Friday, May 4, 2018

Our Father, who art in Heaven, stop our governments from screwing up so bad

The political stink that has arisen over whether Patrick J. Conroy should be serving as chaplain for the House of Representatives makes me wonder what purpose truly is served by the prayers that many government entities feel compelled to have to begin the hearings at which they do their business.

CONROY: Soon to be replaced?
Conroy is a Jesuit priest who has held his Capitol Hill role since 2011.

HE’S THE GUY who was asked by soon-to-be former House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to resign the post. Conroy initially complied with that request, but he has since rescinded his resignation – that was to take effect May 24.

News reports indicate that Ryan wanted to replace Conroy because his public prayers were taking on political overtones. As in perhaps he was implying that God was NOT on the side of the Republican majority that now runs Congress and tries to offer its support to the president in this Age of Trump that we’re now in.

For what it’s worth, the fact that members of Congress of both major political parties have been critical of replacing Conroy may well be a sign that the priest is doing something right in the way he handles his duties.

Which, in all honesty, are meant to get House sessions off to a pleasant start – as if in having a holy mood in place, the political people may wind up behaving in a less-cantankerous manner.
These are NOT holy shrines, ...

BUT FOR SOME people, they wind up causing even more offense. Some, because they want to believe only their particular religious denomination is worthy of being heard.

Meaning they’re going to find something worthy of personal offense in any prayer given by someone other than their own personal clergyman.

I think that having a prayer prior to a government meaning merely creates the opportunity for offending a vast majority of people. And also creates a false impression that the Lord somehow endorses government activity.

From having been a reporter-type person covering government activity at many levels throughout the years, I think much of their conduct borders on reprehensible. It makes me think that if there is an afterlife, it is the politicians who will wind up having to pay some form of penance. They’ll have to earn their way into Heaven for all the sinful acts they’re committing now.
... no matter how much some of us dream they are

AND AS FOR those who want their particular religious denomination dominating any public prayer, I’d say this is using religious belief as a way of playing partisan politics. An act I truly find offensive.

I’d like to think God doesn’t take sides on some of the stupid political battles that occur any more than he cared that the Chicago Cubs finally quit their inept ways to win the World Series two years ago.

I know from my experience of sitting through so many thousands of prayers prior to watching government business, I actually enjoyed the practices of suburban Lansing. The southern Cook County village has some two dozen churches in their municipality, and they rotated the prayer duty around equally.

Meaning that roughly every two years, each church would get its turn to have its head clergy on display.

I ALSO REMEMBER covering the Illinois General Assembly where the opening prayers were usually given by hometown clergy of the individual legislators; which created a sense of variety as some were entertaining while others were just so deadly dull.
RYAN: Talk about a government gaffe!

Or perhaps there’s the way of the Cook County Board, where I recall it was not uncommon to have two or three clergy at a board meeting on hand for the duty.

That would allow a variety of faiths and denominations to have a chance to express themselves in a moment of reflection to ask God to make sure our political people don’t screw everything up for us.

Which, if you come right down to it, is usually the theme of every prayer conducted right before a government hearing commences, regardless of where or when it is held.


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