National Day of Prayer 2010 canceled is a right wing rumor

President Obama, sans tie, speaking in front of a large American flag

National Prayer Day 2010 cancellation was a rumor spread by right wing evangelists after President Obama chose not to hold a public ceremony in the White House. Fllickr photo.

National day of prayer 2010 is Thursday, May 6, whether you like it or not. National Day of Prayer, a mixture of politics and religion one would expect more from a country like Iran than the United States, is true to form as it unfolds in 2010. Unlike his predecessor, The Decider, President Obama decided to observe the U.S. Constitution by not holding a National Day of Prayer event at the White House. Instead, forced to abide by a federal law signed in 1952, Obama issued a National Day of Prayer Proclamation affirming that May 6 was indeed National Day of Prayer 2010.

National Day of Prayer 2010 not canceled

Religious extremists and their right-wing Republican lapdogs, not satisfied by a mere National Day of Prayer Proclamation — and smelling a political opportunity — went viral like a no fax cash advance with the lie that Obama had dared to offend God, and National Prayer Day 2010 was canceled.’s Urban Legends department offers an e-mail example that started circulating in March about Obama’s National Day of Prayer policy. Part of the text reads “The direction this country is headed should strike fear in the heart of every Christian.”

National Day of Prayer theocracy

The National Day of Prayer canceled rumor was trotted out for the first time last year by Obama’s theocratic opponents. For some Republicans, any lie, even if it’s an old lie, is worth circulating if it inflames their right-wing religious base. As this is America, and not Iran, people can choose to ignore the occasion. However, the theocratic wing of the Republican party, in an effort to “shove this down our throats,” to co-opt one of their favorite catch phrases, has formed the National Day of Prayer Task Force, which formed a National Day of Prayer Committee.

National Day of Prayer history

Throughout National Day of Prayer history, the law has been a blatant violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment includes the “Establishment Clause,” stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The establishment clause was written to prohibit the government from establishing a national religion or prefer one religion over another. Despite this bit of wisdom from the Founding Fathers, President Harry Truman was badgered by evangelists to sign a bill requiring subsequent Presidents to proclaim a National Day of Prayer. America has been stuck with it ever since.

National Day of Prayer lawsuit

National Day of Prayer was ruled unconstitutional last month on April 15 by a federal court judge in Madison Wisconsin. On October 3, 2008, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sued President George W. Bush, the National Day of Prayer Task Force and White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, challenging the federal law designating the National Day of Prayer. Obama, ever the political animal when it comes to votes, asked U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to dismiss the case in March 2009. A year later, Crabb said  the federal law designating the National Day of Prayer would allow the government to have unrestrained authority to declare a “National Day of Anti-Semitism” or even declare Christianity the official religion of the United States, and no one would have the right to sue.

America is still stuck with the National Day of Prayer, and the theocratic extremists it brings out of the woodwork like the National Day of Prayer Task Force, Jim Dobson and Franklin Graham. But many would like to declare National Day of Prayer history. Thank God for the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

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