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Belief Beat


Happy National Day of Prayer, Unless You’re an Atheist… or a Millennial?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Today is National Day of Prayer, although the latest court ruling has declared the observance unconstitutional. (It’s still on the books, while the appeal process continues.) 

There’s been plenty of religion news leading up to this occasion, based on the usual protests from atheists and other proponents of strict separation of church and state, compounded by the controversy over the Pentagon rescinding its prayer invitation to the Rev. Franklin Graham last week, due to complaints over the evangelical Christian’s statements against Islam and other religions.

Meanwhile, Cathy Grossman, the religion reporter at USA Today, recently reported that most “millenials” (people between the ages of 18 and 29) aren’t much interested in praying today or any other day. Then again, the whole “spiritual, not religious” attitude seems fairly standard for that age group; I know plenty of young adults who step away from organized religion once they move out of mom’s house, then join a congregation once they have kids of their own. What’s potentially different now, at least among Christians and Jews, is a trend towards more grassroots DIY-type of groups coming together to worship. Blame Facebook/Twitter?

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islamicnet

posted May 6, 2010 at 9:23 am


learn quran at home is an excellent program that enable kids, adults & new muslims to learn quran. islamicnet.com have 24-7 classes. We have students in usa, canada, uk, france, australia, spain, ireland and all over the world. We teach 24 hours a day. You can try three FREE no obligation trial lessons to evaluate our online quran learning service. After that you can decide to continue or discontinue quran learning with us. We have both male and female tutors. http://www.islamicnet.com



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CJ

posted May 6, 2010 at 9:47 am


~islamicnet
Is that where we learn which fertilizer works best in a car bomb and how to make death threats against people who disagree with your religion? If you are offended, maybe it’s time to get your house in order and do something about radical Islam.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted May 6, 2010 at 10:32 am


“Happy National Day of Prayer, Unless You’re an Atheist… or a Millennial?”
Or a Buddhist. Or a Sikh. Or a Taoist. Or a Rastafarian. Or a Zoroastrian. Or a Jain. Or a Wiccan. Or a Scientologist.
Etcetera.
Why do the “Chrstians” get their own special day? And why the F is their special day proclaimed by the Government?
It’s all about specal righsfor “Christians in America” (TM). So sad. Especially in a country that “promises” freedom of religion. Or at least used to.



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jestrfyl

posted May 6, 2010 at 11:09 am


cj
Are you accountable for all of the horrors perpetrated by “christians”? If not, why get on someone else’s case about their religion? Truly, your comment is an embarrassment, but not for islamicnet. It embarrasses all who truly do try to turn with Christ and follow a new path of hope and peace.



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Happy Middle aged person who believes in GOD

posted May 6, 2010 at 11:17 am


In a country that promises freedom of religion I should be able to pray anywhere I want. Be it my home, church, or government building. I don’t care what religion you are you should be able to pray anywhere.
For the atheist who likes to say I am infringing on their rights when there is prayer or a display of christianity in a public place, I say they are infringing on my right as an American to pray.
Our founding fathers had our money printed with IN GOD WE TRUST. Our Declartion of Independence stated We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Their Creator, be it God, Allah or Buddah.
So I would rather be a person who believes there is a God and find out there is not, then one who doesn’t and find out their is.
HAPPY PRAYER DAY!



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Curt Cameron

posted May 6, 2010 at 11:47 am


Happy Middle, I’ve never heard *anyone* say that you shouldn’t have the right to pray anywhere you want. Please understand this – no one wants to take that right away from you. No one.
What we *are* against is prayer that is done by our government. The Bill of Rights guarantees us that the government is not to endorse any religion, and the National Day of Prayer is exactly that – an endorsement of a subset of beliefs about religion. The government can’t do it – it has to be neutral with respect to religion.
Now that that’s cleared up, there are some glaring errors in your post.
The founding fathers DID NOT have our money printed with IN GOD WE TRUST. Do you know when that started being printed on paper money? During the McCarthyism of the 1950s. And it doesn’t actually refer to a God, according to the Supreme Court – language like this is viewed as “ceremonial deism,” just flowery language that doesn’t actually refer to religion. I disagree with their decision because people like you seem to think that it DOES actually refer to God.
The Declaration of Independence is not the document that establishes our government – it was just putting England on notice that we were breaking away. And the language in it was clearly understood to be talking about a deistic idea of god, one that’s incompatible with Christianity. A deistic god might have created the universe, but since then does not interact with its creation.
Finally, about your “be it God, Allah, or Buddah,” God and Allah are the same thing, just different languages. Buddah is not a god and is not viewed as the creator in that religion.



