Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Time To Pray

OK...I received this in my e-mail today. This is not a usual thing for me, as most people who have my e-mail are like-minded enough with me not to share stuff like this, and those who are not thus like-minded tend to know better. This came from a lady I'm doing volunteer grantwriting for to help abandoned cats. So I give her the benefit of the doubt despite the opening line of the forwarded e-mail:
It is time to Pray!

Pray if you want to!
Well...duh. Nobody ever stopped you from praying, as I recall. Knock yourselves out.
CBS and Katie Couric et al must be in a panic and rushing to reassure the White House that this is not network policy -- re: Andy Rooney's commentary on prayer.
As it shouldn't be policy. There's a reason it's called the "establishment" clause....as in a widely-regarded, seemingly-official entity endorsing a religious position. Like, say, a major network weighing in to support one religious view. Or a government.
Folks, this is the year that we RE-TAKE AMERICA & CANADA
OK....who's "we" and what's to re-take? Also, please, leave Canada - where we have freedom of religious association on the legal books, thanks very much - out of it. That's one of the reasons I made the move North...
Keep this going around the globe. Read it and forward every time you receive it. We can't give up on this issue.
And here it comes in its full glory...
Andy Rooney and Prayer

Andy Rooney 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.
Yes. And I don't believe in the Tooth Fairy, but I'm not going to raid a 7-year-old's pillow for a Sacajawea dollar coin, and I think Freud is full of it but I'll happily entertain a defense of "penis envy." So, what's your point?
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.
I agree that someone's 30-second prayer before a football game doesn't endanger me. But someone spouting it over a loudspeaker, on the assumption of broad crowd assent, leading to an atmosphere that suggests hostility to anybody whose views may differ....well, that's the slippery slope.
But it's a Christian prayer, some will argue.
Damn straight.
Yes, and this is the United States of America and Canada, countries 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?
OK, first of all, there is no "United States of Canada," so wipe that right off your slate before you start. You want to badger the USA, fine. Don't meddle in other people's countries.

And who said that More was necessarily Better or Preferred? McDonald's claims X-billion served. That doesn't make their food wholesome, healthy or in any way "better." Might doesn't equal right, not even in the Yellow Pages.
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.
The larger question looms, though. Why should you expect to hear a prayer at ALL? At a sporting fixture? Over the loudspeakers? On the assumption of crowd approval? Seriously. Prayer is for religious services. Sporting events are for, well, sports.
When in Rome . . .
When in Rome...better cover up if you plan to go to the Vatican.
But what about the atheists? Is another argument.
Sure it is. They are equally citizens under the law. They have rights.
What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humour 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!
Let's turn the tables. Let's say that the person at the microphone is going to offer a paean to Zeus in ancient Greek. Would Andy and his fellow Christians be happy with Microphone Guy's fans saying "Just humour 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!"

They wouldn't. That is the litmus test for fairness in this issue...and it's what makes Andy so very, very wrong.
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.
Again, a short prayer doesn't shake the world's foundations. But people can pray all they want to, to whomever, as individuals. It doesn't have to be institutionalized, blazed across the Sony Jumbotron, amplified to the nines to the entire stadium.

What is it about the America-Is-ONLY-A-Christian-Nation crowd that demands the backup of the sound reinforcement stadium crew to get their message across? Keep it to yourself. And if you think that makes your prayers less powerful, then I'm sorry for you, because that diminishes your own convictions.
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.
Excuse me. I grew up in America, too. I never prayed before meals or bed. I have as much right to assert my beliefs as you have. You have no right to dictate yours to me, and I assume no right to dictate mine to you. Why do you persist in doing so, and insist that you have every right to do so? Why is it not enough for you to attend the church of your choice and observe whatever private religious practices you please, as I do? Why do you demand these broad-brush, public, sweeping assertions of a faith that you know damn well not everybody within earshot supports? Does the microphone make faith bigger? Because, if it does, seems to me it's a piss-poor faith to begin with.
God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well, just sue me.
I won't sue you. But I feel sorry for your point of view.
The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time we tell that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority doesn't care what they want. It is time that 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 honour Him. That is your right, and we will honour your right; but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back, and we WILL WIN!"
I'm quite sure that Jesus would approve of your kind, welcoming, tolerant posture.
God bless us one and all . . . Especially those who denounce Him, God bless America and Canada, despite all our faults, We are still the greatest nations of all. God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.
Oh, here we go. Again it's the exaltation of military service as the only calling that matters, the only cause that protects someone's faith. Are we really back in the time of the Crusades in this shabby way?

Clue for you: Nobody in Canada cares about being the "greatest nation." We're bigger than that. We don't have to be the popular guy swaggering around campus to feel good about ourselves. Don't try and make us that...no matter how much Stephen Harper tries to convince you that's who we are.
Let's make 2011 the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions. And our military forces come home from all the wars.
Silent majority, my ass! You lot have been running the dialogue now for decades, ever since the "I Found It!" bumper stickers and the rise of the so-called Moral Majority. It's time for saner voices than yours to set the terms. Nobody's stopping you from living by your own moral codes - please do! - but you have no right whatsoever to push them on the whole of society, so pack up your Bibles and scoot! Solicitors not welcome.

Though I hope you're right about the war part.
Keep looking up.
If you're waiting for that "Rapture" thing, then you'd better be prepared to wait quite a while and invest in plenty of batteries for your portable radio.
If you agree with this, please pass it on. If not delete it..
Consider it deleted after this post. What a pile of poo.


Count Istvan said...

These nut cases they are the silent majority even though the things they believe in are always around 25% in the polls. Hell McCain Supports...well Palin supporters believe they were the silent majority after they lost the election by almost 10 million votes.

RalphyFan said...

Thing is, Count, I don't believe Rooney when he says you don't have to pray, or say the Pledge, or be a churchgoer... because at the end of the road these things are always about control, of one group by another, and there is going to be an expectation not of just put-up-and-shut-up but of conformity.

You'd think this crowd never read Lord of the Flies in middle school. Well, maybe they slept through it...

RalphyFan said...

Also, Count, the blog seems not to be accepting Name/URL posts any more....

Count Istvan said...

I don't know why the blog isn't excepting those anymore.

RalphyFan said...

I don't get it either, Count. Tried to figure it out in the back end, without success.

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