Today on Interstate 10 in El Paso, I spotted a billboard that read simply: Mayor's Prayer Breakfast May 10 and a phone number.
That may be commonly accepted, but it's not appropriate.
Here's what a local evangelical group said about Mayor Cook's event last year:
The El Paso Mayor's Prayer Luncheon drew more than 1500 people in May. Mayor John Cook is a committed follower of Jesus, having committed his mayorship and the City of El Paso to the Lordship of Jesus. The Loving Our Communities to Christ city leader in El Paso, Barney Field, meets with him weekly, and pastors and intercessors meet monthly with the mayor to pray for the Communities of El Paso and nearby Juarez, Mexico. The El Paso / Juarez / Las Cruces region is an LC2C partner. [emphasis mine]To which I say: "Yuck!"
And I grew up Christian. How would I feel as a Muslim? As a Jew? Buddhist? Pagan?
Everyone should feel included under the mayor's leadership. Not an inner circle of similarly-persuaded believers.
The Alternative Part?
Influenced by liberation theology, I believe that one's spirituality, the lived out expression of one's religious faith, ought to infuse meaning in every aspect of one's life. And that includes one's civic life.
I say a person has a right to work for political change that will advance greater humanness for all of us. I say our political agendas ought to place a priority commitment on bettering the lives of those less advantaged--the ones who have gotten the short end of the stick through no fault of their own.
So as a Christian, I work politically and don't sit on my (ahem) waiting for pie-in-the-sky to right the karma and reward those who have patiently accepted the status quo.
Whatever your spirituality is, I hope it is authentically other-centered. I hope it affects your entire being.
Including your civic life.
But keep your religion out of it. Please.
This is my first submission to this blogging event. Your comments are welcome. Am I alternative in my thinking? Let me know. Thanks.