Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Whose day of prayer?

At 9:44 (Eastern Time) this morning, President George Bush welcomed Colorado Springs resident Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, to the White House.

"I appreciate the Chairman of the National Day of Prayer, Shirley Dobson," Bush said. "I notice you brought your old husband with you, too."

Dobson's husband, of course, is James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and some would say a major player in Bush's re-election in 2004.

Bush's statement -- referring to Dobson as the Day of Prayer's chair, not the Task Force's chair -- underscored, I think, how tightly the National Day of Prayer is tied to the evangelical community these days. Though it's a multifaith observance -- recognized by the Prez and all 50 state governors -- evangelical Christians have been its primary movers since it was pegged to the first Thursday in May in the late 1980s. This year, Shirley Dobson's Task Force helped organized a 90-hour Bible-reading marathon on the U.S. Capitol's west lawn. It's the kind of display that makes some church/state separation advocates uncomfortable.

The official prayer used by Dobson's Task Force (written by Henry Blackaby) does not pray in the name of Jesus, and its Old Testament tone could be interpreted in a variety of ways. But I'm pretty sure that the majority of the folks observing today's National Day of Prayer have predominantly conservative values -- and vote Republican.

2 Comments:

Blogger EjucatedGuy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:54 PM  
Blogger EjucatedGuy said...

Well, I have to say as a former Focus employee (I escaped) it seems Dobson (Jim that is) is still looking for any chance he can get to plug himself in politically. He used to be about values, families, etc. but now he's apparently the spokesperson for all conservative Republicans. I'm a Christian, which I know gives me a bad reputation because of people like Dobson. Trust me, we're not all like that:)

7:58 PM  

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