Why can’t we have reason if we have prayer? What is so unreasonable about the idea of prayer? I ask because on the first Thursday of May, we have both a National Day of Prayer and a National Day of Reason.
In the early 1950s an Evangelical Movement swept through America, and people of faith call upon Congress and the President to proclaim a National Day of Prayer. As the movement grew, a young Evangelist led a serve of approximately 20,000 believers on the steps of the Capital in Washington DC on February 3, 1952. He called for Congress to act. His name was Billy Graham. Later that same year, Congress proclaimed a joint resolution calling for a National Day of Prayer to be observed on July 4, 1952.
Some joined with different faiths in prayer for our country. Some gathered in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples while others attended interdenominational events centered around meditation and prayer. Each year Americans have observed a Day of Prayer in their own way. The observation was moved from Independence Day to the first Thursday in May by then President Ronald Regan. While every President since Truman has made this same proclamation, the idea isn’t new.
- July 20, 1775 – The Continental Congress issued a proclamation that “a day of public humiliation, fasting and prayer” be observed.
- 1795 – George Washington proclaimed a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.
- May 9, 1798 – John Adams declared the day as “a day of solemn humility, fasting and prayer.”
- Marcy 3, 1883 – Abraham Lincoln signed a Congressional resolution in the midst of the Civil war which called for a day of fasting and prayer to be observed on April 30 of that same year.
Not to be overshadowed by all this unreasonable acts of faith, in 2003 those who did not recognize the existence of God or an established form of religion or faith, declared that the first Thursday of May is a National Day of Reason. They claim the day to be secular, a day for atheists and humanists. While not necessarily apposed to the concept of religion, they feel the official declaration of a National Day of Prayer is in violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Personally, I don’t see the harm in declaring a National Day of Prayer. Depending upon your interruption of the First Amendment, I don’t see an issue. To declare a National Day of Prayer does not establish a National Religion. It is no more mandatory than the secular National Day of Reason. To each their own. What does bother me about the National Day of Reason is that the organizers felt their day needed to be on the same day as the day of Prayer. Why? I was raised with the belief in respect, and the need to turns. Why not have Reason yesterday or tomorrow? What would be the harm to show respect and take turns? Just saying.
When I was a child, I thought when the sun broke through after a storm, and the light gently warmed your face, it was God’s assurances that life was good, that we all matter, and that His love would see us through.
Okay, lecture and opinions are done. This is a cooking blog after all. And nothing is better in my book that a wonderful meal enjoyed in the company of family.
Southern Smothered Pork Chops
1 White Onion
4 Garlic Cloves
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley
4 tablespoons Butter
4 tablespoons Flour
2 cups Beef Stock
8 oz Brown Mushrooms
4 thick Pork Chops
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Cooking Spray as needed
Fresh Parsley, garnish
Peel onion, cut from root to tip into quarters. Thinly slice each quarter, set aside. Peel and mince garlic, set aside. Clean, trim and slice mushrooms, set aside. Mince parsley, set aside.
Melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook onion and garlic in the butter, stirring occasionally, until is browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove onion and garlic and set aside.
Stir flour slowly into butter. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until flour is deep brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in stock. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and parsley. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and brown in the hot pan, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Add gravy mixture from the saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until tender and no longer pink in the centers, 30 to 40 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145 degrees.
While the chops simmer, snip additional parsley for garnish. Transfer pork chops to a serving platter. ladle with mushroom gravy and garnish with parsley. Serve and enjoy.
Perfect with Seasoned Baked Potatoes and Kitchen Cut Green Beans.