Thursday, November 1, 2007

commenting on comments on the IN prayer decision

cross-posted as a comment to Doug Masson's posting on this topic...

Well said, Doug!

I would add that Bauer is conflating Christianity as a cultural and religious phenomenon. Most/many self-identifying Christians are so, primarily, in a cultural sense.

I would also add that our politicians seem to have little sense of how the federal and state constitutions should constrain government activity, so why is it a shocker (or especially deplorable) in this context?

If we’re going to have prayer in the statehouse (for the sake of argument), perhaps most would agree that a mixture of reasonably tasteful prayers to Jesus, Allah, Yahweh, etc.– and especially to the god of civil religion (the majority religion)– would be ok.

All that said, your conclusion is the punchline. (And I loved that mental picture of a dog peeing on a tree!) What good is such vague and varied prayer? Perhaps, culturally, it helps promote religious pluralism. From a biblical worldview, it’s certainly not all that exciting. It’d be far better to have moments of silence– religiously, so people can open an important activity with prayer to the god of their choice (or not); and practically, so politicians can spend at least a moment in solitude and silence, hopefully settling their hearts and minds before conducting their business.


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