Friday, October 14, 2005

Bob Park on prayer and Harriet Miers

on Harriet Miers (The preceding link is to the current "What's New." If it's later than Oct 21, this comment will presumably be archived at Oct 14.)
After nominating Harriet Miers for a seat on the Supreme Court, President Bush sought to reassure religious conservatives by stressing Miers' evangelical Christian roots. Bush said it's part of who she is. He's right, but traditionally the personal religious views of nominees are not taken up in the confirmation process. If the First Amendment is upheld, it shouldn't matter. So forget religion. Far more important in the Twenty-First Century is the nominee's views on science. There are, after all, few cases that come before the courts today that do not have a scientific component. Scientists must construct a list of basic questions that would give some insight into the nominee's views on science. For example: do all physical events result from earlier physical events, or can they be caused by clasping your hands, bowing your head, and wishing? Send your suggestions to What's New. WN will print the best of them.
When I was a kid, I often wondered what it meant to pray. That is, besides saying the words, what did people think of themselves as doing when they prayed. I never got a good answer, but I thought that perhaps I would understand when I grew up. Now that I'm grown up, I still don't understand, and I haven't heard anyone explain to me in a relatively straightforward way what they think of themselves as doing when they pray.

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