Kansas Day of Prayer

There is some amount of controversy in Kansas:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is urging Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to rescind his religious proclamations and opt not, in his official capacity, to attend or endorse the overtly Christian event “Going to the Heart,” which is scheduled to broadcast live from Topeka, Kan., on Dec. 8 from 3-6 p.m. CST.

Brownback not only publicly declared Dec. 8 a “Day of Restoration,” but recorded a promotional video for the national simulcast, calling on citizens to “pray to God, in humility and in unity to ask for his favor and assistance in these difficult times.”

I happen to feel that the United States is explicitly founded on the basis of a nation endowed by the Creator; we are a Spiritual nation.

However, I am further convinced that we are not an explicitly Christian nation.  Further, I’m aware of the rulings of the Supreme Court that has severely restricted any government involvement in matters spiritual.

The worry that occupied the framers was not the public displays of religion or of government officials calling on days of prayer; indeed, Washington himself was very explicit regarding his belief that America was a Divine Experiment and often issued orders of prayer.  Rather, the concern was that the government not establish a religion.  That the government not pass laws requiring the joining of any religion or of passing any legislation that would require taxes to fund a state religion.

That being said, what would the general public say if, instead of asking citizens to “pray to God” implored them to “pray to Allah?”

Especially interesting because both the Christian God and the Muslim Allah are the God of Abraham.  In other words, the same divine entity.

7 responses to “Kansas Day of Prayer

  1. Yes, in a sense Christianity and Islam can both be seen as offshoots of Judaism. I am not a fan of organized religion, but some of the anti-religion folk bring a religious fervor to their antipathy towards religion! Here in Maine I think we’re one of the least religious states and if the Governor here did what Brownback is doing most people would laugh and very few would participate. I suspect in Kansas it’s much different. So I think ultimately the government reflects the culture, in which case I wouldn’t begrudge the Kansas folk their prayers.

    • I am not a fan of organized religion, but some of the anti-religion folk bring a religious fervor to their antipathy towards religion!

      I agree.

  2. Yup, Maine is one of the least religious — alongside Vermont and New Hampshire:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/27/most-and-least-religious-states_n_1383482.html

  3. You’re possibly capturing the concerns of some of the Founding Fathers, but certainly not all. Jefferson was famous for his refusal to do exactly this because he considered it a breach of religious liberties.
    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/georgetown/2009/11/jeffersons_thanksgiving_wish.html

    • Jefferson was famous for his refusal to do exactly this because he considered it a breach of religious liberties.

      I love reading Jefferson.

      I would agree that it be left to the States. That at most he could only recommend and not proclaim.

      Of specific interest to me are the words of Gerald Ford:

      “Let each of us, in his own way, join in expressing personal gratitude for the blessings of liberty and peace we enjoy today. In so doing, let us reaffirm our belief in a dynamic spirit that will continue to nurture and guide us as we prepare to meet the challenge of our third century.”

      Ford is America’s highest ranking Masonic President. As a Mason we insist that our members express a belief in a Supreme Being but are forbidden to discuss religion while at Labor in the Lodge. His expression is very Masonic in nature; being very clear as to his intent but generic and respectful of the path of each individual to his or her source of peace.

      For what it’s worth, I wish that we would talk and communicate in that gentle and a noble language that was best represented during those early years in American history. I am often saddened that I send my thoughts to my closest friends and family in text-speak and not with pen to paper with careful thought.

      Sigh.

      • Can that supreme being be “all that is?” In other words, can a pantheist be a mason (after all, it’s still a supreme being even if each of us and everything else is a part of it!)?

        • Can that supreme being be “all that is?” In other words, can a pantheist be a mason (after all, it’s still a supreme being even if each of us and everything else is a part of it!)?

          They will ask you if you profess a belief in a Supreme Being. If you can answer, “Yes” then you are allowed in.

          After reading just a brief description of pantheist, I would suggest that you could be.

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