Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Prayers

You can bet there was a whole lot of praying and other spiritual activities going on as the U.S. elections approached. I’m going to share mine with you, but I’m saving it for last. First I want to link you to some prayers that appeared on the Democratic Progressive website, DailyKos.

This first one, "Prayer for the Sunday before another Election," posted by "Steven D" on Nov.5, is interesting for its historical perspective and contriteness. It begins:
Dear God :I realize we haven't spoken in a while, but please don't let that stop you from hearing me out. Lincoln, famously, during the Civil War developed the idea that you (or some anonymous entity or force by another name that might as well be called God) had chosen that terrible war as a punishment for failing to eradicate the sin of slavery....
This next one, "A Prayer for the Progressive," posted by "Sarahkatheryn" on Nov. 6, was a bit of a turn-off for me, mainly because of its beginning:

Father, we come to you today united together under your watchful eye and your guiding hand...

A prayer for "the Progressive" that addresses deity only in male terms? Interesting that neither of the other prayers from Kos quoted here do that. It seems to me that by 2006 a Progressive would be conscious of the FACT that using only male terms to refer to or address deity is not progressive but rather regressive. Yes, in your own practice you can address deity however you want. But you were offering this as a prayer to all Progressives and many of us long ago have rejected exclusively male language for deity. Next time , even if you don't honor the Mother of All in your private practice, in public prayer think about either degenderizing or using terms like "Mother-Father God," or alternating "father" and "mother."

The last one I'm going to quote, "A prayer for America," posted by "UU View" on Nov. 7, is my favorite. Not surprisingly for a prayer by a Unitarian Universalist, it does not use any term to address deity (and may not even be addressing deity). Like the first prayer, it is both humble and historical. It begins:
On this election day, may we embrace as a nation the best of who we are: the values of freedom, responsibility, equal worth of all persons, economic opportunity for all, one person one vote, peaceful transfer of power, Constitutional rights, balance of power, justice and accountability, moral and military restraint, and hope for a better future.

May we reject our worst tendencies: fear, greed, corruption, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, abuse of power, the domination of the many by the few, subversion of democracy, a drive toward empire, environmental destruction, blindness to the world around us, and cynical lies or dirty tricks for personal or political gain.

May tomorrow be the beginning of a new transformation, another turning, as we have done before: as we turned from slavery, from the denial of the vote for women, from the witch hunts of McCarthy and the denial of voting rights to people of color
And ends:
May peace prevail in our hearts, and may peace prevail on earth.
Blessed be America on our day of choice tomorrow.
As for me, at around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday morning I awoke, stirred, it seemed, by the full moon streaming through the window. I was surprised, because when I had gone to bed, it had been cloudy, the moon covered. But now She had broken through and I prayed:

Strong, gentle and great Mother,
through this election may the door be opened
to renewed freedom, liberty, and democracy.
May there be change,
and may the change be full, complete,
and for the greater good.
May the Democrats take both houses.
Thank you.
So be it.




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Judith Laura

More blogs about /goddess/feminist theology/spiritual feminism/pagan/feminist spirituality/.