From Captain Cassidy
Thursday was the National Day of Prayer (NDP) for right-wing Christians across the United States. We’ve been talking about it lately because the topic ties in very well with what we’ve been calling “evangelical churn,” which is the steady loss of both members and influence that right-wing Christians have been experiencing.
Last time, I uncovered some interesting links between the National Day of Prayer and the Red Scare manufactured by the Religious Right in the 1950s. Today I want to touch on what the practice of the NDP shows us about modern Christianity.
This manufactured holiday–such as it is–is nothing less than a perfect example of the coming downfall of the religion that its biggest names are trying to reverse.
In other words, it’s good news, and here’s why.
A Response to a Threat.
First, let’s get this out of the way: the National Day of Prayer was a studied, deliberate response to what Christian leaders in the 1950s perceived as a serious threat–not to their country, but rather to their own power and influence. They blamed these losses on liberalism and Communism (or at least what they defined as such) and began campaigning to “revive” America–ostensibly to hold those dangers at bay.
Of course, they were not losing either power or influence because of liberalism or Communism. And I strongly suspect that the leaders at the top knew very well that those boogeymen had nothing to do with their losses.