Friday, May 4, 2012

UPDATED: National Day of Prayer ... in which some offer thanks for not having to pray

Today is the National Day of Prayer in the United States--or, as President Obama put it in his either-ironic-or-clueless-depending-on-how-much-slack-you-give-him presidential proclamation, our National Day of Giving Thanks for the Freedom of Religion that Allows Us to Abstain from Praying. There used to be an interfaith prayer breakfast hosted by the White House on this day, but the President has chosen to exercise his right to abstain from eating food that might have gotten blessing all over it, and canceled that.
Just going on the record here to say how much Joanne McPortland can crack me up.

I loved this paragraph so much I read it three times.

And then shared it with you, of course.

What makes it great is that Joanne is not necessarily in support of a National Day of Prayer. And I myself am fairly indifferent to it.

Not that Joanne isn't in support of prayer (as, you all hopefully know, I am also). She talks about the prayer that the nation's people do and it is well worth reading. It's a good read so go thou and do so!

I'm so silly. I thought that people would click through to look around Joanne's blog and see what she's like. I did not account for our national tendency to rush to comment (and I've been guilty of that myself, many a time, so I should know better).

I also thought I gave little hints that Joanne and I are usually in a state of interesting tension with one another. She really does not hold many of the same ideas that I do about the best way to solve national problems. (We haven't spoken directly about this but it's just "the vibe of the thing." Joanne, you may correct me if I'm wrong on this.)

No matter. I love the heck outta her. Which means she is a rare, honest, and winsome person because these days opposition in thinking equals strident expression. On either side. She don't do that thing.

So, believe me when I say that the funniest thing to me about her introductory paragraph is that she is the "cut him slack" person she mentions. I myself can imagine President Obama's wry look at reading this from the proclamation that I am sure some administrative writer put before him:
On this National Day of Prayer, we give thanks for our democracy that respects the beliefs and protects the religious freedom of all people to pray, worship, or abstain according to the dictates of their conscience.
(bolding is mine, of course)

But it's the "correct" thing to do, right?

So there they went.

I was given many an opportunity to chuckle over the opportunities that George Bush (pick one) gave people to laugh. And I appreciate it when anyone can see things clearly enough to do so over President Obama, even if they may support him in many ways.

Before we comment in anger, can we all take a deep breath and just lighten up a bit?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.


  1. The president says,"On this National Day of Prayer, we give thanks for our democracy that respects the beliefs and protects the religious freedom of all people to pray, worship, or abstain according to the dictates of their conscience." What is missing from this proclamation is the right to practice religion. This administration is trying to change the narrative from freedom of religion to freedom of worship. We are free to pray and have all the rituals we like but do not expect to live and practice your faith.

  2. Joanne cracks me up, too. She wants to pretend that President Obama didn't host a White House Prayer Breakfast today because he's somehow against "food that's been prayed over." Hilarious. But he hosted White House prayer events in February and April, and reports and video of those events are easy to find.

    Julie Siegel

  3. Julie, what you don't understand is that Joanne is actually the sort of person who probably supports President Obama most of the time. That is precisely why it is so funny!

    And she was talking about "breakfast" which I see you don't include.

    You don't think it is funny (as possibly did the President) that for Prayer Day they felt they had to include the right NOT to pray? C'mon ... surely we can coax a smile out of you. :-)