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Letters to the World


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.

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