Saturday, November 17, 2007

If there's a separation of Church and State, where's the line?

On Tuesday, the Governor of Georgia held an all-faith rally to pray for rain. If you haven't heard, Georgia is suffering an unprecedented drought and a call for everyone in the state to pray for relief wouldn't be unheard of. But to hold it on the capitol steps? Is that going too far? Like my title says, if there really is a separation of Church and State, where's the line? Was it crossed when Congressmen and women sang God Bless America on the steps of the US Capitol following September 11? Is it crossed when the president suggests we pray for the victims of a natural disaster?

There were a few protesters, but not as substantial as I would've expected. But there was an online debate on one of the message boards I frequent over whether this sets a bad precedent (of course, in order for that to be the case this would have to be the first time something like this has ever happened). The person who started the thread, about halfway through the debate, stated that he was afraid of what this country will look like in 20 years if such violations of the First Amendment are allowed to continue. I hate to break it to him, but there was a nationwide vigil when the Apollo 13 mission failed. And that was more than 20 years ago. Have we been sliding down the slippery slope ever since? Of course not. That wasn't the first such event and it certainly wasn't the last. I already mentioned 9/11. And while that spike of patriotism and religion might have alarmed the most paranoid Church/State activists, a majority of those who rushed to their churches to pray, hold vigil, donate blood, or just take communion for the first time in years have since dropped back out into the world of sleeping in on Sundays or staying home to watch football.

But were the prayers effective? Well, it did rain believe it or not. Although the weather service did predict rain. But this whole event reminds me of a common anecdote of the girl who, when her town gathered to pray for rain to end a drought, was the only one who brought an umbrella. Relate this to Mark 11:24, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." So I wonder, of all the people who showed up, did anyone think to bring an umbrella?

1 comment:

CresceNet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.