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President Lincoln, when he proclaimed April 30, 1863 a National Day of Prayer and Fasting, deepened a custom that our first President initiated. President Lincoln’s purpose was to petition God to heal our divided and suffering country.
Thomas Jefferson similarly requested his fellow Virginians to participate in a Day of Prayer and Fasting in solidarity for the citizens of Boston at the time of the Tea Party, “to give us one heart and one Mind firmly to oppose, by all just and proper means, every injury to American Rights.”
Our country today is in desperate need to become one in heart and mind to oppose the deep injuries of Sandy Hook, Aurora, Colo. and the many other victim communities of individual gun violence.
These shooters are certainly mentally ill as individuals. However, they are a product of our society and are not unique, as demonstrated by the frequency of such events.
Could these actions be related to the nation’s acceptance and encouragement of violence as entertainment and a solution to problems?
Perhaps it is time for a new day of prayer and fasting: Peace Plus. This day can be a fast from violence of any kind: violent electronic games, violent language, violent movies or books, violent sports, personal infighting, on and on.
Each person would have to look into their own heart to recognize how violence is expressed in their life. One might say, if I have to ask the question, “is it violent?”, or defend it, “that’s not violent” then the activity is a candidate for abstention.
Peace Plus would be a tremendous demonstration of national support to the families of Sandy Hook. It would put the Power of Peace into the hands of our communities.
Thank you very much for considering this request.