Published: Tuesday, Oct. 8 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
"The town's policy allows anyone who asks to give a prayer to be
accommodated."If by "accommodated", they mean, treated
just like every other request to give a prayer" and if the
"town's policy" is actually followed, then I see no issue at all.
Sorry, but public meetings are secular, not religious. They shouldn't be
starting with a prayer. If you must pray about the meeting, do it at home
before you go.
I'll bet all of those prayers were offered in English. The opponents might
as well sue that other languages be accommodated.I thought the
article was wise in comparing listening to prayers with listening to council
members that you don't happen to agree with. Tolerance of "the
different" is a virtue.
"This case gives the court an opportunity to resoundingly reaffirm
religion's place in the public square, something sorely needed.".
Sorely needed? God needs you to openly display your loyalty before she will
grant your wishes/prayers? Or God has such a short attention span that it needs
you to pray every half hour or so to remember what you're asking for? I'm actually not being snarky, I really don't understand it.
Listen to the prayers offered in public. Really, and I mean seriously, how
often do you need to ask God to bless you with wisdom and the ability to do what
is right before it's just your responsibility?
The irony to this is that Jesus didn't stand up for praying in public--he
said people who do so already get their of appearing pious--true prayer should
happen in the closet.
The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and religion; those who think
that one does not apply to the other, are a threat to basic human rights.
Rights accrue to individuals first and foremost. Religion, on the other hand, is
often contrary to individual rights. It needs to be curtailed.
All religions should be equally welcome in the public square - or equally
unwelcome.Many comments on stories in this paper have shown that
there are those who think the only religion that should be accepted in the
public square is Christianity. A Legislator who offered a
secular/atheist prayer in Arizona was deeply criticized and several religious
individuals decided it didn't count as a prayer and had a do-over the next
day.As long as some groups are marginalized, there will be
controversy over prayers.Of course, I really liked the comment in
the story about listening as others pray. Anyone who has attended the opening
session of the Legislature in Utah knows the Legislators are too busy shaking
hands and making deals to listen to the prayer.
Can you just imagine if somebody dared to offer a Muslim prayer before one of
these meetings? There would be huge outcries about terrorists and Sharia law."Freedom of religion" only applies if you're a conservative
Curious if this would the opinion of DN if, say, in the aftermath of a
devastating hurricane, a public official wanted to hold a prayer vigil on the
Senate floor to Poseidon.After all it (the ocean) is his domain...
If a commercial business operation created an imaginary product that could not
be seen, or heard or felt is any way to prove its existence, would we not expect
our government to protect the unwary and unprotected citizens from its clutches?
Such is not the case with the product we know as religion and the
business operation of churches. Religions and their churches are the mega
giants of the world and dwarf mere political governments in size and power. And
in the case of America is able to prevent the people’s government from
interfering in their affairs. Aside from their dogma and imaginary
product churches are simply business operations and have the same goals as other
commercial business corporations. That of garnishing all the power and wealth
they can. While the product of religion is beneficial to the lives
of people in many cases and the public display of their advertising is harmless
it is well to note that more people have been murdered, enslaved and oppressed
under the banners of religion than for any other reason
I have lived in countries where religion is in the public square. I experienced
it in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. That does not need to be the case here.
The Deseret News wrote: "It is difficult to understand how a prayer . . .
could be considered as establishing a religion."Whenever anyone
writes on this subject and says establishing "a" religion, it is quite
clear that they do not have a strong grasp of the First Amendment. The First
Amendment says "an establishment of religion," not an establishment of
"a" religion. Big difference.An establishment of religion is
prayer or any other religious exercise. An establishment of "a" religion
is permitting only one religion or one religious tradition (such as
Christianity) to participate.
The US government has no right to shut religion out of the public square. The
govt. can only ensure that all religions have access to the public square. This
is guaranteed by the US Constitution.End of discussion.
@Contrariuswiser:"Can you just imagine if somebody dared to offer a
Muslim prayer before one of these meetings? There would be huge outcries about
terrorists and Sharia law."Freedom of religion" only applies
if you're a conservative Christian."I think that you are
extrapolating and in doing so your prejudices are poking out.The
ironic thing is that by suppressing Christianity in the name of suppressing
religion, cultural diversity is also being suppressed. It would be really cool
to have a Christian prayer one meeting, a Moslem prayer the next, a Hindu prayer
the next, a Wiccan prayer the next and maybe something related to "Queer
Spirituality" in another meeting. It would broaden the horizons of a lot of
There seems to be confusion between what "religious freedom in the public
square", and religion as part of a government event. They are not the same
thing. Not even close.Religious express in the public square is
doing just fine.... religion and its practice within government meetings is
what is really being debated.
IMO the government should not PROMOTE any specific religion, but they should
PROTECT the right of every citizen to worship any way they want to the hilt.Religion has so many benefits to individuals, families, and society in
general, that government should see a religious and moral citezenry as a HUGE
benefit to the country and the government (not as something that should be
allowed to be infringed, limited, or regulated by ANY group (including the
government).All religions I know teach obedience to the law (of the
land and their diety)... which is a point of synergy for government and
churches. All religions teach charity (which is another synergy). They teach
to love your fellow man and help them (instead of digging a pit for your
neighbor or coveting his stuff)... which is a life philosophy government and law
enforcement should be glad to have around.
@Tekaka --"I think that you are extrapolating and in doing so
your prejudices are poking out."And I think that you're
ignoring what the article actually says." It would be really
cool to have a Christian prayer one meeting, a Moslem prayer the next, a Hindu
prayer the next, a Wiccan prayer the next"This is **exactly**
what the lawsuit is about. Read the article. The plaintiffs are complaining
because THE PRAYERS ARE ALMOST ALWAYS CHRISTIAN."Two residents
of Greece sued, alleging the practice amounted to the establishment of a
religion because from 1999 to June 2010, all but four of these prayers were
offered by Christians."As I said -- "Freedom of
religion" only applies if you're a conservative Christian.
The ironic thing here is that Congress opens up each session with a prayer,
often given by the Federally employed Chaplain. If it is good enough for
Congress, why isn't it good enough for our city councils?To
"Contrariuserer" As the article pointed out, the prayers were offered by
the local church leaders. In other words, they chose people that represented
the community, and the fact that they did have some that were not offered by
Christians only shows that they did have representation that was probably
proportional to the number of non-Christians in their community.Tell
us what religion was being established by having Christians from different
religions offer prayers. (FYI Christianity is not a religion, it is a
classification for many religions)
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