National Day of Prayer 2014
I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but once a year here in Oklahoma our State Capitol hosts an event that is best described as a Christian worship service:
State Capitol Service, Noon to 1 p.m., second floor rotunda, state Capitol. The public is invited to join several state leaders and others to pray for families, communities, military, churches, the state and nation. A music concert by The Voices, directed by Mark Taylor will begin at 11:30 a.m.
Naturally, I have mixed feelings about this, seeing as I believe in maximally untrammeled freedom of religious expression but also believe in minimal government endorsement of any one denomination, sect, or system of religion.
I don’t think that I’d have any problem at all with this annual worship service in the heart of the Capitol if the powers that be allowed equal access to all irreligious and interfaith groups, but historically that has not been the case. Generally, what happens is that the highest elected officials in the land strongly endorse (evangelical) Christianity as the solution to whatever ills the body politic, and…well that is about it. For example:
Of course, that video was from two years ago, but I’ve been to so many of these now that they all sort of blend together. On the upside, very occasionally the secularists manage to put together a counterprotest of sorts. Oklahoma sort of dropped the ball on that this year, but now we have an entire year to plan and plot and scheme.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, my friend Justin Vacula is helping to arrange real protests of this annual occasion upon which government officials bend the knee to religious doctrine. Good on him, I say, and we could all take a page out of that playbook.