Religion in Society

Faith Leaders to Obama: Stop the Ban on National Day of Prayer

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WASHINGTON -- National prayer observances date back to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt with the National Day of Prayer beginning in 1952 by an act of Congress.
Rev. Patrick Mahoney and Rev. Rob Schenck will be holding a news conference to discuss their call for President Obama to take urgent action on the appeal and the steps they are putting in place for a national campaign.
The news conference will be on Monday, April 19, at 11:00 A.M., in front of the White House on the Pennsylvania Avenue side.
The appeal of this court decision would give President Obama a powerful opportunity to build a bridge to the faith community and demonstrate his commitment to religious liberty and freedom.
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states,
"Earlier this year President Obama said, 'My Administration will continue to oppose growing trends in many parts of the world to restrict religious expression.'  The President now has the opportunity to act on those powerful words in his own country by appealing this unjust decision by Judge Crabb.
"President Obama has a unique chance to build a bridge to the faith community by acting quickly on this matter and reaffirming his commitment to public expressions of faith and the National Day of Prayer. It is not enough for Mr. Obama to make wonderful speeches about protecting religious freedom around the world.
"Now is the time to act on protecting religious freedom in America.
"Sadly, the President's record concerning the Christian community and religious liberty is not a good one. He covered up a cross and a symbol for the name of Jesus at a Georgetown University speech. He did not celebrate the National Day of Prayer at the White House last year. His Administration banned a military flyover for the first time in 42 years at a 'God and Country Rally' in Nampa, Idaho. He also asked for no 'religious' ornaments to be displayed on the White House Christmas tree but allowed an ornament of Chairman Mao to be displayed.
"Mr. President it is time to put 'your money where your mouth is' concerning religious freedom and liberty in America. Please don't trample the founding principles of this nation which promise freedom 'of' religion not freedom 'from' religion."
Rev. Rob Schenck, President of Faith and Action adds,
"Faith and Action and our allied partners, including the National Clergy Council urge President Obama to order the Department of Justice to immediately appeal this outrageous order and to defend the long history of America's calls to prayer.
"These date back to Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Reagan and even President Obama himself. This case also focuses attention on the President's nominee for the Supreme Court. I am urging our friends in the United States Senate to be sure to ask any candidate where they stand on this issue and other established public expressions of faith."
For more information or interviews call:
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney at 540.538.4741 202.547.1735
Rev. Rob Schenck at 703.447.7686