Response to Prayer and Politics, By Anthony Paz

Posted on September 24th, 2010 | Filed under Faith and Politics, InterViews

Response to "When is it okay to mix prayer and politics?"

Here we have videos that approach the question of prayer's place in politics from two different sides. In one, the focus is on the political right for people to pray as they wish, without interference from either the government or private individuals. In the other, we have a prayer that contains highly political content, like positions on war and veterans affairs. If we ask whether its okay to mix prayer and politics we have to look at these two different ways of mixing: one makes a political issue, a human right, out of prayer, the other uses prayer to communicate and attempt to further a political interest. I would say that in either case it is not only okay to mix them, but necessary.

Whether we can make prayer into a secular political issue hinges upon a conviction that the option of prayer is a universal human right. If it is, then a just government must create policy to secure it as a right for all people to choose whether and how to pray. The voices in this video express this desire. They recognize that in defending the right of Muslims to build a community center at Park 51, they are defending their own right to choose to pray as they see fit. This is the responsibility of all conscientious citizens, even those who choose not to pray at all.

In the other video, we see a sincere believer imploring his God in prayer to help him achieve what he believes to be a just and correct reality, with all its political content. In few religious traditions are the needs of humans considered so vulgar as to eliminate all political content from prayer. Perhaps I disagree with David Roever's concept of a just political reality, but is it his responsibility to bring that concept and desire before God? Absolutely.

One Response to “Response to Prayer and Politics, By Anthony Paz”

  1. […] Here we have videos that approach the question of prayer's place in politics from two different sides. In one, the focus is on the political right for people to pray as they wish, without interference from either the government or private individuals. In the other, we have a prayer that contains highly political content, like positions on war and veterans affairs. . If we ask whether its okay to mix prayer and politics we have to look at these two different ways of mixing: one makes a political issue, a human right, out of prayer, the other uses prayer to communicate and attempt to further a political interest. READ MORE HERE […]