Author Topic: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School  (Read 11044 times)

Norman Teigen

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #30 on: October 16, 2015, 10:33:23 AM »
I think that the possible motivation for these prayers at football games is to attach a veneer of respectability and morality to an activity unrelated to religion.  By bringing religion to the event it is an exaltation of the event itself.  It is as Holden Caulfield might put it, pure phoniness. It makes people feel good about football because a religious activity has become attached to it.
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JEdwards

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #31 on: October 16, 2015, 10:41:25 AM »
I think that the possible motivation for these prayers at football games is to attach a veneer of respectability and morality to an activity unrelated to religion.  By bringing religion to the event it is an exaltation of the event itself.  It is as Holden Caulfield might put it, pure phoniness. It makes people feel good about football because a religious activity has become attached to it.
Nice to see that observance of the 8th commandment is alive and well among us.

Peace,
Jon

Charles Austin

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2015, 10:47:54 AM »
I'm with Mr. Teigen here. That's why I'm asking about the spiritual value of attaching a group prayer to a football game. It is unavoidable that some of us will see about 18 yards of self-righteousness or phoniness in this particular "pious" activity.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns could’ve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Steverem

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #33 on: October 16, 2015, 10:48:33 AM »
I think that the possible motivation for these prayers at football games is to attach a veneer of respectability and morality to an activity unrelated to religion.  By bringing religion to the event it is an exaltation of the event itself.  It is as Holden Caulfield might put it, pure phoniness. It makes people feel good about football because a religious activity has become attached to it.

... Or, and this is a wild and crazy guess, they are praying for the protection of the participants in a physically demanding, dangerous sport; making a call for sportsmanship; and acknowledging that there is something larger than sport and the passions it creates.  But sure, I guess thinking it is a conscious, coordinated effort to prop up homogeneous religious behavior and subvert any aberrant belief or behavior is a  legitimate hypothesis. [Rolls eyes and gently bangs head against desk.]

JEdwards

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #34 on: October 16, 2015, 10:55:12 AM »
Maybe someone could enlighten me on the spiritual value of such football game prayers.
Well, what about Matthew 18:20?  Is the promise of Christ's presence among us limited to prayers that occur during formal worship services?  It's interesting -- I have heard several ELCA leaders express the hope that our members would become more comfortable talking about their faith both within and outside of "church" settings, and yet there seems to be this discomfort when such a thing actually happens.

Might some of the participants be motivated in part by an un-Christian desire to impress others with their piety?  Certainly possible, just as that might be a possible motivation for participating in any church related activity.  But I can also think of some positive values:

1. Developing a habit of regular prayer
2. A reminder that our connectedness in Christ - even with people who moments ago were opponents - transcends every human division
3. A chance to seek forgiveness for un-Christian words or actions that may have been said or done in the heat of competition
4. If part of prayer is listening for God's voice, is there ever a bad time to pray?

Peace,
Jon
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 10:56:51 AM by JEdwards »

peter_speckhard

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #35 on: October 16, 2015, 11:12:43 AM »
What is the spiritual value of any prayer? Before meals? At bedtime? At St. Paul's we have a school-wide prayer at the start of every school day. Do you think we do that to attach a veneer of respectability and morality to math or spelling? Who thinks of a prayer as an exaltation of an event? Our school has prayers before every sporting event. We pray for safety and sportsmanship and in thanksgiving for our gifts and opportunities to compete. Good grief, Charles and Norman, did either of you ever play a sport? On the field (or floor, or rink, whatever) it is very easy for tempers to flare, for taunting or bitterness against an "enemy" to get the best of you. The idea of both teams coming together after the game for a prayer of thanks and/or forgiveness and/or healing is one that manifestly appeals to many, many Christian athletes. But hey, they're all phonies and show-offs, so I can see why it would offend you.

Steverem

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2015, 11:25:33 AM »
What is the spiritual value of any prayer? Before meals? At bedtime? At St. Paul's we have a school-wide prayer at the start of every school day. Do you think we do that to attach a veneer of respectability and morality to math or spelling? Who thinks of a prayer as an exaltation of an event? Our school has prayers before every sporting event. We pray for safety and sportsmanship and in thanksgiving for our gifts and opportunities to compete. Good grief, Charles and Norman, did either of you ever play a sport? On the field (or floor, or rink, whatever) it is very easy for tempers to flare, for taunting or bitterness against an "enemy" to get the best of you. The idea of both teams coming together after the game for a prayer of thanks and/or forgiveness and/or healing is one that manifestly appeals to many, many Christian athletes. But hey, they're all phonies and show-offs, so I can see why it would offend you.

This.

LCMS87

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #37 on: October 16, 2015, 11:39:20 AM »
What is the spiritual value of any prayer? Before meals? At bedtime? At St. Paul's we have a school-wide prayer at the start of every school day. Do you think we do that to attach a veneer of respectability and morality to math or spelling? Who thinks of a prayer as an exaltation of an event? Our school has prayers before every sporting event. We pray for safety and sportsmanship and in thanksgiving for our gifts and opportunities to compete. Good grief, Charles and Norman, did either of you ever play a sport? On the field (or floor, or rink, whatever) it is very easy for tempers to flare, for taunting or bitterness against an "enemy" to get the best of you. The idea of both teams coming together after the game for a prayer of thanks and/or forgiveness and/or healing is one that manifestly appeals to many, many Christian athletes. But hey, they're all phonies and show-offs, so I can see why it would offend you.

