Houston Memorial Day Observance At Federal Cemetery To Feature Non-Inclusive Prayer—We Each Must Choose What Kind Of Nation We Are Going To Have
A federal judge has allowed a Texas pastor to use a non-inclusive prayer at a Memorial Day ceremony honoring Americans who have died in the service of our nation.
“The nation’s agency for military veterans has agreed to stay out of religious refereeing for now, backing down from its attempt to tell a minister how to craft a prayer for a Memorial Day invocation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Hindrichs told federal District Judge Lynn Hughes that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will not demand that Memorial Day prayers at Houston National Cemetery on Monday be as non-denominational as possible. ”(The agency) will let the prayer go on this Monday,” Hindrichs told Hughes. The change of heart came one day after the judge granted the Rev. Scott Rainey a temporary restraining order against the agency after officials told the pastor to edit his prayer to make it as general and non-denominational as possible. Rainey’s prayer, submitted for review at the agency’s request, included the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer and thanked Jesus Christ, the Christian savior, in closing….Roy Walter, senior rabbi at Congregation Emanu El, said he agrees with Rainey’s free-speech position. ”I do believe the government doesn’t have the right to tell him what he can and cannot do,” Walter said. But the rabbi said Rainey’s prayer doesn’t reflect that all veterans are not Christians. ”I don’t think it’s sensitive to the fact that a great many people who are veterans, who gave their lives or lived through service, are not Christian.”
I’ll simply say this–The judge and the pastor here each had a decision to make about including everybody, or not including everybody, in a Memorial Day observance at a federal cemetery.
We all know that people of many religious beliefs, and atheists as well, have fought and died for our nation.
We all have to make a choice about what kind of nation we are going to have.
The judge and the pastor in this matter have presented one view of America.
I would submit that there is a more generous and hopeful choice that can be made that honors the value of every American who has fought for our freedom.
(Above—Rick Perry. Photo by Gage Skidmore.)
If Americans want another Texas Governor as President, one who to the right of even George W. Bush, that is a choice people are free to make.
While I take nothing for granted, my guess is that this is not what the nation wants.
I make no secret that I’m to the left of most voters. Independents and people in the center can read the link above and figure out what they think of Governor Perry for themselves.
If the state can force one type of unwanted medical procedure on free citizens, than why can’t it force any type of unwanted medical procedure on free citizens?
Not even Texas Republicans are on-board with the idea of Mr. Perry running for the White House. Governor Perry stands at 4% in a poll of Texas Republican Presidential preferences.
Whoever the Republican nominee is in 2012, one thing will be certain. He or she will be from the far-right of the political spectrum.
Folks can decide what they want at the ballot box in 2012.