Sam Venable is a Christian and a columnist for the Knoxville News Sentinel in East Tennessee.
Recently, Americans United for Separation of Church and State threatened a lawsuit because nearby “Sevier County Commission’s long-standing habit of starting each meeting with the Lord’s Prayer is illegal.”
Obviously, that’s correct. That’s religion seeping into the government and it has no business being there.
But good luck explaining that to the 500 Constitution-be-damned Christians who crowded the county courthouse recently to pray that AU would fail in their possible lawsuit. They prayed that their god’s name would continue to be praised during government functions.
If you want to pray, then pray, for Pete’s sake. Pray, as the Good Book says, without ceasing.
Pray from dawn’s first light until long after the sun has set. Pray before meals, after meals, between bites. Pray at school, at work, while texting, when standing in line at the grocery store. Pray on the lake or at the bowling alley. Pray while washing the dishes or mowing the lawn.
Pray, children, pray! It is your right, and no court in the land will stop you.
Ah, but I do have one caveat about this prayerfesting. So does the law.
Don’t ask the government to pray with you or for you.
Religion is none of the government’s business. The courts have been very clear on this matter.
I’m just surprised it came from a Christian.
Venable makes even more sense later on:
County Mayor Larry Waters didn’t start this practice. He says it was in place when he came into office 32 years ago.
Again, fine. But that doesn’t mean it’s legal. It simply means nobody has called the county’s hand until now.
Venable deserves far more praise in the comment section of that column than he’s getting right now. He’s only getting a few comments and some of the people making them are denouncing him.
It would be great to flood that column with comments of praise. (Yes, it requires registration, but isn’t it worth it here?)
He did something courageous by calling his fellow Christians out on their bullshit interpretation of the law. Good for him.
Maybe if more sensible people were brave enough to speak up, they could get through to a few of the religious fanatics who care nothing about the law.
(Thanks to Ben for the link!)