Why is it there’s a Prayer Invocation delivered by clergy at every presidential inauguration? In a secular society, where it’s best not to mingle religion and politics, invocations do nothing but cause controversy and disharmony. Who should give the prayer? What should they say? Should any and all religions be invited to give an invocation? And for what purpose?
Perhaps I’m overly sensitive to public prayer ceremonies because they stand contrary to my anti-theistic views. I think if one MUST pray, do so in private. Indeed, it is even a matter of scripture that should be honored. Jesus was not a fan of public displays of prayer, as it is written in Matthew, 6:6 – But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. So if we are indeed a Judeo-Christian Nation, why are we publicly mocking Jesus’ teachings by blatantly engaging in very public displays of prayer?
Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren delivered the invocation at the very same inauguration of President Obama where Chief Justice Roberts botched the oath of office delivery. However, after Rick Warren’s comments blaming the Aurora massacre on the teaching of evolution, I’d say he was the worst mistake of President Obama’s big day in 2009.
In addition to Warren, we have this delectable creature, Reverend Newcombe. Jerry Newcombe, Evangelical Leader, Says Only Christian Victims Of Colorado Shooting Going To Heaven. He uttered this completely made up nonsense:“If a Christian dies early, if a Christian dies young, it seems tragic, but really it is not tragic because they are going to a wonderful place.. on the other hand, if a person doesn’t know Jesus Christ.. if they knowingly rejected Jesus Christ, then, basically, they are going to a terrible place.” How compassionate you are, Jerry. If someone believes differently than you, they are condemned to eternal suffering, no matter how innocent they are? Nice god you worship! Preachers like these two monsters ought to stay quiet if they feel the need to offend victims and their families. These “preachers” are completely disgraceful!
Our own GOP candidate, Willard Romney offered his condolences by reading straight from some sort of Bible. Perhaps it was the Book of Mormon? Who knows? All I could tell you was he sounded like a religious leader and NOT a presidential candidate of the United States, where we have freedom of and from religion!
Prayer itself is not harmful per se, but using it to supplant science and medicine can be fatal. There was a case in 2009 in Wisconsin where a couple prayed for their undiagnosed diabetic daughter instead of taking her to a much needed hospital. The case will now be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States. I hope they are not let off as easy at the federal level as they were in Wisconsin.
Then there’s another sick story out of Texas where a three day-old infant was also prayed over when it fell ill. The infant was dead for fifteen hours before authorities were called. The family members were “church elders” which means they were, I guess, more connected to god?
The massive increases of whooping cough and other previously eradicated diseases has spiked in the last few years because parents cite religious reasons for not vaccinating children, which endangers ALL PEOPLE. There’s got to be a point where we treat prayer and private religious beliefs as private and completely leave them out of public politics and society. When there’s any kind of proof, scientific proof, prayer actually does any good, then we can bring it back on a limited basis. Since that’s not going to happen anytime soon, I say, leave your gods and prayers out of my government! They’re doing anything but helping.