Tuesday, June 7, 2011

School Prayer

This was posted on my political blog about the school prayer in Texas. students can pray at graduation The school officials and a federal judge forbid the valedictorian from asking audience members to join in prayer or to bow their heads. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
overturned the lower court and granted an emergency appeal filed by the Medina Valley Independent School District.

Most people know that it is well established that public prayers are allowed if it is a student and not a school official leading the act.

As a minister, I have often been called on to lead public prayer. It has always made me uncomfortable and sometimes, I would suggest the group use one of their own members rather than a minister. I was not always comfortable even with my discomfort, as the whole issue is so complicated.

On some occasions when pressed, I would always acknowledge that we were aware that the founders of our country had prayed, giving Him the credit for their divine inspiration and that we were now following that tradition. One time, a Jewish member of the group even praised me for the best prayer he had ever heard under those circumstances.

Although I have never understood fully my uncomfortableness, I am now very aware that we are headed for some awkward moments in our near future. That day is when the leader says “let us pray”–Allahu Akbar. For Jews and Christians we are no longer then in a benign situation. The Scripture is clear: Deuteronomy 5:7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.

9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them,nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, 10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. Or, if not out of godly fear, then out of love, we can not bow. My guess is that Muslims face the same problem.

On the other hand, I have no sensitivity to the atheist who claimed he is offended and thus brought the law suit. If there is no god, then the valedictorian will be talking to the empty air. She will be followed by the guest speaker who will bloviate to empty air for an interminable time. Big whoo.

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