A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Blessings On America

"Since our Nation's earliest days, prayer has given strength and comfort to Americans of all faiths. Our Founding Fathers relied on their faith to guide them as they built our democracy. Today, we continue to be inspired by God's blessings, mercy, and boundless love. As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we humbly acknowledge our reliance on the Almighty, express our gratitude for His blessings, and seek His guidance in our daily lives. Throughout our history, our Nation has turned to prayer for strength and guidance in times of challenge and uncertainty. ... Across our country, Americans turn daily to God in reverence. We ask Him to care for all those who suffer or feel helpless, knowing that God sees their needs and calls on us to meet them. As our first President wrote in 1790, 'May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths.' As we face the challenges of our times, God's purpose continues to guide us, and we continue to trust in the goodness of His plans." --President George W. Bush

Isn`t it odd that people care so much for their bodies-they exercise, watch their diets, don`t smoke, etc. in an effort to live as long as possible. Yet so few concern themselves with their souls (you aren`t going to live forever in your body, but you will in your soul!) Most people worry about the physical necessities of life, as well as their comfort and entertainment, but are unwilling to devote as much as an hour a week to the Permanent Things. Most of these people believe in God, but they act as if He isn`t REALLY around. They demand that He be kicked out of schools, kicked out of Government, kicked out of any aspect of public life. Then they wonder why schools are falling apart, Government is corrupt, the public character of America is degenerate. Why is God abandoning us, they cry! It should be no mystery; why SHOULDN`T God abandon us, if we abandon Him first?

Do you want to know what made America great? It wasn`t our natural resources (Russia certainly has as much, as do many African nations and Argentina) nor our geography (Argentina has very similar geography) nor even our system of governance (many other nations tried to establish a system similar to ours, but were unable to come to a political consensus to make it work.) What made America great was faith. The original colonies were chock full of ``holy rollers`` who left England (or other parts of Europe) for the freedom to worship (not the freedom FROM worship) and they established a moral, prayerful nation. Their attitudes were shaped by the Bible, and as a result they respected their neighbors opinions, they respected their property, they respected the law and custom, they saw wealth and privilege as a means and not an end in itself. For this, God showered America with blessing; liberty, wealth, power, influence. These temporal blessings all stem from a prayerful, spiritual approach to life.

Which is what makes the secularists so dangerous. They want God out, claiming He is superstitious nonsense and that we should be free from God in our lives. Even an atheist should be able to see that a religious spirit brings forth a bounty to the Nation through natural mechanisms. An honest atheist should want to educate, but not use the force of law to eradicate. The fervor with which the anti-God forces battle speaks volumes about their ultimate origins and aims; they are not so much against the idea of God, they are against God Himself. They bear Him a grudge.

That is why the National Day of Prayer is such an important thing; we need to refresh our national Spirit and renew our vows to the Creator. Abraham Lincoln called on the Nation to repent during the Civil War, declaring a day of atonement. In this light, we have established the National Day of Prayer. This is more important than the secular holidays we celebrate; they are about the ephemeral world of the physical. This is about those things which are permanent.

God bless America!



Blogger Esther said...

Very interesting post though I disagree with a lot of it.

"What made America great was faith."

Actually, I think it's the freedom to practice your faith (unlike, say, in Saudi Arabia).

As for having G-d out of govt and schools, I think it's a must. You think in terms of a white Christian majority. Tell me how quick you would be to still want religion in govt and school if that was no longer the case. What if suddenly Islam was the majority? Would you want to send your child to a school where they must say a Muslim prayer? Would you want the Muslim majority to decide that Islam was the national religion and then outlaw Christianity? By opening the door to reversing the separation of Church & State, you are allowing for this possibility.

I think having a National Day of Prayer is wrong on many levels, the separation of Church & State once again being a major reason. But mostly, if you're someone who prays, do you really need a day to remind you of it? I tend to doubt it. And if you don't pray, will such a day encourage you to start? I tend to doubt it.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Esther, You make some decent points but I stand by my post.

1. It was the religious faith (and yes, by that I mean Judeo-Christian)of the Founding Fathers which led to the organizational structures which have made America great; the Bill of Rights, the basic assumptions for liberty, all rested on the premise that man was endowed BY THE CREATOR with these inalienable rights. We would never have had the Constitution if we hadn`t had men of faith writing it.

2. No one tells any students they have to love Jesus, or worship Brahma, or Allah, or any other specific religion in public schools. Religion and Faith are two different things entirely. All anyone wants is just to acknowledge G-D exists, and to ask His blessing.

3. If Islam were truly a religion of peace, and if Christians and Jews (and Buddhists and Hindus etc.) were allowed to practice their faith without molestation, I would not complain. Again, I think we are arguing apples and oranges. America was an overwhelmingly Protestant nation, yet Catholics were never forced to profess Justification through Faith Alone (the basic tenant of the Protestant creed) or give up confessions. I really don`t think we can make the historical connection between a general air of faith and active suppression of religious minorities.

4. Seperation of Church and State is a concept regarding the establishment of a state religion. There is no mention of this phrase in the Constitution (Thomas Jefferson, refering to the establishment clause, said ``it is as if there is a wall of seperation between church and state.`` The establishment clause says that ``CONGRESS shall make no law concerning the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.`` It is a clause binding on the United States Congress. The idea that it means removing faith from schools is a modern (actually postmodern) idea.

5. Finally, there are three good reasons to have a national day of prayer. First off, it encourages our young, public school educated kids to think about something more than the ins and outs of life. It makes them aware that many people take faith seriously. Second, it makes US remember why we are so successful. Finally (and most importantly) it leads us to that most fundamental of purposes; to ask G-D for his forgiveness and blessing. That is a universal. It transcends sects, creeds, cultures. (At Alcoholics Anonymous, the alcoholics call on a ``higher power`` for help, since they can`t control their problem themselves. Many an atheist attends AA meetings and joyfully calls upon their higher power.)

I`d like to reiterate my point; even an honest atheist will admit that enforced secularism is terrible for society. Secularism tends to lead to Nihilism, and nihilism is terribly destructive. That is precisely what we are doing with our obsession with ``seperation of church and state``. We are, in essence, establishing religion (secularism) and prohibiting the free exercise thereof. If you don`t believe that, tell me why students are getting suspended from schools for having their Bibles on their person? This happens with regularity these days, and the students generally have to sue to get back in school.

Anyway, it`s always great to hear from you, Esther! Even though we don`t agree on this one, we have a lot more in common than not, and I really appreciate your thoughts on these issues! You always have a thoughtful opinion, and you always make me think! Thanks!

3:46 PM  
Blogger Esther said...

Thanks for your very kind words, Timothy. But I'm still going to take a few of them on. LOL.

"All anyone wants is just to acknowledge G-D exists, and to ask His blessing."

But some kids don't believe in G-d -- and in this country, they have that right. You want a kid to pray or acknowledge G-d, it is my feeling that that is what going to church or the mosque with your family is for. Kids have enough to tease other kids about without singling out a kid who won't pray with them because of their beliefs (or lack there of). Also, do they have to acknowledge G-d? That won't do for Muslim students who acknowledge Allah. Again, it's going to cause more harm than good in many places.

"We are, in essence, establishing religion (secularism) and prohibiting the free exercise thereof. If you don`t believe that, tell me why students are getting suspended from schools for having their Bibles on their person?"

Taking away a child's bible is something I will never condone. If a child wishes to read it during breaks or recess, that should be their right. As long as it's not the teacher reading from it, leading everyone in prayer, I don't understand what the problem is.

Thanks for making me think too. :)

4:21 PM  

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