Letter: A time for prayer

I am not one to complain about whether or not someone says their prayers. I believe that your prayers are between you and God, or whomever you consider your higher power.

While living in Washington state, I was saddened to see that a beautiful rock sculpture of the 10 Commandments was being removed from the front lawn of the local courthouse. I wondered how anyone could have found this monument to be offensive.

It turned out that someone, no one in particular, had complained that the 10 Commandments should not be in front of the courthouse. They said, "It represents something that is not associated with the county or state, but in fact was a religious item." In order to separate "church and state" it had to be removed. And so it was.

Over the last few weeks, I have been following the current issue at the Phoenix City Council regarding the prayer that begins each council meeting. I was a bit taken back that it was even being done! I admit I was surprised that a Satanist had to bring it to the forefront, by requesting that he and his group should be allowed to pray before the meetings, as well.

People most certainly have every right to prayer whenever the mood strikes them. This would include while they drive in their cars, before they eat their meals, at the hospitals while tending to a loved one. It is appropriate to pray silently, or out loud. However, to begin a city council meeting with an open hand holding, eyes closed group prayer is just no longer acceptable. Isn't prayer between you and the one you pray to in the first place? It really does not belong in city, state or other government buildings or offices.

I believe the Constitution calls this "separation of church and state."

Linda Varon