Despite what some of us--including myself--have been taught, God really can't be trusted--at least not for specific outcomes. No matter what a parent does, or how hard we pray, anything can happen, including our worst nightmare.
In 1952, Congress established the National Day of Prayer. It has been observed on every first Thursday in May since 1988, but this year's day of prayer celebration was my favorite -- by default.
Whether a "ceremonial" prayer is really required to open a government meeting, yet alone makes any difference, seems a rather unimportant question given the serious challenges we face in this country these days but it does invite us to reflect on what is happening with regard to the separation of church and state -- one of the great innovations in governing.
My response to the reactions of children within holy space is simple and core to who we are called to be as faith communities: Our sanctuaries are not sanctuaries from children. They are sanctuaries for children.
There are hundreds of thousands of churches, mosques, temples and synagogues representing millions of members. Therefore, the separation of church and state is crucial to the protection of free religious exercise.
Last Thursday, despite being in violation of a plethora of its own regulations, the Department of Defense allowed a whole bunch of uniformed military personnel to participate in Shirley Dobson's National Day of Prayer Task Force event on Capitol Hill.
This is the week that I was supposed to give birth to my first child and celebrate my first Mother's Day as a mom.
It's a hollow kind of freedom that allows people to practice whatever faith they choose but says they must sit nicely through the Christian worship regardless.
The old question, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" seems to beg for a modern day revision. It is less important which came first, and far more miraculous and relevant that a chicken and an egg go together, that they are linked.
The Supreme Court ruling is another giant leap toward theocracy. We are descending to new lows, where non-Christians are openly scorned, made to stand up in public to be identified as outcasts.
The U.S. Supreme Court in a divided 5-4 decision held that a town board that began meetings with a prayer given by clergy selected from a local directory of congregations does not violate the Establishment Clause.
I think what matters is that we've got to continue learning how to pray. The best way to learn is to do it. I wrote Are You Running With Me, Jesus when I was 42 years old. Next June 8 I will be 91. I'm still learning.