Wednesday, December 31, 2008
A reader responds to my post "A Christian Nation?"
"First, I have no problem if X president wants to have Y prayer at the Inauguration. I agree with your earlier point: if Lieberman wants to have a rabbi, so be it.
For those who have a problem with a Christian prayer (non-believers; believers of a different stripe), I don't think your Leviticus sentiment mollifies.
Don't get me wrong; it's a nice sentiment. The problem comes from who is calling who an alien, and who gets to decide that.
The non-believer/person-who-is-upset would say, I imagine, the following: "Who the hell are you calling me an alien? This is MY country. This is MY country's celebration of the installation of its new leader. I'm not an alien here; quit praying on me, over me, about me and making me feel like I'm an alien, like I'm somehow different. Quit saying I am somehow less than fully American b/c I do not grow out of your western/Chritian tradition you claim undergirds the whole gov't/enterprise."
The public invocation of God -- it just doesn't do much for me. I'm Catholic, attend Mass nearly daily. I see the public invocation sometimes just as lip-service, it seems. I could do without any prayer, any "God Bless America", at our public events. That's just me.
But if folks want to have it, that's no big deal to me, either.
But to those who are upset, they are going to stay upset -- just their perspective. And calling them an alien in our midst at their own country's celebration -- well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions."