Commentary: Praying for our nation

Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 11:45pm
Zach Wamp

By participating in the National Day of Prayer, I will join so many others across the country in affirming the right of Americans to pray according to their faith. Since 1952, U.S. presidents have issued a proclamation designating a National Day of Prayer and invited people of all faiths to pray for the nation. But it has recently come under attack. On April 15, a federal district court judge ruled that the statute establishing a National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional.

No matter what the court says, prayer is part of our nation’s heritage. In 1775, the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of “humiliation, fasting and prayer” in 1863 while the nation was divided in Civil War.

The National Day of Prayer was first established as a national event by President Harry Truman and, in 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution to observe the National Day of Prayer each year on the first Thursday of May. Each president following has recognized it with a proclamation. President Obama has issued a proclamation for this year’s day of prayer, but like last year, he will not hold a public ceremony in the White House.

This is a time in our country when prayer is most needed — our nation is at war, the threats of terrorism continue, and many people are still out of work and trying to figure out how to provide for their families. And in our state, we have an urgent need for prayer as so much of Middle Tennessee was underwater after this weekend’s storms.

If we walk away from prayer, our country is heading in the wrong direction. The federal court ruling represents a minority movement to exclude faith and religion from the public square. That’s why I am a co-sponsor of two resolutions in the U.S. House of Representatives to call for an appeal of the court’s decision and to affirm the constitutionality and historical significance of the National Day of Prayer.

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Zach Wamp

215 Comments on this post:

By: bnakat on 5/7/10 at 1:23

If this posting board were composed of objective analysts, the commentary by Congressman Wamp would receive a fair critique. However, as Mr. D'Argent, our erstwhile Monitor Of Posts (MOP) is wont to remind us, "This is just a [enter expletive] posting board." So, critical thinking and civil, meaningful discussion are excluded.

(To be fair, occasionally two or three will maintain a thread that stays on topic, with each making salient points that exhibit rational thought. Various facets of an issue are examined through lenses of diverse mindsets and worldviews, often resulting in heated debate. Still, when the dust settles, one can walk away better informed.)

As to the congressman's statement, some will likely view it as political posturing. Since he is vying for the Republican nomination to be the next Governor of Tennessee, every action and statement will be suspect in the minds of his detractors. As with most candidates, all baggage and dirty laundry will be dragged out for inspection. Thorough vetting is certainly in order, but in today's political climate extremes are common.

Regardless of his motive(s), his commentary is sound. The judge's decision that prompted it was asinine. Neither the earlier proclamations, nor the resolution violate the establishment clause. Secular progressive protestations in this arena are vacuous.

By: dargent7 on 5/7/10 at 4:28

bnakat: One question: How is one so obtusely verbose making no sense at 2:23 AM? Maybe you're in deep Delta when you type?

By: dnewton on 5/7/10 at 4:40

Let us pray that Wamp, as governor, will be a lot more able to wade through the lies and deception that moved him to vote for the bailout. The first thing Wamp did to campaign for governor was to go around the state and ask everybody in government and the schools what they "needed". One of the biggest problems with any kind of government program is to define need and to keep that need within reasonable bounds.
Whoever the next governor is will be faced with a lot of unpleasant decisions. TNInvesco is a developing Mussolini-like cooperation between government and business that is being born in secrecy. Taxation for road building will have to be increased, with or without project selection reform, and in spite of the negative things that are going on at the federal level. BEP-2 is not working out as originally envisioned and there is no end in sight for the expectation that schools will improve indefinitely as long as the money spent increases indefinitely. We are constantly tricked into goofy projects based on the prospect of them creating a job. This is a short term view. The longer term view would include considerations about how the job helps improve productivity of future generations.
We need a more moral government and a government that relies less on stealing in order to stay in power. Taking stuff or money from people without their consent is stealing like slavery is stealing. Just because you are stealing from the unborn does not mean it is not stealing nor does it give you the right to imagine how thankful the unborn will be once they see the wisdom of your choices.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 5:43

If I vote Republican it will be for Bill Haslam. The other seem to me to be to flash with catchphrases like, “meet em at the state line” – Wamp or Ramsey in cowboy boots saying promising to give Washington “the boot.”

By: govskeptic on 5/7/10 at 6:19

Agreed Captain, "give them the boot" is one of the silliest
political statements in a long time. Let's talk about the
future of this state and how we can get it moving again.
Love em or hate em-the federal government is tied to the
future of every state in a hugh way. I hate hearing any
politician: local, state or federal talking about things they
will have absolutely nothing to do with or vote on. Prayer is
great-put some reasoned logic with it along the way!

By: dargent7 on 5/7/10 at 6:24

Do you guys know all these "good 'ol boys" running for Governor want to make abortion illegal? But they wear fancy cowboy boots.

By: songwriter on 5/7/10 at 6:28

Leave it to a politician to make a big fuss about something and then not give the details. When exactly IS the National Day of Prayer (as in give us the date!)? How the bleep and I supposed to know when to pray? Jeeeezus!

