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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3, 2012, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite all citizens of our Nation, as their own faith directs them, to join me in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy, and I call upon individuals of all faiths to pray for guidance, grace, and protection for our great Nation as we address the challenges of our time.

The full proclamation is HERE

What a massive load of crap!

If guidance is to come from that mushy part of the brain where fiction is concocted, the odds of getting grace and protection in the deal are pretttty slim. Reliance on this crap shouldn't reassure anybody, au contraire!

On the upside, it will keep believers distracted from the real issues - stuff like the government's inadequacy to even acknowledge, let alone do something about, the looming global perils.

There is this very thoughtful rebuke from - of all places - Rabbi Shalom, a blogger for Humanistic Judaism. He writes:

Don’t Just Pray – Choose to ACT!!

If prayer is a form of meditation, a way of expressing one’s deepest hopes and wishes, an experience of self-centering, all well and good. But expecting that our desires can transform the world without our effort to realize them is neither practical nor realistic nor helpful.

He then goes on and serves this brilliant quote from George Carlin:

The Divine Plan. Long time ago, God made a Divine Plan. Gave it a lot of thought, decided it was a good plan, put it into practice. And for billions and billions of years, the Divine Plan has been doing just fine. Now, you come along, and pray for something. Well suppose the thing you want isn't in God’s Divine Plan? What do you want Him to do? Change His plan? Just for you? Doesn't it seem a little arrogant? It’s a Divine Plan. . . .

And here’s something else, another problem you might have: Suppose your prayers aren't answered. What do you say? “Well, it’s God’s will.” “Thy Will Be Done.” Fine, but if it’s God’s will, and He’s going to do what He wants to anyway, why … bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn't you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It’s all very confusing.

A National Day of Reason was counter-proposed by some, but Rabbi Shalom would prefer a national call to action. In any case, seeing governments endorse superstition as a management tool is very scary in at least two ways: they are intent on keeping us clueless and on hiding how helpless they are to cope.

My proposal: just drop the idea. The concept of a National Day of anything is so that people engage together in a given activity - in this case it would be a National Day of Not Doing Anything? 

Plus, don't they already have a Weekly Day of Prayer???

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Our history until maybe the 70's here in Quebec province was not at all the reality it should have been but what the priests decided we should learn !

Surprised this still goes on, more than likely because it is ignored by so many.

This 3rd of May date will be haunting you guys for eons.

BTW, in Québec we pronounce it "May Turd" =)

I will use this. =)

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