Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Did Abe Lincoln or FDR have "secular purposes"?

I try, try, try to stay out of the eye poking and name calling of our polarized country, but I caught a bit of conservative commentary shared via South Dakota blogger Steve Sibson...

Sibby Online: It is irrational beyond description to assert that government can only serve a "secular" purpose

...and I just can't get over the silly court decision in which a Federal Judge said that the President can't issue National Day of Prayer proclamations because they "don't serve a secular purpose."

Check this out:

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


Or this...

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

Perhaps the "secular purpose" of prayer is to calm, encourage, unite, comfort and bring other positive power into the lives of a diverse people, facing all of the world's on-going challenges.

The Judge's decision, in logic, verges on an "appeal to ignorance." Because she can't figure out any public benefit from a National Day of Prayer, there must not be any.

Really petty and ridiculous.


The Archer of the Forest said...

I am virtually certain that decision will get overturned on appeal, if for no other reason than it is completely illogical and incoherent. You touched on one of the baffling logic pieces in that opinion with the "secular purpose" statement, but also what was bizarre is that national days of prayer or whatever are issued by executive order and are not binding.

It's a call to prayer, and anyone who doesn't want to is not forced to. And in any event, there is no way to enforce a ban on non-binding executive orders. I mean, a President or Governor can make such-and-such a day the honorary day commemorating National Potato Day or honoring some retiring faculty member or whatever. Those don't have secular purposes either. By that logic (or lack thereof) Thanksgiving shouldn't be a national holiday.

That opinion was complete legal nonsense.

TLF+ said...

Dang it, Archer, you remind me of a scene in one of Chekov's plays. A noted basso profundo is being cheered by the audience, and out from the crowd booms a "Bravo!" a whole octave lower than the singer can reach.

You said what I was trying to say, just a whole lot shorter and clearer.

And you are so right about these kinds of days - Gov. Rounds honored one of our parishioners with a State-wide day a few months ago. I wasn't like people who didn't know/care about/like her were forced to come sacrifice animals or something.