The changes to the Ritual and Missual were made in April of 2012 and that is when the questions rose. Apparently some members were upset over the new changes.
The FOX report claimed that they sought a statement from the office of the President General of the Daughters of the American Revolution and they did not respond. FOX repeated the claim in their updated report. It is not known whether or not Todd Starnes of FOX sought information from the official web sites of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The response from the Daughters of the American Revolution headquarters came the day the FOX report went viral.
In an email response, DAR Public Relations officer Bren Landon stated, “I personally received a voice message and email from FOX on the afternoon of Jan. 2 but I was flying back to DC after the holidays and was unable to access my messages. I do believe that they should have received my out of office voice mail and email messages alerting them that I was out of the office and unable to get back to them until I was back in the office. There has been no indication that, in my absence, FOX News tried to reach the President General or anyone else at the organization by calling the main DAR headquarters phone number or the President General’s Office.”
With the attack on Christianity in this country and the recent vote of the Democratic party to remove God from it’s material, it is not hard to presume yet another assault on Christianity without hearing the other side. [For example]
In an official press release of January 3rd, the NSDAR stated, “NSDAR is disappointed to learn that false and incorrect information has recently been circulated regarding the 2011 edition of the DAR Ritual and Missal and the use of the name Jesus Christ in prayers and other ceremonial events of the National Society. The purpose of this message is to clarify NSDAR’s position on the matter for anyone who has not previously viewed the blogs written by President General Merry Ann T. Wright.”
“First, the question was posed by a national media group that if the motto of DAR is God, Home and Country, then ‘…why is DAR taking out references to God…’ in its printed material,” the statement said. ” Nothing could be further from the truth.” The 113 page Ritual and Missual contains over 300 references to God.
President General Merry Ann T. Wright points out in an April 2012 entry on her blog, “Our DAR Motto was originally: ‘Home and Country’ and it wasn’t until 1978 that it was revised to be ‘God, Home and Country’.”
The official statement said, “Second, the allegation has been leveled that Chaplains and others have been told not to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Again, this is an absolute falsehood. Each Chaplain and other officers are strongly encouraged to create their own prayers into which they may insert the name of Jesus Christ as deemed appropriate for the occasion and the audience.”
President General Wright stated emphatically, “We have in no way mandated that one must or must not use the name of Jesus Christ in the prayers. In our DAR rituals, prayers are included. Most of the prayers begin with ‘Our Father’ or ‘Almighty God’ and end ‘in Your Holy Name.’ Christ’s prayer, known as The Lord’s Prayer, the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, Easter and Passover prayers and prayers for other religious observances are included.”
In a May 2012 update on the blog of the President General, Merry Wright commented, “Freedom of religion and expression are at the heart of the founding of our Nation and are ingrained in the hearts of all members as we strive to honor and remember our Patriots who secured our liberty with their blood, their fortunes and their lives. Nowhere is that more clear than in the First Amendment to our Constitution where the framers said: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .’ The Patriots who wrote that amendment started their meetings with a prayer, as did the Congress which incorporated NSDAR in 1896 and every session of the U.S. House and Senate since then.”
That very statement, of course, is the reason Christians question why they are excluded from government venues and schools.
She also added some comments from members of the Daughters of the American Revolution:
“Each person has a right to their religious preferences and that is just what our forefathers did when they signed the Constitution. . . that is why we honor these ancestors . . . because they fought for the right of religious freedoms.”
“I am so proud of your statement . . . . ‘Tradition is a guide and not a jailer’ -W. Somerset Maugham”
“I fully support your efforts to make the NSDAR Ritual inclusive and hope others will pray about there [sic] opposition to the new handbook.”
Some of the most recent comments on the FOX update:
I am a DAR member who is very upset about this! NAME the “few” that have changed the missal and Ritual book. Let’s put the heat on them to face the 170,000 members. They don’t speak for me. If the ones who are taking Christ out of DAR then the Christians need to leave…. how many do you think will still be there? Lee Reith, North Carolina Chapter.—Wilma Lee Hostetter Reith
Rewriting history, yet again! I’m seeing a double standard here ~ intolerance, but not from Christians!—Kathy Stuart Wilson
I don’t understand why people who don’t like an organizations beliefs feel they have to change it rather than create their own organization reflecting their own beliefs. On second thought, it seems to be an anti-christian strategy, infiltrate “Christian” organizations and change them from the inside. “Wolves in sheep’s clothing.” is how the Apostle Paul put it. The Boy Scouts of America is another example of the same thing happening.—Erica Gautreaux Babin
Some of these may not be from DAR members.
The NSDAR has provided copies of the Ritual and Missals from 1903 to today in PDF online.