National Day of Prayer… questions

I understand that President Obama endorsed the Muslim "National Day of Prayer". 

Did he do so for the Christian "National Day of Prayer"?

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  1. Aaron says:

    As I recall, he cancelled the traditional White House event for the National Day of Prayer, and when people got up in arms about it, he issued a proclamation supporting it (whatever that means) instead. I haven’t heard this latest story, so I don’t know how it compares.

    But isn’t the National Day of Prayer supposed to cover all creeds anyway? Why would there be a separate Muslim one?

  2. Bill in Texas says:

    What we need in this country is a National Day of Sackcloth and Ashes.

    A National Day of Reparation and Begging for Mercy for Being Such a Bunch of Ingrates.

    Not that we’ll ever see such a thing.

  3. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Father Z, this issue needs to be clairified.

    As stated above, Presdient Obama did not host a traditional White House event for the National Day of Prayer. He did issue a proclaimation supporting it:

    A number of Muslin clerics sponsored a “Day of Islamic Unity” to represent Islam on Capital Hill:

    A thorough search of the White House website shows no acknowledgment of the event whatsoever, much less a proclamation supporting it.

    I fear the facts have been jumbled in this case.

  4. Sandy says:

    The fact remains that he snubbed the National Day of Prayer in comparison to the attention given to it by previous presidents. Yes, Bill, that’s exactly what we need, but I agree with you about the chances of seeing it happen!

  5. tzard says:

    Regarding snubbing the National Day of Prayer – I hear he’s not gone to any church (protestant or otherwise) since his family since he moved to Washington. That in itself is a break from tradition.

    I suspect he leaning towards irreligiosity and is in much need of our prayers. I would expect any (alleged) recognition of Islam would seem to be more political than anything.

  6. chironomo says:

    Shouldn’t a “National” Day of Prayer be…. uhm… “National”? That is, acknowledged and observed by all who so believe? While I certainly uphold the notion that ours is a Christian nation, it would seem a bit ridiculous to have a “National Day of Christian Prayer” and a “National Day of Muslim Prayer” and a “National Day of Jewish Prayer”…etc…etc..

    It sounds as thought the questioner is wondering if President Obama might be favoring Islam over Christianity. If that is so, I would be certain that it was for political rather than theological reasons. President Obama doesn’t seem to be Islamic. And as an above commenter has already noted, he doesn’t seem to be much of a Christian either. But it’s dangerous to attribute motivations to a persons religious affiliation…

  7. Chironomo, you expressed exactly my own thoughts…national days of prayer (such as Thanksgiving) are not denominational or sectarian…they are days for all people to dedicate themselves to God and the purpose requested, according to their own lights.

    After the assasination attempt on President Regan, he rarely went to church. He explained that he felt he would either be putting the congregation in danger or severly constricting their parish life because of security. It is also not uncommon for Protestants to not go to church regularly…it is not considered a sin among most denominations to miss Sunday services, as it is with Catholics.

    I say this only to point out that we should beware attributing motives to anyone, including the President, based on actions that can have more than one interpretation (as Chironomo points out). Not that I’m any fan of the President, but whether he is irreligious or not, he certainly stands in need of prayer; President Bush acknowledged the same way about himself. Indeed St. Paul commands us to offer prayers for kings, and other leaders.

  8. Wherever a President chooses to attend church with any regularity, there are a host of security measures involved, which all told can wreak havoc on the surrounding neighborhood. This is taken into account by a sitting President when choosing a place to worship. Can the location accommodate him and whomever arrives with him? What is the effect on the other congregants, the management of the church, not to mention several city blocks surrounding it? (There ARE people who actually live in this town, you know? Ever have your car towed for no other reason than bad timing?) What Mr Cavanaugh says about Reagan is a point well taken. Were a Catholic to ever become President again, he would likely invite a priest-friend of the family to the White House for a private Mass. I believe that would be permitted in the residential area.

    And just as a reminder, if President Obama considered himself a Muslim, he would be a very bad one, as he has openly professed Christianity for the bulk of his adult life, certainly the last twenty-plus years. He would have to formally renounce his belief in Christ in order to be in the good graces of Islam.

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