Here on the West Coast there's still a few hours left to take part in the National Day of Prayer (May 1). My recommendation: swear at it.
That's the tack one of my favorite web sites, Pharyngula, took. In the midst of a post on this ridiculous religious observance I found a well-spoken pithy piece of advice. "Fuck the National Day of Prayer."
Now, that might seem a bit harsh. What's wrong with warm fuzzy prayer?
Well, nothing. So long as you're into having one-sided conversations with imaginary people. But a few minutes of browsing the official web site of the National Day of Prayer revealed its dark side – just as I expected.
For one thing, this "national" prayer effort leaves out much of the nation. Namely, anyone who doesn't believe in the Judeo-Christian God.
The web site explains why Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and other heathens aren't welcome under the not-so-inclusive National Day of Prayer tent:
The National Day of Prayer Task Force was a creation of the National Prayer Committee for the expressed purpose of organizing and promoting prayer observances conforming to a Judeo-Christian system of values… The Task Force represents a Judeo Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.
Right at the top of the home page you can see in some Flash video what the National Day of Prayer really is all about: politics.
I'm told that prayer is America's strength and shield. Gosh, who knew? I thought it was the Constitution, which calls for the separation of church and state.
But, no, it's prayer. And what should we pray for? What a silly question. Election Day. This gets the primo position on the National Day of Prayer web site.
Not world peace, reducing poverty, alleviating disease, helping the hungry, bringing people together. Election Day.
Again, silly me. I didn't realize that Election Day needed praying for. I didn't even know that it had problems requiring God's intervention. Won't Election Day take care of itself this November?
I dutifully watched the video on the election page. It was mercifully short. I learned that red is the color of America. Funny. The flag is red, white, and blue. But the video only mentions red as representing American values.
Oh, I get it!
Red states and blue states. Republican and Democrat. Vote red/Republican. So the National Day of Prayer not only is limited to Jews and Christians, it looks like Independents and Democrats also aren't part of God's prayer family.
Who clearly are focused on just on a few political issues.
I clicked on a National Day of Prayer link that led me to a helpful Voter's Guide. This will tell me what I should ask God to make happen on Election Day.
Wow, what a non-surprise! Neither Clinton nor Obama gets a "yes" on any of the issues I'm supposed to care about. but a guy in red, John McCain, scores five out of seven (Huckabee, bless his soul, was all "yes").
Human Life Amendment
Opposes Gay Pride
These are the things to pray for, the Judeo-Christian values that make our country great. Killing. Hatred. Discrimination. Ignorance.
So it's a no-brainer for me to decide what to do on the National Day of Prayer: tell it to go to hell.