Monday, May 15, 2006

A prayer for commencement

The school where I work jsut had commencement. Predictably, a member of the faculty sent an email to the administration, staff, and faculty complaining about the fact that there was a prayer. So in the spirit of intellectual syncretism, I offer this non-denominational prayer.

Oh, great celestial Father or Mother or otherwise supposedly Eternal and Beneficent Being or Beings, who may or may not exist (and if you don't exist, please disregard this prayer):

On this occasion, a celebration of knowledge and learning, it seems appropriate to many of us (though not all) to acknowledge You ("you" being used as a generic non-gendered second-person-personal pronoun implying neither singular nor plural status) as the source of knowledge and learning.

As it is written in one text that many (though certainly not all) consider sacred, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,"

and in another, "He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good,"

and in another, "One must possess knowledge about action; one must also possess knowledge about prohibited action; and again one must possess knowledge about inaction,"

and in yet another sacred text, "Inna-godda-da-vida, baby."

Although Your existence cannot be scientifically proven, it cannot also be disproven, and so prudence dictates that it might not be such a bad idea after all to to ask Your blessing - should You be disposed to do things such as give blessings, as described in many (though not all) religious tradtions, which this is not one of, being simply a voluntary ceremonial event, albeit one that's being held on the taxpayer's dime, but then just about everyone here is a taxpayer, and demographic studies show that most Americans believe in You in some form - on those persons among those gathered here who are willing to receive such a blessing from your hand or hands (we certainly would not want someone to receive a blessing that they did not want, and so we offer this opt-out clause).

In the name of Bob and the Flying Spaghetti Monster,

Yeah, Whatever.

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