At a time when President Bush's faith and John Kerry's Catholicism are increasingly scrutinized, the Washington Post, in a story picked up around the country, questions the appropriateness of mixing prayer and politics during the National Day of Prayer.
The theme of this year's Day of Prayer is "Let Freedom Ring," and organizers say it is in response to efforts to remove the words "under God" from the pledge and the Ten Commandments from public buildings. The Day of Prayer's suggestions for prayer include, "Many of our schools and universities are minimizing traditional subjects such as history and math, and are instead promoting a radical social agenda. For example, some schools begin teaching homosexual propaganda to kindergartners."
Not only are Christians (Muslims and Mormons have been excluded) praying for these things, the Post writes that the President is taking a major part in today's activities.
President Bush's participation in a National Day of Prayer ceremony with evangelical Christian leaders at the White House will be shown tonight, for the first time in prime-time viewing hours on Christian cable and satellite TV outlets nationwide.
For Bush, the broadcast is an opportunity to address a sympathetic evangelical audience without the risk of alienating secular or non-Christian viewers, because it will not be carried in full by the major television networks.
Focus on the Family has encouraged churches to pick up the live feed and host potluck dinners while congregants watch the President. Vonette Bright, widow of Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright, and Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson, have arranged the activities since the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan. During the ...1
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