Skip to comments.Pray, Why Not?
Posted on 05/06/2014 9:11:55 AM PDT by Kaslin
The U.S. Supreme Court's latest public prayer decision reminds us what an increasingly terrible time our liberals have with God. To wit, they don't really want him around: well, certainly no more than necessary, and when he does show up, the less said about it, the better. Except that considerable numbers of Americans appear very much to want him around. How to make these obsessives take their obsessions discreetly out of sight? Such is the liberals' perplexity.
In Greece, New York, a suburb of Rochester, the town board has, since 1999, invited local religious leaders to open meetings with prayer. The preponderance of these leaders has been Christian (there have been no calls in Greece, apparently, for the blessings of Zeus). Two disconcerted locals sued; they wished the town to demote the Christian/Jewish God to a more generic status. A federal district court said Greece was doing just fine; an appeals court asserted the reverse; this week the Supreme Court agreed with Greece, finding, 5 to 4, in favor of what Justice Anthony Kennedy called "a practice that was accepted by the Framers and has withstood the scrutiny of time and political change."
Kennedy noted the town's felt need "to accommodate the spiritual needs of lawmakers." He traced precedents in the case back to the republic's earliest years. He said under town patronage God had heard not just from Christians but from a Jewish layman, a Baha'i member and, for heaven's sake, a Wiccan priestess. Greece worked at ecumenicity and inclusion: just not hard enough to suit the four liberal dissenters, namely, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Kagan spoke for the liberal bloc in a manner that could leave one wondering whether the liberal mind has more than an inch of cobwebby space to spare for an old-fashioned premise -- namely, that the God generally accredited with creation of the universe merits occasional public attention: at minimal, if any, cost to public unity.
Not so 's the court minority appears to believe. Kagan scoured America's constitutional flooring for chinks through which prejudice and rancor could emerge in the event of undue public coziness with God. What about the Muslim woman wanting to address the town board about a traffic signal? Would she feel somehow less a citizen, less a petitioner following the mention of Jesus' name? Kagan wasn't --she said -- in favor of shutting out prayer as prayer. But "we are a pluralistic people," and apparently that's the main thing going on here. The possibility for exclusion and division was ever on her mind.
What need for religion anyway? This is the question seemingly at the back of the court minority's mind. "When the citizens of this country approach their government, " wrote Kagan, "they do so only as Americans, not as members of one faith or another." Oh, really? Religious faith is a Sunday diversion? That's it? A disposition? A mental habit? A yellowing inheritance from Great-Grandma? Nothing to do with the way the mind -- far less the soul -- imposes purpose and meaning on life?
No wonder, if this is so, that the four naysayers in the Greece case seem to see prayer as a needless imposition on the patience of the non-prayerful. The minority's own account of reality is inward-looking: undisturbed by cosmic considerations; doubtful, perhaps, if such considerations exist at all.
The secularism of the Western cultural and political left -- its persistent indifference to religious faith -- may be its most conspicuous attribute. Having written off God for most worldly purposes, liberals can proceed to the construction of their own snug, secure, non-religious vision of human affairs and relationships. No unchangeable realities, no moral systems; just good old free-floating politics, founded on polls, warm thoughts and law review articles.
That the town board of Greece, New York, might be more in tune with reality than Justice Kagan and the high court's three other fans of public-arena secularism -- what a possibility! The proofs of prayer, at that, are said to be wondrous and sometimes totally unexpected.
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s latest public prayer decision reminds us what an increasingly terrible time our liberals have with God.”
Frowning from on high on atheism, abortion, homosexualty, promiscuity, drugs, dishonesty, covetousness and the expropriation of others’ property, the Supreme Being is pretty much the ultimate anti-Democrat.
No wonder they don’t want Him around.
"To begin to see what has gone wrong in the Town of Greece, consider several hypothetical scenarios in which sectarian prayertaken straight from this cases recordinfuses governmental activities. None involves, as this case does, a proceeding that could be characterized as a legislative session, but they are useful to elaborate some general principles. In each instance, assume (as was true in Greece) that the invocation is given pursuant to government policy and is representative of the prayers generally offered in the designated setting:
You are a party in a case going to trial; lets say you have filed suit against the government for violating one of your legal rights. The judge bangs his gavel to call the court to order, asks a minister to come to the front of the room, and instructs the 10 or so individuals present to rise for an opening prayer. The clergyman faces those in attendance and says: Lord, God of all creation, . . . . We acknowledge the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. We draw strength . . . from his resurrection at Easter. Jesus Christ, who took away the sins of the world, destroyed our death, through his dying and in his rising, he has restored our life. Blessed are you, who has raised up the Lord Jesus, you who will raise us, in our turn, and put us by His side. . . . Amen. App. 88a89a. The judge then asks your lawyer to begin the trial.
Its election day, and you head over to your local polling place to vote. As you and others wait to give your names and receive your ballots, an election official asks everyone there to join him in prayer. He says: We pray this [day] for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as [we vote] . . . . Lets just say the Our Father together. Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. . . . Id., at 56a. And after he concludes, he makes the sign of the cross, and appears to wait expectantly for you and the other prospective voters to do so too.
You are an immigrant attending a naturalization ceremony to finally become a citizen. The presiding official tells you and your fellow applicants that before administering the oath of allegiance, he would like a minister to pray for you and with you. The pastor steps to the front of the room, asks everyone to bow their heads, and recites: [F]ather, son, and Holy Spiritit is with a due sense of reverence and awe that we come before you [today] seeking your blessing . . .. You are . . . a wise God, oh Lord, . . . as evidenced even in the plan of redemption that is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We ask that you would give freely and abundantly wisdom to one and to all. . . in the name of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen."
It is not about the prayer, it is about the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. Every knee must bow to His name.
I agree that the name of Jesus is powerful.
However, "in the name of Jesus" does not mean repeating that line. While it can be used in such a way, it means twofold: (1) A prayer to Jesus, and (2) a prayer that aligns with the will of God, and therefore, is able to be supported by Jesus.
If you within your prayer, address our Lord Jesus, then you don't necessarily have to use the formulaic statement "in the name of Jesus." Jesus knows you were talking to Him.
And if some asks him to strike their neighbors dead in the next 10 minutes, then that's not very likely to be within the will of God. Therefore, it's not 'in the name of Jesus'. He couldn't sign His name to such a request.
(1) A prayer to Jesus, and (2) a prayer that aligns with the will of God,
We pray in the Spirit, so God can hear it;through the Son, God’s only One.
Yes, I agree with that.
Thats what Nebechednrzzer tried. Didn't work out too well.
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