National Day of Prayer Event Politicizes Prayer

May 5, 2005

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

On May 5, 2005 the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "from San Francisco's Twin Peaks to the Daytona International Speedway in Florida -- and at thousands of locations in between -- people will gather to bow their heads in the annual National Day of Prayer. But while California's prayer locations have doubled to 400 since last year, some wonder whether the day -- which has been celebrated since 1952 but only has had a congressionally fixed date since 1988 -- has become too politicized, beholden to evangelical Christians who propelled President Bush to victory in November. Though the date was set by Congress, the National Day of Prayer Task Force is a private organization, dominated by evangelical Christians, that coordinates activities nationwide. Its co-chair is Shirley Dobson, wife of the Rev. James Dobson, who leads Focus on the Family, and the Day of Prayer's Web site reflects many of the Christian organization's conservative viewpoints on social issues."