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Old 03-28-2003, 05:43 AM   #1
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Mixing war and religion?

Hello,

I heard about this on the news this morning and now I also found an article on CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/....ap/index.html):

House calls for day of prayer and fasting in time of war
Critic says religion should not be injected into war
Thursday, March 27, 2003 Posted: 4:48 PM EST (2148 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House passed a resolution Thursday calling for a national day of humility, prayer and fasting in a time of war and terrorism.

The resolution, passed 346-49, says Americans should use the day of prayer "to seek guidance from God to achieve a greater understanding of our own failings and to learn how we can do better in our everyday activities, and to gain resolve in meeting the challenges that confront our nation."

Under the resolution, President Bush would issue a proclamation designating a specific day as a day of "humility, prayer and fasting."

White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said officials there had not looked at the resolution but "the president believes that faith and prayer are important and frequently references the importance of praying for American troops and for freedom around the world."

A similar resolution approved on March 17 said it was the sense of the Senate that that day should be a national day of prayer and fasting.

During Wednesday's House debate, some lawmakers expressed concern about the measure.

Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, a presidential hopeful and an opponent of the war in Iraq, said the resolution "may be seen by some as an attempt to inject religion into this war at a time when some of America's enemies abroad are asserting that this indeed is a war about religion."

***

I agree with this critic here. Time and time again president Bush has said that he wanted a war against the Iraqi regime, against Saddam Hussein. He said the war was not against the Iraqi (civilian) people or the islam. Yet, at this point in the war the House wants to emphasis the Christian values of the USA by having a day devoted to praying and fasting. Personally, I think it sends a dangerous signal to the islamic world at a moment that tension is high.

C ya!

Marty
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Old 03-28-2003, 09:12 AM   #2
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Prayer and fasting are found in many religions - not just Christianity. Based on the descriptions you have given, it appears to be a call for introspection, not a call to faith in Jesus Christ.

I think we could all you time to evaluate our own words, actions and values.
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Old 03-28-2003, 10:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Prayer and fasting are found in many religions - not just Christianity. Based on the descriptions you have given, it appears to be a call for introspection, not a call to faith in Jesus Christ.
But the resolution does specifically call for prayer which isn't just about introspection and which also excludes people of no religious faith.

I also don't really understand why Congress should need to pass a resolution urging citizens to fast and pray. Surely that's a matter of personal conscience?
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Old 03-28-2003, 10:55 AM   #4
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I really don't know what to say. I thought we had a seperation of Church and State, was I mistaken?

I will continue to pray for the safety of the people in Iraq, Americans and Iraquis alike, but never will I bring God into this war.
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Old 03-28-2003, 11:28 AM   #5
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Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
But the resolution does specifically call for prayer which isn't just about introspection and which also excludes people of no religious faith.
I see no effort by the government to control, dictate or suggest whom you pray to or what you pray about. I don't see religious faith as a necessary prerequisite to prayer.
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Old 03-28-2003, 11:29 AM   #6
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I've been fasting and praying independent of what my government says about such matters. I happen to be a practicing Catholic, and it's Lent, a time for penance. I'd be praying if the president or my Congressman were atheists, agnostics deists or Zoroastrians.
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Old 03-28-2003, 11:30 AM   #7
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
I really don't know what to say. I thought we had a seperation of Church and State, was I mistaken?
The resolution in question does not establish a religion in this country.
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Old 03-28-2003, 11:32 AM   #8
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It does, however, establish (or at least propose) a religious activity.

If I wanted my lawmakers telling me how to pray or practice my religion, I'd have moved to Iran, okay?
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Old 03-28-2003, 11:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I see no effort by the government to control, dictate or suggest whom you pray to or what you pray about. I don't see religious faith as a necessary prerequisite to prayer.
No, they aren't dictating what you should pray about, but I still don't understand why the government needs to urge citizens to pray - as I said before, I think prayer and religious faith are matters for each individual to decide and I don't think anyone needs the government to remind them to pray.

Also, I don't really see how you an individual can pray if they don't have any religious faith, can you explain that, please? Besides, this resolution urges people to "seek guidance from God" which certainly isn't something a person without religious faith would do.
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Old 03-28-2003, 11:47 AM   #10
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Originally posted by paxetaurora
It does, however, establish (or at least propose) a religious activity.

If I wanted my lawmakers telling me how to pray or practice my religion, I'd have moved to Iran, okay?
It suggests personal introspection. A perfectly healthy suggestions. It can easily be ignored. My guess many will.

I agree with you wholeheartedly - if lawmakers tell me how to pray or practice religion - that is going too far.
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Old 03-28-2003, 11:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees


No, they aren't dictating what you should pray about, but I still don't understand why the government needs to urge citizens to pray - as I said before, I think prayer and religious faith are matters for each individual to decide and I don't think anyone needs the government to remind them to pray.
The government suggest all types of things for its citizens. I remember the constant stream of commercials from years ago suggesting that you write to an address in Pueblo Colorado. You could obtain suggestions for all sorts of activities, behaviors or otherwise personal matters.

Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
Also, I don't really see how you an individual can pray if they don't have any religious faith, can you explain that, please? Besides, this resolution urges people to "seek guidance from God" which certainly isn't something a person without religious faith would do.
Prayer of those without religious faith may look different, but I think all people have some sort of spiritual void (the "God shaped hole" to quote a favorite band). What they fill it with varies. I could be simply looking to inner stregth, nature, space aliens, crystals, etc.

I could just see the angry furor if "God" was replaced with "Jesus Christ". God is defined in so many ways in this country that it is a fairly generic reference.

The resolution can be easily ignored. It may, however, touch the nerve of issues that many individuals don't want to address.
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Old 03-28-2003, 12:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader

It may, however, touch the nerve of issues that many individuals don't want to address.
Like what?
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Old 03-28-2003, 12:35 PM   #13
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It suggests personal introspection. A perfectly healthy suggestions. It can easily be ignored. My guess many will.
It does not suggest personal introspection. It said to seek guidance from God. How does that suggest personal introspection. Many don't believe in God. A healty suggestion? Yes for those of who already pray, but then what's the point of this resolution to begin with. Then the next question is where's the prayer in school, what about the "One nation under God" that was considered unconstitutional. They keep contradicting themselves.
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Old 03-28-2003, 12:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The government suggest all types of things for its citizens. I remember the constant stream of commercials from years ago suggesting that you write to an address in Pueblo Colorado. You could obtain suggestions for all sorts of activities, behaviors or otherwise personal matters.


Right, but I don't think the government's health advisors recommending that people eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is in the same league as Congress advising citizens to pray! Doesn't the United States have very strict guidelines on the division between state and religion? Surely then Congress can't presume to advise people on a matter of religious faith.

Quote:
Prayer of those without religious faith may look different, but I think all people have some sort of spiritual void (the "God shaped hole" to quote a favorite band). What they fill it with varies. I could be simply looking to inner stregth, nature, space aliens, crystals, etc.


But again, the resolution specifically calls on people to "seek guidance from God" - even if your definition of prayer is correct, it can't be the same as the definition of prayer used by Congress when they specifically advice people to pray to God, not to aliens or crystals, etc!
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Old 03-28-2003, 01:38 PM   #15
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It's popular to use religion in politics these days. It's the newest fad. Personally, I think it is insulting that our politicians are using religion like this, particularly considering how many religions are steadfastly against this war. But we can seemingly brush them aside as "irrelevant."

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