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bad idea

Bad idea:

A group of people wants to turn September 11th into God Bless America Day. (link via Amy).

Let me detail for them all the ways in which this idea is just wrong. (This is an actual email I sent to them).

To the founders of God Bless America Day,

I'm sure you think your idea is the greatest thing since Thanksgiving was invented, but I do have some questions for you, and some ideas for you to ponder. Let's take it from the top, shall we? (all quotes in italics are taken directly from their website)

A new holiday remembering all victims of terrorism

All victims? Then why call it god bless AMERICA day? Many victims of the World Trade Center disaster were not Americans. They came from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, just to name a few. Are you memorializing the victims of a tragedy, or the fact that this tragedy happened in your country?

But September 11th was not the first act of terrorism. Don't forget Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City, an act of terrorism perpetrated by an American on Americans. So when we ask god to bless America, does that include the American people who commit acts of terrorism?

And we will ask God to protect us from future acts of terrorism, too.

Personally, I don't think this will work. I'm sure that after the first World Trade Center bombing, and after Oklahoma City, there were thousands of people asking god to protect the country from future acts of terrorism. We see how that turned out. And are you asking god to just protect America from future acts of terrorism, or the world at large?

This is a day that is looking for a name. We should establish God Bless America Day before a bad nickname sticks. Whenever you hear someone clumsily refer to that day as "nine-one-one" or even "nine-eleven" you should jump right in with "Why don't we call it "God Bless America Day?"

Why does this day need a name? 9-11 is not really a nickname. It's the date it happened. If it happened on October 18, it would be referred to as 10-18. And honestly, if anyone ever jumps into my conversation with the phrase "why don't we call it god bless America day," I will tie them down to the nearest chair and make them listen to all the reasons why this is NOT a good idea.


Some people think there is no place for God in America. They will say that we can't have a holiday with the word "God" in its name, much less one that is observed as a national day of prayer.

See, the real question here is, which god are you talking about? The Christian god? The Roman Catholic god? The god prayed to by Hindus or Muslims or Wiccans or Jews? They are not all one and the same. There are thousands of different gods prayed to daily by the myriad of religious observers who are Americans.

I'm not saying there is no place for god in America. But there is no place for god in a nationally recognized holiday. What about the atheists and the agnostics and the ethical humanists and all the other people who do not believe in a god? Why create a memorial holiday that only applies to some Americans and not all?

God Bless America Day will remind everyone that we are not an all-powerful nation. We are vulnerable. We DO need God's help. We must ask God to bless America.

How exactly is god going to help us? Do you think that the people trapped inside the World Trade Center didn't pray fervently that they would get out alive? Did god bless them or help them? What makes you so righteous that you think if you slap god's name on a national holiday that he will suddenly cover America in his blessings? Do you realize how many people a day pray to god for help and don't get it? The starving children, the people dying of diseases, the homeless man huddled against the rain in a cardboard box, the child being beaten by his own parents? These people pray every day, too. They ask god to bless them. They ask for his help. They die.

And why just America? Why not ask god to bless Canada and Italy and Africa, too? Why do you think he would bless just one country? We are not the only nation to fall victim to terrorism. Does Israel ring a bell to you? Do you see them lobbying for a national day of prayer to bless their country?

Yes, we have been attacked. But with a new resolve, and with God's help, we will rise up together and defeat terrorism. We will bring all terrorists to justice and we will make America a safe place to live peaceful lives.

Ok then. Let's just get rid of our Armed Forces. Who needs weapons and the Army when god is fighting your war for you. Oh, just a thought. Do you think that maybe the people in Afghanistan are praying also? Perhaps they think god is going to help them, too. What a conundrum for god, then!

God Bless America Day will be different from Thanksgiving Day. And what's wrong with having TWO days of prayer?

I had no idea that Thanksgiving was a religious holiday. I thought it was a day of giving thanks, celebrated by all Americans, not just Americans who pray.

This is a bad idea all around. There are many Americans who do not pray, who do not believe in a god. There are many people who are American citizens but who have ties to other countries. Are they allowed to ask god to bless those countries, too?

I am not trying to deny your right to prayer. I am not denying that your god exists. I don't know the answer to that, I only know what I don't believe. If you honestly believe that prayer will help, by all means go and pray. But do not force your beliefs upon me in a national day of prayer to god. Do not ask the millions of people who practice different religions and beliefs than you to succumb to your ideas of how we should memorialize September 11th and the victims of that day. Do not throw a label on the day, or create a holiday around it. Do not use this act of violence as an impetus to get people to rally around your religion. God does not exist for all of us. And if he does exist, he is not a magician. Creating a holiday in his name will not cure what ails this world. Man made this mess, and only man can get us out of it.

