Tuesday, May 20, 2014

God help us

   Just because something is a tradition doesn’t make it good. After all, slavery was a tradition. It has been a tradition to not let same-sex couples marry.
   Traditions can be downright bad, or they can at least hold us back. Unfortunately, the recent U.S Supreme Court ruling that government meetings can include specifically Christian prayers invoking not only God but “Our Lord Jesus Christ” allows such a tradition to continue. Indeed, in defending this position, Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the 5-4 majority, stated that such legislative prayer is deeply rooted in our history.
   The problem is that, as Justice Elena Kagan pointed out in her dissent, “our public institutions belongs no less to the Buddhist and Hindu than to the Methodist or Episcopalian. And as the Los Angeles Times editorializes, although Kennedy insisted that the ruling doesn’t authorize prayers that “denigrate nonbelievers or religious minorities,” a “guest chaplain who prays in Jesus’ name at a town meeting doesn’t have to threaten non-Christians with hellfire to make them feel like outsiders.” Things get all the more tricky when a Hindu or a nonbeliever comes to a meeting to seek the aid of their elected representatives.
   Here’s another reason why the tradition of legislative prayers aren’t for the best: With a prayer being offered to seek “the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” conservatives can say that they don’t need to help the poor and disenfranchised because Jesus and God will.


  1. I finally get it. Plus, Christians are always forgiven.

  2. very good points, my friend.

  3. I agree with the thought separation of church and state, whatever that means, as if we're following it to begin with. My problem is like your points, as to the necessity of combining beliefs to the whole group as if every soul is saved through Christianity. My pastor is always talking about how the fundamental rights of the believer is infringed upon, as in secular institutions, but to pray in public is and should be kept private, in my humble opinion. The fact we all have different beliefs should be respected as well as the rights to not offend, even if it takes a sheep among wolves.