Supreme Court gay marriage cases trigger prayer-a-palooza

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Tuesday's Supreme Court consideration of the legal fate of same-sex marriage has prayers flying -- in all directions.

Tuesday’s Supreme Court consideration of the legal fate of same-sex marriage has prayers flying — in all directions.

If prayers winging their way to heaven bore light tracers, the skies over Washington D.C. would be a vast cross hatch of petitions flying off at cross purposes this week.

Tuesday, the Supreme Court hears arguments in four cases on same-sex marriage. By June, they could rule that the right to marry is constitutional, or they could leave the door open to continuing state-by-state battles.


Launching from the right – figuratively speaking – will be prayers from traditional Christians fervently opposed to gay marriage.

And from the left will come prayers by Christians, Jews and others who seek marriage equality with equal fervor.

I don’t know if this is like petitionary prayer before during the Super Bowl, March Madness, the World Series or Stanley Cup.

During those sports mega events, people all say, oh, no, they’re not trying to park the almighty in their preferred team’s locker room. No, no, no. They are just praying for everyone to do their best and be healthy and safe.


Okay, so I’m just going to assume the very best of the prayerful who attended Saturday’s rally by the National Organization for Marriage – which invited the Apostolic Nuncio, the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, to lend his clout to their view that the Bible dictates one-man-one-woman marriage only.

And I’ll assume the same for those who attended Sunday’s National City Christian Church National Weekend of Prayer for the Freedom to Marry or who will join the flock at Tuesday’s Unite4Marriage equality rally at the Supreme Court.

Surely, all are praying that the Supreme Being guides the nine mortal Supremes – six Catholics and three Jews — to a wise ruling. (Meanwhile, religious leaders on both sides of the issue aimed to tilt the ruling, filing friend of the court briefs.)

But when the justices do rule, some folks who slipped partisan prayers into the mix — conflating God’s will with their own or with their church’s desired outcome — might be gravely disappointed.

That’s the thing about prayer, isn’t it? When you pray ‘God’s will be done,” you can’t just up and declare it wasn’t done when you don’t agree.

  • Ben in oakland

    So, you have all of these people a-prayin’ and a prayin’. And you have not a few right wing, so-called Christians preying on the gullible. But that’ son other story.

    So they have already determined that God has no idea what he’s going to do.he’s just waiting for some advice from the likes of them.

    Suppose God doesn’t sway the Supremes, and they OK marriage equality. Does that mean God wasn’t interested in their prayers? Does if mean he doesn’t share their views about his children and how they should be treated? Does it mean that he approves of gay marriage?cAfter all, marriage between one man and one woman was ordained by him from the beginning– except when it wasn’t.

    But wait! what’s that? Some garbled explanation about sin and fallen worlds and just–you-wait-’cause-god’s-gonna gitcha.

    Yeah, that must be it, because it is absolutely certain that people don’t create their gods in their own image, After their likeness.

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  • James Carr

    God’s Will will be ultimately done, even if the “answer” of these prayers do not please those praying. The Supreme Court will not be receiving a memo from God with his yay or nay on the matter, one reason being that the Court is not seeking the advice of God…….it is strictly arguing the value of the case per the human construct of the Constitution.
    Actually, God’s Will is already clear on the matter, so legalizing gay marriage is no more than a refutation of Him. Those praying for legalization cannot claim God answered them positively on the matter if that happens, and if it is denied legal status they cannot denounce Him( but they will, via Religion bashing). Seeking God’s intervention includes accepting His Will.

  • Prayer is Stupid

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise. Prayer makes you fat.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer messes up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid stuff.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Prayer wastes time.

  • Susan

    Great list. LOL

  • Larry

    “Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.”

    I would think this is only appropriate if one is praying after a having Mexican food. 🙂

  • opheliart

    “Suppose God doesn’t sway the Supremes,”

    STOP! In the Name of Love … before you break my heart … they sang before the courts wearing towering wigs and tight skirts that sparkled in the bright lights of the …

    Seriously, most will climb aboard the soul train because the majority swings in favor of marriage equality. That’s the name of the game and the politicians know it and will be shifting their positions.

  • Doc Anthony

    That’s a good reply, James. Much thanks.

  • James Carr

    Thanks, though it had a short life span…only atheists can post vulgar comments and remain. Typical.

  • opheliart

    Doc, what was the comment? I missed it while trying to post on another article—but my comment wouldn’t go through.

  • Ben in oakland

    Well, isn’t that just special?

    No matter what the Supreme Court decides, your particular, peculiar version of God has clean hands in the matter. No matter what, your intimate knowledge of the mind of God is secure, based upon your understanding of a badly translated, 2000-3000 year old book. Regardless there are 6 Catholics and 3 Jews on the court, they won’t be asking for god’s guidance, because they don’t share your supreme knowledge of good and evil.

