The city council of Glendale, Arizona is trying to decide whether they should open their meetings with prayer. They say it would be diverse, that all religious groups in the city would be invited to rotate in and do a prayer (90% of which would be Christian, of course), and the mayor has a brilliant reason for wanting to do it:
The Glendale City Council is considering whether to begin its meetings with a prayer. There’s already a moment of silence — and some say that’s a perfect time to pray. The mayor says it’s not enough.
“I mean obviously look at some of the problems we’ve had in the city over the years. A little help would go a long way I think,” says Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers.
This reminds me of the absurd arguments we hear for abstinence-only sex ed. Since they can’t show that teaching abstinence actually leads to kids not having sex, they instead just point out how great it would be if the kids didn’t do so. “Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to avoid getting pregnant.” Yes, that’s true. But that has nothing to do with whether telling them to remain abstinent will actually make them abstinent. Same premise here, that it would be great if God would help solve the city’s problems, but that doesn’t mean that praying will bring any help.
Does he think that there aren’t people in Glendale who are already praying to fix whatever problems they have? Does he think if he offers a prayer in private or at church asking God to fix those problems that God won’t hear that one? Does God get better reception at city hall? Or do public prayers count more than private ones?