Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rumors and Such-The National Day of Prayer

Do you remember when you were in school (or this may still happen in the workplace now for that matter) and you heard a rumor about how so and so and so and so did this and that last weekend.  Or how so and so had a third nipple or something really outrageous like that?

Do you remember how those rumors got started?  Sometimes the rumor was based on a little snippet of fact and then just kinda got blown out of proportion.  Or sometimes it was a made up story by someone who didn't like the person who the rumor was about.  But no matter how the rumor was started it ended up as either a lie or only a half truth.

Unfortunately I have noticed this happening a lot lately now that I have started paying more attention to the news and politics.  There has been a recent rumor going around about Obama canceling the National Day of Prayer.  This, I believe, is one of those situations where a rumor was spread based on a snippet of fact by people who don't care for the person this rumor was started about.

I have seen a lot of posts on Facebook by many different people about how the president has canceled this years National Day of Prayer and how disgusted they are with him and so on and so forth.  Now I am all about people having their own opinions and if it was in fact true that Obama cancelled the National Day of Prayer I would have no problem with these opinions.

But, the fact of the matter is that Obama did not cancel the National Day of Prayer.  He is only choosing not to hold the service that was normally held during the Bush presidency.  But guess what...he did the same thing last year.  Why is it now that this rumor is getting spread?  And why is it now that people are getting to mad about it?  Because of the rumor mill of Facebook and Twitter.  I asked a couple of people where they heard that from (because when I first saw it I knew nothing about so I wanted to learn more) and they all said that they either saw it on another friends FB status or the gave me a link to websites that I do not know as a legitimate news source.

So I took matters into my own hands to find the facts.  My general rule of thumb is that if I don't know the source then I don't believe it until I can find it on a legitimate news sources website.  So I did some searching and this is what I found.

CBS News
This article talks about how a judge in Wisconsin ruled that the National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional but that Obama will recognize it anyway.  It then goes on to say that the Obama administration has argued that it was not unconstitutional "because it simply acknowledged the role of religion in the United States."  They say that Obama will still issues the proclamation like he did last year but will not hold the service.  At the end it adds that a rumor about Obama canceling the National Day of Prayer has gone viral on the internet.

USAToday
This article starts of by mentioning how over the last 24 hours "have been overwhelmed...with rumors and accusations that President Obama  has canceled the National Day of Prayer."  It then says that the Obama administration has confirmed by both Twitter and an email to the Associated Press that Obama still plans to recognize the day regardless of the ruling in Wisconsin.

Fox News
That's right, you read it correctly.  I even went to Fox News to see what they had to say about.  I figured with them being as conservative as they are that if Obama had indeed canceled the National Day of Prayer they would be jumping all over it.  Well guess what their information was the same as the first two I posted.

I found many other articles on legitimate news sources all saying the same thing.  The federal judge in Wisconsin ruled it unconstitutional, Obama will be observing it anyway.  Obama himself did not rule it unconstitutional nor did he "cancel" it.

My point to this whole post is not to argue whether the National Day of Prayer is constitutional or not.  We all have our opinions and that's great.  You can be angry and disagree with the ruling from the judge in Wisconsin and that's fine.  You can worry that because of this ruling the National Day of Prayer may actually not be allowed if it goes to a higher court.  I would actually be right there with you. 

My point to this is just to make people aware of how things can turn out if you don't get the facts before believing something.