Cal Thomas opposes movement
By 09/07/2000 00:00:00
Columnist Cal Thomas, an evangelical Christian, criticized the high school prayer movement because it 'trivializes the effectual and fervent variety' of prayer.
'To whom are these football fans and students praying? For what purpose?' Thomas asked 'More importantly, if their first priority is to always be a good ‘witness' before people who do not share their faith in order that the observers might consider that faith, what damage is caused by forcing people to listen to a prayer of a type they do not say which is directed to a God in whom they may not believe? ...
'How would Christians like it if they lived in a community where their faith was the minority one and they were forced to sit through a prayer offered to a different god? How comfortable would they be if the supplicant requested the destruction of all ‘infidels' who do not worship in the same manner as the person praying?'
Thomas continued, 'Apparently some people have such an inferiority complex about their faith that they need to see it trumpeted before the world. It is an in-your-face faith rather than an in-your-heart variety. It smacks of triumphalism that is foreign to its Founder.
'It was Jesus, after all, who frequently separated himself from the crowds in order to pray in private. He instructed his followers, not only in deed but in word: ‘And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues (football stadiums?) and on the street corners to be seen by men. ... But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you' (Matthew 6:5-6).''
Thomas concluded, 'Instead of trying to devise prayers that will be approved by the Supreme Court, prayers that are bound to be empty of content and meaningless, prayer ‘activists' should be concerned with prayers that fulfill the instructions of Jesus of Nazareth and reach the ears -- and earn the approval — not of the Supreme Court but of the Supreme Judge.'