I read with interest Laura McPhee’s article about the prayer suit (Dispatch, “Bosma Loses Prayer Suit,” Dec. 7-14). I applaud the plaintiffs and the ICLU for addressing this issue. I’m sure the attention from the media has forced some of us to address our feelings about public prayer and religion and spirituality in general. I had to look up the terms before I could put the story to rest.

But for me, more questions have been raised than answered. Here’s why: Sectarian means characteristic of or in favor of a sect; ecumenical means concerning the Christian Church. In Laura McPhee’s article in the current NUVO, it states that the letter to clergy who are to deliver prayers specifies that their prayer should be ecumenical. So that includes all Christian sects. What about the Muslims, the Jews, the countless other faiths and the atheists? Moreover, if we want a separation of church and state (and I do) why does there need to be a prayer at all? It seems to me that, like abortion, it is a private issue. So the real question becomes: Why have praying at the opening of the Legislature if our Constitution specifies separation of church and state?

Jeannette Rowe

Indianapolis Mike Davis and race

[I am] disappointed in you, Steve. No, more surprised than anything. In your otherwise well written article on Mike Davis’ troubles (Sports, “IU Looks for Holiday Gift,” Dec. 7-14), you missed out the opportunity to point out how much race has played into the alumni unhappiness with him. How many letters to The Star do you see disgruntled IU fans complain about players from Alabama taking roster spots that should go to Hoosiers? Heck, the IU invocation of the word “tradition” is akin to the way the word “heritage” was used by George Wallace. If a coach like, say, Steve Alford had taken IU to the Final Four in his second season, not a single person would have said that he did it with Knight’s Players (a favorite way people demean Davis’ coaching in 2002). Come to think of it, no one has said that Charlie Weiss is winning at Notre Dame with Tyrone Willingham’s players either.

Given your propensity to rail about the Red State sanitization of sports, leaving race out of the Davis equation is somewhat confusing.

Peter Miesel

Indianapolis

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