Thursday, April 22, 2010

From The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

A federal district court in Wisconsin recently ruled that the annual declaration of a National Day of Prayer, established by Congress in 1952, is unconstitutional. The decision is being appealed, and the judge has stayed the ruling, saying it should not be applied until the appeals process is complete. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has stated that he will go forward with his plans to officially proclaim May 6 as the National Day of Prayer for 2010.

The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted in 2007 by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, shows that prayer is a common religious practice in America, with nearly six-in-ten adults in the U.S. saying they pray at least once a day. However, frequency of prayer differs significantly by religious tradition, age, gender and income.
Why am I posting this? It continues to amaze me how many Americans live in such a world of religion. On the other hand, perhaps "pray" shouldn't be taken that narrowly. Would mediation be considered prayer? Would feeling amazed and appreciative about the wonders of life be considered prayer? I recently saw one of the episodes in the Discovery Life series. It's absolutely amazing the variety of life forms and strategies for survival. If an appreciation of natural wonders is included in the notion of prayer, then prayer is not necessarily an act born of superstition. In that case, I don't understand the ruling of the Wisconsin court.

Perhaps the question should be asked more crisply.

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