Archive for January 21st, 2010

Censor Public Prayer?

January 21, 2010

On Thursday January 14th, 2010 Pastor Brad Cranston of Heritage Baptist Church, Burlington, Iowa; said the opening prayer for the Iowa House of Representatives.  Later that day, a ruling was made that all future opening prayers that will be said in the House be written out and submitted for approval before usage. 

Whose approval?

What criteria?

Isn’t that opening a rather sticky mess of coercing religious leaders to become politically correct?

Of course, the reference in the prayer to marriage being between a man and a woman; in a state that allows gay marriage, may have created a stir.

Is prayer the time to address issues?  Or to address God???

When I had the opportunity to open the House in prayer a few years ago, I asked God’s forgiveness for our sins, and asked for wisdom to make right choices.  ( I pray regularly that God will guide our leaders in their decisions.) No one seemed upset in the least.  Most of us recognize that we fall short, and that we could all use some divine guidance or help.

Should public prayer be censored?        No.

Should public prayers be carefully worded?     Yes.

Are public prayers an invitation to preach?    No.

I do not believe that prayers should need to be pre-approved.  I also believe that religious leaders who are asked to pray for public events, balance the need for religious integrity, with a sensitivity to the diverse views of others.