- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Thursday marks the National Day of Prayer, an observance established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1952, then officially designated for the first Thursday in May in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan — who signed Public Law 100-307, surrounded by chaplains from the House and the Senate, a bipartisan group of lawmakers and clergy from several faiths.

“Our nation’s motto — ‘In God We Trust’ — was not chosen lightly,” Reagan once noted.

President Trump likely agrees.

“Americans have always found power and unity through prayer,” he notes in his official proclamation for the day, issued Wednesday by the White House.

“We once again come together to give thanks to Almighty God for the bountiful blessings He has bestowed on our great Nation and to ask for His unfailing counsel. We also acknowledge our dependence on God’s love to guide our families, communities, and our country away from harm and toward abundance and peace. Our Nation acknowledges that religious liberty is a natural right, given to us by our Creator, not a courtesy that government extends to us,” said Mr. Trump, who cited pivotal moments in American history which prompted the public to pray together for the good of all.



“Our nation’s honored tradition of prayer has sustained us and strengthened our trust that God will continue to watch over and accompany us through the best of times and the darkest hours. May we as Americans never forget the power of prayer and the greatness of our Creator. On this National Day of Prayer, let each of us, according to our own faiths, call upon God for His guidance and express our gratitude for the love and grace He bestows on us and our country,” the president advises in the proclamation.

AND ONE FOR LOYALTY

Thursday also marks Loyalty Day, by the way — established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1955 to express dedication to America, its founding tenets and the Constitution.

“On this day, we renew this call and our pledge to defend the Constitution and rule of law. We also remember those who have protected our values, and we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country — our Republic was conceived in freedom and will remain free,” President Trump observes in a second proclamation, also issued by the White House.

“Other nations are founded on some common lineage, shared language, or other convenience. Ours alone is founded on a set of shared ideas. The Founding Fathers established a republic, in which the power of government derives from the consent of the governed. This new republic would exist to secure the right of the people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” the president says.

“As I said during my inaugural address, ‘through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other’ — and through loyalty to each other we will restore our great country. Every day, we must remember our incredible history, be grateful for the country we inherited, and protect our rights and our sovereignty.”

A DAILY OCCURRENCE

In keeping with the president’s observance, a few poll numbers.

“Many Americans pray every day — not just on the Day of Prayer. Indeed, out of 102 countries examined for frequency of prayer by Pew Research Center, the U.S. is unique in that it has both a high level of wealth ($56,000 per-capita gross domestic product in 2015) and a high level of daily prayer among its population (55% according to the 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study). In every other wealthy country surveyed — that is, those with a per-capita GDP over $30,000 — fewer than 40% of adults say they pray every day,” Jeff Diamant, an analyst for the pollster, said Wednesday.

Indeed, some nations are not so included to pray: 6% of British, 9% of Germans, 10% of French, 11% of Swedes, 18% of Australians and 25% of Canadians pray daily, the research found.

AL GORE: MAKE IT A ‘CRISIS’

The Climate Reality Project, an activist group founded by former Vice President Al Gore in 2006, is asking its flock to demand that broadcast news organizations refer to climate change as a “crisis” — and have launched a public petition to ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and MSNBC to do just that.

“The words your reporters and anchors use matter. What they call something shapes how millions see it — and how entire nations act.

“And today, we need to act boldly and quickly. With scientists warning of global catastrophe unless we slash emissions by 2030, the stakes have never been clearer. Your network can make a difference. With your voice and your reach, you can jump start a global conversation on how we solve this crisis. While we still have time. It starts with the news calling this exactly what it is. Call it a climate crisis,” the online petition reads.

The outreach must have appeal for Mr. Gore’s fans; the petition garnered more than 5,000 signatures within hours; organizers are dubbing the effort a “Call It a Crisis Campaign.”

WHEN THE OLD WAYS FADE

Bad behavior by journalists, elected officials and public figures is an unsettling thing, and the practice appears to be worsening. One particular cultural observer was set off by the appearance of Attorney General William Barr before contentious Democratic lawmakers who demanded his resignation.

This observer says he has never seen anything like it in his life. Ever.

“I think it’s safe to say that whatever standards of decency that our society used to have, have long been blown through, and I don’t think they hold anymore,” talk radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh told his 14 million-member audience in the aftermath of Mr. Barr’s appearance.

“You’re talking about a day in the past where this kind of behavior would repulse independent, nonpartisan, you know, halfway interested in politics people, that this kind of behavior would just repulse them. ‘My God, what’s happened to these people?’ But we’ve blown past those standards of decency now. And they no longer govern. That’s one of the problems that we face is that the guardrails, the standards, the institutions that always provided the backstop against radical, insane, off the wall behavior and actions have deteriorated — and they’re not there in nearly number or strength that they used to be,” Mr. Limbaugh said.

POLL DU JOUR

50% of voters say “political instability in the U.S. is a critical threat”; 46% of Republicans, 47% of independents and 56% of Democrats agree.

31% say instability “is an important but not a critical threat”; 35% of Republicans, 29% of independents and 28% of Democrats agree.

12% don’t know if instability is a threat or not; 10% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 9% of Democrats agree.

8% say instability is “not a threat at all”; 9% of Republicans, 8% of independents and 7% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,995 registered U.S. voters conducted April 28-29.

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