Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 10 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Exploiting the National Day of Prayer

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   4 comments
Message Kevin Coe

Today is the National Day of Prayer. In modern American politics, that means one thing: the God strategy will be in full effect.



Since Ronald Reagan's election in 1981, politicians-especially U.S. presidents-have gone to unprecedented lengths to signal their support for those citizens who rely heavily on religious cues to make voting decisions. The National Day of Prayer is a perfect day to send such signals.



Here's what to expect. President Bush will issue a proclamation extolling the virtue of prayer. Most people will pay little attention. They'll go on about their lives, praying or not as they see fit.



A small but politically important cohort, however, will see Bush's proclamation as a crucial show of support for their religious beliefs. And these are the people to whom Bush is speaking.



The targeted audience is organized by the National Day of Prayer Task Force. This organization was first headed by Vonette Bright, wife of Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright, and has been chaired since 1991 by Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson. The Brights and the Dobsons are iconic figures among religious conservatives, and their connection to the National Day of Prayer has given the event a decidedly conservative and Christian character.



Consider that those who volunteer for the National Day of Prayer Task Force have to affirm this statement of faith: "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." Volunteers must also pledge that the activities they organize "will be conducted solely by Christians," though "those with differing beliefs are welcome to attend."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Kevin Coe Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

David Domke is Professor of Communication and Head of Journalism at the University of Washington. Kevin Coe is a doctoral candidate in Speech Communication at the University of Illinois. They are authors of The God Strategy: How Religion Became a (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Exploiting the National Day of Prayer

Explaining Iowa: The God Strategy at Work

Obama rides religion across traditional divides

Good Riddance to Mike Huckabee

The Politics of MLK in the Democratic Primary

The Huckabee Threat

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend