Individuals are free to pray as they want. But should elected officials be telling people they should pray for the success of a company?
According to Reuters, here are the comments of Kentucky state representative Charlie Hoffman.
“They are our great corporate citizen. We’ve got to pray for Toyota.”
It bears mentioning that, according to the same article by Reuters, “Toyota has invested over $5 billion in Kentucky. Some 6,600 people work full time at its Georgetown factory, the firm’s largest outside Japan and its first in the United States.” I’m sure economic concerns have nothing to do with the representative’s desire to pray for Toyota. After all, as Georgetown’s mayor, Karen Tingle-Sames, says, plant workers
“are not just employees of Toyota — they are our friends and family members. The people we go to church with and the people we shop at Wal-Mart with”
So as long as you go to church and Wal-Mart with someone, they are deserving of God’s grace, it would seem. If they didn’t go to church, I supposed the workers could just go to Hell (figuratively, of course)?
It is this sort of intrusion of religion into the state that seems the most common: elected representatives acting as if everyone can and should believe in God. Whether it’s telling people to pray, or emblazing “In God We Trust” in the U.S. Capitol entrance, it is illegal religious intrusion into our secular government.