The world could use more soul-searching and sincerity, more godliness. The world could use more prayer.
Thursday is the National Day of Prayer, a time set aside to promote the power of prayer in the American way of life.
The National Day of Prayer prompts complaints from groups such as American Atheists Inc., an organization arguing that the day set aside by Congress is nothing more than an organized effort to link religion with the government.
The organization says the observance is a violation of the Constitution.
It charges that elected officials who endorse the Day of Prayer have no business issuing government proclamations to promote the event. Public resources shouldn’t be used to publicize or encourage prayer.
From a previous protest: “The president should remember the words attributed to Jesus Christ in the Book of Matthew; 6:5-6: ‘And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men ... But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret ...’
“It sounds like this quote could also cover the Oval Office and the steps of the local city hall.”
The atheist organization calls the day an insult to Americans not affiliated with Christianity.
In response, we’ll quote from a one-time liberal icon.
For several decades, Dr. Benjamin Spock was the media expert for parents on how to raise their kids in America. In his 17 books and his newspaper columns he was the leading expert on child-raising. He took a liberal approach along the lines of a “let them do their own thing.”
In his final years Dr. Spock pointed parents back toward religion. He advised: “Spiritual values are the universal truths that define us as human beings.” He knocks science for replacing religion and trying to explain the mysteries of the world and man’s place in the world.
He added: “Spiritual values may come wrapped in religious dogma. But the value systems of all religions are based on these universal human precepts: honesty, love of family, respect for others, and a sense of idealism that inspires us to strive for greatness in our chosen endeavors. Societies fall apart if they lose their fundamental beliefs. The signs of this loss are everywhere.”
Truth is, we need prayer more than ever.