Because it’s not about what they believe. It’s about making sure others know what they believe. It’s about promoting what they believe, and, for some, I have no doubt it’s about making others whose beliefs are different feel inferior.
I once received an email from a so-called Christian that was titled “Letter from A Concerned Teacher”. It read, “As a teacher I don’t just teach. I also have to be a career guidance counselor, a psychologist, a sympathizer, a referee, and a part-time parent. I have to do all that and you tell me I can’t pray in school?”
You and I both know the “teacher” wasn’t being prevented from praying–no one’s being prevented from praying–but for the author of that letter being told “you can’t make others conform to your religious beliefs” is the same as being told “you can’t have religious beliefs.”
I don’t understand the thinking here, with the court. How could it possibly be okay to enforce practiced religion within government meetings? If they are members of government praying then are they are forcing their religion on others. Like I said before, they are able to think prayers without making others witness it. We are now officially a theocratic-oligarchy.
Except, when cloaking your ceremony in a shroud of religious adoration, “What I Want” inevitably becomes “What God Demands.”
It’s because the basic tenet of American Christianity nowadays is: what would Jesus do? we’ll do the opposite.
There’s a new movement called NALT Christianity (Not All Like That). The fact that they have to distinguish themselves like that speaks volumes.
Someone should test out this ruling to see if religious freedom is threatened. While the council says their Christian prayers aloud, others in the audience should ramble on with whatever their particular beliefs are out loud. If they are booted by interfering with the prayer, then the government is endorsing a religion by making this prayer session a function of government and by not allowing others the freedom to practice their own beliefs in kind.
The fact that you have to explain what a NALT Christian is also speaks volumes. I realize it’s not in their nature to promote themselves, but it’s impossible to know whether NALT Christians really do represent the majority, which some of them claim, because, even if they do speak up, their voices are drowned out by those who are “like that”.
The religion of the person invited to give a prayer by the city council, specifically.
“The 5-4 decision rejected the idea that government-sponsored prayers violate the Constitution if officials regularly invite Christian clerics to offer the prayers.”
Of course they’re not going to invite anyone outside their own religion to give prayers - the city council are establishing their own religion as the officially presented one. This seems so blatantly unconstitutional that I can’t believe the court was fine with it.
God seems like he might be a little deaf. Why else would an omniscient deity require that we pray out loud? Should we shout, to make double-sure that he hears us?
The Supreme Court ruling states:
[The town’s] leaders maintained that a minister or layperson of any persuasion, including an atheist, could give the invocation. But nearly all of the congregations in town were Christian; and from 1999 to 2007, all of the participating ministers were too…After respondents complained that Christian themes pervaded the prayers, to the exclusion of citizens who did not share those beliefs,the town invited a Jewish layman and the chairman of the local Baha’i temple to deliver prayers. A Wiccan priestess who had read press reports about the prayer controversy requested, and was granted, an opportunity to give the invocation (pgs 2-3).
This is a fairly standard Madisonian position: The town’s not obligated to have legislative prayers, but if they do have them they must be open to all religions, even those giving sectarian prayers. My guess would be that length-based restrictions would be constitutional so long as they apply equally to all prayers, and the same would likely apply for someone who felt the need to consume alcohol while praying (or pray naked, etc). But if they’ve already had Baha’i, Jewish, and Wiccan prayers, sure, feel free to volunteer to do your prayer to Thor too. Doubt it’ll be a problem.
My year off before college I was a volunteer firefighter/EMT. The chaplain was constantly showing up to training events and ceremonies in a full firefighters dress uniform with officers bugles and a military chaplains cross doing an invocation in Jesus name and to officialy comfort whoever was affected in Jesus name when there was a DOA type incident. It always made me as a Jew uncomfortable but at the time didn’t want to rock the boat. He said when I approached in a neutral way asking about legality that he had a mission higher than the law and would happily take prison over toning down his ministry. He was popular and a good percentage of the majority Christians appreciated his reinforcement of their majority position. Nobody ever filed an official complaint, likely thanks to the same small town peer pressure that makes nice girls smoke marijuana until they die of an OD.
For some people; being told “you can’t make others conform to your religious beliefs” is the same as being told “you can’t have religious beliefs”.
Good. That means that an atheist can stand and talk for the same amount of time about how they don’t believe in a god. But since there aren’t leaders of nonbelievers, then just some average Joe can talk, right? Because at these meetings they were actually bringing in clergy, which, in essence, makes it a church. What is the point?
I believe that one is supposed to shoot a few rounds into the air to get its attention.
Suck it up atheists.
If you are clear minded enough to have thrown off the shackles of self delusion and peer pressure, then surely you are also recognise the growing need to actually fight religion.
Not in the way that one might fight a pig, in the mud.
But in a new, mud removing and pig defeating synergy of teflon-coated action!
So let’s hear no more of the live and let live attitude. These people are fucking crazy.
It’s worse than that: the old boy is omniscient and omnipotent. Your request is either already taken care of, or you are bugging the most powerful entity in (possibly outside of, reports vary) the universe to modify his eternal plan for your personal convenience.
It’s a good thing lighting bolts went out of style, no?
Well, if you believe no prayer was ever sincere, you certainly have a point.
Over the years, I’ve attended at least a couple of dozen township and borough meetings here in Lancaster County, PA. Without exception they’ve each been preceded–after the requisite hand-over-heart Pledge of Allegiance, natch–by prayer. And I don’t mean generic insipidities like, “Dear god, please grant our leaders wisdom,” but explicit in-your-face near-taunts, as in, “Jesus, we come before You here to praise and glorify Your name, and ask the blessings of Your Heavenly Father,” etc. Usually led by a local pastor. IME there’s rarely anything conciliatory or latitudinarian about this patter; it’s usually pretty straightforward evangelical boilerplate, an opportunity to fire an unsubtle f.u. at the unsaved citizenry.
I was shaking my head in agreement until I reached this point:
[quote=“dobby, post:31, topic:30285”]
Nobody ever filed an official complaint, likely thanks to the same small town peer pressure that makes nice girls smoke marijuana until they die of an OD.
[/quote] and then I said, “What?” Was this sarcasm, because I have never heard of anyone OD-ing on pot?