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desberg's avatar

Do you feel prayer to a legisaltive or government body is appropriate today?

Asked by desberg (169points) September 3rd, 2007

Do you feel this type of prayer to a legislative body should be done today? Delivered by Rev. Joe Wright to opening of Kansas Legislature in 1996.
Heavenly Father,
We come before You today to ask Your Forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ’‘Woe to those who call evil good,’’ but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost our Spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.
We confess that; we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism;
We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism;
We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle;
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery;
We have neglected the needy and called it self preservation;
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare;
We have killed our unborn and called it choice;
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable;
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem;
We have abused power and called it political savvy;
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition;
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression;
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.
Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of this state and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state of Kansas.
Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your Will.

I ask in the name of your Son, The Living Savior, Jesus Christ”

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8 Answers

hearkat's avatar

Oh… you said prayer ‘TO’ a legislative body, as though it was they being worshipped; but in reading your text, you meant prayer ‘BEFORE’ a legislative body, as saying it in their presence… BIG difference!

gooch's avatar

Prayer is totally appropriate for a government body to begin a sesion. Our country was settled by groups who came here for religious freedom. Our founding fathers included God in our Declaration of Independance. During the Revaloutionary War George Washington held a day of thanksgiving to God (May 5,1778). Our currency says “In God We Trust”. I could go on for hours stating how God has been accepted by our country. Throughout history our country has been blessed by God for holding him dear. I feel we must continue to do so. So many places have made it illegal to pray in this country. School events outlaw it now! I also feel stopping prayer is a violation of MY rights. Today people play music with profanity and racial slurs in public but can pray, this is backwards. So many people lobby for tollerance of many issues but where is the tolerance for prayer.

hearkat's avatar

And my opinion is that each individual person has the right to pray to whomever they choose. However, I don’t feel that others should be forced to listen to the prayers of another because they are a captive audience attending a job-related function.

Furthermore, I do believe that religion should be completely separate from government. Each politician is free to hold their own beliefs, morals and values. However, they should not use a position of power to force others to conform to their beliefs, nor to use their time in office, suupprted by the people’s taxes, to preach their beliefs which are based on their religious superstitions, legends, and myths.

We ask those in power to represent us… if I believe that your bible is a book of fables and fairy-tales written and rewritten by male humans to suit their own purpose, then I certainly would not be fairly represented by someone praying to a “heavenly father” during a formal Congressional session.

For example—the debate on gay marriage: people argie that marriage should be between a man and a woman; based on what?? Religious beliefs. As a heterosexual female, I married a heterosexual male by going to the courthouse with our identification, paying $20.00 for a license and another $20.00 for a “marriage officiant”. I sued my husband for divorce in a courthouse. Marriage is a contract between 2 adults to stay committed to each other and the relationship before all else. What does sexual orientation have to do with that? Nothing. The various religions certainly have the right to decide whom they will or will not perform wedding ceremonies for… that is not the same thing. And just because someone once wrote in a book centuries ago that “God” told them that only men and women should get married, and because you happen to believe that person as well as those who translated/interpreted it over centuries does not give you the right to tell my friend and his gay lover that they don’t have the right to make a legal committment to one-another.

Again, I totally respect each person’s individual right to pray, and the right to gather with like-minded people and pray together, whether in a church, synagogue, shrine, temple, mosque, on the beach, at the park, etc. But if I am paying or being paid to be somewhere, or paying others with my tax dollars to be somewhere, I don’t feel it is right to force others that don’t share the same belief to listen to your prayers.

Modern_Classic's avatar

Rev Joe’s got one hell of a self righteous chip on his shoulder. Nonetheless, prayer before legislative bodies is an American tradition. At it’s best, this can be a positive and populist activity, if the person doing the prayer changes and is representative of the many and diverse constituents: Christian, wiccen, Muslim, taoist, jewish, flying spaghetti, etc.

Hawaiiguy's avatar

if someone showed up in Kansas and prayed to Allah on his knees in front of the legislature they would ride him out of town, so, not being understanding to other religions makes me think its not appropriate. If we leave our arrogance at home I think we would be a lot better government.

Perchik's avatar

Im going to ignore the prayer debate and actually answer about this prayer in particular.

I feel that this prayer takes a lot of things that I value (ambition, freedom on expression…etc) and calls them wrong. I AM a Christian, but I feel that this prayer was totally inappropriate.

bob's avatar

I tend to dislike prayers, like the one above, that seem to be aimed at the listeners, rather than at God. Rev. Wright is disingenuously claiming to be confessing his own sin when he’s really calling out other people for their sins. I don’t like that rhetorical ploy, and I think it’s particularly reprehensible in a prayer—regardless of whether the values espoused by Rev. Wright are good in and of themselves.

Poser's avatar

FYI—This isn’t the exact text of the prayer that he read. For all the info, go to

For myself, I think that politically motivated prayers are wrong. Always. Even if I were to agree with the message that they were speaking.

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