Comments

Perhaps if it could be engineered for "America" (should that not be the USA?) to sneeze on the first anniversary of 9-11, say... firing a hell of a lot of phlegm across the Atlantic at its former allies... uh, I mean current allies... then the rest of us would agree to the name.

Ridiculous idea, as if people won't mourn in their own way and as if anyone is likely to forget the date or event. Giving it a name is one step away from God Bless America Greetings Cards, God Bless America Candy and God Bless America TV Specials.

I think your letter to them was really well-said. Do we need a day to remind us? I don't think anyone who lived that day nees to be told what it means. I still look out my living room window and see the skyline - I don't have to be told what happened and what was taken away.

God Bless America Day- yet another attempt by the narrow-minded Religious Right to force their version of "god" down out collective throats.

Yes, this was founded as a Christian nation, but what these folks seem to have conveniently ignored is that we've opened our doors to all sorts of people. Now, we may be a country that was founded on Christian principlies (love, faith, charity, et. al.), but we are no longer a "Christian" nation. Southern Baptists and their leaders aside, who is to say that Christianity is the superior religion? It may still be the "majority" religion, but it is now just another selection on the American smorgasbord. Bon appetit, y'all....

bravo!!! that was so well said.

just think how much $$$ hallmark would make with a new line of cards...

excellent retort michele...

Thank you for actually sending these people your response instead of just posting it on your blog. Someone needs to yank people like this back into reality.

Whatever happened to separation of church and state? Whatever happened to freedom of religion -- or freedom to have none, for that matter? As Jack said, this is just another example of the Christian Right trying to convert us all, because maybe they figure that if we all celebrate GBA Day, then we'll all see "The True Light."

Thank Jeebus you're on the case, Michele, or we'd all be doomed. I couldn't have said it better myself, my only problem is that your e-mail to them almost definitely fell on deaf ears.

What about "9-11's a Joke in Your Town" day?

I don't entirely agree with you, Michele, but you are the only person I know who can display sense and reason at six-thirty in the morning.

I think Jack and Keith ought to start a petition to quash the celebrations of Easter and Christmas - two more days when Christians try to bully Americans into believing.

Very well put together, Michele. And thanks for pointing "God Bless America" out as "Why just America?" That's what comes to my mind every time I hear the phrase. It's a very closed-minded thing to say.

On the one hand I'm surprised anyone could have such a terrible idea, on the other surprised it took so long. How about "holy fucking shit day"?

Miguel, that ROCKS. I'm going to use that from now on.

Mike, I'm not trying to stifle the fact that Christians ought to be allowed to celebrate their holidays. However, I would like to say that I'm a little put out by the lack of equality in this country where, as a Jew, I am given extra days off at Christmas which is a religious holiday, but if I want to go to Temple for the Jewish High Holy Days, I've been forced to use vacation time to take off from work.

Having said that, I have no problem with Christians celebrating their holidays. What I object to is people trying to impose religious significance on a day that has none, and trying to make everyone else in the country celebrate that religious significance whether they subscribe to it or not.

Fucking brilliant.

Couldn't possibly have said it better meself.

Thanks!

That's gotta be the best blog post I've seen today. Well said, Michele.

I know I started it, but I'd hate to have the direction of this discussion move from Michele's piece, to the Christian traditions in U.S. culture. You're point, Keith, is something for me to consider now that I understand it.

HyperWife pointed out while it wasn't only Americans killed in the WTC attacks, the deaths of people from other nations was coincidental. American people and the American economy were the specific target.

America is, deservedly, the global leader in wealth, power and democracy; that we (ie, other nations) happen to be in the WTC probably wasn't even a whisper of a thought to the men involved in the attacks.

You. Go. Girl.

Michele, you are absolutely brilliant.

There's nothing wrong with just calling it "9-11". That's when it happened. And sure as hell no one is ever going to forget about it.
My thoughts...if there just HAS to be a name, "Remembrance Day" is what it should be. A day where we bow our heads and remember (like we'll ever forget!), pray to whatever god we believe in (or just a moment of silence, and continue on. Americans aren't the only ones who've suffered.

Michele,
You rock the hizzouse.

applause

Right on, sister!

If there is a vote, I like Miguel's HFS Day.

Quick, somebody, grab holyfuckingshitday.com and start a national movement!

This is quite possibly one of the best written, well thought out, rational and most right on responses I have ever read. Kudos to you and your input. Absolutely fucking brilliant commentary, and I couold not agree with you more.

Great post. And a great response. I agree with your points - but moreover I'm just impressed that you presented them so well. So often, the discussions about terrorism, religion, church and state, etc. just disintegrate into finger-pointing and insult-hurling. Nice job.

