The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that politicians in Florida and elsewhere can continue to pray during public meetings. And frankly, I'm concerned.
Not because I'm worried about how atheists will react.
I'm worried about how God will.
Seriously, have you seen how some of the political boneheads behave — right after they make a big show of praying?
We've seen county commissioners open meetings with prayers, asking God to open their hearts — and then go straight to texting lobbyists.
They seem more intent on making sure God opens their 4G connection.
I've seen legislators invoke God's name — right before de-funding services for the sick and disabled.
So much for tending to the least among us.
I'm not so much opposed to government prayer as a proponent of separation of church and state. I'm opposed as a person of faith. You people make us look awful!
I mean, come on legislators. Invoking Jesus's name — right before you try to overturn the state's gift ban so lobbyists can take you to dinner — isn't what I'd call discipleship.
The reality is that any elected official is capable of praying whenever they want. They can do so when they wake, before they walk into the meeting chambers, with their family, with their aides, you name it.
Prayer in meetings is often more about show. "Look at us! Look at how pious we are!"
And then they get right to the same old political shenanigans.
If you're going to pray, at least act like you meant it in the moments afterward.
In fact, when shady politicians get sanctimonious about public prayer, I'm reminded of a verse from the book of Titus: "They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works."
Right now, there's a lot of crowing about the $169 million legislators just agreed to spend restoring the Everglades.
Sure, it sounds like good news for the environment. Really, though, Florida continues down a costly and shortsighted path. We spend gobs of money cleaning things up — an estimated $9 billion on the Everglades alone — and yet continue to foul things up.
It would be much cheaper to prevent the mess in the first place. So why don't we?
Because there's a lot of money to be made in "restoration" projects. Quite simply, it's more profitable for business interests (and the politicians who suck up their campaign checks) to foul the land — and then try to "fix" it with your money.