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or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

By ProtiusX ·
My Dad sent this to me and I don't really care if Paul Harvey actually said it or not. I agree:
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.

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by Montgomery Gator In reply to or prohibiting the free e ...
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But why?

by neilb@uk In reply to or prohibiting the free e ...

Why would anyone want to say a prayer before a football game? Pray for what? A fair referee? Good weather? How absolutely trivial. Freedom from injured players? Better. The safety of the troops in Iraq? An end to violence? Much more worthwhile but I presume you're already doing that in church.

What do you want to pray for? Sample prayer, please, so that I can see whether I'd be upset.

We don't get prayers before football games in the UK - nominally another Christian country - because I don't think more than a handful would consider that God has really got anything to do with it. I would suspect that you'll not hear prayers before football in many - if any - other countries either. Certainly not Italy, France or Spain as I've been to matches there and not Brazil or Portugal as I've watched live televised matches. So, the Catholics are quite happy to "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar?s, and unto God the things that are God?s." Is God a footie fan? I would also reckon that you won't hear prayers in any Isalmic countries as their prayers are much more personal - but, here, I'm guessing.

I suppose that if you believe that the sheer numbers of people - believers or not - who have no option but to listen in some way amplifies the effectiveness of your prayers then I can see your reasoning for wanting to do it - but it's a pretty strange god that you believe in under those circumstances.

Why do you all have this idea that God - if suitably coerced - will interfere in the minutiae of your lives? He's certainly demonstrated how notice He took of the prayers prior to Hurricane Katrina.

Do you really think that God answers your prayers and actually does physically intervene in your life? Again, I'd be interested in any examples.

just asking.

Neil :)

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Yes I do.

by ProtiusX In reply to But why?

Firstly, let me apologize for taking so long to reply. I think the point is not why one would want to pray at a sporting event but if the community chooses to pray they should have a right to do so.

Additionally, I don?t think what people choose to pray for is relevant. Each person asks God for what?s on their hearts. Is it mature to ask God to make your team win? Probably not. Does it offend God? Well, I am not going to try and determine what God is or isn?t offended by but I think he doesn?t mind when people pray to HIM (yes I said HIM) and ask for silly things. Do we become angry when our children ask us for silly things? No. We smile and think ?How cute is that?? I think God is much like that.

I believe God does answer prayer but sometimes he says no. Just like a good parent he knows what?s right for us. How can we as humans even question the will of a God who created everything, is all powerful and all knowing?

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by Old Guy In reply to Yes I do.

I know that a lot of people can't see, or understand, the scenario you have about God thinking> "how cute is that?" when we ask for silly things, but I agree with you on this. And, I'm thankful we do have a Father like that.

I also really agree with your statement below, "To allow prayer is not sponsorship but preventing prayer is censorship. " I think that most of us don't want to push religion on anyone who doesn't want it but we do get tired of some people trying to censor or stop others from practicing their beliefs.

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nothing so grand

by jdclyde In reply to But why?

Just to have our kids/friends/family or whoever is playing the game to recieve no PERMANATE injuries and come out of the experience a better person.

Is that really a bad thing? Call it group wishful thinking if you will.

I would NEVER turn down a prayer/well wish for my boys in anything they do, whether i believe in that religion/luck charm/totem pole/rain dance. I wouldn't join in with any I didn't believe in, but I wouldn't stop it either, provided it doesn't require the severing of chicken heads and dancing in the blood or something.

I know, not the grand testament to religion your looking for, but this is what it means to ME and that is all I can answer for.

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Both of you gentlemen failed to address my main point

by neilb@uk In reply to But why?

Which is why this extremely public display of, somehow slightly irreverent, prayer is something that only seems to be an issue the USA. It comes over as very alien to me and to everyone that I've spoken to. I talked to as many people of differing religions as I could - and that's a few just in this office.

The thing that struck everyone as strange was not that you pray but that you want - demand - visible public evidence that it is being done even if only for a couple of minute. As if, in some way, you exert your authority and nail the USA as a Christian country with no argument.

I, personally, also find it interesting that others are so vehemently opposed to it because of their religion - your Sacred Constitution.

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Well, being an alien

by jdclyde In reply to Both of you gentlemen fai ...

green face and all, I would expect this of you!

