State Sanctioned Prayer -- Sightings (Martin Marty)
On occasion I pray at public gatherings. I've even prayed to open a local city council meeting. Just did it once, in part because I have meetings most Monday evenings -- the night the city council meets. I struggle with how to pray at such gatherings -- wondering who the expected audience might be. The Supreme Court recently heard a case that deals with such prayers, and there are many who hope the court will come down on their side -- either allowing persons free reign to pray when, where, and how they would like, or putting up a nice solid wall. As Martin Marty notes here, partisans are seeking a decision that will tiddy up something the writers of the Constitution left a bit ambiguous. Elsewhere Marty has noted that the Constitution didn't exactly build a tall wall, but instead drew a sometimes blurry line between church and state. As you read this piece by Martin Marty, I think you'll discover that for those of who are professors of faith concerns the purpose of our prayers. Are we praying to make a political point or to be in conversation with God on behalf of a community? Take a read and let's have a conversation.