The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of BCNN1. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).
Question: Should our elected political leaders pray, and call for the nation to pray, or is that a violation of “separation of church and state?”
This seemingly endless debate in modern America has erupted once again as Vice President Mike Pence, in his capacity as leader of the federal government’s Coronavirus Task Force, called the nation to pray for wisdom for the task force and for the task force to be enabled to protect the U.S. from grievous harm from a potential pandemic.
At first I had decided to just ignore the snickering and mockery with which he was immediately bombarded, and instead to pray for his critics.
However, I was moved to respond as I continued to read eruptions of ignorance and bias scattered across the “twitter-sphere.” The final straw was when I read a tweet attached to a picture of Vice President Pence and the assembled task force’s scientists with their heads bowed in prayer. The tweet dripped with sarcasm, mockery, and anti-religious prejudice. The general twitter theme seemed to be that scientists praying mean they really weren’t being “scientific” and that the Vice President, a devoutly religious man, was somehow therefore disqualified to lead the task force. Sadly, “scientism” is still flourishing in America.
America’s political leaders have a long tradition of praying and calling the nation to pray in times of crisis and national peril. Our Puritan forefathers did both with eloquence and regularity throughout the colonial era.
When our forefathers led the American Revolution in the 18th century, they sought divine guidance and called upon the people to ask God to provide wisdom and deliverance from British oppression. Most Americans have historically believed that God answered their prayers and gave them the incomparable United States Constitution, the greatest self-governing document yet produced on this planet, protecting both the divinely endowed right to “life” and “liberty” (as the Declaration put it).
Furthermore, American history since the founding of the Republic has been replete with stirring and inspiring examples of American political leaders calling for divine guidance and the blessings of Providence on our nation.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Richard Land