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Oct. 12, 2001 The Voice of the Times praises return of faith in American life

Posted: Monday, October 15, 2001

In this time of great national and international crisis, it's no wonder that America at all levels of society is rediscovering something that has been missing in public life for all too many years. God is back -- in the stadiums of professional and college sports, in theaters and concert halls, in parks and playgrounds where people gather outdoors, in hotel conference rooms and convention halls. And yes, God is even back in American schools and classrooms.

In the wake of the terrible terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, in the stunning realization that some 5,000 lives were lost to evil acts by evil men, in the fear that rises in the worry that more attacks may come against innocent men, women and children, the people of America have turned to prayer.

In his somber address to the nation announcing the beginning of air strikes against terrorist facilities in Afghanistan, President George W. Bush concluded his remarks by saying: ''May God continue to bless America.''

And all over the land, at hundreds and thousands of public events, people have risen with fervor and joined voices in singing ''God Bless America.'' And proudly they have pledged their allegiance to the United States, ''one nation under God.''

In city after city, one newspaper account reported, students, teachers and administrators have prayed ''openly at assemblies, in classrooms and at sporting events, asking God for support and protection.''

The Washington Times noted, in a story earlier this week, that this ''spiritual revival -- coupled by massive displays of patriotism -- shows no sign of abating soon. School marquees boast God Bless America' and several local school boards have voted to revive pre-meeting prayers.''

The ACLU and other groups that long have opposed any show of religious feeling in public schools and other public places are all in a dither, of course.

But the tide of American feeling finally has turned. In a time of crisis, people naturally seek divine help.

This change is reflected even in actions by the U.S. Supreme Court, which just this week further advanced the place of prayer in our daily life. On Tuesday, it ordered the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a case in which the lower court refused to let organizers of a National Day of Prayer recover $340 in rental expenses charged when they staged a prayer rally in a public park in Tucson, Ariz. The city had not charged for other similar events, such as a gay pride picnic, a Hispanic arts fair and an Earth Day festival.

The 9th Circuit went too far, the high court said.

God is back. The spiritual revival is real. Thank God.

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