Sunday, December 28, 2014

Is it Okay to Pray?

March 9, 2010 by  
Filed under religion

Recently I attended a board meeting consisting of all African American board members.  At the last couple of meetings the board chair has opened the meetings with a prayer.  I actually considered it a pleasant surprise, but began to wonder if it was offensive to anyone.

At our most recent meeting I asked the group if anyone was offended as not to get hauled before the American Civil Liberties Union. 

A brief conversation ensued and one of the board members did note that there had been concerns expressed in other similarly situated groups/organizations.  There was a suggestion that we have a moment of silence in which individuals could prayer privately if they so desired.  That politically correct course was quickly thrown out by the group.

No one expressed any concern with the opening prayer/convocation/words of spiritual encouragement.  So we proceeded.

And the church said, Amen.

Would you have been offended? 

Would you have felt comfortable saying no to prayer?

Would you have wanted to pray?

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  • http://www.matthewdlyons.com/ matthewdlyons

    I don't know if I would have been offended, necessarily, but I think it depends on the organization. If it's a faith-based organization, saying a prayer wouldn't seem that unusual. Otherwise, I think it should not be invoked. It's quite presumptuous to assume that everyone in the group want to prayer. It potentially sets up a situation where one or more could feel ostracized if they opted out.

    I get the impression that this organization is not faith-based, hence your surprise. May I ask what was the impetus for the prayer?

  • http://www.SeenInPassing.com/ Tanya

    I would feel strange about it. I'm a Latina Jew, and most people who know I'm Latina never even think I could be Jewish, so when it comes to conversations or situations regarding prayer, I'm assumed to be of a Christian faith. There is so much talk about how unless the organization is faith-based, religion should be kept out of the work environment, simply because it's a very passionate subject for those who practice as well as those who don't, that it seems quite out of place to have a group-led prayer. I wouldn't object to a moment of silence, because I personally find it centering to concentrate at least a little bit of energy toward faith at some point during the day. And a moment of silence would be just as appropriate for someone who might be agnostic or atheist, since they could also concentrate on their own “moment.”

    What an interesting occurrence though, I'm curious like the other poster (matthewdlyons) as to what brought this about.

  • http://www.matthewdlyons.com/ matthewdlyons

    I don't know if I would have been offended, necessarily, but I think it depends on the organization. If it's a faith-based organization, saying a prayer wouldn't seem that unusual. If the group has no religious afiliation, I do not think a prayer should be invoked. Even a moment of silence (unless stopping to acknowledge a tragedy of some sort) feels out of place. It's quite presumptuous to assume that everyone in the group wants to pray. It, potentially, sets up a situation where one or more could feel ostracized if they opt out.

    I get the impression that this organization is not faith-based, hence your surprise. May I ask what was the impetus for the prayer?

  • http://www.SeenInPassing.com/ Tanya

    I would feel strange about it. I'm a Latina Jew, and most people who know I'm Latina never even think I could be Jewish, so when it comes to conversations or situations regarding prayer, I'm assumed to be of a Christian faith. There is so much talk about how unless the organization is faith-based, religion should be kept out of the work environment, simply because it's a very passionate subject for those who practice as well as those who don't, that it seems quite out of place to have a group-led prayer. I wouldn't object to a moment of silence, because I personally find it centering to concentrate at least a little bit of energy toward faith at some point during the day. And a moment of silence would be just as appropriate for someone who might be agnostic or atheist, since they could also concentrate on their own “moment.”

    What an interesting occurrence though, I'm curious like the other poster (matthewdlyons) as to what brought this about.