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Christians successfully restore prayer to board meetings

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The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners has voted to restore prayer to open meetings.

In 2004, two members of the board decided they were offended with Christian prayer and successfully lobbied fellow members to open instead with a moment of silence. The Christian Family Coalition got to work and one of the hostile members was replaced with a Christian, as spokesman Anthony Verdugo explains.

Verdugo

"To eliminate religious speech in the form of solemnizing the prayer is discrimination, and so what we told the commissioners is all we want to do is restore free-speech rights and restore speech equality so that everyone can speak openly and freely so long as it's civil discourse," he tells OneNewsNow.

The commission voted 8-3 to restore prayer prior to the roll call for the meeting.

"We are a metropolitan area, but we also have to be an inclusive and welcoming community and we talk about being inclusive and welcoming and tolerant," he says. "That includes people of faith also because we too are part of this community. We're not isolated from it, so our free-speech rights must also be respected and upheld."

Under the policy, the commissioners will select on a rotating basis someone from the area to conduct the prayer -- or commissioners themselves can elect to offer the prayer.

source

by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 7:24 AM
Replies (311-320):
KamWorthy
by Silver Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 6:09 PM
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in freedom of expression at all". -Noam Chomsky
JonJon
by Ruby Member on Dec. 12, 2012 at 5:35 AM

No one likes a good story better than I.  Too bad you couldn't come up with a good one and stick to it.

One major difference between you and me is I tell you straight up what I perceive in your writing.  You're another one of those people who believe you can write any nasty thing you want as long as you figure out how to say in it roundabout, non-direct ways such as implying I don't know or like 3 1/2 year olds (most of us are parents, we know a few things about kids).  What I know is it's strange to refer to a child as 3.5 years.  What on earth is THAT about?  It's extremely dehumanizing, imo.  It's as if you're talking about a lab experiment, using a decimal point like that.  Saying I don't like your little story is also an insult as that's your way of deflecting from the fact you've been caught in your lie at the worst and embellishing your story for the sake of trying to win an argument, at the least. 

You've been insulting me since you asked me my opinion and it is YOU who haven't liked MY rebuttals.  Remember, you inserted yourself into an exchange I was having with a third party.  Actually, she was the second party, you're the third.  I haven't been trying to incur your favor.  You've come off as odd to me from the moment you told the first version of your story. 

I'm not sorry to have alienated you though you've alienated yourself nor am I sorry you won't be responding any further.  I'll consider that one of my Christmas presents.  LOL @ semblence of tact.  Is that what you've been doing? You can insult someone as long as you do it with what you believe is tact? 

sidesplittinglaughter

There's a difference between my conclusions based on what you've written and your conclusions based on my not falling for your line of bull.

I choose to engage with all kinds of people.  We don't have to be like-minded except in the belief that the truth as best we can tell it is preferable to lies and that we don't all have to be like-minded to have civil exchanges and live in peace.

My Christmas wish for you is that you learn to tolerate people who DON'T pray in public as if it makes them more observant than those who don't choose to make spectacles of ourselves.

Quoting KamWorthy:

I'm sorry you don't like how things obviously played out in the story I shared with you. I think you are a skeptic when it comes to the goodness in children, therefore you are incapable of comprehending that a 3.5 year old could actually ask to pray for a meal. I'm even more sorry that you burned a bridge with me on cafemom by sinking to insults and combativeness instead of being gracious about your inherint reluctancy and pessimism that you seem to struggle with. Merry Christmas. I'll not be reading or responding to your comments further. I choose to engage with like minded individuals or at the very least those who possess some semblance of tact.
Quoting JonJon:

Hey, glass-half-full-girl, what's that glass half full of?  Booze or shit?

You are changing your story.  That's the sign of one who is lying.  First, you write as if you were right next to the family, now you're writing as if you were some distance from them.  First, the kid anticipates the grace and asks to be the one to say the prayer; the kid would have to be pretty precocious to do that before the age of 12 or so but I put the kid's age at about 8 because of the wording you attributed to the kid which you very clearly heard so they were either close or loud.

Now you're saying you just happened to accidentally (why make the point it was an accident?) notice this lovely family softly praying and that the kid was 3 1/2.  I know very few kids that age who can talk so strangers can understand much less anticipate a prayer and have the presence of mind to ask for the honor and then to compose or recite a memorized prayer. 

In response to my saying there'd be an annoying din if everyone prayed you are now saying they softly prayed. 

The first time you said prayer is better than your random example of someone cussing or a 20-something on the phone arranging a hook-up, now you're saying that actually happened that night.

First you and your parents intently watched the family and listened to the kid's glorious prayer, now you're saying you alone happened to glance over and see the family's heads bowed in soft prayer.

