Supporting the right to pray on campus

CLAIRE CAPPELLE ‘17

Special to The Denisonian

The definition of prayer is a solemn request for help or expresion to a God or object of worship. This action is present in all religions around the world. Jews pray during the Sabbath, Hindus practice puja everyday and worship their gods, Christians pray at morning and at night, and Muslims pray five times a day.

Prayer is a ritual of talking to God(s). People of all faiths have a point of contact for communicating with God(s), whether that is a holy book to read and reference from, or whether it’s a conversation with God(s) or whether it’s worship to God(s).

To many people, prayer is necessary to practice every day. The location of prayer is sacred.

It’s the reason why we have religious buildings and spaces as areas to worship. These spaces are meant to be safe, authentic, places for people to communicate with God whenever needed.

As a Christian, I value prayer very highly. I make sure that I pray to God once in the morning, once at night, at meals, during my Bible meeting and throughout the day. Prayer is the way that I communicate with God, hear from Him and obey Him. Prayer is the time where I can take a break from the busyness and chaos of this world and have a conversation with my Lord.

I enjoy prayer because it brings me peace in the middle of a stressful semester. This is why I attend prayer every Monday night at 9 p.m.

I get it—you may not understand it, and you may not have to. You may think that you haven’t done anything wrong. . .you may not have destroyed the Muslim Student Association’s prayer room.

However, suffice it to say, we have a problem on this campus with letting people’s stuff be theirs and not messing around with it. And while you may not have been a part of it, please hear me out and continue reading, because it’s important.

I may not be Muslim, but whatever happened to the prayer room hurt me. I don’t know what I would do if my prayer space was destroyed. I acknowledge my Christian privilege and at the same time, am saddened with my Muslim friends that someone could be so careless as to mess with the Muslim prayer room. Throwing holy books on the ground, strewn on the floor along with other items. . .is this what we were taught? Were we taught to disrespect others’ things like this? Of course not!

Within the past several weeks, there has been a more aggressive atmosphere on this campus where people feel like it’s okay to rip property apart. There’s also an aura of indifference.

I saw countless people walk past the table and look away and I was saddened. We weren’t asking you to sign a petition to the government or anything. We just wanted to ask you to sign cards to support the MSA. I don’t like forcing people to sign things on tables. I just thought that perhaps our campus would be a bit more generous with their time and empathy during a time when someone’s religious space was violated.

Claire Cappelle ‘17 is a biology major, sociology/anthropology minor from Cleveland, Ohio.

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