"For what is prayer if not a form of wishing - for mercy, forgiveness, to win the lottery or that something horrible will befall our enemies," noted President Obama, speaking to reporters at the White House yesterday. "And by enemies I'm not specifically referring to [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell."Obama noted that it would no way violate the separation of church and state to ask people of all faiths - or no faith - to engage in a nationally sponsored day of abject begging to no one in particular. "Or as we refer to it in Washington, Tuesday," said Obama. "Just a little Beltway humor there."
The announcement drew immediate criticism from the National Day of Prayer Task Force, a privately funded group with strong ties to the Evangelical Christian movement and an armed militia believed to number about 30,000.
"The National Day of Prayer provides an opportunity for all Americans to pray voluntarily according to their own faith," said task force chairwoman Shirley Dobson, wife of former Focus on the Family CEO Rev. James Dobson. "It provides an excellent opportunity for those of us who are going to be saved to pray for the doomed souls of those who oppose us, as if we would do that."But many, such as The End Of Faith author Sam Harris, applauded the move. Appearing on HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher, Harris called it "a fine first step" toward dismantling all of America's houses of worship and bringing on a godless society based strictly on intellect. "
"Maybe we could turn all the churches into marijuana bars!" suggested Maher, and they high-fived.
[Read the rest at CAP News.]