Any response yet?

And yes, HFS Day gets my vote, too!!

thank you. thank you.

That was an EXCELLENT response.

Too many times have I seen 'God Bless America' on everything from bumper stickers to toilet paper since the attack. As a practicing Catholic (please, no priest jokes, I've hear them all), I can safely state that even I think this is a truly BAD IDEA.

The phrase, as comforting as it is to the many who believe in that deity, LOSES it's meaning when used too often...a nasty cycle, slowly elevating the phrase to catchphrase status, then mantra status, until it eventually is rejected by the populace.

Sort of like 'Where's the Beef?', the statement is used ad nauseum...until the real meaning is worn thin and forgotten in a half-ditched attempt to retain one's sanity. The same thing occurred in 1976, if any remember it (or want to).

Excellent response. Too bad it isn't really going to make too much difference in the long run. Unfortunately, the 'solitary voice in the wilderness' does eventually get drowned out when the majority begins shouting...especially when religion is involved. A good example of this is the Spanish Inquisition.

Unlike the majority, which has been WAITING for something like this for YEARS, and has the sheer NUMBERS gathered behind it for just such a major push as the ratification of this asinine idea, your group is splintered and unfocused.

You lack the numbers and the focus to prevent this thing from happening...that is, unless you start working now to prevent this. Even so, it still may be too late.

Reality bites sometimes.

So did the Spanish Inquisition.

Great post, Michele.

If Pearl Harbor day, D-Day and other significant dates in the history of armed conflict don't rate holiday status, it's unlikely that this bold event of terrorism merits one.

It will be remembered, probably throughout the forseeable future; but celebrated as a holiday - I don't think so.

Now, if there is ever a day when the global war on terror is declared a victory, that might rank on the same scale as Remembrance Day, and be granted holiday status!

Even here in the great bible state of Oklahoma they had enough sense not to turn april 19 into a religious holiday. To my knowledge, they didn't even make it a state holiday. Everyone just calls it the bombing. It needs no other explanation.

You are dead on - a day with this significance doesn't need a name. I fear the day when it does. Here is to never having to name terrorist attacks the way they name forest fires.

And to the proponents of this idea - God Bless America day IS a bad nickname. Hokey. Exclusive. A bumper sticker tag line. The "Let's Roll" of the bible thumpers.

I am all for people praying and finding strength in what they believe. I only respect those who can do that without disrespecting what others believe.

Michele, that was an amazing post. :D

Really Cool. Bravo.

Did I mention I like Holy Fucking Shit Day too....?

Uh...yeah! Me too!

Here's another vote for HFS day!

Completely well said!

Why not ask god to bless Canada and Italy and Africa, too? Why do you think he would bless just one country?

Er, just change this bit and it's pretty solid.

Your e-mail is very well written and has fear through out. Why are you so scared of God.Most of the time the word god is ok in all circles but when people are forced to think God they panic because they are fearful of eternity. Denie Him and He can't exist seems to be the idea. What if you are wrong and God is? I agree the idea of a remembrance day is of little value -it will be difficult to forget-we will remember. God does answer prayers of a righteous man with yes, no, and later. You see we arn't always ready to receive the answer God has for us so those that don't believe try to belittle Gods answers. Try this, say" God I don't understand about salvation but if you are and if you can come into my heart and save from my sin,Lord help me to believe." This is the only prayer God hears from a unbeliever. Once your soul is safe in the hands of God you are better able to understand Gods answers and involvement in your live. My prayer is that all will come to know the glory of God the Father and his son Jesus Christ.

I like HFS Day. Would it be wrong to do a button? And Michele, totally. If these folks think God is punishing us or will stop this from happening again, they're dreaming. It happened, the end.

And please don't decide that Christians have the corner on this day that affected all of us. They probably think they are open to all belief systems, but they mean Methodists, not the rest of us.

Well said. VERY well said!

Great sensible post!!!

Well put, Michele. I put a link to this on my site, right after the losing your rights site Miguel linked to. And AOL has a news article today about the FBI doing library records searches.

a-MEN!

Far more people die from heart disease due to poor diet and lung cancer caused by smoking than have died from terrorist acts... how about a holiday for fat chain-smokers?

Leave it to America to totally lose its shit once an extremely devastating criminal act misdiagnosed as a war for politic's sake finally happened within its borders.

This country has lost its shit and doesn't have the sense to wash its shoes off before trying to kick somebody's ass. We will slip and slide until we take a moment and get our shit straight instead of trotting out ribbons, concerts, Wheaties Boxes, and knee-jerk holidays.

