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May 4, 2009

Obama Plans Proclamation, Not Event, for National Day of Prayer

The Obama administration says it will issue a proclamation marking the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, but appears to be moving away from the White House ceremonies hosted by former President George W. Bush.

"President Obama is a committed Christian and believes that we should be engaging Americans of faith in efforts to renew our country," a White House official said.

"He is following the tradition of Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and others by signing a proclamation honoring the National Day of Prayer, while continuing to work with communities of faith to improve our country."

During Bush's eight years in office, prominent evangelicals, including National Day of Prayer Task Force chairman Shirley Dobson, and her husband, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, gathered each year for an East Room ceremony on the first Thursday in May.

"We are disappointed in the lack of participation by the Obama administration," Shirley Dobson said in a statement issued by the task force on Monday. "At this time in our country's history, we would hope our president would recognize more fully the importance of prayer."

This year, task force organizers went ahead with their own plans and scheduled their traditional morning ceremonies on Capitol Hill for the morning, the same time of day when past White House events had been held. They asked for a White House representative to attend but had not received a response as of Monday.

At his press briefing on Friday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the president's upcoming plans included signing a proclamation to recognize the prayer day.

The National Day of Prayer was signed into law in 1952 by President Truman. President Reagan amended the law in 1988 to state that the observances would be held the first Thursday in May.


The Dobsons are criticizing Obama for politicizing prayer day by not politicizing it the way the Bushies did.

This is like calling someone a bigot because they object to your right to be a bigot.

And how is MRS. Dobson considered a religious leader? Is she trained in theology? Her husband points out the he himself is not a religious leader but only a family psychologist.

Gee, I can't imagine why a successful administration that bases its decisions on facts and science wouldn't be thrilled to be associated with the likes of Dobson. Can you?

Anyone with any neuron activity at all would distance themselves from wildly extremist bigots like the Dobsons. What a national disgrace to have the National Day of Prayer organization lead by her.

Shirley Dobson spent the last few years excluding every religious demonination and group who did not agree with her narrow definition of "christian"...now she finds herself excluded

good job Obama!

"At this time in our country's history, we would hope our president would recognize more fully the importance of prayer." -- Shirley Dobson

If Shirley Dobson can point to one documented case where prayer was proven to have any effect at all, then she might have a point. Until then, I think the Obama administration intends to remain firmly on the side of the reality-based community.

Of course, you can always pray for him to switch sides. Be sure and let us know how that goes, 'K?

I actually have heard that Shirley Dobson really does have heart for prayer and has invested a lot into the National Day of Prayer. But because of her marriage to James Dobson she is inherently tied up in politics.

I think that the National Prayer Committee (not an official committee with any relation to the government by the way) should just do what they can and not demean the president.

So far Christians have not responded well to Obama's invitations to pray. A number have accepted and then felt they had to reject the invitation because of Evangelical pressure. We all remember the pressure that was put on Rick Warren to turn down praying at the inauguration. This board was filled with hateful comments.

So it is disingenuous to complain that they are not offering to pray.

In keeping with this now historic tradition in which past presidential proclamations have encouraged all Americans to pray on this day, it should be clear that the National Day of Prayer is intended to be a day that transcends differences by bringing together citizens of many religious traditions to share in the community that is America.

In stark contrast, the Dobson sponsored events deliberately exclude participation by people whose faith lies outside a narrowly defined criteria.

I am pleased that President Obama, a devout man of prayer whose Christian faith reflects humility rather than arrogance, is honoring the intent of this day by declining to host in the white house such an exclusively sectarian event.

Giggling Nonstop should really learn how to spell properly.

Quote - "I am pleased that President Obama, a devout man of prayer...."

No disrespect intended, but how do you know whether or not Obama is a "devout man of prayer?"

Here is a man who has opended the floodgates on abortion in his first 100 days in office. He voted against providing medical care to babies who survived botched abortions. "A devout man of prayer." That statement is hard to reconcile with his actions considering that abortion has taken the lives of over 40 million babies in our country.

