May I suggest that an appropriate method of lending gravity, as Justice Anthony M. Kennedy would have it, to a public proceeding is a reading from the Constitution or the Bill of Rights and that the appropriate place for prayer is a house of worship [“God and government,” editorial, May 11]? Perhaps legislators would then gain a better understanding of their basic purpose in their civic environment and acknowledge the place religion holds in their lives in their religious environment.
Paul R. Cutler, Arlington
The editorial opposing sanctioned prayer at legislative meetings was right on target and much appreciated. But that cause is lost for now. It will be many years before the Supreme Court’s divisive, partisan ruling is overturned.
Given that, may I request a gesture of courtesy and respect: Before delivering a prayer to an assembled group, acknowledge that it is intended for the benefit of a specific group of believers, ask those who have different beliefs for their kind indulgence while you spend a few minutes praying and mention that others will get their turn to open a meeting with their own prayers. This acknowledges the following for your fellow citizens who do not share your beliefs: We are civic-minded citizens equally entitled to be involved; our silence does not imply acceptance of or submission to whatever supernatural or dogmatic beliefs are included in your prayer; and our beliefs will also be fairly represented in front of the group.
In short, please acknowledge that we are also first-class citizens. Is that too much to ask?
Stephen D. Post, Fairfax Station