Monday, May 5, 2014

On the 5th of May


Is it just me, or is there a certain irony in a society that celebrates all the fun and revelry (read: good food and flowing alcohol) that comes along with Cinco de Mayo, but has so little respect for the culture that inspired the holiday?  Not that everyone disrespects , of course, but enough that it makes me wonder.  It was just a thought.

Unrelated, but also on my mind today is the Supreme Court ruling upholding the right of governmental entities to open their proceedings with a prayer. 

I’m sure I have mentioned that I’m not a particularly “religious” person, in that I don’t have need for organized religion, nor the need to be overt about my beliefs.  But I get that that’s just me, and that plenty of folks find joy and purpose in their church life and in sharing their beliefs with others.  And that’s okay; I don’t begrudge any of it.

But, I’ll admit that I’m one of “those people” who thinks it’s a little odd that legislative bodies open their sessions with a prayer, that local town councils are doing the same, that our courts ask witnesses to swear on a bible and proclaim their honesty “so help me God”. 

I don’t think it’s odd because those things don’t apply to me; I think it’s odd because I recognize that they don’t apply to everyone.  There is a subtle discrimination in the way that our “society”—as portrayed by our government—is Christian.  It’s a little bit insidious, really.

I think if it’s important to organizations that the members have an opportunity to begin sessions with prayer, that maybe there should just be a moment set aside for people to say their own prayers silently.  Or even out loud, if they are so inclined, though our society really doesn’t have a whole lot of tolerance for “others”, so anyone not saying a “typical” prayer might not feel comfortable in speaking out. 

I’m not saying that Christians should be subjected to oppression of their own; I’m just saying that I think sometimes we forget that Christians are not the only people in this country, and it’s too easy to forget the idea that just because any particular group might be a minority, does not mean that they should be marginalized. 

Come to think of it, it’s possible that this is not as unrelated to Cinco de Mayo as it seemed.