Alaska's Prayer Cards
I've been doing a fair amount of flying on Alaska Airlines this year, and so have seen their "prayer cards" on many occasions. Prayer cards are included with meals and are printed with Biblical quotations, such as:
I will be glad and rejoice in you;and:
I will sing praise to your name
O most high.
I will praise God's name in songOver the years, various people and groups have raised the issue of whether Alaska's prayer cards are appropriate (see here and here). Salon devoted an article to the topic, defending Alaska's right to distribute the cards while taking exception with their official corporate response to complaints, which links "Judeo-Christian beliefs" with the US government.
and glorify Him with thanksgiving.
I generally agree with Salon's analysis, but a couple of points:
First, it seems to me that Alaska is missing an opportunity to draw from a much larger body of religion than simply the Old Testament of the Bible (if they have used verses from the New Testament, I haven't seen them). Other religious texts have words of wisdom, and anything that helps educate people on the broad spectrum of beliefs in the world, hopefully leading to more tolerance, can only be a good thing. For example, this from the Talmud:
Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.Or this from the Koran:
God helps those who persevere.Or this saying attributed to Buddha:
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.Second, assuming that Alaska is going to use only Christian Biblical quotes, why are the two I could find online (I don't save them) all about praising God?
Perhaps this is the agnostic in me, but I've never understood the obsession in some religious texts with singing the praises of one's chosen divine being. (Doing research for this article, it seemed like most of the quotes I found from the Koran were about the importance of prayer.) Contrast this with the quote from Buddha above, encouraging skepticism, including of himself.
In any case, if you're going to choose to draw from the Bible, how about this from 1 John 4:18:
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.Or this from Proverbs 12:16:
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.Or this from Acts 20:35:
It is more blessed to give than receive.