by Tom Snyder
Reprinted with Permission from the April 2003 Issue of the Newsletter of American Atheists
Our mother, who art in heaven -- if, indeed there is a heaven and if there is a god that takes a woman's form -- hallowed, be thy name.
We ask for thy blessing for and guidance of those that will participate in this meeting and for those mortals that govern the state of Utah.
We fervently ask that you guide the leaders of this city, Salt Lake County and the state of Utah so that they may see the wisdom of separating church and state and so that they will never again perform demeaning religious ceremonies as part of official government functions.
We pray that you prevent self-righteous politicians from misusing the name of God in conducting government meetings.
We pray and that you lead them away from the hypocritical and blasphemous deception of the public as they attempt to make the people believe that bureaucrats' decisions and actions have thy stamp of approval if they offer prayers at the beginning of government meetings.
We ask that you grant Utah's leaders and politicians enough courage and discernment to understand that religion is a private matter between every individual and his or her deity.
We beseech thee to educate government leaders not to broadcast and reveal their religious beliefs to impress others.
We pray that you strike down those who misuse your name and those that cheapen the institution of prayer by using it for their own selfish political gains.
We ask that the people of the state of Utah will some day learn the wisdom of the separation of church and state.
We ask that you will teach the people of Utah that government should not participate in religion.
We pray that you smite those government officials that would attempt to censor or control prayers made by anyone to you or to any of our other gods.
We ask that you deliver us from the evil of forced religious worship some now to impose upon the people of the state of Utah by the actions of misguided, weak and stupid politicians who abuse power in their own self-righteousness.
All of this we ask in thy name and in the name of thy son -- if, in fact, you had a son that visited Earth -- for the eternal betterment of all of us who populate the great state of Utah.