Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 06:32 pm

When Rick Warren was selected by Barak Obama to give the invocation for the inaugural ceremony, the anger of many people on the left caused lots of discussions to be generated"many of which included arguments about whether prayers or invocations should even be allowed at these kinds of events.

In all the threads here and at another forum where I was participating, I took the position that prayers should be allowed"and that efforts to stop the practice would be unnecessarily divisive. My feelings were: Who gives a rat’s ass if some people have to go through this nonsense; if you wanna tune out when it starts, it’s an easy thing to do.

I was wrong! Completely wrong.

The inclusion of prayers and all that “god save America” “with god’s help we will…” “thanks for the gifts god has given us” crap has no place in any of these public ceremonies.

Anyone who wants to thank any god can do so by merely thinking the thanks; no god worthy of the name needs that kind of thing spoken out loud. In any case, it is obvious that the inclusion of those “god” things in speeches is not for the gods…it is for the crowd"just like the going down on one knee and bowing the head in the end zone after a touchdown is not for a god, but for the people in the stands.

I don’t know why so many of our leaders are so superstitious"and frankly, I don’t care. But they should not burden the rest of us with their superstitions. In any case, my guess is many of them aren’t even superstitious. They are just playing to the crowd. It is hypocrisy.

I has got to stop.

All that crap sadly and unnecessarily tarnished an otherwise inspiring ceremony.
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 06:44 pm
i can appreciate a good prayer as, well, almost poetry, but that abortion that warren spouted was cringe worthy

i didn't hear the second one so i can't comment
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 07:45 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I dunno, Frank. It's ritual is all it is. I agree with you about the objective uselessness of this kind of "calling forth" (which is what 'invocaton' means) but I also see no harm in it. Even non-believers should be able to appreciate the ceremonial repetition of a long-standing tradition. As you yourself said, any attempt to stop it would be unnecessarily devisive, not to say mean-spirited.

The same criticism could be made about the whole ceremony, including the taking of the oath of office. What the hell is the good of that? Will it make the person who said those prescribed ritual words perform better in the position he was elected to? Somehow I doubt it. He's been elected, let him serve. But, as that song from "Fiddler on the Roof" says, it's tradition. Don't knock tradition. It has a powerful hold on many people.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 07:50 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I like public prayers. I liked the comic relief Warren provided in a ceremony where I was severely tempted to choke up.
fbaezer
 
  6  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 08:18 pm
I think that two phrases of Obama's speech are much more important that that.

His promise to "restore science to its rightful place"...
...and saying that the US is a nation "of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -and non believers".

That's a long way from Bush's USA, baby!

squinney
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 08:34 pm
@Thomas,
We couldn't have you choking up now, could we?

I wasn't bothered by either prayer until the the last one when he started on the let brown...let yellow...let red...

It had been a nice ceremony up until then. I hear you, Frank, on the appearance of prayer having a crowd appeal purpose. I can see how it might be... manipulative. I don't see that changing any time soon.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 08:38 pm
@fbaezer,
Fantastic. I didn't watch any part of it, so it's good to hear some of this.
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 08:41 pm
@fbaezer,
fbaezer wrote:

I think that two phrases of Obama's speech are much more important that that.

His promise to "restore science to its rightful place"...
...and saying that the US is a nation "of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -and non believers".

That's a long way from Bush's USA, baby!


That "lifted me up" as well. I may have even said a silent amen when I heard it.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 09:20 pm
@squinney,
Quote:
I hear you, Frank, on the appearance of prayer having a crowd appeal purpose.

On that note, at the next inauguration, maybe they can sacrifice a goat?
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  2  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 09:28 pm
If asking God to bless things, to guide things, to look after us is bullshit...what have we lost?

It's not like the previous, Man it feels good to say that, administration who asked God to bless a useless war where regular people are branded collateral damage. I'm not disturbed by it.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 09:34 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I was annoyed with the invocations as well. Even though I think that the person being inaugurated has the right to set the tone for the event, it's still painful to watch.

0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 09:38 pm
@Thomas,
You should make a point of watching the selection on the next princess at the next Northern Navajo Fair, Thomas. Sadly, I won't be with you.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 10:12 pm
@roger,
I have my own views on Obama's take on religion. And no, I've not read his books. I see him as sort of a cultural believer, a step above agnostic... but also not agnostic. Spiritual (I say this as someone not spiritual even in my little toe). I don't see him as a potential victim of what I think of as religious tharn. I guess I see him as seeing the good in religion.

I have a long time atheist pal who told me, maybe ten years ago, that she'd come around to the point of accepting that people are religious, seeing good in a lot of the morality promoted by religion, both for itself and for warding off of chaos as a societal good. (Haven't talked to her lately, wonder what she thinks by now.)

I probably grunted or mmm'd, but of course I see that too. I think it is the tremendous level of shunning, even hatred of others, the proscriptives, that irritates me with religions, certainly not the 'do unto others' part.

Well, we'll see. To date, I didn't see these invocations as threatening - more as a kind of, heh, warp to woof.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 10:15 pm
That preacher-man was disturbing to me.
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 10:16 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I agree Frank. I'm a Buddhist. I would be shocked and even a bit offended if everyone started chanting. A political pulpit is no place for religion.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 10:30 pm
@NickFun,
I'm mixed.

Consider a world without religion. Oh, Lennon, where are you?

First of all, people would make up all new ones. Talk about distracting.

Back a few days ago when I was whining about inaugurations in general (talk about an about face since then) I would or could have said, say the oath, have a few cameras, go home to the new place. Even though I've enjoyed inaugurations, I'm also sort of against a lot of expensive balloons at the start of endeavors.

But given the joy, if that's the right word, of this inauguration, I stopped begrudging it, and the religion cushion doesn't bother me.
That much.
I think it helps people.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 10:30 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frangeee wrote:
I has got to stop.

Yes, you has.
Hehehehehehehe.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 10:32 pm
@littlek,
One of the most annoying things I find with these preacher-men is that they use an all-inclusive "WE" when addressing an obviously diverse crowd. "We this lord, We that lord", but I'm not part of that WE, and many americans are not part of that WE. I realize that these guys are used to speaking in front of their congregation, but the american people are not their congregation.

How would the people in that crowd feel if the tables were turned and a non-religious person was giving that speech and repeatedly said, "WE have finally risen above religion, WE give thanks to be free from the bonds of superstition". I think religious people wouldn't want to be included in that WE either.

Maybe it's all in the presentation, if that preacher got up there and said, "Lord, for me personally, and for those in the crowd who feel as I do, blah blah blah...." it wouldn't be as annoying because I wouldn't feel implicitly included in something I don't agree with. Perhaps it's the presentation that is annoying more than the message.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 10:41 pm
@rosborne979,
Nods w rosborne.
0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 02:26 am
I agree with FrankApisa. I know that President Obama has pointed towards "inclusiveness" as a goal but I am sure that he knows that the damage that has been done in our country by religious superstition must come to an end.
The horrendous plight of millions of children who have been born to mothers who could not and would never be able to give them decent homes is alone enough to begin an ongoing campaign to stamp out religion--send it back tothe caves and, most of all, do not allow religion to interfere with the business of government.
0 Replies
 
 

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