The Eclectic Autodidact: Look to a higher power in debate


I understand that there is some rancor lately generated by a certain ruling passed by our highest court. It seems that in this recent case, one Town of Greece v. Galloway, the Supremest of Courts determined that it was perfectly acceptable for legislative sessions to be opened with a prayer.

Some critics of this decision claim that it violates the separation of church and state set down in the First Amendment. This argument, however, was no impediment, as the text clearly specifies that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, but says nothing about the Supreme Court’s ability to do so. In fact, the relevant passage relating to the Court may be found in note from John Marshall scrawled in the margin that begins "I can do whatever I want, neener, neener."

As is well known, this fragile democracy that we hold so dear cannot be left up to something as fallible and whimsical as the individual wills of the people that make it up. Democracy, it is clear, may only function when every participant’s actions are controlled by an invisible and omnipotent divine puppet master, guiding them toward the correct decision. This in turn will only function properly should the deity in question be begged for assistance promptly and repeatedly. Deities spend most of their time choosing the outcome of sporting events and thus must have their attention directed toward other ends by means of spiritually shouting for them to take heed. Prayer is doubly important in these settings, for without it, what omniscient power could tell exactly what it is we wanted it to do for us, and then alter its eternal plan for the universe in regards to those requests?

In the decision, the justices, with the wisdom that was no doubt provided to them by beings of a higher order, advise those offended by the government sanctioned prayers to simply leave and return upon the conclusion of the benediction. To this end, I propose that each town hall be fitted with an electric sign upon the door that will read, "Praying" in red, glowing letters when a prayer is in session and changing to a green "Legislating" when it is safe for nonbelievers to return.

Additionally, the court derided the concept of performing prayers of a non-specific nature instead of explicitly Christian ones. This is indeed wise, for as any student of religion can tell you, prayers not directed to a specific god will be answered by the first deity that hears it, which can lead to much embarrassment.

These two statements taken together, however, provide a possibility for an elegant solution to the problem. One which it seems the Supreme Court justices did not pray hard enough to learn. Rather than compromise the religious free speech of the legislature by forcing them to remove the sectarian elements from their prayers, we can simply hold the beginning of any municipal meeting until all possible prayers to all known deities have been performed, thus insuring that no free speech is impeded, and that the greatest possible amount of divine intervention is prepared for the gathering. Thus, once the several dozen Christian denominations have finished their arguably different prayers, each other religion, cult or belief system may call for supernatural aid upon the proceedings. After the followers of Mithras perform their bull sacrifice, the adherents of the voodoo loa Baron Samedi may make their offering of rum, cigars and black coffee. The town treasurer may then pour the libations to Zeus, and following that the deputy town clerk will be hung in sacrifice to Odin.

This simple procedure will ensure that our legislative meetings are not overburdened with the unnecessary and time consuming process of debating and drafting legislation, which may be instead left in the hands of properly importuned celestial beings. Moreover, the constant traffic of council members entering and leaving the legislative chamber as each new prayer either offends or appeases them can be harnessed to provide electricity to the municipal buildings through the easy expedient of attaching a small turbine to the doors of the chamber. Ideally, this cycle will continue until all the council members find themselves equally offended by the current ceremony and the meeting may then be conducted in the foyer.


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