Why not just have a minute of silence at the beginning of such municipal
meetings, during which time people could pray or not to the God of their own
choosing? With all of the issues that the LDS Church faces today, this would
seem to be a lesser battle as it is really about tradition and not religious
liberty. I can understand BYU wanting to open its meetings with prayer, yet I
was offended when a local LDS business owner wanted to open his staff meetings
with prayer, even assigning the duty to one of us staff members. There is a time
and a place for religious expression and just because tradition has allowed the
Christian (or Mormon, depending on where you live) majority to publicly mold God
in their own image doesn't mean they should be able to continue to do so.
Yet I recognize that to some their faith is based mostly on traditional rites
and practices and it would seem a violation of their beliefs to have to break
tradition to respect the beliefs of others in their communities. With greater
agency come greater accountability. Accept that being truly free means allowing
others the same right.
If you have to have a prayer before a public meeting starts, are you really
doing the state's business or are you acting as a church? Keep your gods
I've never understood the need for the religious to say prayers in public
situations like this. For believers, isn't prayer heard if it is said
silently? Didn't Jesus command that believers should lock themselves in
their closet and offer their sincere prayers, without making a public spectacle
of their piety? It seems to me that the intent of a prayer before a public
meeting is to endorse religion generally, and usually it is to endorse
Christianity. The intent is to make nonbelievers or non-Christians feel
unwelcome and different. It is a divisive practice that serves no positive
goal.I've seen the same thing in Utah. Many years ago I went
to a celebratory dinner at the University of Utah in which a number of faculty
members were being honored. Among them was a Jewish recipient of the
Distinguished Research Award. Before events began, we had to listen to a prayer
to Heavenly Father. Frankly, I was appalled. The University was simultaneously
honoring one of its most distinguished professors while at the same time telling
him he was not approved of, that he was not one of us.
From Mathew 6:"Beware of practicing your righteousness before
other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from
your Father who is in heaven.""Thus, when you give to the
needy, sound no trumpet before you [nor have your name inscribed on the marble
columns of the great, spacious buildings], as the hypocrites do in the
synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others.""But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your
right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.""And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to
stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners [and in the public
meetings], that they may be seen by others."Has it ever occurred
to believers to actually follow your own doctrines?
Geez, if I was picking who got to say prayers for this town, I would list which
religions were there and rotate them. I would like to hear a prayer from
another denomination. Basically it is there way of saying, "There are not
very many of you here, but you are welcome. Show us how you pray please.
It is spiritual warfare. Read the Declaration of Independence. Read the
Mayflower Charter. Read the Plymouth Charter then consider: 1 John
2:17-18 “17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who
does the will of God abides forever. 18 Little children, it is the last hour;
and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists
have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” 1 John 2:22
“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is
antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.” 1 John 4:3
“and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the
flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have
heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” If you
don't know you are at war, the enemy wins without firing a single shot.
Unfortunately as smart as the enemy is, most antichrist do not even know that
they are antichrist or even what it means.
Gee whiz, the agnostic cranks are out in full force. This case isn't about
whether or not religious people SHOULD pray before public meetings--it's
whether or not they CAN as allowed by law. As far as I can tell, freedom of
religion doesn't necessitate forcing all religious practices or references
out of the public sphere. There's no reason why the city can't make it
more fair by using non-denominational prayers or rotating through different
types of prayers. I wish people could just be nice to each other for a change
and not always be making others "offender[s] for a word" (Isaiah 29:21).
From Matthew 5:"Let your light so shine before men that they may
see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."Sounds like it has "occurred" to us believers "to actually follow
our own doctrines."
I belong to a religion that does not have silent prayers or a concept of god.
How are my rights as a citizen going to be protected? (Simple. Don't have
prayer period. It is not the government's job to pray. Heck, they have
enough problems doing their job. They need to stay out of religion entirely.)
@onejn416;What makes you think "god's will" is that you
pray in public meetings?
(this is the 3rd time! Somebody at the Deseret News has got to be kidding me for
not allowing what I wrote.) So, I will try once more, but every one is missing
out, one and all. It is all in fun while making a point. Anyway, here we go! Why
do I have listen to the athiests, who are otherwise quite arrogant about the
certainty of no God, become so sensitive about wanting religion to be booted
from the public square. They speak of 'weak' and 'clinging'
people of faith, then want the bully pulpit of government to stop an expression
of faith within that time honored tradition, whining and whimpering as they do
so. This sounds like someone that is insecure. Are they so insecure that they
can't live without demanding that the whole of government action from sea
to shining sea recognize they exist by fiat, dictum, or decree, and written in
stone and set in concrete footings in every household across the fruited plain!
How about giving an over 200 year tradition its due?
bandersen, I don't care if you hire a brass band and parade the whole town
every Saturday evening (if you can get a permit.) Just don't ask me (thru
the government) to pay a single nickle for it. You do understand the difference
I am getting at? It is only in your own small mind that any atheist is insecure.
They only thing I get insecure about is when zealots try to wrest control of the
government and do things that are clearly unconstitutional. Whatever you want to
do privately neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg so I do not care. Have at
it! I wouldn't ask you to pay to advance my religion so don't ask me
for cash to further yours. Be responsible for yourself.
To bandersen and all who express sentiments like "How about giving an over
200 year tradition its due", I have a few comments.First, I
agree that this is not a major issue. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my
leg. On the other hand, what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong.
This tradition is wrong. Almost as wrong as telling racist jokes at an
interracial wedding.At the very least, this is disrespectful to
those who don't share the majority religious view. If I were in Iran, I
wouldn't be surprised to have a meeting begin with an invocation of
Allah's blessing. As an Islamic Republic, their government does not value
religious liberty in the same way that we do. Many there may be quite
comfortable with the idea of forcing their religion onto others. Personally, I
think that is uncivilized.No it is not the end of the world to have
to listen to someone's prayer. But it does tell those who don't share
that religious viewpoint that they are second class citizens. And I would like
to think that America is more civilized than that.
@The Skeptical ChymistOther than having to listen to prayer (eeeek!
oh my gosh! eh gads! the world is ending! the government is collapsing! how can
I ever go on!?)how are you in any way a second class citizen?we are getting a lot of hyperbole (and feigned offense) from the extreme
left.The founders had prayer (and they wrote the constitution!),
public prayer is part of religion and religious worship, it in no way violates
the first amendment.To say everyone, and every state, every city
and community must publically practice leftest grey IS against the constitution
and against freedom and liberty.
onejn416 wrote:"It is spiritual warfare."Little
more needs to be said to understand why this militant attitude provokes
animosity and defensiveness from nonbelievers.End the war on
non-belief and we can live in peace!