Today is actually the National Day of Prayer. Really. Let that sink in for a moment.
We have regional coordinating groups — Minnesota is having events at the Capitol today. Did you know that prayer is “America’s strength and shield”? I didn’t. Our governor has issued a proclamation asking citizens to “open our hearts in thanksgiving”. It’s a weird document. It announces that we have all these problems like poverty and sickness and crime, and then declares that we’ve been strengthened by the “conscience-based actions of people of faith” … I guess we people of reason don’t have consciences, and I think it’s setting the bar awfully low anyway to declare prayer an “action”. It’s more like an inaction, with lame excuses.
The head wackaloon of this year’s National Day of Futility is Shirley Dobson … of those Dobsons, the fundagelically evil kooks behind Focus on the Family. This was supposed to be an ecumenical event, as near as something that celebrates religious idiocy can be ecumenical, but it has since evolved into an exclusively evangelical Christian church service, sponsored by our federal government. Using her vast powers as chair of the national task force, Dobson requires her coordinators to sign this statement of faith.
I believe that the Holy Bible is the inerrant Word of The Living God. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only One by which I can obtain salvation and have an ongoing relationship with God. I believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, his virgin birth, his sinless life, his miracles, the atoning work of his shed blood, his resurrection and ascension, his intercession and his coming return to power and glory. I believe that those who follow Jesus are family and there should be unity among all who claim his name. I agree that these statements are true in my life.
Hello, Jews and Moslems! Nice to see you’re joining us atheists in rejecting prayer. Oh, you’re not? Well, at least we’ll be able to keep each other company with all the other second-class citizens.
Fuck the National Day of Prayer.
I can scarcely believe my country is officially pandering to such willful stupidity — elevating evangelical kooks to positions of prestige, trumpeting the virtues of sectarian religion, and actually crediting the successes of America to the fact that a subset of deluded, demented fools sit on their asses and beg an invisible man to protect us and help us kill people in foreign countries. What a waste, and what an encouragement of further waste.
I feel like just declaring this the official National Day of Derangement and writing it all off, maybe spit in the soup of people who say grace, or flip off any group I catch trying to do a collective exercise in ritual invocation of nonexistent beings, but the Minnesota Atheists have a more productive idea: they are calling this a National Day of Reason and are setting up to demonstrate in the Minnesota capitol in St Paul today. They actually have a prime position, and all the legislators leaving their workplace to join in the National Day of Inanity will have to troop by them. In my dreams, these politicians would feel a little sense of shame at the foolishness of the official events, but in reality, I’m sure they won’t.