By: Funditto on 5/7/10 at 6:33

I thought they wanted to "give Washington the boot." Since when can a governor do anything about Washington?

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 6:34


What about Wamp’s add that he help close some military base in Chattanooga and then made it an industrial area. I thought that it was the military that made that decision to close bases.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 6:44

Why do we have to have a National Day of Prayer? I thought that every day was a good day to pray.

By: dargent7 on 5/7/10 at 6:45

Sarah Palin was a Governor once, who quit, and she sure is shaking up Washington.
GW Bush was Governor of Texas and for some unknown reason, was able to become President.
Being Governor is a stepping stone to the presidency, leaping over even Senators.

By: dargent7 on 5/7/10 at 6:47

Cpt "N": On National Prayer Day you don't pray for a Corvette. On that day when you talk with God you ask for world peace and the ending of world hunger. Maybe having the Titans go 10-0 again can slip in.

By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 6:50

Good morning, Nashville!

No LTE up at this time, but we do have a self-serving missive from a professional zealot; that will have to do.

It's a bit ironic that Harry Truman, the nuke bomber and Cold Warrior, came up with the idea of a public display of Judeo-Christian pandering. Harry is the guy who intended to keep on nukin' the Japs until they were obliterated as a people, if they did not immediately surrender w/o conditions.

Truman allowed the French to go back into SE Asia in a failed attempt to reassert their colonial designs on that part of the world, we Americans ended up paying the price for that bit of inhumanity and foolishness.

Truman went to war to stop "Godless Communism" in Korea; he was a Holy Warrior who would fit right in with the Christian Taliban who are in power in Washington today.

Apologist historians and revisionists now claim that Truman was a God-fearing man. Others think that Truman was a war criminal..

This Day of Prayer and the "Under God" insertion into the Pledge of Allegiance are both relics of the McCarthy era and the federal judge who declared the Day of Prayer to be unconstitutional was exactly right.

Zach Wamp is playing the God card; we know how he stands on the Guvmint, Gays and Guns part of the 4G's. He's wallowing in the stink of dogma.

If Zach wants to live in a supremacist-type theocracy, he should convert to Judaism, and make Aliyah to the Holy Land. He's a little old to undergo IDF basic training, but he certainly has the heart and soul of a Christian Crusader for Jehovah.

If Tennessee wants to sink further into the muck of identity politics, xenophobia, theocracy and holy war, then Wamp is your best bet. When the final AIPAC marching orders come down from Jerusalem, Reverend Wamp hopes to lead the procession of the faithful - to Armageddon. Isn't that heart-warming?

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 6:58

With the exception of a few that get put in office by the Supreme Court, governors have experience at leading. That gives them a head start. JFK was the exception. Eisenhower was a general and a hero.

By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 7:00

"Give Washington the boot?" That's dangerous and treasonous secessionist talk.

Rick Perry, Sarah Palin and now Zach Wamp are flirting with the idea of leaving the union. Dammit, Lincoln screwed up. The unrepentant Southerners never did get the message; Lincoln should have let those dumb shits go their own way. Now, they infect the rest of the nation with their 4G's agenda of hate.

Instead of letting TX, SC and TN secede, we should just expel them from the union now, before the carnage begins anew. A blockade around the seceeding states should contain the mass hysteria.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 7:01

Good morning Loner. Don't beat around the bush. lol

By: dargent7 on 5/7/10 at 7:03

Gerald Ford played center for U-M and Ronnie was a B-movie actor...but a Governor.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 7:04

Give them the boot is Ramsey's talk Loner. But I know what you mean.

By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 7:05

Shall I be more straightforward and use a little less sugar-coating, Captain? I tried to be civil, so as not to offend the Wampists. They carry guns.

By: Dragon on 5/7/10 at 7:07

While I did not join you during the National Day of Prayer, I will vigorously defend your freedom to pray. I encourage everyone to celebrate that freedom.

The President's proclaimation is not in question. He can declare National Avocado Day if he wants. The problem was that congress passed an act or something that "encouraged" the President to make the proclaimation. That act may be in violation of the first amendment.

By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 7:09

"Ramsey"? Who dat? I think of old Ramsey Clark., the constitutional curmudgeon. Who is this cowboy boot "Ramsey" character?

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 7:10

lol Loner

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 7:13

Ramsey is the Lt. Gov

By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 7:16

Dragon, are you one of those rare secular Republicans? I thought that you guys had been purged off the face of the earth. You must feel quite lonely, an articulate conservative who stays informed and leaves the preaching to the preachers.

By: dargent7 on 5/7/10 at 7:16

Ramsey is the family that killed JonBennet in CO.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 7:16

Here is Ramsey's Loner

By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 7:21

Thanks, Nemo, I could have Googled it and acted smart.

This macho Ramsey, does he drive a Ram PU with the big hemi and the Stars & Bars emblazoned across the rear window? The red, white and blue truck, with all those magnetic ribbons, banners and bumper stickers festooning the star-spangled tailgate...that's Ramsey's truck?

