Atheist Group Wants Lawmakers To Stop...

Atheist Group Wants Lawmakers To Stop Praying Before Session

There are 200 comments on the WHOtv story from Jan 12, 2010, titled Atheist Group Wants Lawmakers To Stop Praying Before Session. In it, WHOtv reports that:

DES MOINES, Iowa - Monday's legislative session began like most sessions; with a prayer.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WHOtv.

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Tony

Miami, FL

#1 Jan 12, 2010
Prayer before a government meeting? I thought this country was founded on the principal of keeping religion and government separate. Sure sounds like a violation of the constitution to me. What does speaking to an imaginary friend have to do with legislative meetings anyways? Welcome to the 21st century.
WOW

Montgomery, AL

#2 Jan 12, 2010
First of the term "athiest" is something someone came up with and added a crude definition. You will not find this word anywhere throughout history. Secondly, if you don't believe in God then plug your ears. It's just like a television channel, you have the remote in your hand so don't complain about the program, just change it. Same applies. To me, this organization is hateful. Prayer is a great thing and I have personally met numerous athiests who don't have a problem with prayer. They have a problem with the way people throw religion down people's throats and so do I. It's a relationship not a religiouship. Close your ears or show up late. Leave praying to those who care.
Blue Dog Dem

Lincolnshire, IL

#3 Jan 12, 2010
Tony,
Check the historic facts. Prayer is permitted in government. The founders specifically noted that government shall not establish religion (something that was a big problem with the Church of England). Also, the Constitution specifically permits the "free exercise thereof", meaning that individuals and groups may exercise their faiths in public. The Supreme Court has upheld this practice is countless cases. Simply because one person or group is offended does not mean the practice must change. If that were the case,(admitted by the atheist's letter in the article)then the lack of prayer would offend more people than the presence of it.
Studmonkey

Hendersonville, NC

#4 Jan 12, 2010
Time is money! We all know that. Stopping to pray before a meeting that my tax dollars is paying for is not acceptable to me. You want to pray, do it on your time. A prayer will have no out come on any of thses meetings. You got to know that! And if you don't, ask yourself why the meetings do not get things done the way you wanted and prayed they would. Case closed!
Tip

Collierville, TN

#5 Jan 12, 2010
Our nation was founded under GOD. Prayer was offered upon the signing of the Declaration of Independence. All prayer is answered by GOD. The answer may not be what "you" want but it is what GOD knows is right for "you". Asking for GOD's guidance before making important decisions is very important to me. I am encouraged that our lawmakers still see fit to do this before each session. GOD is not imaginary to me. Others will realize this also when they meet HIM face to face after they have taken their last breath on this earth!
Lee

United States

#6 Jan 12, 2010
Tony wrote:
Prayer before a government meeting? I thought this country was founded on the principal of keeping religion and government separate. Sure sounds like a violation of the constitution to me. What does speaking to an imaginary friend have to do with legislative meetings anyways? Welcome to the 21st century.
I feel sorry for you. God is not an imaginary friend He is real and sent His son Jesus to die for YOU. One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. When that day comes you will regret what you have written today. We all (even christians) have things in our lives we will be ashamed of, the difference is christians have ask for forgiveness. People think christianity is about a bunch of rules of things you cannot do. As a christian I can do whatever I want, my wants and desires have just changed. There are two places to spend eternity Heaven or Hell they are both real. Heaven is described as a place of perfect peace while Hell is described as a place of torment. My prayer is that you will ask God for forgiveness and accept what His son Jesus did for YOU. The life of a true christian is the most challenging life a person can live. Talk about excitement, there is no thrill this earth has to offer like living for Christ.
Lee

United States

#7 Jan 12, 2010
Studmonkey you also need to read my reply to Tony.

Since: Jul 09

Milwaukee

#8 Jan 12, 2010
Tony wrote:
Prayer before a government meeting? I thought this country was founded on the principal of keeping religion and government separate. Sure sounds like a violation of the constitution to me. What does speaking to an imaginary friend have to do with legislative meetings anyways? Welcome to the 21st century.
WRONG, America was not founded on keeping church and state separate. It was an idea from a letter between friends. Just so happens those friends were pretty important men in American history.

I think the whole idea was to make sure the church didn't end up government run like the church of England.
Praying

Raleigh, NC

#9 Jan 12, 2010
If the atheists dont like praying, leave and I pray, that Congress
dont backed down and keep their beliefs, just like the atheists.
Jimmy

Palm Bay, FL

#10 Jan 12, 2010
WITI-Chris wrote:
<quoted text>
WRONG, America was not founded on keeping church and state separate. It was an idea from a letter between friends. Just so happens those friends were pretty important men in American history.
I think the whole idea was to make sure the church didn't end up government run like the church of England.
Unforunately for you theocrats, the Supreme Court has upheld the separation of church and state on many occasions. So, no, it's not just "an idea from a letter between friends." It is established legal precedent.
Jimmy

Palm Bay, FL

#11 Jan 12, 2010
Tip wrote:
Our nation was founded under GOD. Prayer was offered upon the signing of the Declaration of Independence. All prayer is answered by GOD. The answer may not be what "you" want but it is what GOD knows is right for "you". Asking for GOD's guidance before making important decisions is very important to me. I am encouraged that our lawmakers still see fit to do this before each session. GOD is not imaginary to me. Others will realize this also when they meet HIM face to face after they have taken their last breath on this earth!
Just an honest question here... Why pray at all if god ultimately chooses the outcome that's best, anyway? An omniscient god would obviously know you are going to ask him for something, be it guidance or a million dollars or what not. So, if your god knows when you feel you need his help and knows the best possible outcome, you are just praying to comfort yourself. God certainly doesn't need it. And to paraphrase George Carlin, I would not pray to god if he existed because I wouldn't want to impose on our friendship!
Atheist Near You

