Jesus Kicked out of City Hall
edited: Thursday, March 06, 2008
By Mac McConnell
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, March 06, 2008
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I've heard of the battle of the bans. I know of clashes of the clergies. I don't know what to call this the preposterousness of prayer a bit wordy to be sure.
I've heard of the battle of the bans. I know of clashes of the clergies. I don't know what to call this — the preposterousness of prayer — a bit wordy to be sure.
The recent hubbub in Deerfield Beach in who can say what and where, in prayer, is mystifying. But that it reached the front page — OK, just the local section front page — is at least entertaining. I did read the whole thing, but then I do have a personal interest. It was 1992 when I resigned as president of the Plantation Chamber of Commerce over the exact same thing. I decided that those who choose to censor prayer could live without me at the helm. They survived and so did I. It was kinda like flipping the channel. If you don't like it, move on.
This was a defining moment for me. I often thought maybe I should've stayed and fought for the right to pray in the name of Jesus. I do have the right to pray in the name of Jesus most everywhere else, so I make sure I do. I decided instead this would be a waste of time and energy and, like Deerfield Beach Mayor Al Capellini said, "the issue is a distraction." Yep, mayor, too often religion is a distraction to many, perhaps most. When the CenturyVillage resident said, "I go to City Hall for city business, and if I need to pray, I go to a synagogue," I could not help but pray that when she does need to pray, she is able to get to the synagogue. I trust prayer is a little more spontaneous. And I have on good report that God, or Jesus, or higher powers, aren't relegated to synagogues, temple, cathedrals, churches, et al., lest they not be higher powers at all.
It is perplexing who flinches so severely when the name of Jesus is invoked — during prayer, my God — during prayer. I can't help but wonder, where is the threat? If you don't believe Jesus is anything, then what's the harm? Why the offense? I can't say that I'm offended when the rabbi prays without the name of Jesus. I might if someone prays in the name of Osama, or Caesar, or Satan. That would make me flinch, but I have not heard of such.
Now when someone curses — Jesus Christ — you better not suggest they offended you, lest you get a barrage of expletives over your bow.
I like standing up for Jesus, pun intended, but it might be more important to make sure I stand for something else, too: integrity, character, consistency. Christians deserve the slams most of the time. We seldom live up to the teachings of Jesus. Perhaps "A" for effort is the most hoped for. Yes, atrocities are credited to Christians when really they should be credited to radicals or others and not a religion.
We all tend to use the Lord's name in vain, if not in word, then in deed. However, the great divide over the name of Jesus, in the name of religion, still falls into the category of childish at best. Is there a solution to this? One would hope, if we have escaped the dark ages, and with all the presidential candidates freely professing their faith in God and prayer, with national days of prayer, with prayer during tragedies, and with prayer for winning the Lotto — you get the picture — that we would get off our precious little egos and pray not to be so self-centered and respect the right of the person praying to pray in the name of their God. It should be a greater offense not to take the time to pray, with the waste of time in government entities, than a little prayer that no one hears except the offended, and the higher power of the universe, except if you are an evolutionist, but that's another subject, or is it?