President Obama Bows Publicly Before Saudi King But Not Before King of Kings: National Day of Prayer
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I miss President Bush. Now there's a statement you don't hear everyday. He wasn't the perfect president, after all. We all know that. However, he did accomplish much during his eight years in office. Among those accomplishments, I respect most his stand for the sanctity of life, banning partial birth abortion; his commitment to the continent of Africa, doing more for it than anyone else ever has; and considering it his personal responsibility to keep America from another terrorist attack, which he did. But today, I miss him for another reason.
Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer. President Bush always took this day very seriously. Every year, Bush invited Christian and Jewish leaders to the East Room of the White House where he gave a short speech and participants prayed. President Obama has decided that he will issue a paper proclamation but will not engage in any other activities to mark the day. He has nixed the formal early morning service and has chosen not to attend a large Catholic prayer breakfast the next morning. Instead, he will pray privately, we are told.
Shirley Dobson, who is the wife of Focus on the Family Founder Dr. James Dobson and the Chair of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, voiced disappointment at the president's refusal to join publicly with so many other Americans to pray. She said, "We are disappointed in the lack of participation by the Obama Administration. At this time in our country's history, we would hope our President would recognize more fully the importance of prayer."
Yes, we would hope. But we'd better place our hope somewhere else. In fact, the theme for this year's National Day of Prayer is "Prayer...America's Hope." It is our only hope.
So, I do miss George Bush today, who, imperfect as he was--as we all are--recognized that we need God, not just for our own selves and our own lives, but for our entire nation. And why not do so boldly? If President Obama can go to foreign countries, publicly bow before the Saudi king, and apologize for the arrogance of America, why can't he stand with people of faith in his own country, publicly bow before the King of Kings, and pray humbly for our nation?
Tomorrow will be the National Day of Prayer with or without the new president's participation, and clearly he has chosen not to be involved. So things will be different this year than they have been in the last eight years, but then again, Obama did promise change. But if it's not change rooted in faith and prayer, it's definitely not change I can believe in.