Roger Ebert on “prayer rallies” as launchpads for high office

Film critic Roger Ebert on the difference between vertical and horizontal prayer:

. . . The rally convened by Texas Gov. Rick Perry was, like many such meetings, a free concert featuring rock and C&W singers. If prayer and only prayer has been offered, the attendance, I suspect, would have been smaller. Its purpose was achieved not so much inside the stadium as outside–so that they could pray horizontally at us.

Such prayer strikes me as unseemly. Your religion is a matter between you and the god of your definition. The eagerness to convert outsiders strikes me as one of the aspects of a cult. I believe the low emphasis placed on conversion by Jews is admirable. If you want to become a Jew, you go to them. I believe religions should convert by attraction, not promotion. Respect for other beliefs, or the lack of beliefs, should be at the heart of religions.

 The separation of Church and State has rarely seemed more threatened. Many political leaders seem opposed to it. Some would translate their religious beliefs into the law of the land. Candidates are being asked to sign a “pledges” designed primarily to embarrass those who do not sign them. A self-respecting candidate would explain that he will make his own pledges, for himself, by himself.

I have not taken a liberal or a conservative position. I have not spoken as a believer or a non-believer. What I’ve written is Civics 101. I wonder that no political leaders of either party have had the nerve to question the rally in Texas.

If you’ve not yet perused Roger Ebert’s Journal, waste no more time.

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About Guy N. Texas

Guy N. Texas is the pen name of a lawyer living in Dallas, who is now a liberal. He was once conservative, but this word has so morphed in meaning that he can no longer call himself that in good conscience. Guy has no political aspirations. He speaks only for himself.
This entry was posted in Culture, News, Politics, Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Roger Ebert on “prayer rallies” as launchpads for high office

  1. hortonw says:

    I can imagine a god who would want followers to spread the word and I can imagine a god who would not want that. Your choice of religions says a lot about who you are. Respectful introspective types probably would agree with Ebert’s choice of gods. Is it really remarkable that Rick Perry does not?

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