Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

You’ve got to be kidding!


I’ve just read that the POTUS is required by law to issue an annual proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer “on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”

I thought there was a separation of church and state in the US. The writer has got to be kidding, right?

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

16 thoughts on “You’ve got to be kidding!

  1. As an American, I totally agree. It’s idiotic & unconstitutional. But it pleases the Christians.

  2. Only in theory, but not in practice

  3. It may happen but I’ve never heard about it.

    “Under god” was only added to the pledge of allegiance in 1954. I don’t say that part.

    • Jeff Cann refers to a Wikipedia page in a comment below regarding the legal requirement.

      I notice that you mention the pledge of allegiance. May I ask how often you have recited it? I’m curious because the New Zealand pledge/affirmation of allegiance is only required under exceptional circumstances, for example joining the armed services, becoming judge or a member of parliament. I’ve never been asked to recite it, or been in a group expected to recite it. In fact the only time I have heard it in person was when my wife recited it during her citizenship ceremony.

      • In my small conservative town there are many opportunities to recite the pledge. Many adult club meetings start with it, our county commissioner meetings do too. When I was a scout leader when Eli was little, I was expected to recite it weekly. I always omitted the parts that I don’t agree with–such as pledging allegiance to a flag. Then my poor six year old son needed to listen to me rant the whole way home how ‘they’ were trying to brainwash kids my making them say something they don’t understand. My book delves into this more deeply.

      • It’s said daily in elementary school, or was when I grew up. I know we also said it at mymiddle school. I don’t recall high school. Very rarely said as an adult but it’s still come up on occasion and it’s already well ingrained by then. But I saw some documentary style tv show where adults couldn’t remember it.

        For the most part, it’s just recited words that no one really analyzes beyond knowing it’s a pride kinda thing.

      • Wow… timely article just showed up in my news feed. I think everyone should take a chill pill but it won’t happen:

  4. From Wikipedia: The National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked “to turn to God in prayer and meditation”. The president is required by law (36 U.S.C. § 119) to sign a proclamation each year, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.

    I guess this has been happening since 1952. I’m sure Biden, looking at his standing in America right now, doesn’t dare buck this tradition. As an agnostic, having this day doesn’t bother me even though I don’t pray. Of course I don’t think it’s necessary either. Just more stupid, pandering American politics.

    • Yes, I noticed Biden referred to God and quoted a Bible passage the other day. I guess it seems odd to me because I have never heard a political leader in this country ever refer to God in an official capacity – ever. Note that since 1999 we’ve had only 9 months under a Christian Leader, 17 years under atheist leaders and now in our 4th year under an agnostic leader. Religion is carefully avoided by our politicians.

  5. Perhaps the key here is may rather than must Barry. Sorry about the half comment.

  6. “A day of prayer” says it all when you consider the Trump clowns in the US. Another excuse to spread Delta for the good Lord.

    • Whereas here, churches such as the AoG Samoa have been pleading with the authorities to use the facilities of the church to provide covid education, testing and vaccination, and only now is that starting to happen. Where communities are tightly tied to a church, it makes sense to use of a cooperative church as part of covid management.

  7. In regards to theocratic leanings, I believe there’s a potentially serious problem with some theologically inclined people who get into high office with, for example, their dangerous disregard — or even contempt — for the natural environment. For instance, the evangelical Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro declared two summers ago, in the midst of unprecedented Amazonian rainforest wildfire (home to a third of all known terrestrial plant, animal and insect species), that his presidency (and, I presume, all of the environmental damage he inflicts while in high office) was “fulfilling a mission from God”.

    Closer to home, many of Canada’s leading conservative politicians, not to mention our previous prime minister, are/were ideologically aligned with the pro-fossil-fuel mainstream American Evangelical community and Republican Party. They generally share the belief that to defend the natural environment from the planet’s greatest polluters, notably big fossil fuel, is to go against God’s will and therefore is inherently evil. (Might this in particular include Greta?) Some among them may even credit the bone-dry-vegetation areas uncontrollably burning, along with global warming, to some divine wrath upon collective humankind’s ‘sinfulness’.

    • The same types of issues can arrive when any ideology is perceived as “The Truth” instead of being an understanding/interpretation of the facts based on the best of our knowledge. This doesn’t only apply to religion, it applies to economics, the environment, social justice, the meaning of freedom, matters of health, and much more, including the ethics of the human consumption of meat. Inflexibility and intolerance of alternative perspectives, and the absolute self assurance that one “knows” the “Truth” probably causes as much harm as the cause one is fighting for or against.

  8. In regards to economics and big business morals/ethics, I can see corporate CEOs shrugging their shoulders and defensively saying that their job is to protect shareholders’ bottom-line interests. The shareholders meanwhile shrug their shoulders while defensively stating that they just collect the dividends and that the CEOs are the ones to make the moral and/or ethical decisions.

    Or could it be that, generally speaking, the unlimited profit objective/nature is somehow irresistible, including the willingness to simultaneously allow an already squeezed consumer base to continue so — or even squeezed further? (It brings to my mind the allegorical fox stung by the instinct-abiding scorpion while ferrying it across the river, leaving both to drown.)

    Still, there must be a point at which the status quo — where already large corporate profits are maintained or increased while many people are denied even basic shelter/income — can/will end up hurting big business’s own $$$ interests. I can imagine that a healthy, strong and large consumer base — and not just very wealthy consumers — are needed.

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