The first Thursday of May marks National Day of Prayer– which has been around in some form since 1775, but was officially established by Congress in 1952 as a day when “the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.” Begun as a day meant to honor the power of intentional introspection for people of all faiths–and even those of non-faith–the day is often co-opted by the religious right to push forth their political agenda which unfailingly centers an evangelical version of Christianity.
The religious right using faith as a political tactic to control the masses is nothing new.
But this National Day of Prayer comes just days after the leaked draft of the Supreme Court majority opinion was released that suggests the U.S. Supreme Court intends to strike down Roe v. Wade. Once again, we are seeing how the far right’s boundless cruelty inflicts harm upon the communities that people of faith are meant to care for.
Texas Freedom Network’s Just Texas proclaims that ALL people, regardless of faith, gender, sexuality, race, immigration status, or financial resources are beloved and worthy of human rights and bodily autonomy.
In honor of this sacred day, we want to share the following quote from Reverend Remington Olivia Johnson, an Austin-based clergy member and activist who has testified in partnership with Just Texas to stop a number of anti-LGBTQ bills at the Texas Legislature, as well as partnered with Texas Freedom Network to pen an Op-Ed in response to Texas’ recent attempts to classify gender-affirming care for transgender youth as child abuse.
“Prayer springs us forth from quiet introspection to purposeful action. In prayer, we are moved to respond to calls for justice, and today, these calls seem endless and overwhelming. Yet again, the courts are attempting to regulate the sacredness of our bodily autonomy, and they are burdening us with the weight of their efforts to restrict the right to choose our own futures. As people of faith, we cannot linger a moment longer. Our prayer, our faith, and that sacred light burning within us all call us into the public square to refuse to be subjugated. We are blessed that abortions exist and can occur safely. We are blessed that we know who we are and what we need. We are blessed that transgender children and adults shine with divine splendor. We are blessed that the world is bigger and brighter and more diverse than we could ever imagine. May we know that we are ALL worthy of care, safety, and love. We are all connected–when the dignity of our community is threatened, we are called to respond with love, action, and unity for justice.” – Reverend Remington Olivia Johnson
On this National Day of Prayer, we must show the religious right and the politicians who placate this loud minority that our commitment to creating a just world is as mighty and unyielding as our faith.