Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Legislative Prayer

Imagine my delight at hearing that a federal judge ruled today that the Indiana House of Representatives can no longer have open prayer during a session which identifies any specific diety or promulgates any particular religion. All prayers must be generic. Of course all of the zealous christians complained loudly to the media, saying that it was a terrible ruling; that it is a rueful step backwards.

Hardly! It is one of the few steps forward that has occured over the last several years. Christians believe that since they are in the majority, they have the right - even the duty - to shove their beliefs down everybody's throat. It doesn't seem to matter to christians that there are, in fact, people of other faiths, even a few of no faith, involved in government, business and other worldly pursuits who do not wish to be forced into being a party to a blatantly christian celebration.

There are only a few such victories for godless folks such as myself in this oppressively religious world. It is, of course, only a marginal victory. The judge could have (and in my opinion should have) ruled that no prayer should be part of any governmental gathering. But, alas, it was not to be. It's all so ludicrous.

I have watched a good deal of sports over the last several weeks (Go Colts!) In almost any game, at any level, be it football, basketball, or whatever, there is usually at least one or more players who, during the course of the game, stop and cross themselves, or say a quick prayer. (God, bless you and thank you so much for this touchdown.) This reminds me of a story I heard on NPR's Fresh Air a few years ago. Sadly, I can't remember who Terry Gross' guest was, except to say that he was, I believe, a writer. He stated that he did not believe in god. She asked how he came to this (anti)epiphany. He answered by recounting an evening of watching the Tony awards on the tube. He took notice of a number of the winners, in their acceptance speeches, including god in their thank you's - ("Thanks to the producers, the director, my fellow actors, my family, all you little people, and, of course, god for allowing me to be so wonderful.") He continued with the observation that - "about the Holacaust god had nothing to say, but he involves himself with the Tonys."

That puts it into perspective for me. Kinda makes discerning "god's plan" difficult, doesn't it?

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