The National Day of Prayer celebrants gathered at City Hall (which represents government) the first Thursday of this month. Somewhat to my relief, they'd planned to transfer their program to the nearby public library if it rained, rather than to the city hall courtroom. In either case, I could not be there holding my sign aloft, insisting that not even the appearance of a collusion of religion with the State be tolerated.
God cleared up the skies for the event-an endorsement of sorts. Not really, but a natural phenomenon. Neither does declaring special days and engraving currency with "In God We Trust" constitute evidence that truth, integrity, and peace have arrived, though a Christian and Muslim 2,000 years have gone by. But, progress happens.
How? Flagrant racial segregation in this country, for example, would still be in place if African Americans had not been meeting for many months planning a move, when one of the women decided on her way home from work one day that she was too tired to give up her seat on the bus to a white man.
It was humans, too, who finally discovered only so recently as the late 1800s that germs cause sickness. And all the time God knew about germ theory, while his created and their children, century after century, lived their often brutish and shortened lives in abject suffering and dying.
Prayer may be a comfortable feeling, but civilization evolves and advances no matter. With minor regressions now and then, the world grows better over time, with little thanks to prayer - but to humans who think for themselves and act in spite of ridicule, ostracism, threats to family, imprisonment, torture, and in times past, being burned at the stake by the praying hands of religion.