Looks like this comment site has been taken over by
non-Christians who want to attack, harm, stir up trouble and lie enough that the lies might be believed. I'm seeing this on a number of Christian sites. The hate and viciousness is getting worse. Maybe the comments section needs to be stopped for now.

What is interesting is the lack of defense by Christians. That is what happened in the lead-up to the takeover in Germany by Hitler and especially to the Jews in Poland before WWII. It is like the words are so stupid we just let it pass. But said over and over others think it must be true. So who is so brave to fight back. Maybe we need some Esthers. This needs more than one person.

If you are afraid of being hurt, we will be hurt more. There needs to be a lot of us to say, "Enough."

After reading a few of the first comments I had to scroll back to the top to see whether I was reading the "New York Times","Washington Post","Huffington Post", or a "moveon.org" news letter.I think I will let the Master respond:"...and then many will be offended,will betray one another,and will hate one another.Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many." Matt.24:10,11. If you are disturbed by this,(and I have grave concerns for anyone claiming to be a"Christian",yet having a "problem" with Christ's Words),I would challenge you to do two things:1.Ask yourself why you are on a Christian magazine's website that openly states it is of "Evangelical conviction"?(and try to be honest with yourself.)2.Get a Bible,open to the book of "John"(look in the index,if needed.)Read it.

What have you to fear Alice? What hurt are you talking about? I serve a God who told me not to fear anything what man may do. What god do you serve that makes you so fearful?

What is being said over and over - that Obama does not pander to the fanatics who can see nothing more than their comforts abortion and homosexuality agenda. There is more going on in America and the rest of the world that these 3 things.

And as a born again Christian - I am sick and tired of it. Let's get out there and preach the gospel and take care of the poor and the needy and the widows and the old folks as Jesus told us to. Let's show the world that we are indeed the salt of the earth instead of being the hypocrites that we seem to have become

Lulu - just curious - Christ words - Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.

These two commandments encapsulates the 10 commandments from the Old Testament. This is one of the precepts I try to live by what.
What do you live by?

So,it is OK to host a Sader meal at the White House but not honor a Day of Prayer... which our country needs now more than ever !!

Saying Obama is a committed Christian is like saying the devil is god.. Obama's core beliefs prove he is the antithesis of a Christian.. He believes Jesus was a prophet, a man much like Mohammad and all prophets.. He believes all paths lead to god. He also believes all men are children of god.. These beliefs are based on Islam not on Christianity.
Obama's core beliefs make Jesus and the Bible into a lie which is the intention..He lies and makes obscure many scriptures..He even had the audacity to hide the name of Jesus at a Catholic University... Which is appalling.. They should have thrown the bum out...
The closest Obama comes to being a Christian is a wolf n sheep's clothing..

As strongly as Obama favors abortion, folks, don't imagine that comes from time on his knees in prayer.

His Pastor from Chicago is his expression of religion.

Alice, I agree with you about the invalidity of those above who may even claim to be Bible believing Christians, but are certainly not. Their political motive is to disspirit believers, much like what are called "seminar callers" on conservative radio, those who make claims such as "I am a republican but I am going to (or did) vote for Obama". Don't be misled by this: these people will have to answer to a higher authority for their deceptions.

I certainly understand why Christians are upset that President Obama has decided not to hold an event commemorating the National Day of Prayer. I do, however, have a question for question to President Obama's opponents here and MMB specifically: If President Obama is not a "committed Christian" because he believes there are many paths to God and salvation, is President G.W. Bush likewise not a "committed Christian"?

From Good Morning America (Dec. 14, 2008):

CHARLES GIBSON:Do we all worship the same God, Christian and Muslim?

PRESIDENT BUSH:I think we do. We have different routes of getting to the Almighty.

CHARLES GIBSON: Does bin Laden? Does Abu Musab al-Zarqawi pray to the same God that you and I do?

