OUR VIEWS: The right to pray

Oct 10, 2012

 

At a time when we so often hear about the wrongdoings of our youth, it’s good to know an event such as this is well-attended. Those kids should be commended for their actions.

Joining hands and praying around a flagpole in front of school in the early morning hours is not for everyone, and that’s OK. If it’s not for you, no problem — but for those who do want to participate, we applaud the school for giving them the opportunity to do so.

It’s unfortunate that society dictates whether or not we can allow activities pertaining to politics and religion to continue. From saying the Pledge of Allegiance in our classrooms or a prayer before a sporting event, there are many who think these traditions shouldn’t be allowed. We agree that people shouldn’t be forced to participate, but we also believe those that want to should be able to do so.

The Michigan House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 4934 requiring classes in public schools to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day. At the same time, the bill prohibits compelling a student to recite the pledge.

We are fortunate to live in the greatest country in the world, and we are afforded many freedoms. Having the opportunity to express them by saying the Pledge of Allegiance in our classrooms or praying in front of the school should be a right for those who wish to participate.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

43°North

from Wikipedia...there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.

quoted from The Everything World's Religions Book: Explore the Beliefs, Traditions and Cultures of Ancient and Modern Religions, page 1 Kenneth Shouler - 2010

Let's invite them all. They all have a right. Or are they just wrong?

And have you ever seen what happens when someone doesn't stand up for the National Anthem, or who doesn't say the pledge of alliance in a crowd? When they do exercise their right, they are wrong?

Wingmaster

Ah, but they are allowed to NOT participate in the National Anthem, pledge of allegiance...43 north. They are not arrested, they have the freedom to go against the grain. This is what freedom IS. You have freedom of choice as long as it does not cause harm to others.

dyankee

Correction 43 North, they're 4,199 religions in the world....Islam is a cult, but go ahead and continue with your rant against your country because you're helping Romney/Ryan voters get to the poles in few weeks. Thank you

MR. WILLIAMS

As far as I'm concerned All Religions are a Cult and from my perspective I do not see the word, "Cult" meaning anything negative or bad. Looking at the Dictionary definition, "Cult; sect, religious group, faction, party, trendy offbeat, alternative, out of the ordinary unusual, fad, craze trend." From my perspective every Religion is a cult. It's a matter of perspective.

Lanivan

Your bringing up Romney/Ryan in a "Our View" piece about prayer in school brings up a good point. I was surprised to find that the Christian Reformed Denomination (among others) considers Mormonism a cult. Apparently because the Mormons have taken the Bible and added to it, as well as other major differences in their view of God ( the Trinity is not part of their faith beliefs). Also, Mormon Bishops, which Romney has been for many years, must take a secret oath. In this secret oath, they are required to put Mormonism above all other considerations, and it takes precedence over any other oath they might take. Strange that Romney has such a desperate desire for the presidency when he knows he will be required to take a sacred oath to uphold the laws of the land, and yet he knows the secret oath he took years ago as a Mormon Bishop must come first. This might explain the fact that no one in the Romney family history (including his 5 adult sons) ever served in the US military, and also why in the years running up to his presidential campaign he thought nothing of investing in off-shore tax havens and tax-free Swiss bank accounts. One could make a case he doesn't seem very patriotic or take the role of president of all the people in the same regard as his allegiance to his Mormon faith.

Wingmaster

So is this what the liberal blogs are bantering about? You guys are desperate! Your guy sits in a church led by the Reverend Wright for 20 years spewing hate damming America and you want us to fear Romney! Dirty Chicago politics are not going to win this time around.

Vladtheimp

Desperate times call for desperate measures, eh Lanivan. Now that the President has shown himself as the empty suit that he is, for all the world to see, and the media and the polls are starting to reflect that, it's time to bring out religious prejudice by repeating unsubstantiated and vile rumors about the Mormon religion. Honestly, having sparred with you recently on several topics I never thought that you would be so desperate, so dishonest, so willing to go beyond the pale that you would resort to religious prejudice and bias; I overestimated both your intelligence and morality. I won't dignify your bilious projectiles point by point, other than to refer you to Governor Romney's statement that “"I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from the God who gave us liberty,” he said. “Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage.” Actually, I'm glad to see that you have reverted to liberal type – while the country has progressed significantly since the early 1960's, you have gone back to the democrat days before the Civil Rights Act, where people felt free to fear John F. Kennedy, Jr. on the basis that he owed allegiance to the Pope first and America second. If you want to indulge in this sort of ad hominem attacks, let's look at the ring that Obama wore, third finger, left hand, long before he met Michelle, but insisted she place on his finger that reportedly says: “There is no God except Allah.” Does that explain Obama's bowing and scraping to middle eastern potentates? His promotion of the Muslim Brotherhood? His refusal to identify the Fort Hood Massacre as a terrorist act? What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander! Lanivan, I had a modicum of respect for your positions, but now I can only repeat the word of Joseph N. Welch to Senator Joseph McCarthy during the McCarthy Hearings - “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency? “ You demean yourself, Sir!

43°North

all I can say is...
wow!

and here I always though Lanivan was a woman!

Vladtheimp

Hey, you're right, I may have been sexist. I never thought to tie Lanivan with "Lanvin, Paris." To correct that, I'll add the alternate "Have you no sense of decency Madam, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency? “ You demean yourself, Madam! Thanks for pointing out my inadvertent sex typing, although I'm not sure how I can change the quote if Lanivan is a member of the LBGT community - cross that divide when I come to it.

Wingmaster

Lol Vlad, even though I find your vast knowledge academically stuffy at tImes, your sense of humor is refreshing and sharp! Glad your on the right team!

Vladtheimp

I'll try to be less academically stuffy - I used to be a teacher (non-union).

43°North

yeah, you two should meet at the Rendezous and discuss that...

Lanivan

Vlad - everything I said about Romney's Mormon faith is substantiated by sources who would know. If you can set me straight on this, by all means, do so. As for Romney's statement re: keeping religion and governance separate, while I agree with that statement, Romney has proven himself to very good at changing his beliefs and saying all kinds of things that he then walks back from, whenever it becomes necessary, and has now lost all credibility, in my humble opinion. As for Obama's gold wedding ring (very attractive, btw), I wonder about your point. Are you saying you think Obama is a secret Muslim? Or are you concerned that the ring has some unsubstantiated reference to Allah, which you might think is the name for the Muslim God? If the latter, I found that Allah is a middle eastern word that describes God, and is used by middle eastern Christians to describe Yahweh or "God". Pope Benedict used the term "Allah" when he was in the Middle East, blessing the Christians there. Of course, you understand Jesus grew up in the Middle East - Palestine - and could have used the word Allah - it's not a recent Muslim word. SO - if it should ever be proven Obama's ring has the word "Allah" on it, it's probably all perfectly harmless, and you can be assured that Obama is not a secret Muslim that has infiltrated the US government to replace the Constitution with sharia law.

43°North

dyankee! I had to go back and read what I ranted about...I just made one factual statement with backup and asked 3 questions in response to the article How in the world did you ever get a rant against my country out of that? Is it more about your one true god and all others are false? Better bone up on Mormonism. Now there's a good laugh. lol

dyankee

@Lanivan, Mormons, Catholics, Jews, Buddhist, etc...don't hang people for being gay. They don't cut your head off if you insult their God or refuse to convert to their religion. Islamist do. What more is there to say? You're comparing apples to IED's and minimizing your creditbility to be rational. President Obama was never in the military, nor was Clinton or Carter. So, what is your point when saying Romney or his family was never in the military? Obama has never owned or ran a business, never was accountable to meet a pay roll, and has virtually no history in elective office prior to morphing into the the highest office in the land. Romney has ran a business and a State...he is more than qualified and his freedom to choose his own faith for himself and his family ought not disqualify him from anything in America. Currently, when President Obama walks into an official meeting, domestically or abroad, he is the most inexperienced one there.....think about that for a minute. The issue is that you simply don't like Romney and that's ok....isn't this Country great! We don't like you, but we still converse with you. lol (just kidding) I read your post and I appreciate your steadfast beliefs because I don't think you're faking. I respect people that are passionate about their views, even if I disagree with them. Its ok if you disagree with me too...I can't force you to be right all the time!

