Why the invocation before a legislative session should be nonsectarian and nonpartisan

A commenter on Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax blog, which covers Illinois state government and politics, recalled some good advice he got as a Navy chaplain. It came in response to Miller’s post about a divisive, sectarian anti-abortion diatribe offered up today by a downstate minister, who was invited by state Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, to give the opening prayer for today’s session of the Illinois House of Representatives.

Rather than pontificating about it myself, I’ll just quote the CapFax comment in full (quietly fixing a misspelling or two and supplying punctuation here and there):

– Honeybear – Friday, May 31, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

So I’ve told this story here before.
Day 1 of Navy Chaplain School, Newport,RI.
Rabbi Kaprow: “Let us bow our heads for an invocation before class.”
( In a booming voice )
OH MIGHTY ZEUS BE WITH US NOW
SMITE THINE ENEMIES
IN THE NAME OF ZEUS WE PRAY

I thought several of the more non denominational chaplains might faint. Seriously.

Rabbi Kaprow: ” That, shipmates, is why you don’t pray in a specific name. Not in Jesus’s name or Buddha’s name and you keep your prayer neutral and for the most part uplifting.
Because if you can pray in Jesus’s name
Someone else can pray in Zeus’s name.
If you can pray in a specific religions/sectarian way, someone else can.

Now let us bow our heads for a proper invocation,
Almighty,
Be with our legislators this day as they carry out the work of our people.
May they….
….
….
In Your Holy Name we pray
Amen

Nobody offended.
Everyone who wants to be, uplifted.

Enough said?

Why, yes, I think so, too.

One thought on “Why the invocation before a legislative session should be nonsectarian and nonpartisan”

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