Pray any time you want, America. Just don't do it while you're trying to drive... keep those hands at 10 and 2 or I swear I'll take your keys away and shove them somewhere that'll make it possible for you to clench and remotely open the trunk.

Please post their reply if they give you one!

Larry, please shut the fuck up.

The mail was extraordinarily well put. Bravo.

I wonder if the sponsors are also the signers of the petition to change the title of the second LOTR movie from "The Two Towers?" Sometimes ridicule works as well as rationality with these people.

Larry, very well put.

Just a word for the author of the original post...

Stop wasting your time trying to "debate" with your menial voice. You only proceed to make a fool of yourself.

My take on this proposal was to have the intent of having a day recognising that we should all stand together in rememberance for those in the Twin Towers, so we should call it - if anything at all beyond 9-11 - Unity Day. That would be my suggestion. It would cover all the bases: it works for those who want or need to mark the day in a special fashion, and it will work for those who recognise that it's a day about standing tall together in the face of terrorism - international or home grown. Does that work for all of you? Of course, having said all of that, I now see the only ones to not benefit from the label of Unity Day would be Hallmark. I just can't quite see how those bloodsuckers would make greeting cards out of this theme. But, I suppose if enough money is thrown into brainstorming the possibilites, it will happen sooner or later. Ugh. What a thought.

It's just a suggestion from an agnostic Canuck who doesn't really know how she fits into this discussion beyond this one idea.

Hey, very well-written post. I wrote something similar soon after Sept 11th in response to a similar article, and I have to say I totally agree with you. Anyway, isn't Independence Day pretty much God Bless America day anyway?

Mike: The difference between Easter and Christmas, and Sept 11th, is that Easter and Christmas are celebrations of a religious event, and therefore are religious holidays. Sept 11th may have been religiously motivated, but the actual event was a horrific loss of life that had nothing to do with religion, least of all Christianity.

Lisa: Good idea, but there's actually already a Rememberance Day (in the UK, at least) on the 11th of November. It commemorates every serviceman and woman to ever die in a war (whatever their nationality or religion).

"friend": Well, clearly her "menial" "debating" skills are no match for your comprehensive, well thought-out and maturely presented arguement...

bravo

Great post, Michele.
editorial $0.02: while Wicca is in fact tantamount to an organized religion, and do subscribe to some strict guidelines of goddess worship, most "pagans" / witches aren't and don't. But they're not really agnostic, either. (Tangent: the term pagan typically refers to all those who don't do the Judeo-Christian God thing, more precisely those that are polytheistic. That's a lot more folks than just the would-be woad wearing wand wavers. Gaia worshiping neo-hippies co-opting the word crack me up.)
Put me down for HFS day.

Fantastic post!

I'm all for the Holy Fucking Shit Day Idea. That is what went through everyones head when they first saw it anyway.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...true memorial holidays for such an event are not up to our generation. It's too soon for anything but pausing and reflecting and doing our best to make sure something like this never happens to our children again one day. Lord help us that we need yet another excuse to have a white sale at Macy's.

I think per capita America(read United States thereof) is blessed pretty heavily in comparison to some other countries, not naming other countries that also begin with A. Setting aside a day for it... i agree with the consensus. Holy fucking shit day it is!

Well done Michelle.

I've given some thought to whether or not 9-11 should be designated a holiday, and personally have come to the conclusion that it wouldn't be appropriate. Why honor an act of terrorism? The only other attack of this scale that happened on U.S. protected soil was the attack on Pearl Harbor, and we don't celebrate that day as a holiday.

Adding a religious aspect to any such holiday never entered my mind, and is of course completely inappropriate.

We have Memorial Day, which honors all U.S. citizens killed in war. As Pearl harbor precipitated our entry into World War II, the attack on the U.S. precipitated our entry into the War on Terrorism, so one could choose to remember the victims on that holiday.

I'm all for Holy Fucking Shit Day, too!

As for Larry: rejection of the idea of an omniscient/omnipotent God who allows atrocity to happen to innocent people isn't "fear", it's plain old rejection stemming from common sense. Please, this tsk-tsking is really unnecessary.

And "friend": the strength of your convictions, which allow you to post anonymously, are simply astounding. God hates cowards.

Yes! Holy Fucking Shit Day gets my vote.

Okay, I'll go register the domain name after lunch...

Thatís an interesting post, but I think we are making a mountain out of a molehill. Online petitions donít do much good. Besides, you canít even look at the petition. How do I know Iím not signing up for a spam list? (I guess Iíll just have prey to God and ask him to keep me spam free.) I doubt that this will become a national holiday. We have too many as it is.

