Monday, April 19, 2010

Paying for the National Day of Prayer

I know that some people are insulted by the idea of the National Day of Prayer. I've heard all kinds of huffing and puffing about separation of church and state and the like.

But that's not what outrages me.

Our National Day of Prayer activity charges a $16 ticket price.

Sixteen dollars!!! I hope that people at least get a fancy breakfast, with mimosas, for that. I hope that money isn't going to pay the worship leaders.

I won't know, because I won't be there. For me, every day is a day of prayer. I don't need a national decree. I don't need to pay $16. I don't need prayer leaders. The Bible is very clear about all these things.

I suspect the prayer leaders, at least some of them, will use this model of prayer: "Father God, we just wanna ________________." You can fill in the blanks many ways: asking for things, praising. Except to my Lutheran ears, it all sounds so insincere and sucking up to start a prayer that way.

And then there's the issue of gender inclusivity. I bet these male prayer leaders aren't going to be spending any time praying to Mother God. Sigh.

No, when I'm joining a big, ecumenical group to pray, I want there to be social justice at the root. So, this Thursday, I'll go to the Nehemiah action, where people of faith gather some local political leaders together to remind them of their obligations to the poor and the oppressed.

My Marxist atheist friend said, "And the political people actually come?"

I was happy to be able to say yes. Ah, the power of numbers. I know that's what the National Day of Prayer is supposed to be about. So why charge admission?

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