PRESIDENT BUSH:I think they pray to a false god otherwise they wouldn't be killing innocent lives like they have been.

CHARLES GIBSON:Do Christians and non-Christians and Muslims go to heaven in your mind?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, they do. We have different routes of getting there.

If believing Christ's divinty, redemptive death, and resurrection is the sole path to salvation (Romans 10:9) and indeed, the basis of Christianity, I propose that neither President Bush nor President Obama are "committed Christians." Please discuss.

Only Jesus knows the heart of man. "If you seek me and search for me with all your heart you will find me." The comment you posted made by George Bush shows the lies that he is believing. The devil is crafty and can slightly twist the truth so there will be deception. The only way to truly know the Lord is to be committed to read your bible and pray. That's the way He talks to us (by reading His word) and the way we talk to Him (by praying). Only then, will one discover that He is really real. Until then you could be walking right along side Him and not know who He is, just like the two men on the way to Emmaus. But He opened their eyes so they could understand the Scriptures and He can do that for Bush and Obama. Let's not judge but instead worry about our own hearts and remember....He WILL complete the work He started!

Only Jesus knows the heart of man. "If you seek me and search for me with all your heart you will find me." The comment you posted made by George Bush shows the lies that he is believing. The devil is crafty and can slightly twist the truth so there will be deception. The only way to truly know the Lord is to be committed to read your bible and pray. That's the way He talks to us (by reading His word) and the way we talk to Him (by praying). Only then, will one discover that He is really real. Until then you could be walking right along side Him and not know who He is, just like the two men on the way to Emmaus. But He opened their eyes so they could understand the Scriptures and He can do that for Bush and Obama. Let's not judge but instead worry about our own hearts and remember....He WILL complete the work He started!

It is interesting to note that the National Day of Prayer was signed into law in 1952 by Harry Truman who was a Democrat. So I don't think this is a Republican vs. Democrat issue. In fact, in 1775 the Continental Congress allocated a time for prayer in forming a new nation.
Also, we should note that it is generally acknowledged that the National Day of Prayer is for all faiths. See: http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/national-day-prayer

People like Mari who call the Dobson's "wildly extremist bigots" are the real extremists themselves. Christians are not extremists; those who call Christians extremists are being rather extreme themselves since currently 76% of Americans call themselves Christians!

Of course if more people knew more about our Nation's history, they would understand that prayer has always been responded to well by many of our most famous leaders.
Abraham Lincoln who called for a day of prayer in 1863, is noted for saying:
"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day."
It appears that President Obama does not share the same belief because ‘actions speak louder than words’.

Mr. Peterson, let's just stick to the narrow definition of a Christian as the dictionary defines one:
"One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus."

LuLu, let's take care of another needy group of people in our society: that is unborn children.

Jesus Christ "offended" many prominent and powerful leaders in his day:
Matthew 15: 7-14 See it here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=47&chapter=15&version=31

MMB says "So,it is OK to host a Sader meal at the White House but not honor a Day of Prayer." If you look at the guest list for Obama's Seder you will see that it was small (around 20 people) and included mainly his family and Jewish members of his staff. It was not politicized by inviting national Jewish leaders or big shots from other branches of government. It was just a typical family Seder. You seem upset that while Obama DID honor prayer day he didn't honor political figures such as MRS. Dobson.

