29 August 2008 ~ 6 Comments

Prayer At The DNC

Alright, time for a participatory post.  Get ready to comment.

This past week at the Democratic National Convention, there were two prayers given from the stage by prominent Christian personalities.  First in the opening by Donald Miller, and then at the closing, by Joel Hunter.  Take a few minutes to watch both prayers below:

Now I definitely have some thoughts and opinions on the content and delivery of both, however that is not what this post is about.  Rather, it is about the idea of the prayer itself at the convention.  I am WAY behind on reading all your blogs out there right now, so I don't know how much this is being discussed at the moment, with the exception of a few posts on one fairly prominent blog (you get three guesses which one and the first two don't count).

On the one hand, I love both their hearts in the issue, and have lots of respect for both these guys.  In a nutshell, it's the not gonna turn down an opportunity to pray anywhere concept.  I get it.  A great opportunity to be a light.  While I can honestly say that I would vote for a non-Christian candidate, I can't deny that faith, and more specifically faith in Christ, is a big positive in my book.  Of course I want a leader of our nation who I believe is seeking to follow after God, so that's great to see them praying on this platform.

But at the same time, I can honestly say that something just didn't sit right with me when I watched those prayers.  Even outside of what was prayed, I wonder if it's the idea of having the "benediction" at the convention at all.  Several questions come to mind. 
Are politicians using those of faith just for the sake of votes?
Even if they are, do we say fine, have your agenda and we'll take advantage of the opportunity and have ours? 
Many Christians champion the idea that prayer should still be allowed in schools.  I'm not one of those.  Faith isn't something I want the government having any say or authority over.  So does this marriage of faith and politics blur that line too much? 
Then again, you can't deny, as Rick Warren stated in front of a national audience a few weeks ago, that our faith does affect our politics.

Those are a lot of thoughts, without a lot of answers.  I'm curious what you think.
Was this a great opportunity, or a mistake?
Regardless of party affiliation, as Christ-followers, do these guys represent you well?
People without faith, does this irritate you, or do you welcome the opportunity to invite faith into politics?

I'm honestly pretty torn on the issues.
So let me know what you think!

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