Thursday, May 7, 2009

Oklahoma Interfaith Day of Prayer and Reflection 2009

This year's Interfaith Day of Prayer and Reflection at the State Capitol was not overly crowded with hordes of interreligious ecumenicists, or really crowded in any sense at all.  It was, however, filled with hope and permeated with the aroma of an ideological melting pot, bubbling over with a distinctly Americanized mélange.  Where else in the world can you take in the wisdom of a 
Reverend, a Rabbi, an Imam, and a Priest, followed by a Sikh blessing, all in one sitting?  This is a rhetorical question, of course, but it merits some reflection.  Even today, few countries can boast such a degree of religious diversity, civil liberty, and socio-cultural toleration to pull this sort of thing off, and it is all to the credit of the Interfaith Alliance that they did so.

I was even more impressed than in previous years with the degree to which the interfaith ceremony explicitly endorsed our common commitment to religious liberty and freedom of conscience.  This stands in sharp contrast to the ceremony held within the Capitol, at which religious and political leaders affirmed their dedication to One Nation Under God and took pains to exclude anyone unwilling to sign up to their creed.

Altogether, it was a very positive experience and certainly worth giving up lunch.  See you guys again next year!

1 comment:

  1. A late, late post concerning the Interfaith Alliance of Oklahma's "Interfaith Day of Prayer and Reflection."

    I don't suppose that the IDOPR event will ever have much recognition or media coverage as the dogmatic and ritualistic practice that takes place inside the state capitol.

    But, I always come away with a feeling of accomplishment. A feeling that I appreciated the sincere statements of support for others and their conscience decisions.

    Inside the printed agenda of the days speakers is a list of "Bell Ringers" quotes. The quotes inform Oklahomans of the various Oklahoma secular and faith communities teachings related to respect, not just toleration, for other maters of conscience both those of faith and those of reason.

    It truly is a shame that the people of Oklahoma miss out on such a powerful statement of "freedom of conscience" ... and they will never know what they missed.



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