Obama Weakens National Day of Prayer ?

May 6, 2009

David Silverman, national spokesperson for American Atheists, has it


: it is not the president’s job to tell people to pray. And Obama is mostly refusing to do so, at least more so than his recent predecessors.

He is holding no public ceremony recognizing the National Day of Prayer, which a big contrast from how George W Bush did it, when he invited prominent Evangelicals including James Dobson into the White House’s East Room day of prayer ceremony year after year. And for the first time in modern Presidential history, no representative from the executive branch will be attending the National Day of Prayer Task Force’s event on Capitol Hill.

Other coverage of this story:

Chicago Tribune

USA Today

This is definitely a step in the right direction, but still doesn’t go far enough: the president has no business even issuing a proclamation about how important prayer is in his own life. If he is going to go so far as to anger the Evangelical right by not pandering to their interests in encouraging the public to talk to their version of a Sky-father, he should go all the way and keep from advancing religion (the promotion of prayer) in any way, not even saying how important prayer is in his private life.