I will write VERY slowly so you can understand.... ;\

Christians will pray at ALL major aspects of their lives, so this is nothing new or surprising. Do you really get surprised when the Pope comes to the window that the thousands outside are really there just waiting for him to come out? (I know, the answer is "yes".)

It isn't about making a show for anyone else. Many say "their prayers" before every meal, when they go to bed at night, at church, and all major events in their lives. These activites that affect the health and lives of our kids is a major event.

This is not for your benifit that this is done, and it is NOT a recent thing done just to annoy the ANTI-Christians that have floated to the surface of the sewer the world has become like the pieces of sh1t they are.

And yes, you should know by now that I hold NON-Christians and ANTI-Christians in a VERY different light.

For anyone not in the US, they have but to read the Constitution for themselves to see what is there, NOT taking the word of a few ANTI-Christians what the constitution says. It VERY clearly states that the government CANNOT interfere in any way the free exercise of religion. It ONLY states that there will not be a "STATE RELIGION" that people are FORCED to observe. YOU are free to worship or NOT worship as you see fit. You are NOT free to interfere with anyone elses RIGHT to practice whatever religion they choose, anytime they choose.

I actually posted several good links on this topic so support all of this back in my "You do not have a right to not be offended" post just before Christmas that breaks this down.

Because you do not have this clause as a founding part of your country, I understand why you as well as our Candian neighbors don't understand this. Fortunately this is not something that DOES require global approval, but I am always willing (like I have here and my other discussion) try to help anyone else UNDERSTAND it if they are really looking to understand instead of just sitting back and critisising.

Make a point that is backed up with OUR laws to justify or back up your point on the behavior in the US and there can be a discussion on if this is legal or not.

Other than that, it is just people on the outside offering their OPINIONS on what they think/feel about something that doesn't affect them, based on nothing more than what they have heard.

And the people that "vehemently" oppose this are mostly uneducated in government OR intentionally seek to deceive others hoping that the others that are uneducated about government will blindly follow a few lies in the form of bullet points.

As it stands, this is all legal and nothing new.

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I'll try and express my point better

by neilb@uk In reply to Well, being an alien

The legality doesn't interst me at all. Not one iota. I merely brought up the "Constitution" angle as from a distant vantage point such as mine, it looks like a religious war.

OK. Gloves off.

What does interest me is that you, Christians, feel that when a large number of people are gathered together for a purpose totally separate from religion, you feel that you have the right to force your religion upon all of them without even assessing if you're in the majority! That's what it is, you know, forcing them - Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, Hindu, Catholics, even, and all less comitted Christians - to pause in their anticipation of the game, their conversations, drinking their cola and eating their hotdogs - damnit, their lives - to allow you to indulge yourselves for a couple of minutes in something totally, in their eyes and those of any impartial observer, irrelevant to the game.

I seek an understanding as to what you believe gives you the right? Not in "Constitutional" terms but just in the small day-to-day morality of common existence. In my opininion, nothing does, that's what.

You can pray any and every other time. Why does your religion require this open display of piety? I would conjecture that it's simply to put the thumb firmly and publicly on the neck of anyone who is not of your creed and cement your self-perceived position as the State Religion.

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If I may, (sentence edited in later)

by Old Guy In reply to I'll try and express my p ...

Nothing is totally separate from my Christianity. I think (at least from what I have gathered) that most other religions, African, Muslim, etc. everything centers around their spiritual beliefs. Every aspect of their life stems from their spiritual beliefs. That may not be the case for a lot of Christians, which can prejudice others outlook for the whole lot. But it is for a lot of us.

And, except for their own personal respect of others I don't think any really has to stop eating their hotdogs or whatever they are doing. It is very appreciated that the majority would be silent during this time but if they don't want to they don't have to. However, I don't think that would give them the right to maliciously try to be raucous at that time.

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Most other religions,

by neilb@uk In reply to If I may, (sentence edite ...

and I've said this in every post on the subject, do not have prayers before football matches and I've not heard that it's being sought in any of the Catholic nations, for instance. I've still not had a good explanation why the American State Church wishes to do it.

Nothing may be totally separate from your religion but there are things that are for a significant number of your citizens - perhaps even a majority - and football is likely to be one of them. Has anybodey ever had a plebicite on the public involvement of religion in non-religious affairs? It would be a very easy way to settle the argument.

By the way, we don't even have the National Anthem before or after any but International matches so prayers are absolutely a non-starter here. Thank God!

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