Lanivan

Thank you for understanding that I am passionate about my beliefs, and especially about this election. Please understand that I am not debating religion here. My only concern is my belief that the more I read about Romney, the less I think he would be good for our country. I don't dislike him exactly - I just don't think he has what it takes to be president of 300+ million diverse people. He doesn't understand us because he's never had to deal with us - other than fire us, of course. Don't forget - Romney owned a private equity company - he was a banker who invested big money from global investors. He didn't create, manage, build, manufacture, engineer, motivate, hire, train, educate, service, or expand. His sole goal was to make the greatest return on investment for his wealthy global investors. I'm sorry - the US is not a hedge fund, a business, or a household. Obama pulled himself up by his bootstraps, was smart, ambitious, got educated, served the country and people from many walks of life in many capacities, and quite frankly, has a superior intellect and character that makes him very qualified. Romney didn't make any friends when he took his little trip to England, Poland and Israel - in fact, it was quite a disaster. And besides, how do you know the real Romney? I will give you this - Romney is very, very good at re-inventing himself with the skill of the slickest salesman. (my point about no one in the Romney family through the years served in the military is that I find this odd, and is one thing among many that makes me wonder about his patriotism and his depth of commitment to the American people and our soldiers. It's another thing that makes me think he is an outlier).

Vladtheimp

Thanks for telling us ex post facto that you don't believe in the comments you make - kind of like Obama being exposed and saying he doesn't like debating or was too polite.
" Obama pulled himself up by his bootstraps, was smart, ambitious, got educated, served the country and people from many walks of life in many capacities, and quite frankly, has a superior intellect and character that makes him very qualified. Romney didn't make any friends when he took his little trip to England, Poland and Israel - in fact, it was quite a disaster. And besides, how do you know the real Romney" Obama was upper middle class, somehow got into schools he himself agreed he was unqualified for, traveled the world with no money (PAAKISTAAN), Indonesia, and then became a community organizer. We know Romney's academic records from high school, thanks to our inquisitive media, but nothing about Obama. You, sir or madam, are a tool, and increasingly not a credible one.

Wingmaster

He shoots, he skewers! Or should I say impales!!

Lanivan

Vlad impales....not that's clever, Wingmaster!

Lanivan

I believe in the comments I make, try to call it as I see it, read and research lots, and don't deliberately attempt to waste your time with a bunch of misinformation, propaganda, and blatant nonsense. I state my opinion which is made based on the facts available to me. If you don't agree with my comments, don't read them. Clearly you have your own firmly-held opinions which are totally opposite mine.......but I don't call you a tool, a fool, a troll, a pompous ---, or some other name - even though I admit I have been tempted!

Vladtheimp

In that case, you are a complete wuss, much like your president. First you spew religious bigotry about Mitt Romney and Mormonism, and when called on it you say, like a little girl , "Oh. My. Goodness. I definitely created a stir by sharing what I learned about Mormonism. I hope you folks are laughing as hard as I am....." Religious bigotry is not a laughing matter - it seems you are more interested in "creating a stir" than presenting rational arguments. Well, I stick by my response on the Obama ring. Let's hear some discussion on that. You can call me anything you want - I consider the source and move on to the comments of informed, rational readers. Maybe some day you will achieve that status. You indulged yourself in religious bigotry and now want to step it back. Sorry - it's in print.

Bazz56

Go ahead and vote for obama if then we won't have to listen to you anymore.

Lanivan

Thanks for your permission to vote for Obama. I voted for him in 2008 and will do so again in 2012, as I believe him to be the better candidate, by far. By the way, we do not "listen" to these comments, we read them, and if you do not like to read mine, please feel free to stop at any time. I assure you, my feelings won't be hurt. I am a little concerned about your veiled attempt to infringe on my right to free speech and my right to my opinion, but other than that, carry on!