It has always puzzle me how you who say u are conserative christians can do nothing but critize and degrate the new president. does the bible not stated that we ought pray for our leaders. I find it mighty hypocrtical how there is almost never anything positive said with regards to him. to me it's pure hate and envy. how is not having a service like Bush did such showing he's not a devout man of prayer. I wouldnt want to be in a room with people who are so against me that they are praying to GOD that I as president fail either. so I say if ur a person of faith u should always be praying. it doesnt take a special day to determine prayer. we should always be in prayer. pray without ceasing. however when it's ur prayer to against the man to the man HE put in office it's offensive. cause contrary to what any of u say. he was put there for such a time as this. and it very much so DIVINE AND HEAVEN SENT. just chk the signs of how everything falls into place. if ur of faith. it would be clear. but if ur of what only what u believe it will be hard to see. GOOD CALL MR. PRESIDENT. I SUPPORT YOU AND PRAY FOR YOUR WHICH INCLUDES OUR SUCCESS DAILY. IF U FAIL WE ALL FAIL. WHY CANT PEOPLE GET THAT. GO FIGURE. u say u dont like big government and dont want to be told about ur guns and money. but yet u want the same government to tell people what to do in their personal lives and bedrooms. moral issues. u cannot legisated morally. u either have it or u dont. what's wrong with that picture. GET A CLUE PEOPLE. WE HAVE DONE IT YOUR WAY AND WE STILL HAVE THE SAME ISSUES U COMPLAIN ABOUT. SO NOW WHAT. DID IT UR WAY FOREVER WELCOME THE CHANGE. WHO MOVED MY CHEESE. OBAMA/BIDEN 08 DID. NOW WHAT???

Love God. Love people. Those are the two greatest commandments from Jesus himself and he says that the whole law hinges on those two commandments Matt.22:35-40. The real argument is who is God?

Abrahamic religions are monotheistic faiths which recognize a spiritual tradition identified with Abraham. The term is mostly used to refer collectively to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Abrahamic religions account for more than half of the world's total population. Today, there are around 3.8 billion followers of various Abrahamic religions.

George Bush is accurate when he says that the God of Universe is the same God prayed to by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. That is a true statement. The implications lie in who is Jesus? The final antichrist will bring peace and unity to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In order for there to be peace between those three, Jesus will have to be minimalized.

Jesus is one of four people. He was a liar, a lunatic, legend or he was LORD. God is God and everyone else is making an educated guess when they try to determine where humanity will spend eternity. Only God can Judge the hearts and affairs of man. I believe if you live in America where there is a Holy Bible in almost every Hotel room and a bible free for anyone willing to read it. I don’t think that happened by accident. You’d better open the bible and start in the Gospel of John and begin to read about this guy Jesus because I believe what you think about Him is the only real important thing on this side of heaven. If you are in America you will be without excuse. You better be sure about what and why you believe what you believe. Trust me, there are a lot of days when I don’t want to a line myself with some Christians, but if Jesus is who He claimed to be then we have a lot of work to do. If you don’t consider yourself Born Again stop calling yourself a Christian. I have started to separate myself from the word Christian. I am a “Believer” in Christ. Christian has been used as an adjective for so long that it has began to do more harm than good.

Hey Ms. Addison - Check this out.

Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") has three principal meanings.

In its first, descriptive usage, morality means a code of conduct which is held to be authoritative in matters of right and wrong.

Isn't that what the law does? It is authoritative in matters of right and wrong.

The problem is people see right and wrong differently, based on what has shaped their world view and what he or she believes about God, Jesus & the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit. In America we are turning our backs on Traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs because it steps on our toes and is offensive. We just can't seem to reconcile the bible with how the REALLY LOUD minority wants to live. It is because of Traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs that you are free to be an atheists or a follower of any other religious organization you please. We are in the process of undermining the greatest civilization that has ever existed because we can't reconcile Traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs with our own agendas. Where else can one live and have the Freedoms we take for granted here in America? If you know a better place move there.

zippots says: "It is because of Traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs that you are free to be an atheists or a follower of any other religious organization you please."

No that comes from the philosophical viewpoint of the Enlightenment (roughly 1700-1800). Before and during that period Christian beliefs (of various sects) were a basis for killing individuals because they were accused of having the wrong beliefs - witches, heretics, Jews, etc.

That sort of enforcement makes religious freedom rather difficult.

