National Day of Prayer 2009
The first Thursday in May is the National Day of Prayer in the United States. It's been that way since Truman's day. Our President Obama is doing things differently this time by not holding a public ceremony in the White House. He is till signing the proclamation that keeps the National Day of Prayer going on. (Article here.)
The previous president, W, used to hold big ceremonies in an attempt to make friends with religious folks. Many people thought this was not only showy and tasteless, but an attempt to minimize the separation between church and state. Of course, these are the same people who complained whenever Bush did something stupid or inappropriate.
I don't actually oppose the National Day of Prayer, but I can think of better things. Why can't we have a National Day of Thinking? Please take time on this day to fire up the brain with math and logic. Maybe read a book about real stuff. Try learning something. It would be a wonderful day to enroll in a class somewhere.
Just as useful would be a National Day of Personal Responsibility. Today is the day you acknowledge that you have the primary responsibility for your life and that you have to work hard to make things work out. You are also responsible for your offspring and anything you have done to other people.
At the end of the day, the National Days of Stuff don't really do anything. They are just a way for politicians to say they care. They do this because if they don't tell you that they care, then you may not like them, and they really like to be liked.