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joe gonzalez

posted May 6, 2010 at 11:50 am


Yep ! we’re so hip today, we don’t need anything so archaic as God. Never mind that humanity as we know it has always worshipped the Highest in one form or another. But, this enlightened age knows better. What have we done with the planet ? it’s teetering on the edge of oblivion – global warming, species disappearing, third world countries abandoned to their luck, i mean – you name it, we ail it.
yet we are so wise ! we don’t need God ! we have accomplished so much ! the new technology’s gonna liberate us from all our cares !
people are lazy, and people are ignorant ; and people will curse out father and mother : why not God ? Muckrackers – all these anti-prayer groups and individuals have always been around, its just that now they sound more prevalent. its all such a darn shame. i mean, i’m not Jewish, but i think its fine they have their Sabbath ; why don’t they let those of us who pray have our day ?



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mike

posted May 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm


Dear Grumpy Old Person, no one said you had to pray, but if you would take the time to look into the founding of this nation, you will find prayer at the heart of it; Do your home work! Prayer is something we should not take lightly, but should be from the heart. If you do not want to pray that is your decision, but why should the rest of us have to not pray just because you say not to?



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Curt Cameron

posted May 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm


Mike, NO ONE is saying you shouldn’t pray – go ahead, pray till your pray-er is sore!
The point is that the government is prohibited from promoting religion – it has to be completely neutral with respect to religion. The National Day of Prayer is the government suggesting to us that we should be praying. Do you really want the government telling you how to conduct your religious life?



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Rob the Rev

posted May 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm


For those of you who like to make a spectacle in public of your praying to show how religious and righteous you are I would remind you of Jesus’ admonition about praying in public: “But when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing int he synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Gospel of Matthew 6:5-6
Jesus set the example: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Gospel of Mark1:35
The more Jesus’ teachings have been incorporated in to man-made institutional religious organizations the more they have been distorted into something they are not.



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Robert C

posted May 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm


To each his/her own. Now stfu.



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Brian D

posted May 6, 2010 at 6:00 pm


The first line of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,…” It was written by an ancestor of mine, James Madison. Originally, the First Amendment only applied to Congress. However, in the 20th Century, the Supreme Court held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applied the First Amendment to each state, including any local government. The bottom line is this, a national day of prayer is a violation of our country’s secular traditions and strict separation of church and state. Americans who value this country’s traditions and the intentions of the founding fathers would realize prayer is a religious practice in which all Americans are free to partake, but in which govenment has no role. You’d have to amend the U.S. Constitution to change this fact.



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hlvanb

posted May 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm


The quickest way to end the official National Day of Prayer is for a President to invite a Muslim cleric to be the official pray-er for the event. Congress will pass a resolution forbidding such an activity, the evangelical Christians who are complaining the loudest about this court decision will go apoplectic in their rage that the Muslim faith is endorsed by our government (which will say a boat load about how they really view the NDoP), and this unconstitutional charade will come to an end.



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pagansister

posted May 6, 2010 at 8:01 pm


cj:
Your comment to islamicnet was uncalled for. There are extremists in every religion on the face of this earth…who do not represent the true followers of that religion. Assuming you are Christian, I’d be ashamed to call myself one if you represent what that faith stands for. Fortunately I know you don’t.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted May 7, 2010 at 11:34 am


