At last, a speaker lamented taking public prayer from the schools!

I have told the leaders of membership organizations that I don't agree with their opening and closing meetings with prayer. When I know them personally, I point out that members can pray in church and wait for their response.

They, unable to take action without their organization's consent, make no commitment. I have other things to do so that's usually the last they see me at their meeting. If I go to another meeting, I very publicly enter after the opening prayer and walk around during the closing prayer.

Finally, during one lecture about the Constitution, the xian-oriented speaker lamented America's taking prayer out of schools and then invited questions.

During his talk he said he'd been in the Marines. I'd been in the Navy, and though I like to tease former Marines about their being suitable for throwing overboard, I didn't know him well enough to tease that way.

Not wanting to embarrass him publicly, I waited until I could talk with him privately and asked his response to Matthew's saying in 6:6 to pray in a closet.

He gestured as if I'd caught him in a mistake and said nothing.

He was a likable guy so I turned the conversation to where we had served and we parted in friendship.

Maybe, just maybe, I'd planted a doubt.

- - - - -

Have others of us had opportunities to question public prayer by adults?

Tags: prayer, public

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I reside in a mobile home community, and virtually every meeting of any kind held here is opened with prayer, and of course, it's Christian.  They also pledge the flag all the time.  The other day I attended an FMO meeting, and fortunately, they passed out a printed agenda so that I had a chance to step out before that nonsense.  These people just assume that everyone believes as they do, and I feel like an outcast among my neighbors.  As for pledging the flag; why do they think it has to be done over and over?  An oath of any kind taken sincerely should suffice the first time.  I'm thankful for this site where I can vent once in awhile, and know I won't be preached at.

The prayer may be the easier of the two issues. Many Xians cherry pick the bible, so speak one on one with the president and point out that Matthew 6:6 in the NT tells people to pray in a closet with the door closed. The reaction you get will tell you what to expect if you raise the issue in a meeting.

- - -

In the pledge issue you're dealing with jingoism, or super-patriotism. The US Supreme Court ruled during WW2 that the purpose of the pledge is to bring children into the political culture. In other prayer cases, the Court tends to protect children from involuntary prayer and tells adults to ignore it. Many conservative folk disrespect the Supreme Court so you might lose here. Take comfort with the thought to many elderly people are in second childhoods.

I feel your pain. I used to work for the Army at a school for foreign nationals who were 90% muslim. There would always be a convocation at the drop of a hat and the evangelical minister did the prayer in front of hundreds of muslims. It was downright freaky. I mentioned to the protocol people that maybe we should drop the prayers at convocations and the response was a blank stare in a naked emperor, elephant in the room fashion. 

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