I wanted to clarify something. The U.S. was never a "Christian" nation. Yes, some of our founders were in fact Christian but many were Deists.
Had the founders claimed this a Christian nation, they would've contradicted the First Amendment that they wrote. Thus, establishing a state sanctioned religion much like England.
If I'm not mistaken, that was one of the issues that spurred our revolution. (Along with unfair taxation, etcetera, etc.)
I could of course be wrong!

Larry: "Why are you so scared of God."

I can't speak for Michelle, but what I fear is those who would impose their version of God on others, whether via some National Holiday that doesn't reflect this entire nation, or by jihad. Religion is a personal choice, not something that can be imposed in any manner. What you read as fear, I believe is individual defiance, and it is often rooted in very individual beliefs and/or faith.

Just one that's different from yours.

"Friend": "Stop wasting your time trying to 'debate' with your menial voice. You only proceed to make a fool of yourself."

That's a very open and forgiving Christian attitude you have there. Before you accuse others of looking foolish, it's usually a good idea to check your mirror. "Debate" is one of the core roots of this country. Attempts to stifle debate, especially on religious grounds, are decidedly UnAmerican, in my opinion.

Such attempts are currently on view all over the Middle East, on behalf of Islam.

9-11 will always be an unnatural day of memory, and the memories are intensely individual. Attempts to mainstream, codify, or regulate those memories are doomed to fail.

You are SO right!! Will you please start a counter petition??

God can stay in his own house... Please put up an online petition opposing this.

Very well thought out post, I couldn't have put it better myself. I probably would have been a lot less polite, in truth. Considering their comments about "bad nicknames", I think they're a little late. The name's already been chosen for this day. Here, let me show you.

If I say the words "September 11th" to you, what's the first thing that pops into your head?

Nuff said.

"It's time to get back to an old-fashioned America. Like our grandparents had."

What if your grandparents never came to the United States?

OH, right. Those people don't count.

I think Miguel owes some of his props to "The Onion."

Television networks were dubbing their coverage of Sep. 11th things like: "America Under Attack," "America At War," or "War On Terrorism."

The Onion called their 'coverage' of Sep. 11th "Holy Fucking Shit: Attack on America" with great headlines such as "Hijackers Surprised To Find Selves In Hell" and "God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule".

Who the hell are you? Do you usually get this kind of traffic on your blog? WTF?

wow. nicely said.

I dunno if the Onion really owns "Holy Fucking Shit" though. I mean, within ten minutes of first reading about the towers on a board, the first thing out of my mouth was "holy fucking shit!"

Which is why I thought the Onion headline was so amusing.

Great idea, Lilly -

I like Unity Day, but not as anything official.

I think it is pretty criminal that the government closes down for christian holy days but my math teacher in college has to fight to take her jewish holy days off (the college threatened to fire her). The separation of christianity and government is so imperfect in this country as to be a standing joke.

And MightyLampchop is correct, but I still have christian friends that steadfastly maintain that the separation was never intended to mean from their vision of 'right'... In God We Trust.

Sigh.

Thank you so much for such a well-rounded, well-thought-out rebuttal. Forgive me if I steal pieces of it when I argue for the separation of church and state. Speaking as an atheist, I am very worried about the insistence on religion in every aspect of everyday life-and especially the hold that Christianity has on America. I was shocked, terrified, and distraught at the events of 9/11. My feelings were no less real and no less important because I don't believe in some mythical deity. And yet the fundamentalists were quick to throw blame on atheists, among others, for this human tragedy. I simply do not understand how their supposed 'loving god' could have punished innocents for the behavior of others. Does that make sense? 9/11 only reaffirmed my belief in the folly of religion. Sorry to get off-topic here. I apologize, and end this by saying once more-thank you for a wonderful article.

P.S. I vote for HFS day too!

[Ponders something meaningful to add]
The first thing that went through mu mind (and out of my mouth) was "Oh my god".

MY god. My interpretation of god.

Being from the UK it's good to see an American speaking up about this kinda thing.

"God bless America"? Why the hell should he/she/it? ;-)

HFS Day gets my vote though - can't see Hallmark carrying that one very far...

I find it amusing that the author of this extensively discussed essay sarcastically stated that he did not know that Thanksgiving was a religious holiday. I find this amusing because his sarcasm has backfired, as Thanksgiving is a religious holiday. It was established by Abraham Lincoln as a day to give thanks to God; and he meant the God of the Bible. So the implication of this is that all of the people on this posting who are opposed to the concept of a "God Bless America Day", must logically be opposed to Thanksgiving, since it was established under the same basical principle, a day for praying to the God of the Bible. That sure is a shame for all those aetheists who like turkey.

God had nothing to do with what happened on September 11.

he did not know that Thanksgiving was a religious holiday

That's she.

