Safe to say, the “National Day of Prayer” probably isn’t the American Civil Liberties Union’s favorite spot on the government calendar.
While the organization likes to promote itself as the prime defender of First Amendment rights, at least two of those rights are a sharp ideological thorn in the ACLU’s flesh: freedom of religion (if it involves publicly acknowledging God), and freedom of speech (if that speech is formed as a prayer).
Since the National Day of Prayer is perhaps the ultimate cross-pollination of these two American ideals, it’s bound to set the collective teeth of the ACLU and its affiliated activists on edge. Leftists, after all, are only really fond of America when it’s being sledge-hammered into support for an atheistic agenda by complicit courts and pandering politicians.
In other words, when the U.S. is being run like 1950s Russia.
Which is interesting, since it was in 1952 that President Harry Truman signed a Congressional resolution creating the National Day of Prayer. One wonders if the sudden inclination to formalize invocations was in part a response to the looming global threat of Bolsheviks with the Bomb.
Of course, the ACLU – whose founder famously deemed civil liberties “unsuitable” for Russia – has always been less afraid of bombs than of Boy Scouts…more worried about praying children than preying Communists…more concerned with mature Christians than murderous terrorists. After all, a terrorist can only kill you, or destroy your way of life, while a good Sunday school teacher can teach you to…love your neighbor.
Let the kids pray, right out loud, and next thing you know, they’re acting like…a George Washington, or Abraham Lincoln (to cite a couple of famous pray-ers.) Worse, they could follow the example of Billy Graham, or a Mother Teresa. There’s a couple of people who messed up the world.
Courage. Decency. Conscientious citizenship. That’s a pretty stiff price to pay for a “moment of silence.”
Yet, somehow – for all the ACLU’s aggressive efforts in courtrooms across America to eliminate invocations at city council meetings and graduation exercises and public events throughout the nation – prayer persists. People just keep talking to God.
And some of them insist on doing it right out loud.
Leftists are especially fond of citing that old Quaker quote about “speaking truth to power.” It makes them feel brave – standing up to a gracious, polite society, calling for the decimation of the spiritual foundations of Western civilization – with no one to back them up but an omnipresent mass media, a posse of increasingly activist judges, and the glittery Hollywood Thought Police.
Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.