On a wing and a prayer

If a person worries about media reaction and especially the reaction of the media seeking comments from left wing politicians, then it’s a dangerous time for people of Christian faith.
Winnipeg’s new chief of police was quoted in a Christian newspaper about how he thought that prayer and hard work could team up to make Winnipeg a better place.
You would think the man had committed a crime himself, judging by the howling of some media and some politicians. There was scorning and scoffing, there was condemnation, especially on day one of the story. By day two, some supportive statements started to come out and by day three, the story had become somewhat old news.
So here we have a man who has been a police chaplain for years and now he becomes the police chief. Media types and politicians seem surprised that the man actually believes in prayer. The big story shouldn’t have been that this police chief believes in prayer but that anyone is surprised that he believes in prayer.
Why is it that in some stories, a person’s faith is praised. It can be faith of any type or sort and it is held up as a good thing. Most stories about anyone in the public eye at least has a passing mention of their faith, be it Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikh, Atheism, whatever.
To claim that somehow having a police chief in Winnipeg who states publicly that he believes in prayer is bad thing, goes beyond all logic.
If a person believes in prayer or not, it’s their choice, completely their choice. What we choose to believe is a free choice thing, it always has been. So if a citizen believes in prayer – so be it. If a person doesn’t believe in prayer, so be it. What harm can it do to another person if someone prays or doesn’t pray? To the harshest of cynics, it needs to be asked, what harm can prayer do? And therefore why be upset if someone says they believe in prayer?
The police chief isn’t saying he will make anyone else, anywhere, anytime believe as he does. I suspect that he knows that even God doesn’t do that. Remember the above statement, it has always been a matter of individual choice. Upon occasion, faith movements may have dictated beliefs, as have governments, but God never has. With God, it has always, always been a matter of individual choices. Considering the new police chief was so new on the job, the reaction was especially disgraceful and disrespectful. It was also, as is often the case on a slow news day, very hastily written. As a follower of news, I get a kick out of our two Winnipeg newspapers which, if all else fails, get a quote from NDP MP Pat Martin. Martin has an opinion on everything. He’s a pretty bright man. He also loves publicity and a microphone. So, if a paper needs a quick quote, regardless if Martin really knows the topic or not, the papers can always rely on him. Martin is perhaps the most often quoted politician in Winnipeg. I guess it’s OK to obliquely refer to prayer. Old expressions like “on a wing and a prayer” seem to be acceptable. The more adventurous may say “I’ll be praying for you” when addressing a person in need of comfort or divine intervention. Some politicians will even venture to say, in times of trouble, “our thoughts and prayers are with you.” But to go as far as what the police chief said and indicated that there might actually be power in prayer, and it’s obviously not the right thing to do, according to our left-leaning media and even further left-leaning politicians.
The underlying message is that while media or politicians can say anything they want about just about anyone or anything, a person of faith had better keep his trap shut. Funny how free speech and freedom of expression so quickly hits the fence lines of tolerance when the speaker isn’t saying what some people want to hear.

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kwaddell@kenwaddell.ca This is a Sunrize Group internet solution (204)226-2247