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A Non-sectarian Christian prayer?2 min read

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Tom Pryde has written a tragically humorous article critical of "non-sectarian" prayers – and while I am liberal egalitarian enough to actually perhaps agree with the removal of sectarian prayer from public events, I do enjoy Tom’s humor.

“Dear heavenly one that has a son who was murdered so that we could
have freedom, we ask that you would forgive us for our generic ideals
that seek the glorification of our institutions and dreams rather than
the reconciliation that you desire between yourself and those who have
suppressed the idea that you exist. We know that it was once acceptable
to actually speak of you, but we no longer want to offend anyone who
might think that you are something or someone other than you are, and
our government only endorses its idea of religious
expression. So if you don’t mind, we won’t actually mention who you
are, but we really want to ask you to help us while we try to have this
meeting on the behalf of a bunch of people who might (or might not)
actually believe in you for real.”

Although he does not explicity say so, it sounds like Tom is for the
other option – allowing representatives from the community make their
sectarian prayers, barring none.  I know the Satanists just can’t wait
to open the next City Council meeting…

Perhaps the city council is seeking to promote tolerance, but making
everything generic doesn’t actually accomplish this goal. How does it
make sense to try to promote tolerance by masking differences? ….

Prayer by an outside clergy person does not mean that the city council
endorses that religion, especially if they also encourage diversity and
seek to accurately reflect the religious makeup of their town. However,
if the council attempts to endorse only the generic religious
views of a mythical secular society, they end up becoming the
narrow-minded sectarians themselves, protecting some generic religion
that no one really believes.