Without prayer, nation is truly without a prayer

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Since this is a Sunday column - despite our Saturday delivery - it seems appropriate to talk about prayer.

But the subject of prayer is no random coincidence today. Two issues surfaced this week that put prayer front and center.

Let's start in Kentucky.

Crime in Louisville, Ky., has reached a dangerous level like countless other urban settings. A 7-year-old was killed as a bystander this past week in the latest incident that has the city on edge.

Into this crime explosion walks Republican Gov. Matt Bevin who suggested that small community volunteer groups should walk the dangerous neighborhoods and talk one-on-one with the residents. But the bombshell hit when Bevin suggested these groups pray while they canvas the neighborhoods.

Now you would think that the concept of prayer in a dangerous environment would have been greeted with open arms.

But you would be wrong.

Bevin's prayer plan was roundly panned by Louisville "leaders" who said the Governor was playing to the media attention and that he offered no real solution to the growing crime problem.

"You know, you walk to the corner, pray for the people, talk to the people along the way. No songs, no singing, no bullhorn, no T-shirt, no chanting. Be pleasant, talk to the people, that's it," the Governor suggested.

But when Bevin offered his prayer patrol idea, the left erupted.

Bevin was criticized for uttering the word prayer and the Louisville "leaders" who have done nothing to stem the violence used his words to chastise the Governor for his Christian approach to a serious issue.

When did we reach the dismal point where the word prayer is somehow condemned and vilified? When did we abandon the basic reality that a higher power is in control of our lives?

Maybe a new survey on religion in America can shed some light on the question.

The nationwide survey conducted earlier this year tried to pin down the true number of atheists in America.

And if the survey is to be believed, we're in more trouble perhaps than we realize.

The survey said that perhaps as many as 26 percent of Americans hold no belief in God. Now granted, that's on the high end of the estimate. But regardless of the survey methods and findings, if this nation has anywhere near that number of non-believers, then prayer may truly be the only solution.

The survey results are mostly unimportant. But the conclusion is that many atheists hide their lack of faith because of a social stigma against atheists.

Gov. Bevin should be commended for his suggestion. Instead he is condemned.

We need not worry about the Paris Accord or Obamacare or terrorism.

We should worry about a community like Louisville who shuns an idea that strikes at the heart of American values.

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