[Ed. note–This would have been part of one of the columns I would have submitted to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.]
As a Christian and a conservative, stories like this from the April 17 Journal Sentinel always catch my eye.
A Wisconsin federal judge on Thursday found the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional, saying it violates the First Amendment prohibition against laws respecting an establishment of religion.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin was a victory for the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Since then the group also wants to expand the prohibition to holidays like Good Friday.
Now since I am a Christian, you would think that I would be dismayed by this decision. You would be wrong. It doesn’t concern me that much at all.
The reason is simple: I don’t need the government proclaiming a day of prayer for me to pray. I don’t need the government declaring a holiday for it to be a holiday. I don’t need an amendment to pray in school. I don’t need a tax deduction to contribute to worthy causes.
So am I not troubled by this? Am I not concerned by the erosion of morality in the country?
Certainly. I remember the 50’s and 60’s and while certainly far from perfect, America was a much nicer place to live in than now. And while one can never go back, it would be great to capture part of that time today.
Is it because I don’t believe America should pray and exercise religion more?
Not at all, but that’s a matter for the individual, not something that can be legislated or proclaimed by the state. Nor anything that should be.
But if America, and especially America’s Christians, needs proclamations and legislation and a favorable environment for Christianity to be great, then we’ve missed the message of the Bible.
I’m not a judge, nor a constitutional lawyer, but I know establishment of religion when I see it.
This is not a decision against prayer, nor a decision against prayer for the government. I pray for my government and its leaders every day. I don’t need a proclamation for that.
It’s a decision to keep government out of places they don’t belong.
And I’m always for that.