Then you made an unnecessarily snide remark about Budhists as if there's any religion on the planet that doesn't include prayer.  Trying to insinuate Budhists are strange, abnormal or invalid is indicative of some sort of animosity toward them and is not nice, oh ye who tried to assert you are not but aren't.

Quoting KamWorthy:

As I said before, I had rather accidently glance over and see a loving family holding hands and heads bowed in a soft prayer then some loud mouth on the phone, or some 20 something talking about hooking up. If someone wants to stop me in the middle of the store to pray, who am I to judge or say they don't have the spiritual authority? As long as the prayer stays civil and non offensive, I've no problem. I have always been the type of character that is tolerant of people in general. No matter who they are, as long as their treatment of me is civil, I shall return it. as far as me assessing if those individuals are attractive, I never even notice, I'm too awe struck by their awesome measure of faith and compassion to take notice of their looks. Besides, isn't beauty in the eyes of the beholder? If so, in my opinion, they are certainly beautiful.
Quoting JonJon:

I didn't say public prayer is offensive.  It's inconsiderate of those who don't pray aloud in public.  People are naturally polite and stop what they are doing when someone else breaks out in prayer.  The pray-ers are exerting their wills and/or needs over those of strangers.  It's not offensive, it's inconsiderate and self-serving and a nuisance when you realize you stopped or closed your eyes or bowed your head because someone else burst into prayer. 

When people are considerate enough to ask, "May I pray for you?" I tell them I can use all the prayer I can get but I'm not comfortable stopping in the middle of the grocery store or while riding on the bus to pray with them.  I used to let people do that to me.  Complete strangers would come up to me in the street to ask if I would pray with them.  I almost got a complex, "What's going on?  Do I look as if I need saving?  Or do I just look like an good-natured, easy mark?  I realized I looked like a mark and started to telling people to pray for me but I was on my way somewhere.

Most people won't tell a pray-er who wants to commit random acts of public prayer "no" and they know it.  It's either attention-seeking or having fun making people do something they usually wouldn't and isn't really for the person being asked to pray, imo.  People treat you as if you are somehow more special when they see you praying in public in their minds, I bet. 

Those of us watching the Canadian pray were very nice to her when she was finished.  I had a nice little chat with her when she was done.  Other than having the audacity to pray in a fish and chowder house she wouldn't have attracted anyone's attention as she was not particularly attractive or spectacular in any way.  Most people who ask me to pray in public are not particular striking or interesting in any particular ways.

Quoting KamWorthy:

I think one short prayer covers the entire course. I'm far more offended by some loud mouth spewing profanities or a 20 something talking about who they will be hooking up with later in the evening than I am of a couple or loving family saying a little prayer before their meal.
Quoting JonJon:

Religion is a dying tradition. 

We didn't dine out when I was a kid so I don't know if people publicly prayed over their meals 50 years ago.  I tend to believe this is a recent anomaly and that even the most devout true believers respect other people enough not to pray in public.  Can you imagine how strange and noisy it would be if everyone prayed over their appetizers, then their entrees, then their deserts in a restaurant?  The din would be constant and intolerable.

Quoting KamWorthy:

Prayer does seem to be a dying tradition. I'm certain many are pleased. I have to admit though, while having dinner with my parents the other night, we watched a family take one another's hand and the little boy said please mom can I say grace. He said the most pure, sincere prayer petition I've ever heard...then concluded it with..." I just love you Jeses, I love you so bad". He did receive a few glares when he said that though. I can't help but wonder if he had said,,," I just love Buddah" would there have been such a reaction. What do you think? Of course, I don't even know if praying to Buddah is even done lol.






JonJon
by Ruby Member on Dec. 12, 2012 at 6:37 AM

I replied to this once already but I forgot some things so I'm embedding to make sure I catch everything this time around:

Quoting KamWorthy:

