Southern Religion

A prayer unanswered

The Washington Post’s “On Faith” panel of 19 writers discusse the “State of our Disunion” while lamenting how Rick Warren’s Inauguration Day prayer is far from being answered.

Warren prayed that Americans would “have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ.”

Instead, note the Post’s Sally Quinn and Jon Meacham, “clarity, responsibility, humility and civility seem to have given way to self-righteousness, anger, resentment, and what columnist Kathleen Parker calls ‘a political era of uninhibited belligerence’ that is finding expression in sermons, at town hall meetings, on radio talk shows, even on the floor of Congress — especially when we differ.”

Susan Jacoby, whose entry has attracted about 400 comments, discusses how faith and hatred often co-exist. She says:

What we are seeing is the rage of a minority–we don’t know exactly how large, but we do know that it is almost entirely white and concentrated in the South and Southwest–at an African-American president who is considered not only wrong in his policies but illegitimate as the leader of our nation.

Jacoby also tells of a college student afraid to tell her parents she supports Obama for fear they’ll no longer pay her tuition and writes:

Many Americans spent a good deal of time last November patting themselves on the back for having elected an African-American president. What we are seeing now is the bitterness of an unreconciled minority that will never accept the legitimacy of that election.

Would it be that she were wrong but the full sweep of post-Civil War Southern history says she isn’t.

Still, we long for the day when Warren’s prayer is answered.


September 18, 2009 - Posted by | Politics, Religion | , , ,

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