Free to pray

To the editor:

In regards to “Work for Peace,” (May 4, Public Forum), the National Day of Prayer suggests only that we pray in accordance to our own, PERSONAL beliefs. It is not a law that forces anyone to pray who does not choose to or to a God they do not believe in, thereby allowing for PERSONAL freedom. It is not unconstitutional by the First Amendment. And prayer DOES work for those who believe. Prayer is an act of faith, asking for something you want or need, then claiming it as yours. Ever heard of the power of positive thinking?

As for the tragedy of Sept. 11, let me draw this parallel: my children often act as if they no longer need me, saying, “I can do it myself.” Then they fall and hurt themselves and ask me, their father, to heal their wounds. Yes, Mr. Schentrup, bad things happen to good people, but faith in a higher calling, a greater purpose than we can attain on our own, helps us to heal our wounds and forgive those who have caused us pain. They bring us together.

Love and forgiveness are what truly bring about peace, characteristics that seem to be missing in this angry, selfish and vengeful society. Our nation has become a dysfunctional family who spends more time pointing fingers rather than being thankful for the basic freedoms that this great nation was founded on. And yes, freedom to pray is one of them, just as is your freedom to choose not to.

Michael S. Gordon,