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Tucson Atheists Message Board › Pima County sponsoring National Day of Prayer local group once again

Pima County sponsoring National Day of Prayer local group once again

Steve K
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 48
Once again, the National Day of Prayer is upon us (it's on Thursday, May 5 this year); and once again, Pima County is listed as a sponsor by the local chapter of Focus on the Family's NDoP task force.

I'd like to find out how much money the county is giving to this Christians-only group for their Christians-only events. In a previous year, I wrote to Sharon Bronson (the Pima Co. Board member for my district) to find out, but I never received a reply. Does anybody have any ideas about how I can find out how much the county is spending on this? It seems like it should be public knowledge.

Steve K
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 49
As long as we're on the topic, check out this video from the NDoP task force website showing how scary life will be if we don't pray. It's a hoot.

Don L.
Group Organizer
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 237

Thank you for this. I'm going to send them a letter on American Atheist letterhead and asked them if tax money is being used to support this obviously religious activity.

Tucson, AZ
Post #: 97
As long as we're on the topic, check out this video from the NDoP task force website showing how scary life will be if we don't pray. It's a hoot.

Makes it clear that the Abrahamic religions are based on fear. Toe the line or you's be crushed. Does that remind you of Syria, Libya, Zimbabwe,.........

Nice production values though, really a well made video. I found it emotionally moving, like watching a good scary movie.
Steve K
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 50
Thanks Don.

In case there's any doubt that this is a Christians-only group holding Christians-only events, here is their policy statement:

Official Policy Statement on Participation of "Non-Judeo-Christian" groups in the National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer Task Force was a creation of the National Prayer Committee for the expressed purpose of organizing and promoting prayer observances conforming to a Judeo-Christian system of values. People with other theological and philosophical views are, of course, free to organize and participate in activities that are consistent with their own beliefs. This diversity is what Congress intended when it designated the Day of Prayer, not that every faith and creed would be homogenized, but that all who sought to pray for this nation would be encouraged to do so in any way deemed appropriate. It is that broad invitation to the American people that led, in our case, to the creation of the Task Force and the Judeo-Christian principles on which it is based.

And here is the Statement of Faith they must sign in order to host an event:

I believe that the Holy Bible is the inerrant Word of The Living God. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only One by which I can obtain salvation and have an ongoing relationship with God. I believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, his virgin birth, his sinless life, his miracles, the atoning work of his shed blood, his resurrection and ascension, his intercession and his coming return to power and glory. I believe that those who follow Jesus are family and there should be unity among all who claim his name.

Steve K
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 51
Here's a link to the Pima County Board of Supervisors' proclamation for the 2011 National Day of Prayer. As usual (2008, 2009, 2010), they have adopted the theme that was dictated by the National Day Of Prayer Task Force:

WHEREAS, we join with fellow citizens of all religious faiths and beliefs from throughout our nation under this year's theme of "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God."

As noted in my comment above, this group explicitly excludes non-Christians from their membership and from participating in their events.

Here's some more enlightened prose from the BoS proclamation urging ALL of us to pray:

NOW, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Pima County Board of Supervisors urges
all citizens of Pima County to join with fellow citizens of all religious faiths and beliefs in
prayer for God’s richest blessings on our Nation, State, County and City.

Steve K
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 52
Let's not forget the proclamation from the City of Tucson:

WHEREAS, prayer is a vital part of our heritage as one nation under God; and

WHEREAS, our forefathers turned to God in prayer as they fought for freedom; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress passed Joint Resolution 382 on April 17, 1952, establishing an annual national day of prayer to join together as a nation acknowledging God in prayer each year; and

WHEREAS, President Truman signed into law, PL 324, the observance of an annual National Day of Prayer. President Reagan permanently established the first Thursday of May to be the National Day of Prayer when he signed PL 100-307; and

WHEREAS, we are especially mindful of the heroic men and women serving in our Armed Forces, especially those service abroad; and

WHEREAS, the theme for this year is, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert E. Walkup, Mayor of the City of Tucson, Arizona, do hereby proclaim May 5, 2011, to be

National Day of Prayer

In this community, and encourage all of our citizens to join in prayer for God’s blessings on our Nation, State and City.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Tucson to be affixed 5th day of May, 2011.

I got that from the blog of Tucson Vice Mayor Richard Fimbres, who "read the City of Tucson Proclamation for the National Day of Prayer at the breakfast held this morning in the Old Pueblo." The blog also helpfully includes the prayer Fimbres delivered after reading the proclamation:

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for this opportunity to come together in unity and to pray for those who lead our government. May your wisdom shine through them and give them strength to lead with civility, integrity, compassion and honesty. These difficult times weigh heavily on the hearts of those who must daily make decisions that affect many lives.

People are suffering from economic losses, lack of jobs, homelessness, physical injuries and loss of loved ones from natural disasters.

May your strength support and guide our public officials to justly follow the path of righteousness to preserve and to comfort all who are caught in these tragedies.

We ask for your divine guidance for our public officials so that they may make decisions that alleviate suffering, restore hope, and renew Faith.

Give us the strength to come together in your name to help our public officials, to care for our neighbors and to truly love one another.

Please protect these public officials and keep them from all evil and harm so there work can be completed, to improve the quality of life for all.

Thank you, o Lord, for hearing our prayer and for giving us hope that-as in proverbs 11:3- the integrity of the upright shall guide them.

In Jesus name, Amen.

It seems to me that he was acting in his official capacity as Vice Mayor when he delivered that prayer.

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