I was the Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. This was while being a professor of economics and NDSU. Later I became active in the Red River Freethinkers. While I no longer live in Fargo-Moorhead the focus of my blog remains there.


Parliament May End Prayers


For years England's Parliament has opened with a Church of England prayer. Legislation has been introduced to end the practice.
There are probably many reasons for ending prayers. The most common reason given by politicians is that the practice of prayer is for individuals not for government. This has been stated for hundreds of years both in the U.S. and England. One wonders why it is just now becoming popular?
Prayers at public meetings wastes time in two ways. First, no one knows whether any god or spiritual force hears prayers. I do not think they serve any purpose but custom.
The second way they waste time is we argue about them. If all prayers at public meetings were just stopped the argument would be over.
Maybe the current experience in England is sort of a payback. Why the system of government in our country was being hammered out, one thing most agreed was we did not want to be another England with its royalty. This was to be a country designed for the common man.
Now, I see the effort to dump prayers from public meetings in England as an effort by some English politicians to send the message, "We don't want to be another whacko religious country like the United States." The U.S. has always seemed to Europeans as a country around the bend about religion.
Here is hoping the Brits are successful at making their public meeting be about public business. Maybe someday the U.S. will catch on to that good idea.


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