David Stokes

Of course, it will be appealed and wind its way through a process of judicial, if not national debate before all is said and done, but the mind fairly boggles at the arrogant absurdity of a court in this land ruling the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional. Back when George W. Bush occupied the Oval Office, the radical anti-theist group (read: atheists on steroids), “Freedom From Religion,” filed a lawsuit and the toxic seed planted then has now borne poisonous fruit. Stay tuned.

I know it’s fashionable these days to bash-Bush, blaming the man and his administration for all the ills our current leaders find to be overwhelming and resistant to their heady scheme-dreams, but our 43rd President is a man of passionate faith. Sometimes he’s accused of wearing his faith on his sleeve, but personally I find that to be preferable to politicians who always seem to have something up their sleeves.

I had the privilege the other day of receiving a nice note from Mr. Bush. He had received a copy of my new book, a Texas story from the 1920s called, “Apparent Danger—The Pastor of America’s First Megachurch and the Texas Murder Trial of the Decade in the 1920s.” In the note, along with kind words about the book, he said something that I find quite timely in light of the news about the ruling by Judge Barbara Crabb in U.S. District Court (a Jimmy Carter appointee, by the way)—something about prayer: “During our time in the White House, Laura and I were inspired by the strength of the American people and sustained by your prayers and encouragement.”

Certainly, I understand that he was talking about personal prayers, not necessarily public ones, and that there is nothing in the current court ruling banning private prayer. Duh. I get that. But there is nuance, code, and an unmistakable trend. Our current president and his sometimes profane pals seem to be very uncomfortable with any form of pious-speak, and downright out of place in any role requiring lip-service to faith.

Religion—well, let’s be fair, anything related to Christian or Jewish religion—is increasingly being relegated to stepchild status. In the case of Islam, exceptions are made all the time, of course.


David Stokes

David R. Stokes is a best-selling author, pastor, columnist, and broadcaster. His latest book is a novel: CAPITOL LIMITED: A Story about John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Based on a true story, it's about a unique moment in 1947, when Kennedy and Nixon shared