Friday, September 7, 2007
You Can Ring My Bell
I was just glancing at the Iranian state news agency, and the thought occurred to me that the function of reporting and governance are irrevocably altered by the nature of a theocracy, where the public interest and factual concerns must also pass through a filter of religious ideology. Then I ran across President Bush's latest Presidential Proclamation:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 7, through Sunday, September 9, 2007, as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance. I ask that the people of the United States and their places of worship mark these National Days of Prayer and Remembrance with memorial services, the ringing of bells, and evening candlelight remembrance vigils... (Emphasis added.)
Now granted, this is a promotion of religion in general, and not one faith in particular. But is it really the role of the President of the United States, which is after all a secular office, to give instructions as to exactly how its citizens and places of worship should conduct what is essentially a religious service? Or have I just been living in France for too long?