Saturday, June 07, 2014

FDR's D-Day Prayer is Un-American, Say Atheists

As Allied troops fought the Nazi stronghold at Normandy in 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt led America in prayer to "Almighty God" in a nationwide radio broadcast.  Now, seventy years later, a coalition of atheists, and the religious left, are demanding that the prayer be obliterated from history, and NOT included in the World War II Memorial because it "disrespects America's religious diversity."
"Slapping a prayer onto a memorial that honors all those veterans would be an insult to both their service and their sacrifice."
-- Simon Brown, Americans United for Separation of Church and State
For background, read President Obama Opposes Prayer for Soldiers in Battle

Also read of the myriad atheist lawsuits against Christians and prayer nationwide.

However, in response, read of countless examples of citizens banding together to defy the atheists and pray in school and other local government bodies, and also read the long list of states enacting laws to bring prayer back to schools.

Also read Atheists Fret Supreme Court Ruling Favoring Prayers in Christian America

From "FDR led Americans in prayer on D-Day" by The Associated Press 6/6/14

In a live broadcast 70 years ago today, the president of the United States prayed for victory in the D-Day invasion.

"With thy blessing," he prayed, "we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy."

Congressional efforts to authorize adding Roosevelt's D-Day prayer to the FDR memorial at private expense have so far been unsuccessful.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "FDR’s D-Day Prayer" by Jon Meacham, Time Magazine 6/5/14

One of his sons once referred to Franklin Roosevelt as a “frustrated clergyman.” The president, an Episcopalian, loved liturgy and found the cadences of the Book of Common Prayer and of the King James Bible at once stirring and reassuring. And so the time came for Overlord—what his friend and colleague Winston Churchill called “the most difficult and complicated operation that has ever taken place”—FDR decided to commemorate the moment and address the nation not with a Fireside Chat or a grand speech but with a prayer of his own composition.

The White House distributed the text on the morning of June 6, 1944, so that the afternoon newspapers could publish it and listeners could pray along with Roosevelt when he broadcast that evening. With an estimated audience of 100 million, FDR was to lead what must rank as one of the largest mass prayers in human history. . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Seventy Years On: Franklin D. Roosevelt's D-Day Prayer" by Derrick G. Jeter, Christian Post Op-Ed Contributor 6/5/14

On December 8, 1941, many Americans heard the then familiar voice of President Roosevelt crackle over the radio asking Congress for a declaration of war. Three years later, on June 6, 1944, on what would become one of the greatest days in American history - the invasion to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany - Americans stared at the amber glow of their radios and listened to President Roosevelt deliver another impassioned plea.

This time it wasn't a speech, it was a prayer. Roosevelt didn't ask the country to honor a moment of silence. He didn't ask the nation to pray before turning in for the night. He, the President of the United States of America, did what would be unthinkable today - he asked the American people to "join" him in prayer. As he led the nation in a solemn petition for the lives of thousands of American and Allied men - boys, really - who were crossing the English Channel and landing on the bloody beaches of Normandy, France, he asked for God's will to be done in the great endeavor that was D-Day.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Congress Considers Adding FDR Prayer to World War II Memorial" by Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter 5/22/14

Known as H.R 2175 [World War II Memorial Prayer Act of 2013], the bill was introduced last year with the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation holding a hearing on it Tuesday morning.

"The Secretary of the Interior … shall install in the area of the World War II Memorial in the District of Columbia a suitable plaque or an inscription with the words that President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed with the United States on June 6, 1944, the morning of D-Day," reads the bill.

"[The Secretary] may not use Federal funds to prepare or install the plaque or inscription referred to in paragraph (1), but may accept and expend private contributions for this purpose."

The "World War II Memorial Prayer Act of 2013" has been considered in past sessions of Congress, passing in the House of Representatives only to stall in the Senate.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Liberal Groups Reject FDR'S D-Day Prayer" by Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy 6/6/14

"Our religious diversity is one of our nation's great strengths," the coalition declared. "This bill, however, shows a lack of respect for this great diversity. It endorses the false notion that all veterans will be honored by a war memorial that includes a prayer that proponents characterize as reflecting our country's 'Judeo-Christian heritage and values.'"

Signers include several Jewish groups, the American Civil Liberties Union, a Hindu, a Humanist, and a mostly liberal Protestant group, plus the United Methodist Church's Capitol Hill lobby. They insist that quoting the prayer on the National Mall will undermine "religious freedom" and "co-opt religion for political purposes, which harms the beliefs of everyone."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Rejecting FDR’s D-Day Prayer" by Mark Tooley, Institute on Religion and Democracy, posted at The American Spectator 6/6/14

There’s little to nothing in FDR’s prayer that would theologically offend almost any monotheist, except possibly for its very lack of theological specificity. And why would even polytheists or atheists be overly distressed by such a prayer, if in fact they too hoped for encouragement, solace, and victory for those forces, mostly very young men, attempting to liberate Europe from Nazi control and “to set free a suffering humanity?”

Such a regime in extreme version was, in FDR’s words, the “unholy forces of our enemy” whom the Allied forces opposed on D-Day. They and other totalitarians deny any transcendent authority over the all-controlling state. For them, not only is there no religious freedom, there is no moral architecture for human rights at all. The will to power supersedes all morality and notions of human dignity.

. . . whether everyone likes it or not, FDR did say the prayer. It is intrinsically part of what the WWII Memorial represents. His prayer is considerably less provocative than Abraham Lincoln’s Calvinist suggestion, inscribed on his nearby monument, that the Civil War was divine punishment for slavery.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

From "President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's D-Day Prayer" posted at the American Presidency Project

My fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home - fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas - whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them - help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too - strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


Also read Liberal Media Ignore 40,000 National Prayer Events