As I said before, I had rather accidently glance over and see a loving family holding hands and heads bowed in a soft prayer then some loud mouth on the phone, or some 20 something talking about hooking up.
I find it odd your addressing something to which my reply didn't refer as one who tells stories might do to reinforce a story perhaps based on some bit of reality but which they know is not the total truth.
If someone wants to stop me in the middle of the store to pray, who am I to judge or say they don't have the spiritual authority?
See, this is your way of demeaning me by calling me judgmental and wrong for denying a strange preyer's authority.  It's odd your believing it's okay to let preyers exert their wills over you as long as it involves prayer. 
Someone stopping me to pray is insulting, really, as they have decided I'm in need of prayer.  If I haven't spent any time complaining my life is problematic, why should someone to whom I barely have spoken or who is a total stranger to me take it upon themselves to decide I need their prayers? 
It's not safe to close your eyes in public.  One might be able to trust someone met and only seen at community meetings or at the bus stop or in the grocery store but prayer is the only time most people would close their eyes when approached by a complete stranger.  What a perfect way to get people off-guard while you pick their pockets.  So we are supposed to suspend all we've learned about being safe in public because someone couches their need to control other people by saying they'd like to pray for us?  Why on earth would I grant "authority" to a complete stranger just because he or she utters the word prayer?  Never give your power away unless you enjoy being powerless.
I don't like the fact that I'm supposed to feel guilty for not being a church-goer.  See, these people almost always start out by asking if you've been saved or recommending you attend their churches.  When I say I don't go to church, they want to pray for me.  It's a setup because most people don't go to church.  Whatever the reason, asking or invitng someone to pray is a control issue for the preyers.
As long as the prayer stays civil and non offensive, I've no problem.
Describe the problem you'd have if the prayer becomes uncivil and offensive.  How does such a prayer sound?
I have always been the type of character that is tolerant of people in general.
The insinuation being that I am not a character (I am though most people don't make it a point to be characters so why do you?) and that I am not tolerant of people, in general (I am).  But you believe you're being tactful so it's okay for you to say something like that, right?  Seriously, you holier-than-thous who insult but believe you can say you didn't because you speak in "I" messages make me want to vomit.
No matter who they are, as long as their treatment of me is civil, I shall return it.
I've been civil.  I haven't been agreeing.  Apparently, that makes me non-civil by your way of thinking.  Heh.
as far as me assessing if those individuals are attractive, I never even notice,
You're human, aren't you?  You notice.
I'm too awe struck by their awesome measure of faith and compassion to take notice of their looks.
It's naive to automatically embue complete strangers with good character and good intentions just because they want to pray (prey) over you.  Many, many bad people pray who have no real compassion for others; the bigger and more ostentacious their crucifixes, the more corrupt they probably are.  Think of the leaders of drug cartels and clerics who have sex with their practioners. 
You always seem to miss the point.  The point is that people who otherwise have no ability to exert influence on other people based on their looks (or money or power) can influence and manipulate them with prayer.  People who are otherwise not noteworthy can get anyone's attention and hold them in one place by asking them to join them in prayer, anywhere, anytime.  It's extremely presumptuous to believe it's okay to stop someone who didn't anticipate praying in the mall and who is busy doing something else to stop in their tracks because you want them to do what you want to do, WHEN you want them to do it.
Besides, isn't beauty in the eyes of the beholder? If so, in my opinion, they are certainly beautiful.
Again, not the point I was making.  If you're someone most people don't pay attention to and you crave attention and if you are someone who otherwise have little to no power and you want to feel powerful and to be treated as if you are special, go around looking for people you believe have problems or no self-esteem and tell them you would like to pray for them. 
People make that mistake with me all the time.  See, fat people, in their minds, are weak, lonely and/or lack self-esteem and most certainly must have all kinds of problems  Some people believe we black folks feel sorry for ourselves and are of the victim mentality (that's because though they deny it on a conscious level they subconsiously know we are treated as second-class citizens).  Such people learn they've made a mistake in their assessment of me shortly after they stop me.  How long I humore them during their scpiels depends on my mood on a given day.
Quoting JonJon:

I didn't say public prayer is offensive.  It's inconsiderate of those who don't pray aloud in public.  People are naturally polite and stop what they are doing when someone else breaks out in prayer.  The pray-ers are exerting their wills and/or needs over those of strangers.  It's not offensive, it's inconsiderate and self-serving and a nuisance when you realize you stopped or closed your eyes or bowed your head because someone else burst into prayer. 

When people are considerate enough to ask, "May I pray for you?" I tell them I can use all the prayer I can get but I'm not comfortable stopping in the middle of the grocery store or while riding on the bus to pray with them.  I used to let people do that to me.  Complete strangers would come up to me in the street to ask if I would pray with them.  I almost got a complex, "What's going on?  Do I look as if I need saving?  Or do I just look like an good-natured, easy mark?  I realized I looked like a mark and started to telling people to pray for me but I was on my way somewhere.

Most people won't tell a pray-er who wants to commit random acts of public prayer "no" and they know it.  It's either attention-seeking or having fun making people do something they usually wouldn't and isn't really for the person being asked to pray, imo.  People treat you as if you are somehow more special when they see you praying in public in their minds, I bet. 

Those of us watching the Canadian pray were very nice to her when she was finished.  I had a nice little chat with her when she was done.  Other than having the audacity to pray in a fish and chowder house she wouldn't have attracted anyone's attention as she was not particularly attractive or spectacular in any way.  Most people who ask me to pray in public are not particularly striking or interesting in any particular ways.

Quoting KamWorthy:

I think one short prayer covers the entire course. I'm far more offended by some loud mouth spewing profanities or a 20 something talking about who they will be hooking up with later in the evening than I am of a couple or loving family saying a little prayer before their meal.
Quoting JonJon:

Religion is a dying tradition. 

