In 2010 we saw Secretary Gates fumble the history of The National Day of Prayer, Let’s review the 2011 event at the Pentagon.
On March 6, 2011, the Office of the Pentagon Chaplain (OPC) issued an executive summary explaining they would sponsor an emphasis on prayer during the week of May 2, 2011. The memo explained they would spend approximately $1,500 on “literature on prayer as selected by the various faith groups.” A grant would cover the expense and the budget would be divided in proportion to the faith group’s number of consistent participants. According to the purchase order requests, the money was used up before getting to the protestants. The money for the protestant books was requested from the pentagon budget. The Jewish group requested 100 copies of Rediscovering the Art of Jewish Prayer for $4/each. The Catholics requested 100 books for $3.99 each. The Protestants requested 400 copies of A Lifetime of Wisdom, which includes the chapter A Legacy of Prayer for $3.50 each. The Muslim group was the odd request, coming in at double the cost requesting 100 copies of Understanding Islam and the Muslims for $7.95 per copy. Not only is the Muslim request unusual in that it requests double the per participant cost, but they also made a request for a book targeting people outside their faith group. According to the Afterword, the purpose of this book is to “clarify what Islam truly is and what Muslims around the world actually believe.” Page one instructs the reader how to become a Muslim.
Speakers at this year’s event were Imam Talib Sharif of Masjid Muhammad for the Muslim group and Joni Eareckson Tada for the Protestants.