    Thank god I’m an atheist!

  • Barb

    The bible contains a lot of vulgarity.

  • @Barb,

    “The bible contains a lot of vulgarity”

    Yes. Much too vulgar to discuss. Noah heard screams of drowning people – And God called that a good idea.

    As hundreds of poor people drown off the coast of Libya this week – God is watching. That is vulgar enough.

  • KABerg

    So, the decision coming soon, should one not look at this as an empirical test of the efficiancy of pra\yers?

  • James Carr

    We do not test God, it is pompous to think we could. The effects of prayer are certified by God Himself, “Ask and you shall receive…..”, but we must “pray correctly”.

  • If prayer had any effect
    Tornado Alley would not exist IN THE BIBLE BELT.

    Prayer is a flawed way of thinking about how reality works – in primitive times people could be excused for thinking prayer was effective because they had no way to measure data!

    The ability for societies to collect and analyze useful data only became possible with the Scientific Method a few hundred years ago.

    Prayer is completely, entirely useless and always was. Prayer is “a polluted wish.”

    Wishes are actually more effective than prayer and the consequences are less stressful – Someone who makes a wish is fully aware they are only playing a game and there is no downside.

    But someone who is saying a prayer has constructed a benevolent being in their mind whose refusal to respond positively can be a damaging message the person making the prayer.

    Prayer is incredibly dangerous to mental health.

  • MarkE

    James Carr – I wholeheartedly disagree. God’s will is not clear – if it were, there wouldn’t be so many Christians debating this issue. In fact, I believe it’s clearer that committed, monogamous, life-long relationships between two people of the same gender please God and should be blessed by the church.

  • The reason wishes are more effective than prayer is simple:

    The person making the wish realizes it may not happen and won’t take it personally if it doesn’t.

    The wish can be a way for a person to articulate what she wants out of a given situation – a crystallization of whatever it is she is hoping for – and useful to a person willing to employ practical methods to achieve it.

    In that way, a wish can be useful.
    But prayer puts all action in the hands of The Zeus who never shows!
    Studies prove it worthless.

    But wishing is less damaging – it can potentially focus the mind on a feasible goal; winning a race, or publishing a book (but not winning a lottery).

    The wish is not effective by itself – but depending on the person and what they are wishing for, it can focus the mind toward an achievable goal.

  • James Carr


  • James Carr

    Well you would be so wrong in assuming that would be God’s Will. You are putting your own thoughts into God’s wisdom, when there is nary a shred of evidence that He would allow, let alone bless, a gay marriage.

  • James Carr

    Except the eyewitness accounts recorded in the four Gospels. I’ve yet to come across writings from the same period refuting all the Christ testimony, for certainly there was a great danger to Jews and Rome to let these lies run uncontested. Are those writings in your attic, or something?

  • James,

    “except the eyewitness accounts…”

    They were not eyewitnesses. And Acts of the Apostles was not written by Luke (whoever he might have been) but by Bishop Polycarp who redacted whatever fables were going around to insure that the Marcion Churches wouldn’t survive.

    Churches fought with other churches and the claims about Jesus began: “Jesus was only a spirit” (according to Paul) vs. “Jesus was a mix of spirit and human” (Gospels).

    There is no reason to even believe a real Jesus existed.

    It is transparent that the Gospels were written as a traumatic reaction to the Jewish Holocaust of 70 C.E. as Roman Soldiers slaughtered them.
    The Jewish survivors created a mystery Messiah for themselves.

  • Dale

    I rarely indulge these ridiculous commentaries, BUT, regarding God’s existence…all I know is that our founding fathers literally spent months of prayer and Bible study before creating our nation. They were even willing to fight for that freedom even if it meant giving up their possessions or their very lives. There is no mystery to the reality of God, there is a small verse found in Scripture in the book of Hebrews that states a premise followed by a promise. 1. We must believe that God exists; and 2. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. The problem is that so many are willing to suggest the possibility of a god, but if they do search for him, it usually is on their own terms and not His. As such, they will spend the whole of their lives in an empty endeavor to come up empty handed. For those “willing” to seek God on his terms have discovered that the premise and the promise are verifiably true. Prayer being empty and mindless …only for those who never knew…

  • Diane

    You are so lost and you have no idea how much you are loved by our Heavenly Father. You have never read the entire Bible and haven’t studied God’s Word or you wouldn’t be saying these bizarre things. I’m smart, thin, athletic, my clothes fit, only have 2 cats, knees are in great shape and your knee will one day bend too. Like it or not.