Unbelievable! You folks must have drank the Obama kool-aid; what will that Muslim do next? Make a proclamation that there is no God? First he defines the US as a secular nation. Now he defies tradition and by-passes an event that was signed into law decades ago. He is showing his true Muslim colors on a daily basis. God help this country, and the Christian MAJORITY that is being persecuted in the USA, while our rights are being taken from us on a daily basis. Look out peeps..... push God out of the USA, and what you have left is death and destruction. Jesus is surely coming soon!

I haven't read Christianity Today in awhile, and I'm sorry to see so many apparent non-Christian posts showing up here. It seems Jesus' Followers are in the minority, even at their own supposed websites. There a slow erosion taking place across America, a 'blurring of the lines' on the Truth that Jesus is 'The Way, the Truth, and the Life and no man cometh unto the Father except by Him'. Obama is leading the nation into a spiritual darkness we've never encountered before.

A vote for Obama is a vote against God. plain and simple. most of the pro-Obama Christians i know voted for him for one reason- PRIDE. they went against God. and they will one day stand before God and answer to him. go ahead and relieve your conscious and come up with every excuse as to why you support this man. but you will answer to God.


does anyone read the bible about the last days? every things playing out, true Christians are being attacked, the rest of you, the great falling away. its scary you cant see it. I will pray, EVERYDAY MS ADDISON pray all you who are deceived will see the truth. God Help us! pride is something god HATES. and with good reason.

If Obama is the great uniter he claims to be, why not have a national day of prayer that includes many faiths to pray for our country? Well, because he believes in the evil intent of people rather than the blessing of God. Just look at who is evil in his eyes, anyone who opposes him is evil and selfish. he asked bondholders of secured loans to take a bigger loss than they deserve, to sacrifice so he could pay off his friends, the unions, while destroying hundreds of thousands of union jobs by not allowing a trained judge to help reorganize. Obama believes in himself, which is why he is so offended by anyone that criticizes him. His desision tells us much. Shirley Dobson sas she is dispointed inhis descion and she is attacked by soem of you, she did not attack him, so why the hate from supoosed Christians?

The White House Press Secretary said there would be a Presidential Proclamation issued, but there's nothing at the President's website. This sends the unfortunate message that prayer isn't a high priority. It also puts those of us conducting NDP observances in a bind as the reading of the Presidential Proclamation is normally part of the program. Well, we'll pray for President Obama anyway.

Please!!! National Day of Prayer - How are is it to participate in a few things!! In this day and age - I think we can all agree we need it!!!
Dobsons or no - politics or not - please people our country is getting so far away from our Christian roots it's really scary! There is no values or right or wrong - because somebody may have to admit they were wrong or guilty - and NEED GOD!! Imagine that??

I ask - just as you want tolerance for your causes - funny - the only one's not getting it(tolerance) is the Bible Jesus walking Christians!
I just ask that my president be what he says he is - sounds like he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. In his attempt to be so far from Bush - he has ruled out the day of Prayer?? How SAD IS THAT??
All I can say is - God have MERCY on the USA!!!

How dare the President not hold ceremonies for National Prayer Day. 75% of the American people are Christian. In other words, Obama is backing Atheism as the state soonsored belief. Shame on him. But God will take care of it. Thank you, LaVerne Zocco, barabey@netscape.com

Bob Leroe said "The White House Press Secretary said there would be a Presidential Proclamation issued, but there's nothing at the President's website."
Did you actually look? It is easy to find. May 7, 2009 - NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 2009

I am a believer in a risen LORD JESUS CRRIST. I do not suscribe to a religon per say. I do attend a baptist church.Does that make me a baptist? I guess so. God in his word doesnt talk to much about religon. He says in John 3:16 that whowsover believes in me. Shall not perish but have everlasting life. You cant pay for it, or do anything to earn salvation. It is a gift from God, freely given. It is up to us to accept this gift. Not baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Lutherin, Budist, Hindu or any other religon. He said whosoever! That includes anyone who is born and breaths the breath of life. Just about covers everyone, dosent it? Dont think ive left anyone out. Jack in Ga

I think it is fantastic that President Obama did not invite Shirley Dobson to the White House. That woman is a hateful bigot and her "task force" a sham and an abomination.