Thanksgiving may have religious origins, but for the most part people celebrate as a day to give thanks for life, for family, for whatever they are grateful for. You do not have to believe in God to be thankful for what you have in your life, nor to celebrate a day of thanks with your family and friends.

It is not like Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Christ and therefore is religion specific.

I am not opposed to Thanskgiving as a holiday because it can be recognized in your own way. It's not called "God Bless our Bounty" day or "Give thanks to God" day. Even athiests and agnostics can eat turkey and be thankful, too.

Just for the record, I hate turkey.

in chile (which is also america), coincidentally on sept 11 (1972) america (u.s.) helped bomb our presidential palace to oust our democratically elected president and set up one of the most brutal dictatorships "america" (the continent) has ever seen. america (the country i'm sure god wants nothing to do with) needs to simmer itself right down, and how's about shutting up, just for a few seconds, cause maybe god actually has something to say to it.

Good for you,

Finally someone has the guts to stand up and be cynical, skeptical, sarcastic and disrespectful over the internet. You have proven that giving people the power to project their opinions need not involve respect and a willingness to understand others, but can be petty and rude.

You have truly struck a blow for the pluralistic pointlessness to the existence of most of the people who have made comments above.

The world will be a much better place for your whining. We will finally stick it to those arrogant Christians who dare to suggest that God might actually exist outside of our own enormous minds and have an opinion about who He is. We will be able to dismiss, once and for all, the confusion that people feel after a tragedy strikes close to them, and call it idiocy.

What a victory you have struck for all the losers out there who feel too disempowered to shut their traps while someone else is trying to be positive.

I hope you all feel very satisfied now that you've had your lovely mutual appreciation session.

Newsflash: nobody cares what you think.

Okay, now I'm apologising for my last comment.

It was a knee-jerk response in anger, and none of it was fair.

Suffice to say, I don't entirely agree with your views.

However, I will admit that the mix of American nationalism and Christianity doesn't impress me, either.

If you really don't care what I think perhaps you shouldn't have taken the precious time out of your day to respond in such length.

Perhaps you are missing the point. First of all, I never said that the people who are running the site are Christians. They never specified which religion they are a part of.

I have plenty of respect and willingness to understand others. I respect your right to pray. I respect your right to honor your God and ask him to bless whomever you want him to bless. I just ask that you not try to expect every person in the nation to pray with you.

Maybe your god exists, maybe he doesn't. I have no proof either way. I am not trying to dismiss anyone, or the beliefs of anyone.

What I am trying to do is make the point that not all people want to set aside a day for god to bless on specific country. Talk about arrogance.

As for the "pluralistic pointlessness" to our existence, are you saying that the people who don't believe in god lead pointless lives? Those are big words for a person who won't even leave an email address so he can be contacted by the people he is insultin.

Perhaps no one may care what I think. Oh, except for the 75 people who left comments here. Thanks for showing that you care, too.

Drop me a line, David. We'll discuss my pointless existence and compare it to yours, ok?

I posted the above comment before your second comment showed up, David.

However, it all still stands, knee-jerk reaction or not.

Well said. As I read most of the comments here, I was reminded why my speech teacher in college said never pick religion as one of your topics. lol

I think a better idea for the christians to have come up with would have been "love thine enemies day". Now what part of their religious dogma is most forgotten and in need of reminderance on a date like 9.11? Is it to pray that america doesnt get pooch-screwed by other holy fanatics? no.
"love thine enemies day" would have been much better.

but theyre all naive fools, no matter how you cut the cake.

How about "Life as we knew it ended" that day. Because, it has.. for everyone.

Coming from Australia. I am amazed at how much emotion that not believing in "God" seems to get at politicians etc in America...this on top of the Pledge stuff today.

I could not have put it better myself, I believe you have managed to capture the feelings of the majority of people on this matter.

I live in England and some of our lot died there as well, to name it 'God Bless America' day would be an insult to all the other nations who were affected by this disaster.

Added to this you also hit the nail on the head for the religious issue why would I want the dogma of their god rammed down my throat? As a true agnostic I would find it offensive, as I imagine would the families of those who died who also come from a different religious background.

Thanks and once again great work

i totally agree!I can't even begin to believe people would actually think of doing that-it's just wrong on so many levels!...

