Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World

05-Mar-2003

As long as there are exams there will be prayer in schools

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 7:55 pm

And yet another interesting article: Public prayer fanatics borrow page from enemy’s script, by movie critic Roger Ebert.

This is really an argument between two kinds of prayer–vertical and horizontal. I don’t have the slightest problem with vertical prayer. It is horizontal prayer that frightens me. Vertical prayer is private, directed upward toward heaven. It need not be spoken aloud, because God is a spirit and has no ears. Horizontal prayer must always be audible, because its purpose is not to be heard by God, but to be heard by fellow men standing within earshot.

A good distinction, and some good points made overall. I’ve nothing whatsoever against prayer at public events in itself; it’s that public, almost forced type of prayer— the kind that Ebert calls “horizontal”— that I tend to disagree with. Ebert even makes the point that “some of the horizontal devout are sincere”, that there are people who will make an openly public invocation without shunning those who prefer not to join.

Give Peaceniks A Chance

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 7:40 pm

Disturbing news story of the day: Man arrested for ‘peace’ T-shirt

NEW YORK (Reuters) — A lawyer was arrested late Monday and charged with trespassing at a public mall in the state of New York after refusing to take off a T-shirt advocating peace that he had just purchased at the mall.

Yes, the court’s decision has brought about quite a protest by patrons of the mall in question— a protest with which I entirely agree. I mean, not being able to wear a T-shirt in the mall from which you bought it?

And before anyone makes any such claims, it’s not because I’m some sort of über-peacenik that I agree with the protesters. If Downs had been arrested for wearing a shirt that expressed total support for the war on Iraq, I still would’ve thought the mall’s decision was just as wrong— despite the fact that I strongly disagree with many aspects of the war— simply because it was a blatant violation of freedom of expression.

<shakes head, sighs…>

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