CFI, AU Protest Bill to Add Prayer to WW2 Memorial

Since 2011, House Republicans have repeatedly tried to pass a bill add a prayer plaque to the World War 2 memorial in Washington, DC. It makes good politics, of course; they can then go back home and tell harrowing tales of those evil liberals who hate God and our fallen heroes. Several church/state separation groups sent a letter to the leaders of the committee considering the legislation urging them to reject it.

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) joined eight leading religious and secularist groups this week in urging members of the U.S. House of Representatives to reject a problematic bill that would add a prayer plaque to the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C.

Earlier today, the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation hosted a hearing on H.R. 2715, which would “direct the Secretary of the Interior to install in the area of the World War II Memorial in the District of Columbia a suitable plaque or an inscription with the words that President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed with the United States on June 6, 1944, the morning of D-Day.”

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have submitted variations of the legislation since 2011; having once been approved by the full House of Representatives, but never passed by the full Senate. CFI has partnered with groups such as Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union to oppose this legislation each time it has been considered by a Congressional body. For instance, this past fall we collectively sent a letter opposing the Senate companion bill, S. 1044, when it came up in committee, where it remains…

Other groups joining us in fighting this legislation include the American Jewish Committee, Hindu American Foundation, Interfaith Alliance, National Council of Jewish Women, and the United Methodist Church.

It occurs to me what is really at the root of the Christian right’s obsession with getting prayers included with every kind of public display of meeting: They’re marking their territory, pissing around the boundaries of what they think is their property — the government — to make sure everyone knows that if they are allowed in at all, it is only because the Christians are so magnanimous.

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  • busterggi

    Just what, other than marking territory, are these prayers supposed to do? Make Gawd change his eternal immutable plans? Save souls that don’t deserve saving on their own?

    I t must be terrible to live with the constant fear of a despotic sky monster.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Marking their territory, I like it! So apt.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    Excellent analogy.

    Does that mean that prayer meetings are like packs of dogs sniffing each others butts?

  • yoav

    Would the plaque say gott mit uns?

  • abb3w

    The difference is that if you catch a dog doing it where he’s not supposed to and chastise him, he’ll run away to try to hide under the bed.

    Still, it seems an intriguing insight.

  • eric

    Several of the quotes already on the monument are extremely jingoistic. “We will utterly destroy you” kind of stuff. Maybe they’re jealous that there’s all these mentions of humans smiting humans, and none of God doing it.

  • John Pieret

    They’re marking their territory, pissing around the boundaries of what they think is their property

    I and many others have long made this point. Even Ed has said it before:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2012/11/20/keeping-the-sabbeth-holy/

    Every time you hear of one of these bills, just imagine the author lifting his leg.

    ArtK @ 3:

    Does that mean that prayer meetings are like packs of dogs sniffing each others butts?

    Mostly they have already sorted out who is who depending on the particular church sponsoring the prayer meeting but let one of the dogs diverge from that church’s line and you’ll see some of the most intense butt-sniffing, sometimes called heresy trials.

  • vereverum

    Have they read it??

    one, it doesn’t mention Jesus and a prayer isn’t valid if it doesn’t, and

    two:

    Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity…

  • a miasma of incandescent plasma

    I’m all for it! But only if it begins with:

    Dear God,

    First off, thanks for allowing the Holocaust to happen….”

  • Michael Heath

    A couple weeks ago NOVA had a pretty good 2 hour special on the technology used to make the Normandy invasion possible on D-Day. That was contrasted in that same show with the scene of so many grave markers of the Allied forces that died there, all of them white crosses. I think we can be confident some of those in those graves were at a minimum, not Christians.

    The two juxtaposing scenes provided a nice contrast between why we’ve actually succeeded vs. one of the major obstacles we must overcome in order to foster technological development. In spite of the fact technological progress helps Christianists as well.