Dear Happy Middle aged person who believes in GOD
May 6, 2010 11:17 AM
“In a country that promises freedom of religion I should be able to pray anywhere I want.”
You ARE “able to pray anywhere [you] want”. No one is stopping you. Nor is anyone suggesting you shouldn’t. What we are saying is that the Government has no business proclaiming a special day for your religion and its tenets, to the exclusion of all other faiths.
“Be it my home, church, or government building. I don’t care what religion you are you should be able to pray anywhere.”
Well, you ARE so able, and again, no one is even attempting to stop you. But even though you (and I) “don’t care what religion [anyone is]“, the “National” Day of Prayer sure as he11 does. (Hint: THAT’s the UN-Constitutional part.)
“For the atheist who likes to say I am infringing on their rights when there is prayer or a display of christianity in a public place, I say they are infringing on my right as an American to pray.”
Except I’m not an atheist. Nor am I a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Sikh, a Hindu, a Taoist, a Rastafarian, a Jain, a Scientologist, nor a Zoroastrian.
But SOMEHOW, the so-called “National” Day of Prayer omits their beliefs. (Hint #2: THAT’s the exclusionary part that is similarly UN-Constitutional.) None of those religions, nor any of its practitioners are in any way “infringing on [your] right as an American to pray”. They are upset because the Government is proclaiming a special day for YOUR religion. What part of that don’t you get?
Sorry, but what you typed is purely delusional. As usual.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted May 7, 2010 at 11:51 am


HMAPWBIF,
I was going to correct the other errors in your post, but I see Curt
Cameron has already debunked your myths (aka lies, aka bearing of false witness – which in the olden days used to be called a “sin”).
And as fr joe gonzalez’ misconception that “humanity as we know it has always worshipped the Highest in one form or another”, are you okay if we refer to “the Highest” as Buddha? As Allah? As Vishnu? As Zeus?
Thought not.
Considering your ‘concern’ for “What have we done with the planet ? it’s teetering on the edge of oblivion – global warming, species disappearing, third world countries abandoned to their luck”, it would behoove you to remember that ‘we’ have done all that while America clings to its olde tyme religion (aka “God” – heck, it’s even on “our money”!). You might take a hint from the people on the “National” Day of Prayer task force – namely the Dobsons. As part of the radical religious rightwing extremists, they kinda believe that we have the ‘God-given right’ to have dominion over the earth and all that is thereon – aka plundering – and to he11 with what their own children will inherit.
Like so many people, you have (wilfully?) ‘mistaken’ fictitious “anti-prayer groups and individuals” with actual groups and individuals who are ‘anti-the-Government-promoting-one-religion-to-the-exclusion-of-all-others’.
“i’m not Jewish, but i think its fine they have their Sabbath ; why don’t they let those of us who pray have our day?”
What a ridiculous, ignorant, not to mention anti-Semitic statement. Christians also “have [their] day”. Officially, Sunday is the ‘Chrstian’ equivalent to the Sabbath, but again, Christians are free to pray every day, any where, any time. That isn’t even the issue. It is the Government’s proclaiming a special day for your religion that is the problem. I don’t see the Government proclaiming a “National” Day of Sabbath Prayers.
Ridiculous.
If you want to debate this, you’re simply going to have to DO BETTER!



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Grumpy Old Person

posted May 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm


Dear mike
May 6, 2010 12:01 PM
“no one said you had to pray”
And no one has ever claimed that ANYONE ‘has to pray’ on this so-called “National” Day of Prayer.
“Prayer is something we should not take lightly, but should be from the heart.”
If it “should be from the heart”, why on earth do you need the Government to proclaim a “National” day of it?
“If you do not want to pray that is your decision”
I’m not sure where you get the idea that I “do not want to pray”. I pray daily, several times a day. What I “don’t want” is for the Government to proclaim a special day for ONE religion to the exclusion of all others. Besides, didn’t Jesus tell us we should be praying “in secret” (“in [our] closets” no less!)? Why this need for a public show of it?
“but why should the rest of us have to not pray just because you say not to?”
I have NEVER said that. Not once. NOR, fyi, has anyone else.
Bearing false witness does NOT help your cause.
Please re-read any/all of my posts. They say the Government should not be declaring a special day for the tenets of ONE faith – to the exclusion of all others.
Get. A. Clue. (And stop lying about us. It’s a SIN.)



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