Progressive Prayer

Normally the events at a City Council meeting in Lake Worth, Florida wouldn’t get much attention outside the city and still less outside the state of Florida, but a recent invocation given at the the beginning of the meeting seems to have gotten nationwide notice. I read about this unusual opening blessing from the Tea Party News Network.

The old adage that “liberals are so open-minded that their brains have fallen out,” has just reached new heights. Leftists have always shown disdain towards God, Christianity, Judaism, and most religions in general (with the exception, perhaps, of Islam. They’re cool with the beheadings and stonings of women, homosexuals, or anyone who won’t convert, apparently). However, now they are striking a new chord as represented by the opening “prayer” given at this City Council meeting in Lake Worth, Florida, earlier this month, where God and Jesus are mocked and Satan is praised.

At the meeting, and as you can see from the video below, “activist” Preston Smith delivered the following heathenistic invocation:

I am not sure that Mr. Smith’s problem is that he is too open minded. Here is a transcript of his remarks.

Mother Earth, we gather today in your redeeming and glorious presence, to invoke your eternal guidance in the universe, the original Creator of all things.

May the efforts of this council blend the righteousness of Allah with the all-knowing wisdom of Satan. May Zeus, the great God of justice, grant us strength tonight. Jesus might forgive our shortcomings while Buddha enlightens us through His divine affection. We praise you, Krishna, for the sanguine sacrifice that freed us all. After all, if Almighty Thor is with us, who can ever be against us?

And finally, for the bounty of logic, reason, and science, we simply thank the atheists, agnostics, Humanists, who now account for 1 in 5 Americans, and [are] growing rapidly. In closing, let us, above all, love one another, not to obtain mythical rewards for ourselves now, hereafter, or based on superstitious threats of eternal damnation, but rather, embrace secular-based principles of morality — and do good for goodness’ sake.

And so we pray.

So what?

When I first read this, before watching the video, I thought perhaps Preston Smith was theologically confused. He seemed to be trying to be multicultural and open-minded by throwing out as many divine names as he could in an effort to appeal to any and all religious tradition. A closer look at the transcript as well as an actual viewing of the video caused me to realize that I was very wrong about his motivation. Here is the video from YouTube.

The disrespectful, mocking tone of his “invocation” is quite unmistakable. Preston Smith does not believe in any of the deities he has named and clearly wished to mock those who do. By equating names given to what believers regard as the One God, Allah, Jesus, Krishna, with the names of deities regarded as mythological, he was clearly promoting Richard Dawkins’s idiotic “I just disbelieve in one fewer god” meme. He was simply going out of his way to be obnoxious.

Why? Is Preston Smith a member of their City Council? There is no indication that he is. He is only described as an “activist”. Why was he asked to deliver the invocation? If he objects to an invocation before City Council meetings, surely there are more appropriate and respectful ways to raise an objection. If the majority of the people want to continue to have an invocation, why can’t he respect that? If he wants to promote Atheism, how does making Atheists look like obnoxious bullies promote that objective? I suppose the answer to these questions is that Preston Smith is an “activist”, which these days is simply a synonym for a bully, a busybody or a control freak, a person who cannot bear to leave others alone to live their lives as they see fit.

I take particular exception, by the way, to his crediting Atheists with the “bounty of logic, reason and science”. Leaving aside the simple fact that we derive our ability to use reason from the Source and Creator of reason, without which any science would be impossible, I would like to point out that the scientific revolution that began in the sixteenth century owed a lot to the development of the use of logic and reason by the Christian Scholastic philosophers of the High Middle Ages and that the founders of nearly every branch of modern science were not Atheists, but Christians. But, perhaps being an activist leaves little time to study history

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