We didn't dine out when I was a kid so I don't know if people publicly prayed over their meals 50 years ago.  I tend to believe this is a recent anomaly and that even the most devout true believers respect other people enough not to pray in public.  Can you imagine how strange and noisy it would be if everyone prayed over their appetizers, then their entrees, then their deserts in a restaurant?  The din would be constant and intolerable.

Quoting KamWorthy:

Prayer does seem to be a dying tradition. I'm certain many are pleased. I have to admit though, while having dinner with my parents the other night, we watched a family take one another's hand and the little boy said please mom can I say grace. He said the most pure, sincere prayer petition I've ever heard...then concluded it with..." I just love you Jeses, I love you so bad". He did receive a few glares when he said that though. I can't help but wonder if he had said,,," I just love Buddah" would there have been such a reaction. What do you think? Of course, I don't even know if praying to Buddah is even done lol.





futureshock
by Ruby Member on Dec. 12, 2012 at 6:45 AM

THIS!!!!!!!

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

It also includes people of OTHER faiths ..are they saying different prayers as well?

Nope

So many Christians are bigoted bullies pushing their religious beliefs on others

Disgusting


futureshock
by Ruby Member on Dec. 12, 2012 at 6:55 AM
1 mom liked this

Agreed.

Quoting JonJon:

In writing he sounds as if he has the hots for Jesus and wants to ask him on a date, "I love you so bad?"  That's a bit much.

The kid definitely craved attention and approval.  Just like his parents.  There's something defiant in audibly praying in restaurants, don't you think?

Quoting KamWorthy:

"How" he said it? What do you mean?
Quoting JonJon:

I don't believe it's WHO he said he loved, but HOW he said it.

(American) Budhists pray to their ancestors whom they believe are watching them and will make their prayers come true.  At least, that's what I thought the Budhists I met said the few weeks I practiced Budhism.

Quoting KamWorthy:

Prayer does seem to be a dying tradition. I'm certain many are pleased. I have to admit though, while having dinner with my parents the other night, we watched a family take one another's hand and the little boy said please mom can I say grace. He said the most pure, sincere prayer petition I've ever heard...then concluded it with..." I just love you Jeses, I love you so bad". He did receive a few glares when he said that though. I can't help but wonder if he had said,,," I just love Buddah" would there have been such a reaction. What do you think? Of course, I don't even know if praying to Buddah is even done lol.
Quoting JonJon:

bouncing  Survival skills just in case a tornado sweeps through town, lifts my building and lands me somewhere in the Bible Belt!  Thank you, your helpful hints are pure genius!

Fortunately, I live in a city, where no one prays, ever!  LOL!  I was in a restaurant not that long ago when a woman took her dining companion's hand and started saying grace over their food.  Everyone all around them stopped eating and talking and looked at them.  What on earth are they doing, and why are they doing it in public?!   We might have ignored them except her prayer took so long.  She wasn't from here, she was CANADIAN!  Heh.  She said she's gotten used to people thinking she's weird.  She was very nice.  :)



KamWorthy
by Silver Member on Dec. 12, 2012 at 3:56 PM
Freedom of Speech, Freedom from Religious persecution.....disgusting???!! lol!!
Raintree
by Ruby Member on Dec. 12, 2012 at 4:08 PM

If they pray, I would hope that it's a watered down, 'providence' type prayer that doesn't mention Jesus or Allah or religion specific deities. 

But I doubt it. 

Raintree
by Ruby Member on Dec. 12, 2012 at 4:12 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting KamWorthy:

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in freedom of expression at all". -Noam Chomsky

Are you thinking that old Noam thinks that coerced, governmental prayer is 'freedom of expression'?

KamWorthy
by Silver Member on Dec. 12, 2012 at 5:39 PM
Eh, no, of course not lol... apparently according to the Miami-Dade Board of county Commissioners this is not forced prayer. This is one of those instances where you and others may not like the outcome, but the votes have spoken. Just like in this last political election. The people voted into law what they wanted. It is what it is.
Quoting Raintree:


Quoting KamWorthy:

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in freedom of expression at all". -Noam Chomsky

Are you thinking that old Noam thinks that coerced, governmental prayer is 'freedom of expression'?

KamWorthy
by Silver Member on Dec. 12, 2012 at 5:44 PM
I don't think you need fear the name Jesus on their behalf. Besides, I can assure you the word God, or Lord or Father will be used, does that not carrie much more weight in the minds of believers anyway?
Quoting Raintree:

If they pray, I would hope that it's a watered down, 'providence' type prayer that doesn't mention Jesus or Allah or religion specific deities. 

But I doubt it. 

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