President Obama still plans to declare 6 May as a "National Day of Prayer in spite of the the ruling of Federal District Court in Wisconsin that a National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional (That ruling is being appealed).
So, whether or not the 1952 Congressionaly established National Day of Prayer is or is not Constitutional, how many Americans actually "pray?" And might this mean national days of prayer or national prayer breakfasts?
A recent report based on the Pew study, " U.S. Religious Landscape Survey," asked the question, "People practice their religion in different ways. Outside of attending religious services, do you pray several times a day, once a day, once a week, a few times a month, seldom, or never?"
Fifty-Eight percent of of all Americans say they pray at least once a day. What it really means to individuals "to pray" is not determined.
Women (66%) are more likely to pray than are men (49%).
There is a negative correlation between Income and Prayer: Those earning less than $30,000 a year are most likely to pray at least once a day (64%). As income increases, the percentage who pray decreases to a low of 48% for those earning $100,000 or more.
Categorized by religious identity, the percent who pray at least once a day ranges from 89% to a low of 22%.
About three-quarters or more of the following categories pray daily: Jehovah's Witnesses (89%), Mormons (82%), members of Historically Black Protestants (80%), Evangelical Protestants [mostly white] (78%), and Muslims (71%).
About forty to seventy percent of the following categories pray every day, including: Hindus (62%), Orthodox (E.g Greek, Russian) Christians (60%) [all above the national average of 58%], Catholics (58%), and Mainline Protestants (53%).
Those least likely to pray at least once a day include: Black Protestants (45%), Jews (26%) and Unaffiliated (22%).
This distribution is not very surprising. By and large all of the findings are pretty typical of sociological survey and polling data. Those who are aligned with conservative groups are the most likely to pray once a day or more often. Also, it is not a great surprise that the national average and the Catholic data are both 58% because Catholics are the single largest religious denomination in the U.S. at 23-26% of the entire U.S. population.
That twenty-two percent of the "Unaffiliated" pray is not surprising because a large percentage of them identify as "religious" but not Christian and even some Agnostics and Atheists pray.
It seems that U.S. citizens, by and large, will have no trouble with a "National Day of Prayer" or a "National Prayer Breakfast" along as appeal is made to a "generic God" or "Higher Power" rather than to a specific deity, such as "Jesus," "Allah," "Shiva," etc.
What do think? Is this really a non-issue? Or are there "issues" and implications? Leave a comment.