Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Presidential Calls to Prayer

Sorry, John-Henry Westen, I'm not sure I can join your lament — Mr. President, With all the Crises, Where's the Call to Prayer?

"It would seem that with the devastating, still unresolved Gulf oil spill crisis, the real possibility of Western military defeat in Afghanistan, the powderkeg situation in the Middle East, and the World economic crisis, the President of the United States would urge Americans to special prayer for the protection of America and for peace and stability in the world," Mr. Westen writes, lamenting that "unlike many of his predecessors, and especially unlike his immediate predecessor, President Obama has not indicated he sees any value in appealing to God for special help regarding these dangers."

Mr. Westen mentions that "President George W. Bush, despite his flaws, called the nation to prayer after 9-11." That night (it was night here in Korea), I offered some of the most heart-felt prayers of my life, without needing the President to tell me to do so.

I see little harm in having presidential calls to prayer, unlike militant secularist whiners who see them as the establishment of a theocracy à la The Handmaid's Tale (an entertaining but utterly implausible novel). Of course, there is potential for much good in having presidential calls to prayer, but not having them beats fake religiosity or attempts to score cheap political points.

"America is a nation with the soul of a church," said G. K. Chesterton, which I see not as a compliment but as a recognition of a tendency toward a certain idolatry on our part.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous love the girls said...

Western Confucian writes : "establishment of a theocracy a la The Handmaid's Tale : "an entertaining but utterly implausible novel"

Theocracy? I must have read an abridged version. or perhaps. The theocratic aspect of the ruling class was indistinguishable from what is actually coming down in the U.S. with the book being a more up to date drawn out variation of Animal Farm.

9:06 PM  

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.