Friday, April 15, 2005

School Prayer, etc.

I received this the other day from a well-meaning friend. It's one of those things that's been forwarded 11,000 times...this week. It purports to be from Paul Harvey, but a lot of stuff that gets passed around with Harvey's name on it turns out to not be his. I haven't checked on this one, because, well, I don't care that much.

Anyways, here it is:
Paul Harvey & Prayer/Please Take Time to Read

Paul Harvey says: -

"I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.

I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution.

Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game.

So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.

"But it's a Christian prayer," some will argue. Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect-somebody chanting Hare Krishna? If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.

If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer. If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha. And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit. When in Rome..

"But what about the atheists?" is another argument. What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized.. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds.. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer! Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.

Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep.

Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying. God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well.........just sue me.

The silent majority has been silent too long. it's time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard, that the vast majority don't care what they want.. it is time the majority rules! It's time we tell them, you don't have to pray.. you don't have to say the pledge of allegiance, you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right.. but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away . we are fighting back.. and we WILL WIN!

God bless us one and all, especially those who denounce Him... God bless America, despite all her faults, she is still the greatest nation of all.....

God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God...

May 2005 be the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions.

Keep looking up..... In God WE Trust. If you agree with this, please pass it on. If not , delete.

And here's what I wrote back to my friend, slightly edited to preserve his anonymity:

An interesting piece...but... wonders if the Paul Harveys (and [a minister friend of ours who frequently opines about "returning" prayer to public schools]) of this world would be so quick to promote public prayer, prayer in schools, etc., if Christianity were not the dominant religion.

Make than "WHEN Christianity is no longer the dominant religion." It's been documented that, worldwide, the percentage of people who identify themselves as Christian has for some time been dropping, while the percentage identifying themselves as Muslim is growing. It's been predicted that by the mid- to late-21st century there will be more Muslims in the US than Christians. If "public prayer," then, means everyone rolls out a mat, faces east, and bangs his head on the floor, are we Christians, as the minority, going to be quite as enthusiastic about it? Or are we going to be crying that "our rights" are being violated by the majority--who quite reasonably point out that the United States is a Muslim nation and everyone else should just put up with it?

That's the main reason I'm opposed to prayer in public schools (and public-school activities): Someday the shoe will be on the other foot. "Do unto others," etc.

And now you know...the rest of the story!

PS: Don't stop sending me stuff just 'cause I sometimes argue with it--I like to have something to sharpen my teeth on now and then!!
I've come to believe that a fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives is the formers' ability/willingness to put themselves in other people's positions. Conservatives, for the most part, don't seem to care. Read Harvey's (or whoever's: I know at least a dozen people who could have voiced these thoughts) sentiments again--basically, "I want there to be a [Christian] prayer before the football game, so there should be. It won't hurt non-Christians to sit there quietly for a few seconds."


I can't help but think that these people would be the ones crying the loudest if positions were reversed. In fact, I know they would be--they're the same people who insist that the federal government should be subservient to the states, but want an amendment to the US Constitution to ban gay marriage and flag burning; they're the same people who rail against "activist judges" and then all but condone violence against those judges who effectively refused to be activists, refused to contravene the laws of Florida to "save" Terri Schiavo.

There's no reason to think they wouldn't be taking up arms against prayer in school if the prayer in question wasn't THEIR prayer.

It's all well and good for Harvey/whoever to "expect" to hear a Jewish prayer in Jerusalem. But would he be so sanguine about American public schools beginning the day with a non-Christian prayer?

As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for...