This week, the first Muslim woman ever was sworn into the Pennsylvania State Legislature. The Christian politician who prayed to open the session, Stephanie Borowicz, made a point of using the name “Jesus” no less than 13 times in her prayer.
(To make matters worse, Borowicz’s prayer was a rambling mess of theological confusion which eschewed trinitarian form in favor of fatuous, unthinking christomonism: “God, forgive us. Jesus, we’ve lost sight of you. We’ve forgotten you, God and our country. And we’re asking you to forgive us, Jesus.”)
When Borowicz was later told that it was probably not advisable to use the name “Jesus” 13 times in a prayer opening a public session of government in which a Muslim politician was being sworn in, she indignantly replied that she would not be silent about her faith. One can’t help but wonder how indignant Borowicz would’ve been if a Muslim Imam had opened with a prayer saying “Allah, the one true God of the prophet Jesus…”?
In her book Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, Christine Pohl refers to hospitality as the power of recognition, of acknowledging others different than you and treating them as you would like to be treated, with courtesy, dignity, and respect. The fact is that isn’t that hard to be hospitable toward those who do not share your beliefs. It starts by making room for others, considering things from their point of view, and simply trying not to be a jerk about your beliefs.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (Matthew 6:5, KJV)