Today is the 57th annual National Day of Prayer. This is an event that began under President Truman and really didn't morph into something new until eight years ago when President George W. Bush began holding public ceremonies to mark the day.
President Obama is issuing a proclamation and the president will pray privately, says his staff.
Not enough, according to the National Day of Prayer Task Force. The conservative group wants the day celebrated like it has been for the last eight years.
“We are disappointed in the lack of participation by the Obama Administration,” said task force chairwoman Shirley Dobson. “At this time in our country’s history, we would hope our President would recognize more fully the importance of prayer.”
One of the de facto leaders of the Republican party made it sound like President Obama outlawed religion. Rush Limbaugh, not Michael Steele, railed against the president for deviating from his predecessor.
"President Obama has announced that he is canceling the public day of prayer, the National Day of Prayer, that is tomorrow, at the White House," Limbaugh said yesterday, followed by a long dramatic pause.
If that's all you heard, you would wonder what was going on.
Before launching into the stratosphere, Limbaugh correctly explained that Obama was "just changing the policy that was in place for eight years of the Bush administration."
But then the talk show host couldn't resist...
"Why do this?" he asked. "Why go out of your way to do this? Why make these type of waves unnecessarily? He's doing this on purpose. He's trying to irritate some people. He's asserting his authoritarian control."
"They say he prays privately,” Limbaugh said. “I have no doubt. Who does he pray to? Does he pray to himself?"
Of course, the Obama White House doesn't see it the same way. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was not asked if Obama prayed to himself yesterday but was questioned on why there was a change.
“I think the President understands, in his own life and in his family’s life, the role that prayer plays,” Gibbs said. “And I would denote that administrations prior to the past one did proclamations. That’s the way the President will publicly observe National Prayer Day. But as I said, privately he’ll pray as he does every day.”
We'll post the proclamation once we receive it.
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