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…and when you pray…

September 8, 2011

Pardon the Pagan for sticking her nose into the bible again, but I have a question regarding the instructions given by Jesus in the gospels as regards the current uproar over the lack of inclusion of prayer in the remembrance of the lives lost on 9/11/01.

As I recall, and I’m doing this from memory because I do not have a bible here with me,  nor access to any of the online ones, at the moment, didn’t Jesus himself instruct his followers to pray in private?

I believe the quote is something along the lines of “…and when you pray, do not pray as the hypocrite does, loudly in front of the congregation to be seen by men, but enter into your closet and shut the door and pray to the Father which is in secret…”

Now, that’s probably very badly paraphrased, but the gist of it is there.

So the question I have is, if Jesus said this, and Christians believe this, why are so many of them yelling about not being included at the official remembrance ceremony?  If they pray aloud, in that sort of setting, whom does the prayer serve?

Is it not simply a thumbing of the nose to the perceived enemy?  Loud voices raised to be heard of men for influence or political gain or to say “look at my faith” or “we’re stronger than you”.

I mean, lets be fair about this.  People of many faiths, as well as agnostics and atheists died that day.  Those of us affected by the tragedy represent even more faiths.   How do we choose one faith, one leader of that faith to speak to “god” for all of us?

And if we offer to represent the faiths of those who gave their lives, how long a ceremony would be required?  Do we chose one leader from each faith?  What about the different denominations and sects of each faith?

How many of those currently screaming about the “snubbing” of religious leaders would scream louder if an imam was one of those chosen to offer prayer?  Or a Wiccan Priestess?  Or even a gay minister?

There will be six moments of silence throughout the ceremony.  Six moments for people of all religions and no religions to enter the private space within themselves to “pray to their god in secret” or simply to remember the fallen or meditate on loss or whatever it is their faith (or lack thereof) calls upon them to do.

Six.  More efficient, more immediate and no one has to sit through six hours of prayers, chants, etc so that we cover them all.

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