San Francisco, CA

#12 Jan 12, 2010
Lee wrote:
<quoted text>
I feel sorry for you. God is not an imaginary friend He is real and sent His son Jesus to die for YOU. One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. When that day comes you will regret what you have written today. We all (even christians) have things in our lives we will be ashamed of, the difference is christians have ask for forgiveness. People think christianity is about a bunch of rules of things you cannot do. As a christian I can do whatever I want, my wants and desires have just changed. There are two places to spend eternity Heaven or Hell they are both real. Heaven is described as a place of perfect peace while Hell is described as a place of torment. My prayer is that you will ask God for forgiveness and accept what His son Jesus did for YOU. The life of a true christian is the most challenging life a person can live. Talk about excitement, there is no thrill this earth has to offer like living for Christ.
Lets say it was proven that your god character exists. Just because I might accept that he is real does not mean that I would EVER worship a being so vile, despicable, and treacherous. I've read your holy book and the way it denigrates women and promotes slavery, maybe you should take a look at it too. Your god could be forgiven for being a bumbling fool, but the genocide he commanded and the idea of eternal punishment for ANY finite crime are simply unforgivable.
You say the life of a Christian is the most challenging life to live and yet you also say you can do whatever you want. I cannot trust someone like you who believes they can do whatever they want and simply ask for forgiveness from a third party like your god character. I take responsibility for my own life because no one else, especially not a god, will. Because I care deeply about my fellow human beings and we all have to work together, I'm reminding you that you won't get away with trampling on someone anymore just because you prayed it off. If you harm someone else you face consequences here, not at some pearly gate.
Jimmy

Palm Bay, FL

#13 Jan 12, 2010
Praying wrote:
If the atheists dont like praying, leave and I pray, that Congress
dont backed down and keep their beliefs, just like the atheists.
ahhhh that traditional christian tolerance: "if you don't like it you can geeeeeet out!"
Johnny

New Orleans, LA

#14 Jan 12, 2010
Jimmy wrote:
<quoted text>
Unforunately for you theocrats, the Supreme Court has upheld the separation of church and state on many occasions. So, no, it's not just "an idea from a letter between friends." It is established legal precedent.
They only thing it established, is that prayer has to be voluntary, the government can't force you to pray.
Darlene

Ankeny, IA

#15 Jan 12, 2010
WOW wrote:
First of the term "athiest" is something someone came up with and added a crude definition. You will not find this word anywhere throughout history. Secondly, if you don't believe in God then plug your ears. It's just like a television channel, you have the remote in your hand so don't complain about the program, just change it. Same applies. To me, this organization is hateful. Prayer is a great thing and I have personally met numerous athiests who don't have a problem with prayer. They have a problem with the way people throw religion down people's throats and so do I. It's a relationship not a religiouship. Close your ears or show up late. Leave praying to those who care.
You don't know history. Atheist is an old word. Look it up before you start spouting crap.
You don't know atheists, either. Our group is not hateful, and we are typical atheists. We don't "have a problem with prayer". We just agree with the framers of the Constitution of the United States that religion and lawmaking should be kept separate, and that the Constitution was written just for cases like this; when a big bully majority decides that might makes right, so they're just going to violate the minority and the Constitution for as long as they can get away with it.
Janeyre

AOL

#16 Jan 12, 2010
I would think, they could pray, if they wanted to... Atheist don't have to bow their heads... People need to acknowleged their desire to thank the Creator. This is a country of freedoms. Don't bow, with you choose not to... Don't try to stop the next person from doing so...
Jimmy

Palm Bay, FL

#17 Jan 12, 2010
Johnny wrote:
<quoted text>
They only thing it established, is that prayer has to be voluntary, the government can't force you to pray.
I'm not disputing that voluntary prayer is allowed (though it's hardly "the ONLY thing it established") I simply was informing the ignorant poster about judicial precedents.

I personally have no problem with opening public meetings with a prayer. They really don't take all that long, and as an above poster mentioned, few if any reasonable people actually believe it will help matters. Most people seem to like public prayer because they get to show everyone else that they are True Chrisians(TM). That's fine with me. Bow your head like a good little sheep and I'll work a few "Words with Friends" moves in on my iphone in the meantime.
3fan

Memphis, TN

#18 Jan 12, 2010
Jimmy wrote:
<quoted text>
ahhhh that traditional christian tolerance: "if you don't like it you can geeeeeet out!"
Yeah, and atheists are THE most tolerant people of all......well, except for the trying to get people to stop praying part.
common sense

Sacramento, CA

#19 Jan 12, 2010
So we're going with the "Framers Allowed It Litmus Test" I see...

The framers allowed slavery.

annnnnd?
Darlene

Ankeny, IA

#20 Jan 12, 2010
3fan wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, and atheists are THE most tolerant people of all......well, except for the trying to get people to stop praying part.
The legislators work for ALL of us, and are charged with making laws that ALL of us have to follow. People who aren't Christian, don't want to follow Christian laws. The legislators' JOB is to make PUBLIC policy and they are PAID by PUBLIC funds. Everybody else who has a job knows that you compartmentalize and leave your personal beliefs at home when you go to work, because if your beliefs take up part of your work time and affect the quality of your work, your boss has every right to fire you.

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