Friday, May 7, 2010

The minority vs the majority in National Day of Prayer

I agree with President Barack Obama’s statement when he said: "I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God's continued guidance, grace, and protection as we meet the challenges before us."


I am not a scripture spewing hypocrite, who sees wrong in everyone except myself. I have flaws. I am not a regular churchgoer, nor do I tolerate anyone telling me that I disappoint God, because I do not give 10 percent of my income to the church. It's that flaw thing, again.

God knows my heart and mind better than I do; therefore, I trust him to know that I do not approve of preacher’s living the high life with the help of 10 percent offerings. Preachers with mega-churches declare that God wants them to build these huge houses of worship in his name.

There are times I have walked, talked and prayed to God. My spirit let me know that he listened. He did not need my help in solving my problem. I let it go. That’s my personal relationship with God. No preacher or Constitution can interfere with that relationship. My faith is such that nothing has replaced it.

I am sure everyone has heard a preacher say (especially true of TV evangelists): “God put this message on my heart to tell you.” The message is always related to monetary donations; how large they should be. Apparently God does not worshipers to be stingy. My attitude is: I have that same hot line to God and or Jesus. I can pick up the phone at any hour, any day and make the call.

God also gave me the precious gifts of discernment and choice. I try to use these gifts everyday. Slick talking preachers force me to use these gifts every time I listen to them. I will not try to spend that wooden nickel these preachers offer as an admittance fee into heaven.

When I attended elementary school I lead students in the Lord’s Prayer each morning. It never occurred to me, the teacher and my fellow classmates that our praying would some day be called into questions by the courts. It never occurred to us that we could not start the day with a prayer.

People pray all the time. We pray when there is no light in the tunnel of sorrow, grief, pain. For some of us prayer is the medicine we need to get through a day, especially when we feel hopeless and broken. So what is wrong with a National Day of Prayer? Who is so threatened that he or she cannot stand next to someone who prays to a different God? If I am a Christian and you are of the Muslim, Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish faith ... will the spirit we pray to weaken our faith? Weaken our belief?

And now a judge says the Constitution does not have a law calling for a day of prayer. A National Day of Prayer is not calling for a mandated, nationalized religion. No one is going to prison or be sentenced to death if he or she refuses to participate. This is America. Nonbelievers say that a government sanctioned national prayer day violates the First Amendment. In this particular instance, when the day concludes, so ends the national event until next year.

The First Amendment states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Screaming fire in a crowded theater is not freedom of speech. I guess a National Day of Prayer has become the fire in the crowed theater. The minority doused the flames, leaving the majority with smoke filled throats, unable to speak or pray freely.

No comments: