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When you Open the Door, You Must Let Them In September 17, 2009

Posted by Dindy in Church and State, Religion, Uncategorized.
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The Speaker of the House of the Pennsylvania Legislator, Keith McCall, has set up a controversy by denying Rev. Gerry Stoltzfoos, of the Freedom Valley Worship Center in Gettysburg, the right to say, “In Jesus name, Amen” at the end of his opening prayer.

I’m going to break with many Church State Separation advocates by stating here that if you invite someone to give a prayer, then it is bad form to regulate the subject of that prayer. If you invite a Christian to give a prayer, OF COURSE s/he is going to give a Christian prayer.

What I question is the practice of inviting people to give any type of prayer at the opening of a legislative session. Simply to do so is a violation of the separation of church and state. Sure, they can thrown their little bones to the “alternative” religions by inviting a Wiccan Priestess or a Medicine Man or some such, but in so doing, the practice of offering a prayer at the beginning of the meeting is shown to be little more than a hollow show of piety.

If members of the legislature are so concerned that their deity of choice guide their actions during the meeting, then let them bow their head or do whatever action required by their religion to bring the guidance of their deity upon their own actions. Bringing someone in to offer an invocation for the actions of the body as a whole is meaningless and ensures that no one is completely happy with whatever type of prayer is offered.

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