It may surprise you, but this item is all I expect to say about Monday’s decisions upholding “legislative prayers.”
I have a very provincial attitude about prayer. I disliked being asked to give invocations because I was known as a religious person. Today, I think I would say “unless you’re willing to have me pray thus …
Thou who at every season and every hour, in Heaven and on earth art worshipped and glorified, O Christ God; long-suffering, merciful and compassionate; Who lovest the just and showest mercy upon the sinner; Who callest all to salvation through the promise of blessings to come. O Lord, in this hour receive our supplications, and direct our lives according to Thy commandments.
Sanctify our souls. Purify our bodies. Correct our minds; cleanse our thoughts; and deliver us from all tribulations, evil, and distress. Surround us with Thy holy angels; that, guided and guarded by them, we may attain to the unity of the faith, and unto the knowledge of Thine unapproachable glory. For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.
… you’d better get someone else. Only the King James Thee, Thou and associated verb forms are negotiable.
So I’m not a fan of public “civil religion” prayers. I don’t oppose them. I don’t welcome them, either. I suppose they maybe serve some salutary purpose, but I’m having trouble putting my finger on it.
For the record, I don’t think human equality depends on genetic indistinguishability on interchangeability of function. I would never have made the NBA, no matter how hard I tried, and I’m neither better nor worse for being a county seat lawyer instead. And vice-versa, I hasten to add.
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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)