The guy is probably a closet homosexual...many of those types are. Hey, we need the diversity, we don't need the hypocrisy.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 7:22


By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/7/10 at 7:27

pray if you want, but if you REALLY want to help - go volunteer!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/7/10 at 7:28

Here's some volunteer opportunities through Hands on Nashville.

By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 7:35

Thanks for that link to the Southern-fried knucklehead, Nemo. That Southern accent seems overly contrived and strained. I expected the guy to spit some tobacco juice into a spitoon about half way through his pitch.

I knew it, the guy started out with "a pick up truck and a prayer". Must have been a Toyota's faith based driving, for sure.

So, what was Ramsey's first "business"? Did he use that pick-up truck as a moblie brothel for horny homos to relieve themselves curbside? No wonder he got rich off the truck and the praying.

So, Wamp and Ramsey are the best that the TN system can offer? Pitiful.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 7:40


By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 7:41

Ramsey: "I came up the hard way".

No doubt, but it's a safe bet that he uses Viagra today.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 7:42

It is VW, Loner lol

By: bfra on 5/7/10 at 7:45

Even if I ever considered voting for Wamp,(which I didn't), having little big mouth, John Rich stomping for him, would have ended that.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 7:45


By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 7:46

lol bfra. Me too!!

By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 7:50

This same missive, word for word, appears on Wamp's official "Guvmint" site. The NCP acted as an additional platform for Wamp's eyeball-rolling witness of faith. Hey, it's a right-wing site....they buy the ads, we mock them out. They run the missives from the professional zealots, we dissect them. I just love this internet thingy.

Here's Wamp's Guvmint Site:

Notice how Wamp is posing with the big lie hand gesture.....the fish story pose. LOL.

By: bfra on 5/7/10 at 7:51

That old saying "believe what you see and half of what you hear", doesn't hold true when you watch a politician's campaigning tape.

By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 7:59

Is it pronounced "wamp" as in "swamp" or "wamp" as in "stamp"? I need to know in order to compose some anti-Wamp slogans etc.

I mean is it, Born in a Swamp? - Vote for Wamp!, or is it Low Watt Lamp? - Vote for Wamp! Those are just for starters...wait till I take my meds....where's House?

By: MamaG on 5/7/10 at 8:01

Good morning all!
To songwriter: Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer. As the letter said, it is the first Thursday of May. That doesn't mean you can't pray today, though! :)

I say let's give the boot to any politician who wears cowboy boots!

By: MamaG on 5/7/10 at 8:03

Loner, I think it's Wamp, like Swamp.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/10 at 8:09

If you cross a Wamp with a Ramsey you get a Wamsey.

By: Kosh III on 5/7/10 at 8:12


By: Kosh III on 5/7/10 at 8:14

"Truman allowed the French to go back into SE Asia in a failed attempt to reassert their colonial designs on that part of the world, we Americans ended up paying the price for that bit of inhumanity and foolishness. "

Yeah, Ho Chi Minh originally tried to get US support as we were the "liberty" country but we preferred our French allies so Ho turned to the USSR.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/7/10 at 8:16

Hey, Kosh. How are you guys doing?

By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 8:18

I would not care so much about the faith of our federal and state house politicians, if it were not for the ongoing Holy War, the so-called "War on Terror" which seeks to make the world safe for apartheid Zionism in the Holy Land.

The Founders knew all too well about the dangers of Divine Right and theocracy. George Washington warned against foreign entanglements of this very sort..

Sadly old George and company did not foresee special interest campaign donations corrupting the founding principles. If they had been able to look down the road a little further, they might have reinforced the wall seperating matters of faith from matters of state.

The Founders eschewed taxpayer funding of faith-based projects and the establishment of a state-sponsored theocracy within our union of states. The idea of using US taxpayer monies to establish a "Jewish state" in Palestine would have been unthinkable to the Founders.

That was then. Today, anyone who questions US aid to the Jewish state is labelled an "anti-Semite", "bigot", Holocaust denier", "terrorist enabler" etc. Few dare to speak out.

We have come a long way since the Founding of the republic and we seem to have lost track of just where we are headed. We are letting a faith-based, foreign entity lead the way, using ancient Hebrew Scripture as our "map".


By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 8:21

Nemo sez: "If you cross a Wamp with a Ramsey you get a Wamsey." True, but like a mule, it's sterile.

By: Kosh III on 5/7/10 at 8:31


Doing better today, trying to get back to as normal a state as possible.
I've got a ton of pics but alas, no home computer any more so no way to download them and post them on a photo website. Well someday....

By: Loner on 5/7/10 at 8:32

Amen on that, Kosh. Truman consistently backed undemocratic regimes in a foolish and obsessive bid to stop the spread of Communism. From the Central American banana republics to Persia, the key to getting US aid was to just be "anti-Communist", no other requirements, it seemed.

Notorious Joe McCarthy kept the hysteria going; a young Ronald Reagan cashed in on the Commiephobia, as did many others.

Today, guys like Idgaf suddenly cite the KGB as a reliable source that confirms McCarthy's suspicions, it's laughable. Keepin' the faith against godless Communism...Idgaf maintains his lonely vigil.