Thursday, May 04, 2006

Abilene's National Day of Prayer: aka - the religious press conference

I'm loving the agent network of the fair mother city more and more. Getting to know these guys live and in the flesh (outside the blogosuniverse) is fun.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the national Day of Prayer hoop-la on Jack's blog - HERE, so I'll refrain from reiterating the explanation, significance, and my view points of the event.

Then, Agent S (the librarian) contacts me wondering what should secret agents do about national Day of Prayer events. So I figure...let's celebrate at the Jedi Counsel Room. There's a bunch of cynical people who hate religion and faith (in one way or another) that hang out there. Let's blend in with the scenery and see what happens.

Then...2 days ago I learn that one of the faith exhibitionist groups, the Abilene Interfaith Counsel, were having their vigil at the water-wall park...RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from the Jedi Counsel Room. Man! We're gonna have like, window boxed seats to some of the action! And we can smoke with the bitter-faiths while it's happening. This is gonna be good.

So we get there and low and behold, Jack was already in the midst of an undercover operation within the Counsel Room. We didn't blow his cover, but it was a fun gathering of 3 local agents and a handful of Jedi regulars.

I did gather some new insights to the whole National Day of Prayer ordeal.

1) If one only pays attention to the local media, one would think this gathering was something half the city attended or cared about. At the Inter-Faith group, I counted maybe 35 including 4 media reps. Hardly a news making event in my view (I have no idea how many were at the exclusively christian group around the block)

2) With the worshipper to media ratio so even, it seemed as if the whole event was SPONSORED by the media. I mean, the local newspaper (Abilene Reporter-News) building across the freaking street. And not a lot goes on in Abilene, so SOMEONE has got to create some news. I know the jewish woman who is heading up the Inter-Faith group had something to do with the AR-N editorial board at one time. But hey...this is just a conspiracy theory of mine. No evidence at all.

The whole thing was just a religious exhibitionist press conference.

3) I have no idea what the gods of Hinduism, Buddhists, and Muslims and others require of their followers. If they are to make an exhibition of prayer, so be it (when I was in South Africa, Muslims prayed with bull horns on street corners).

But Jesus tells his followers in Matt. 6 not to be like hypocrites who stand on the street (or in front of the camera) to be seen by everyone. Go away to be unseen, and you will be rewarded.

I don't see why we Jesus followers should join the marketing-fueled exhibition game of our faith.


The Holywriter said...

Haha, it's like those prayer breakfasts politicians always have. They always attend those, but how often do they attend church?

Will Spina said...

You know, prayer is like radishes... Just kidding, I have no where to go with that....

So does this mean you support the faction in the churches of Christ that won't support interfaith things like the national day of prayer?

Agent B said...

Will - as always, thanks for coming by.

I don't think it's a support or non-support thing for me. If my govt wants to acknowledge a day of prayer, sounds good to me. I personally don't want to get mixed in the media hoopla of it all...which is what the whole ordeal seems to be.

I fear that the exclusively christian group (run by a guy I use to work for) is more about "hey look at me and my church. Come join us". The interfaith group was a response by the 3 hindus in town that wanted to join in. It's all explained on Jack's blog.

Like radishes.