I wonder if I might be allowed to voice my opinion on behalf of all the Christians out there, since so far I haven't noticed any in this comment thread. This might seem odd to some of you, since I gather that most of you seem to think that all Christians are narrow minded extremists, but I think God Bless America Day is a bad idea. First of all because most true Christians already pray regularly for God to help our country, and secondly, because poser Christians wouldn't use the day to pray for this anyway. So really, having a specific day for it isn't going change much. So I agree with a lot of what's being said on here. This idea, while its origins sound fairly sincere, would probably just end up being a vehicle for conservative politics. I used to be an aetheist, and I know how annoying Christians can be when they pick silly, Falwell-esque ways to try and get their message across. Maybe if Christians in this country would spend more time telling people about how God's love changed their lives instead of making up hokey holidays, people would turn to God instead of hating Christians. And in defense of my religion I must add that I doubt that many of you who trash Christianity have ever read any of the Bible. I'm really not trying to sound like a jerk, I just think it's reasable to ask you to read up a little bit on it and know what it says before you decide that you hate its message. So c'mon, just try reading a little bit of it. Even if you don't believe it, it's still a good read. And if nothing else, you'll have something to base your arguments on.

Well said, Michele.

And in defense of my religion I must add that I doubt that many of you who trash Christianity have ever read any of the Bible.

Will ten years of Catholic school do the trick? As a matter of fact, most atheists I know (myself included) know the Bible at least as well or better than the average Christian -- "defending your religion" by insulting others is hardly awe- or guilt-inspiring.

Lets make Everyone (christians and the HSF day supporters) and call it Jesus f*cking christ !! day.
---- I personally do not think the day deserves to be a holiday. It should be a day to remember and to mourn for those who were lost. I do not see the good in celebrating the Day. Maybe we would be able to light fireworks like on July 4. people could make a "killing" on selling little towers and remote planes that you can crash into the towers so they burn and collapse to the sound of woman crying and the wails of people jumping from 110 stories above the pavement..
Come to think of it. God has already blessed that day hasn't he. So many people are now with him. Of course their last few minutes with us were terrifying and, I suppose, filled with great pain as those poor people watched their flesh melt off there bones.

Catholic school, catechism when I wasn't in Catholic school and a couple of years of my adulthood spent in complete devotion to the church.

I think I know the bible pretty well.

I don't really hate the message. I hate the way the message has been interpreted over the years. Love thy neighbor, do unto others, etc. all sound real nice, but when the messengers of the religion don't practice those ideals, and when they denounce every person who does not think along the same lines as them, the message becomes somewhat distorted.

Very nice comments, Mr. Hoover. I do appreciate hearing from someone who is a true believer in their religion, but is willing to open their minds to things outside religion. As others have said, I, too, have read the bible, and the torah, and the koran, and studied other religions. It just all seems like folly, and a crutch. But to each their own, which is the one thing I sincerely hope this country retains.

By the way, sorry to have lost an atheist to the enemy. :) (just kidding!)

I've read the Bible as well. (Nineteen years of going to Sunday School every week, four years of church sponsered seminary classes in high school, and two years in college.)

I've also read bits of a translation of the Quran, bits of the Vedic texts, bits of the Apocrypha, some of Hammurabi and all of the Book of Mormon. I can bible bash with the best of them. :)

Actually speaking of the Bible, that brings up one of my arguments for why the words "Under God" should NOT be included in the Pledge. Many (not all) Christians are always arguing that the Bible is sorely misinterpreted. Whenever somebody brings up a verse that shows some barbaric behaviour or religious intolerance, they argue that the Bible was mistranslated and it doens't really mean X, it means Y. These same people seem to think that the occurence of "Under God" in the Pledge is a semantic blip on the horizon...but if the Bible can be so misinterpreted over the misuse or omission or inclusion of certain words, than I would argue that there may eventually come a time when the words "Under God" are interpreted to stand for monotheism.

And of course, as one of the justices recently announced, we use the pledge to attest to the values that our country holds dear: liberty, justice, and monotheism apparently.

I've digressed from the topic at hand though.....

Back to Holy Fucking Shit Day.

As a non-practicing Muslim who survived the WTC attacks on 9/11 (and who was pretty much fully converted to Atheism after the events of that day), I have to say that "Holy Fucking Shit Day" sums it up accurately.

Just wondering, has anyone established whether the "Godblessamericaday.com" thing is in fact sincere and we have not just all fallen for a good hoax? Cause that would be really funny.

Wow, I think this is the most comments I've ever read on a blog entry.

I have to say, I'm impressed with the critique of the "hoaky" holiday. I'd never heard of the proposed holiday before reading this entry and I'd say it falls right in with the cheesy "WWJD" campaign.

Like Mr. Hoover, I'm a follower of Christ. From my observation, lia is accurate in saying that most athiest know religious material better than those who subscribe to the various beliefs.

