Nearly 50 of you responded to my request for your opinions on the ongoing debate about public prayer.
It’s a subject that’s very much in the news. And my take in last week’s blog was that the clamor for public prayer – before government meetings, in public schools, on the gridiron at public universities – seemed to be more about some trying to establish the dominance of the majority religion, namely Christianity. (FYI: I’m Catholic.)
Here’s what some of you said:
- “As someone who is not ‘Christian,’ I feel strongly that the only public prayer that is talked about is Christian prayer. I realize many people fight for this because this is how they were raised and what they’re used to. However, the world is changing, and many people worship in a different way, to a different God (or Goddess), or chose to not worship at all. That is a reason why church and state should be separate.” – Laura Reich, Matthews.
- “The country is losing its identity enough without being concerned about these far-out (protests against) … innocent prayers before games and (at) school. This is still a Christian country. And I don’t believe Christians are trying to make Christianity a majority activity to the exclusion of other religions – they’re just standing up for themselves and (their) Christian activity.” – Charlie Seng, Lancaster, S.C.
- “As a (Jewish) teenager, it irked me when, at school functions, the prayer was concluded with ‘We pray in Jesus’ name.’ I believe there was no intentional slight, but just the fact that people didn't even consider there might be someone in the audience that made the use of ‘we’ incorrect, bothered me.” – Mark Selleck, Mineral Springs.
- “I thank God, yes God, that we have legal push-back to say to schools: ‘You will NOT keep our children from Bible reading. You will NOT keep our children from saying Merry Christmas.’" – Gerri (last name withheld), Charlotte.
- “Sadly, there are too many Christian leaders who would deny the diversity our democracy established in the First Amendment. Why can’t the public forum be opened with a simple moment of silence, so each in his own words and way may reflect on the concerns of the day?” – Barney Mulholland, Indian Trail.
- “Christians are not the bad guys here! Christians are not murdering innocent people around the world who do not believe as they do; Mormon missionaries are not strapping bombs to their bodies and Baptists are not desecrating religious symbols. Neither are Christians complaining about prayers in public!” – John Lane, Charlotte.
- “Public prayer is a wonderful way for religious zealots to show off their faux humility.” – Albert So, Charlotte.
- “I am Christian and it does not bother me that my children or grandchildren sit next to people who pray in public to another god. My family knows that they are praying to a false god and their prayers do not have any significance.” – Cathy Lefsky, Davidson.
-- Tim Funk