So, wow, been crazy busy with deadlines here for work and still am, but I think it’s time that we take a moment to celebrate today’s National Day of Reason.
First, it’s good to see that there are cities that are issuing official proclamations of this celebration. My favorite has been one of my most beloved towns, Dunedin, FL. I already love this city, which I call the most Scottish city in all of Florida due to it having three different bagpipe and drum corps (city, high school, and even middle school where kids have to be told they need to learn other instruments due to an overabundance of bagpipers) and throwing the best Celtic festival and Highland Games in the state. Seeing their city counsel make this proclamation to celebrate human ingenuity and achievement is truly heartwarming.
Now, many people have noticed that this year the Day of Reason is also on the National Day of Prayer, which also gets plenty of proclamations from cities, states, and the nation. However, I would like to point to a heartening message that I hope others will emulate in the future.
Kol Hadash, a Humanistic Jewish congregation, is calling for prayer, but they are also saying that prayer is not nearly enough, and actions are necessary.
“Prayer may be wishing for change, but action makes it happen,” says Rabbi Adam Chalom. “We’re taking this opportunity on May 2 to change the world for the better by choosing to ACT.”
Kol Hadash is inviting everyone in the community to participate and to celebrate your good deeds. No matter how big or small, let us know how you are choosing to ACT to make a difference. Post a picture on Kol Hadash’s Facebook page, or Tweet your good deed on Twitter with #choosetoACT and tell us how you helped another. Sharing your actions can inspire others to take action too!
I can support this line of thinking. Celebrate human good and accomplishment. Combine it with prayer if you must, but I think JT hit the metaphor perfectly when he compared attributing the results of a combination of prayer and hard work to the prayer is a lot like giving credit for your cleanliness to singing in the shower rather than soap and water.
That being said, I think Kol Hadash is doing a good thing by encouraging people not just to do good things, but to share them. Talking about the things we do makes those things seem less impossibly huge. It puts a human face to the struggles that we engage in, and makes ideology manifest.
I want to end this by comparing the Kol Hadash and the Dunedin example to Joseph Farah, the unhinged proprietor of the WorldNetDaily, where all debunked conspiracy theories and martyr complexes go to be grotesquely resurrected like Solomon Grundy envisioned by Lon Chaney Sr. Farah is not, in this article, talking about the National Day of Prayer, but is instead talking about his call for prayer and fasting on 9/11 this year (an entirely original idea that has never been done before ever by anyone) because that will “heal the nation”.
It’s II Chronicles 7:14…“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”… He’s waiting for His people who are called by His name to humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. Then and only then will He hear our cries, forgive our sin and heal our land.
In other words, He is waiting to perform a miracle for us if we put all our faith in Him and not in our own worldly works.
Emphasis above mine. As you can see, while cities like Dunedin and congregations like Kol Hadash are encouraging people to actual good works, to actually make the world a better place, we have con artists like Farah who actively disparage them, and encourage his followers to feel good about doing absolutely nothing. Not only doing absolutely nothing, but doing the same absolute nothing that has not actually created the paradise that Farah keeps saying is right around the bend if people just not eat for a day.
I should mention that this whole scheme is a way of building his email list.
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Regardless, I’m happy to see that there are people out there who are making a difference. I can’t seem to find who coined the phrase “Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer,” I know I read the name a few days ago, but I think it applies to Farah’s little stunt and to the efforts of Kol Hadash. If we’re going to make the world a better place, it needs to be through the work we do, through the effort we make, and through the kindnesses we show to one another.