Highlander

What more is ther to say? Some truth?
1. The inquisition & the crusades., the KKK, the Westboro Baptists, and some militia groups et al. all killed and/or persecuted in the name of religion and intolerance, corrupting Christianity while shunning love and compassion. I have muslim friends who are some of the most gentle, compassionate, loving people I know.
2. Carter was in the Navy. Bush II was hardly in the military. Call it the reserves. Few politicians serve these days, nor do their children.
3.Romney's payroll savy qualifies him for President? Please. Bain took "socialist" incentives from he gub'ment. Romney ran a business and a state. Obama has run cmapaigns, has run a country, is Harvard educated, Obama is most experienced abroad? Eh, no. Obama is experienced and respected internationally. By the way, the President has people to run the "business" part of this country.
4. "Morphing into the highest office"? Is this what you call "being elected"?
5. Romney hides his money off shore, was wealthy from his father. Obama grew up from nothing.
6. Obama was railed for being a "muslim" (any data?), and took the Presidential oath on the Bible, not the Koran. Yet Romney doesn't follow the Bible, he follows the Book of Mormon, and would take the oath on the Book of Mormon.
7. Virtually no held public office? Eh, wrong. US Senator.
8. Obama has helped people, has served people from the under class to the working class, to the middle class to the wealthy. Romney has profitted off of people (see Bain, closing plants, outsourcing)

Nice try. But you may want to check your "facts". I know you would be a little more careful if you had to post your real name.

Tri-cities realist

Just for the record Romney is Harvard educated as well, MBA and JD, for what it's worth.

Lanivan

Oh. My. Goodness. I definitely created a stir by sharing what I learned about Mormonism. I hope you folks are laughing as hard as I am......the assumptions you make, the lack of any logical or critical thinking - it is breathtaking in it's scope, IF your comments are serious. Look - let's calm down and get something straight. I'm interested in learning about Romney's faith only as it pertains to his wanting to be my president. I happen to think Romney is an outlier - he really has no conception of life outside his very tight, wealthy, privileged life that has been shaped overwhelmingly by his Mormon faith and his money. As the owner of a private equity fund that invests the money of the super rich, as a Mormon Bishop who is required to take a secret oath that supercedes all other oaths, from a family that has never served their country in the military, I just don't see him as a viable president. I don't see a sense of patriotism or a defender of the American Dream....or even understanding and certainly not caring about us average people not in the 1%. I could not care less what religion he practices as a private citizen. I have had some wonderful - and very spiritual - friends over the years who were Mormons, and Muslims, for that matter (as well as Christians and Jews). I value them as people and friends, and respect their religious beliefs, even if they happen to be different from mine. I base my opinions on people by how they live their life and how they treat others. The rest is none of my business.....except when it comes to the person wanting to be my president.

Tri-cities realist

And I thought we might be able to agree with the Trib editorial...I guess I was wrong (note to Lanivan, I do admit when I am wrong). So Lanivan, please share with us your research on Obama's past, including, but not limited to: his religious views, particularly in the church he attended for 20 years, his accomplishments during his time as a community organizer, his family members' military service, any meaningful legislation he authored while serving as US Senator, any of his writings and opinions while in law school, how he got his first job after law school, how he was able to secure an expensive home on a modest salary, or anything else which might be pertinent in judging the character of someone holding the office of POTUS. I can't wait for you to share with us your findings. And as you can see, I have written nothing hateful or disparaging about our President, I am simply seeking knowledge, so you can lift your ban on replying to me.

snlfan

To all,

Frontline had a great program the followed the history of both guys on the other night... I caught most of it, and thought it did a good job of just presenting the histories of both men. It was a pretty informative.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/fr...

Bazz56

That we pray is not just a tradition as you say it is a way of life and living. Much like unbelievers gather in bars to worship we gather as well. Rather then get drunk we pray. The God-less would say i don't pray, you should not be allowed to. Ok you stop getting drunk and i won't pray for you.

snlfan

Put it to you this way... Stop praying in our schools, and I promise I will not come to your church and think. If you need a make believe man in the sky to get through life all the more power to you, just do it on your own time and not force it on the rest of us. Praying at a public school forces religion on the rest of the student body, as kids often can be swayed by peer pressure (join in the majority or be outcast). It's better you just keep praying in your private life, and I’ll keep thinking in my private life. BTW saying all non-believers are drunks is equivalent to me saying all believers have the same attitude as the 911 pilots, ie violence in ok in the name of god. You can't say those guys didn't believe in god.

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