It is the National Day of Prayer not the National Day of Jesus.

Refusing to allow Mormons to participate because Shirl does not think they are Christians is a travesty. She thinks she knows their hearts better than God does. That is simply arrogant bigotry.

I would hope that President Obama does host an event at the White House next year and has a Hindu lead people in prayer to Vishnu. Oh how the bigot hatemongers will scream!

Good. This Christian prays day and night for their nightmare "New World Order" to rise up and silence them once and for all.

As I read through this site it only confirmed what I felt was happening throughout our country. We, as a country, can choose to move away from God the Father, but He will not move from us. At church on Sunday our Paster reminded us that THINGS ARE IN GOOD HANDS. "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him, for he laid the earth's foundation on the seas and built it onthe ocean depths." Psalm 24:1-2

Psalm 121
The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lords keeps watch over you as you cvome and go, now and forever.

As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, as the author of my salvation, I choose not to fear or condemn. I will PRAY ferventouly and SHARE the truth of the word with all those who will choose to listen in these dark days.

Okay, THIS may turn out to be a bit of a rant that a lot of people do NOT like. Sometimes the truth hurts....but it's still the truth!

I cannot seem to get through one day without hearing people speak negatively about Obama....they criticize, call him the anti-Christ, speak of doom for our country, accuse him of all sorts of things. Basically, I cannot get through one day without hearing someone curse our president. Now before you stop reading, please know that this is not a rant to expose my worldly political views. Rather, I hope I can help remind people that scripture applies to ALL of our life, to ALL people, ALWAYS. Obama is no exception. I don't know what version of the Bible people are reading but mine does not say:

Honour all people, except Obama, or anyone else you don't really like or believe in
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, but only if YOU agree with all of the decisions made by the authority in your life (this goes for your parents, your husbands, your employers, your government).
Romans 13:1-7 says

Let Every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil.....

I think some people have forgotten that God is in charge here folks! Do you trust God? Do you believe that He is in control? If so, then WHY WHY WHY do you feel the need to criticize? I pray that as Christians, we will trust God in ALL areas of our lives. Sometimes the way God does things does not make sense, we can't see or understand the greater picture. This is where Faith comes in. God is our King, we are not of this world but are here for but a moment. We are to pray for our president, not condemn him. Our world economy faces an impossible situation, but do we live for our economy? Do we live for money? For anything in this world?

We need to remember that there IS a bigger picture here folks. We need to review and renew our minds with scripture, study and pray for our trust and submission. We need to pray for our country AND for our president. And we need to cling to what is good and love ALL people. Yes, even the president. Even your husband who may have lost his job, and along with it his confidence and patience. Even for authorities in our life who do not share our faith. We need to be examples of Christ and fix our eyes on God in these hard times and remember that all of this chaos is of this world - of which we are NOT.

I read through many of these comments and feel that each person makes a strong point. As a Christian I feel that a President who is not wanting to take part in Prayer for our Nation is showing that he does not believe that this country's pledge still stands. "ONE NATION UNDER GOD". God with a capital G not a little g as other non-Christian religions believe in. This nation was built on a foundation and disturbing a foundation will take down America. And prayer does work, for those of you who question it, read your bible talk to others, I personally will tell you that PRAYER ANSWERS ALL THINGS. And the criticism against the Dobsons, they are and inspiration to all.

It is a shame that so many of us Christians are Haters. The NDP was established for persons of ALL FAITHS. It was NOT established for Christians. There is far too much religious intolerance and hate talk amongst "some" people of our faith. This is a Country "under God" - not under any one Religion. Perhaps everyone should reread the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and read the personal letters and commentary of our original founders. They never intended it to be a Christian nation, nor have we ever been in law. We are a nation "under God". Perhaps a recognition of that fact, through study, not ignorance, would help us all lead better Christian lives.