This.

Indeed.

And it could be that they also see it as one way--certainly not the only possible way but nevertheless one way--to put into practice St. Paul's instruction:  "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31)?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 01:20:08 PM by LCMS87 »

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #38 on: October 16, 2015, 11:59:28 AM »
What is the spiritual value of any prayer? Before meals? At bedtime? At St. Paul's we have a school-wide prayer at the start of every school day. Do you think we do that to attach a veneer of respectability and morality to math or spelling? Who thinks of a prayer as an exaltation of an event? Our school has prayers before every sporting event. We pray for safety and sportsmanship and in thanksgiving for our gifts and opportunities to compete. Good grief, Charles and Norman, did either of you ever play a sport? On the field (or floor, or rink, whatever) it is very easy for tempers to flare, for taunting or bitterness against an "enemy" to get the best of you. The idea of both teams coming together after the game for a prayer of thanks and/or forgiveness and/or healing is one that manifestly appeals to many, many Christian athletes. But hey, they're all phonies and show-offs, so I can see why it would offend you.

Thank you, Pastor Speckhard. We live in a time of spiritual shallowness that isolates "spiritual value" to only certain moments in life and fails to understand the entire life of a Christian to be filled with the presence of Christ. "Pray without ceasing............."

Dave Likeness

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #39 on: October 16, 2015, 12:28:58 PM »
When a high school football team prays before a game their
prayer is NOT asking God to help them win.

Instead, they pray for God's protection that no player would
be seriously injured during the game.

They pray that God would help them to display good sportsmanship
during the game and treat their opponent with respect.

They thank God for the ability to play sports and use the talent
that God has given them with humility.

RevG

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #40 on: October 16, 2015, 01:55:26 PM »
I think that the LCMS changes and adapts just like any other Christian body. It is only that we do that much more slowly than others.

The best and perhaps oldest example would be on the propriety of buying life insurance. I understand that the reason there are two Slovak American groups, one ULCA and one Synodical Conference (now ELCA Synod/LCMS District) was the split over that question. This was all overcome by events, namely, the Aid Association for Lutherans. I don't know if the prohibition against life insurance was every rescinded. I suspect not.

Peace, JOHN

Another fun fact involving Lutherans and insurance is that Jake Preus (father of Jack and Robert) was a co-founder of Lutheran Brotherhood which would, of course, combine with AAL to become Thrivent. 

In Christ,
Scott+   

Terry W Culler

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #41 on: October 16, 2015, 02:14:33 PM »
and here I thought we were to pray without ceasing--except maybe at sporting events or schools or meetings of the town council or--well, just about any other thing that might cause pagans to be uncomfortable because God always takes a back seat to the feelings of unbelievers  (btw, I personally think this is another case where 1st Amendment rights are being trampled on, but they seem to be slipping away pretty rapidly anyway.  maranatha
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #42 on: October 16, 2015, 03:13:57 PM »
and here I thought we were to pray without ceasing--except maybe at sporting events or schools or meetings of the town council or--well, just about any other thing that might cause pagans to be uncomfortable because God always takes a back seat to the feelings of unbelievers  (btw, I personally think this is another case where 1st Amendment rights are being trampled on, but they seem to be slipping away pretty rapidly anyway.  maranatha


And we are to pray in our closets and not on street corners (or 50 yard lines?).
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Charles Austin

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #43 on: October 16, 2015, 04:19:02 PM »
 Are we to pray ostentatiously before every public event?  Before shopping for groceries? Before having the car washed?  Before getting a haircut?  Before going to a movie?
 Why this concern about praying before a sporting event?
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns could’ve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Jim Butler

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Re: Assault on the First Amendment continues at Bremerton WA High School
« Reply #44 on: October 16, 2015, 04:29:21 PM »
Perhaps more of a "return" rather than "change"? For example, one can research the Walther era for prayers and even services between the LCMS and other Lutheran bodies in which they were in dialog.

I agree, Don. Walther even attended two Anglican churches while in London on his way to Germany. He worshipped with members of the Buffalo Synod during a meeting between the two bodies; same with the Ohio Synod.

This openness to prayer with others changed during the predestinarian controversy. At the end of it, F.A. Schmidt and others refused to pray with Walther (then they formed the Anti-Missourian Brotherhood; great name for a church body). This brought about an emotional reaction from Missouri; they developed a unit concept of fellowship and buttressed with theology.

In the 1930s, the editors of "The American Lutheran" argued against that view of fellowship. Many of their arguments came from Walther's own practice and his writings. The arguments were consistently clear. Eventually, they did win the day in regards to this argument. The other thing that I think helped this argument go away was our involvement in military chaplaincy and Scouting.
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