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September 2nd, 2012
04:44 PM ET

Letters to the President #1322: 'A message to the heavens'

Reporter's Note: I write to President Obama with a nearly religious fervor.

Dear Mr. President,

If I were a Minister, or Priest, or Rabbi, or Imam, or any other type of religious leader (I mean, of course, aside from whatever I became by buying that certificate off of the Internet) I don't know if I would agree to offer a prayer at a political convention. I have several reasons.

First, I would be wary of the purpose. Would I truly be invited because the people there respected the followers of my faith, or... and this is tricky... would it be because the party wanted to win their votes, by pretending to respect their views?

Second, I would have to be free to say whatever I wanted. Now, it would not be my design as a religious leader to launch into any sort of political diatribe, but neither would I think it was right to allow the party any editorial control over a prayer... an expression of belief and attachment to a higher authority. I mean seriously, if I am talking to God why would I allow a party apparatchik to weigh in? That said, I suspect neither party would be willing to allow anyone to speak... religious or otherwise... without demanding at least some level of approval over what would be said.

And third, I would fear that by taking part, I might be seen as joining in the division of the nation, rather than in it's unity. I suppose if a religious leader were invited by both parties to pray at each of their events, that might offset this concern, but that seems unlikely.

Anyway, on this Sunday, and as I prepare to head to your convention in Charlotte I was just thinking that over. Any thoughts on the subject? Call if you can.

Regards,
Tom