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Corrupt Mixture of Business, Government and Religion

So the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. So what? Isn’t a violation of the Constitution justified, if it results in some positive consequences?

Even if you’re willing to accept the moral argument that the end justifies the means, you have to prove that the results of the National Day of Prayer are positive. Let’s look at one particular National Day of Prayer event to see if that’s truly the case.

Down in Rogers, Arkansas the National Day of Prayer is being observed with a “Mayors Prayer Breakfast” at the Church at Pinnacle Hills, a Southern Baptist Christian church. It’s a chance for the people of Rogers, Arkansas to meet with their Mayor, and discuss their needs… if they’re willing to pay the price.

You see, you can’t just walk in the door of that church and join in this National Day of Prayer celebration. No, you’ll have to give money to the church in order to have access to the mayor. How can you make a payment for this political access? Tickets for the Mayors Prayer Breakfast are available at the office of the Rogers Chamber of Commerce, an organization representing the community’s businesses.

Through this National Day of Prayer event, the local government of Rogers is being placed inside a closed room, and it’s religious and business groups that decide who is allowed to enter. Through the National Day of Prayer, the Church at Pinnacle Hills is being given special control over access to a powerful government official, and is using that control to demand money from citizens. It’s a profoundly corrupt arrangement.

The arrangement is revealed as even more corrupt when one considers that the Church at Pinnacle Hills is only one of between 20 and 40 churches in Rogers, Arkansas. the Church at Pinnacle Hills isn’t even the only Baptist church in the town. Through his participation in the Mayors Breakfast National Day of Prayer event, the mayor of Rogers, Arkansas is choosing one particular church to elevate above all the other churches in Rogers. He’s using his governmental power to bring money to that church, and that church only.

Even if you’re willing to accept the diminished moral vision that the end justifies the means, the end consequence of the National Day of Prayer seems to be corrupt and unworthy in itself.

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