I'm not so impressed with a lot of the following comments. Most of the comments on this post don't really sound very intellectual though.. they sound more like a little mob yelling insults. Contrary to the opinion of many of the commentators, the entire Christian community is not full of "narrow-minded Religious Right" stereotypes (agh, I think I spelled that wrong..). In fact, the growing trend for Christians my age (18-25) is the opposite of narrow-mindedness. We have a good knowledge of other religions and world views (e.g. athiesm) and aren't interested in hoaky holidays like this.

On one other note, I'm sad to hear that Pfish has had to deal with Christians who dance around verses with the excuses of "misinterpreted" and "mistranslated." However, the Bible is a document like any other and must be treated with the same respect. The context of verses must be carefully examined in light of the fact that Western Culture is so vastly different than mid-Eastern cultures and the Bible contains some of the oldest records known to man. People wrote differently then and there and to be a good scholar of the Bible, you have to understand a lot of background issues.

Thanks for your time, I hope my comments are beneficial to someone.

I think the acronym says it all: G-BAD.

Bring on HFS Day!

I hate it when christians accuse people of not knowing the bible, when in fact, it is THEY who don't really know the bible. The vast majority of them simply have choice selections spoon-fed to them every Sunday. The bible is a confusing mass of contradictory insanity, written by madmen. I really love to read leviticus. Try reading that lovely book with an open mind. I'm sick of sugar-coated churchies ramming their beliefs down everyone's throat. This country founded on christian beliefs? Horse shit. It was founded on death and intolerance. Remember, these lovely "christians" considered people of color to be 1/3 human. At least they baptized the native babies before slitting their throats.

you know, it doesnt really come down to whether you use God, Buddah, Allah or whatever. There is always someone, somewhere who won't agree or doesn't believe what you believe.
The victims of any terrorist act anywhere in the world should be remembered and respected.
Although I do find it very typical for the people of America to want to only focus on themselves by calling the day "God Bless America Day." There were many different cultures and countrymen whose live were cut short that day. It just proves again the arogance and ignorance of the American people. The American Dream may be a nice idea to you all, but its unrealistic, you will never be able to have whatever you want, whenever you want it and don't think your country is any better than another, and the drop of a hat your government would start a war, war that not only involves you and your troops, but many other countries. STOP BEING SO DAMN SELFISH!!!

god will never bless amrica becouse amrican peopl
considring thim self above all nations

Great post, Kylee. I especially like the part where you DONT MAKE SENSE. Come on, who wouldnt want to have what they want, when they want it, how they want it. Thats not the American dream, thats everyones damn dream. A little fact that you may not know, however...9/11 happened, wait...in AMERICA. Duh. Of course it is natural for Americans to become defensive if something is planned for and executed against their country. Duh, again. 9/11 was specifically targeted against Americans and the American financial structure (symbolized by the WTC) Get over yourself and your image of Americans. Its people like you who spread the hate. And for the coward who didnt even post his or her name, whats up? And how the fuck do you know that all Americans see themselves above everyone else? Are you God? Uh, didnt think so. Like I said to Kylee, get over yourself, for real. Stop spreading the hate. And Bobby, wtf? The bible, written by madmen? Personally, I dont believe in the Bible as fact, but to say that its written by madmen...okay, someone must have a grudge. And I think his name is Bobby.

Ke, I'm not the one spreading hate, I'm a devoted Christian and don't believe in hate. All people are equal and deserve equal treatment, all i'm saying is that American people are taught arogance and made to think they are a superior race. They need a reality check to see that the whole world is a huge mess and that many people are suffering everyday. Terrorism isn't just targeted at the US, hello?! Bali! That was right on my door step, but you don't see the Australian people or anyone else declaring God Bless this and that day. America constantly tries to be something they are not, before we can destroy other countries, fix up our own. War is not the way to go people need to realise and accept they are no more or less than anyone else and that we have limitations. Do you really think wiping out whole groups of people will bring peace, by killing them all we are no better than they are. God gave life and only He can take it away however the human race will continue to think they're above God and destroy itself as it has done since time began.

Bobby, I think you have a very twisted view of Christians. So here is what we believe, not sugar coated or sweet...We believe in God, He created the world and you and me, We believe He had a son, Jesus Christ who was sent here to give us a second chance, to stop doing wrong, He took on the punishments we should be recieving right now. We believe that by accepting these things and that God exists today that we will go to heaven and we try to live our lives according to the way the Bible says. Simple isn't it. By the way, those "christians" you claim to have killed colored people, that, my friend is the KKK. They are not Christians, they worship Satan, it is nothing more than an evil, pagan cult who are out to destroy good. So I think you need to realise what we're on about, we're anything but perfect, we believe what we believe and have the right to do so. If you can prove to me that the Bible was written by madmen, I'd be amazed, you would be the first and only person to successfully do so in thousands of years.

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