Americans United Cites Bias on National Day of Prayer

May 6, 2004

Source: Americans United for Separation of Church and State

On May 6, 2004 Americans United for Separation of Church and State reported, "Religious Right forces are using the National Day of Prayer as a vehicle to promote a controversial religious and political agenda, charges Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Congress by federal law has designated the first Thursday in May as an annual National Day of Prayer. In recent years, the event has been dominated by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, a Religious Right group based in Colorado Springs. The task force is chaired by Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson, and operates from the offices of Focus on the Family. Dobson’s NDP Task Force sponsors thousands of prayer day events in congressional offices, at state capitols and other public buildings around the country. The Dobsons also visit the White House for a ceremony with President George W. Bush. The speakers and topics at Task Force events are chosen to promote the Religious Right’s “Christian nation” viewpoint. Observes Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn, 'The Dobsons depict their prayer day events as merely an ecumenical worship service. But in fact, they are promoting a fundamentalist political agenda that most Americans reject.'"