Theocratic Intentions on UChicago Campus?

Have any of my fellow UChicago classmates seen this ad put out by the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship?

You’ve probably seen the cheesy video from the National Day of Prayer Task Force that I previously commented on.  That’s exactly where the imagery in the poster is from.

The imagery of the buildings of the three branches of the United States government, shown with hands wrapped in Christian prayer, gives a deeply troubling message about what Christians believe is the connection between church and state. It’s also taking sides on a serious constitutional question, and of course, they are on the wrong side of it.

The apologists are going to spin this as an “interfaith” thing, a movement that is supposed to be some humanistic outreach to people of all beliefs and backgrounds. Don’t be fooled. The vision of the National Day of Prayer, as articulated by ads like the one above, is clearly stated on the organization’s own website:

In accordance with Biblical truth, the National Day of Prayer Task Force seeks to:

  • Mobilize and encourage personal and corporate prayer, regardless of current issues and positions (Colossians 4:2, Romans 12:12, Matthew 18:19-20, Joel 2:13-16, II Chronicles 7:14)
  • Preserve America’s Christian heritage and defend the religious freedoms granted by the Constitution (Deuteronomy 6:6-8, Proverbs 14:34)
  • Emphasize prayer for America and its leadership in the seven centers of power: Government, Military, Media, Business, Education, Church and Family (I Timothy 2:1-6)
  • Foster unity within the Christian Church (Psalm 133:1, Ephesians 4:11-13

They also describe who they are:

Our Task Force is a privately funded organization whose purpose is to encourage participation on the National Day of Prayer. It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families. The Task Force represents a Judeo Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.

In other words, this is a private organization that perpetuates the lie that this country was founded on Christianity. It doesn’t matter if there are hundreds of examples of what the Founding Fathers believed or wrote. It doesn’t matter if we point out that we have a secular Constitution and a separation of church and state. History and evidence mean nothing to them; they won’t be happy until they get the government to have a “holiday” just for their religion.

Apparently, it isn’t enough that private individuals keep their religion to themselves; it has to be recognized by government, connected to government, and embedded into government. Sometimes, it even has to be sponsored by government, which is exactly what the National Day of Prayer is.

The NDP Task Force is headed Mrs. Shirley Dobson, the wife of Dr. James Dobson. Dr. Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, is an influential evangelical Christian known for his right-wing views on marriage, homosexuality, and education. (He’s a sponsor of the ex-gay, “curing” homosexuality movement, for example.) NDP Task Force and Focus on the Family are officially independent organizations, but they were literally working together from 1991 to 2009.

Where does this put nonbelievers? Nowhere, really. The court cases are still pending.

We’ll just have to sit back and observe the government endorsement of religion.

We’ll just have to watch Christians pretend to support the separation of church and state.

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Posted on May 5, 2011, in History, Politics, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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