courtrooms- despite what our courts have mis-ruled.

President Obama’s being fathered by a muslim man, adopted and raised by another muslim man, attending muslim school in Indonesia, his illegal travels in Pakistan as a young man, and his clear preference for arabs and muslims over Israel indicate to me that his faith is probably some kind of amalgamation between the radical black liberation theology of Jeremiah Wright and standard islam. It will be interesting to see if Obama copies George Bush by going into a mosque and even more interesting to see if he worships as a muslim again.

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!



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4 Responses to “National Day of Prayer Boycotted By Obama”

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I read Karen Hughes’ book, Ten Minutes to Normal,” and it casts light on GWB’s treatment of the Muslim religion. Ms. Hughes is a Christian, but one with moderate views on lots of things. Theologically, she may be fairly liberal. She, as GWB’s press secretary, is the one who came up with the phrase, “Islam is a religion of peace.” GWB didn’t want to offend my Muslims-in-Name-Only who live in the US, work, have “normal” lives like the rest of us and have no clue what true islam is all about. GWB and Hughes wanted to fight a war on terror, not a religious war against muslims. GWB decided to ride the fence on the Muslim religion rather than face a potential firestorm of attacks from the media and muslims if he had gone public with the truth about Islam, if indeed he even knew the depth of its’ evil. That’s probably why he went to the mosque, too – to reach out to middle-of-the-road, non-radical muslims. As president of the US, it was what he felt he needed to do. I didn’t agree with his course of action. Surely, there must have been a third option. GWB didn’t mind calling Iran, N. Korea and (the 3rd) country) “The Axis of Evil.” But he didn’t want to make enemies of every muslim. Reagan might have called them what they are. I don’t know. I just wanted to give you that information.

Thanks for the insight, I have not read Hughes’ book, and this story sounds plausible. I think thta much like politicians’ inability to face the Social Security bankruptcy, they are also unable to face the reality that Islam is more dangerous than communism ever was. Bush’s idealism, though noble, has led us into 2 wars that are unwinable with our current strategies.A fundamental failure to see Islam for what it is will be very costly.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment, those are rare!

I’ll let you borrow it – if I still have it and can find it! 😉

This is too bad. But as usual, everyone is crying out for tolerance except towards conservative evangelicals, or basic Christians. I just pray that we remain as exclusive in our gospel proclamation as ever and not be drawn into the pluralism and nothingness of the day in order to acquire the federal nod of approval.

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