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.