In our school, in one of my periods, one of my teachers told us the important things late Steve Jobs has done for the world and encouraged us to have a moment of silence for him for about 10 seconds. When I got home and told Dad about it, he said that it was a good thing. However when I told my Mom, she flipped out and said that it was anti-Christian and basically in the line of idol worshiping and told me to ask for forgiveness. I do not get it. How is having a moment of silence for someone a bad thing? IS it a bad thing?

P.S. our family is Puritanish.

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    Whenever someone claims something is anti-Christian or against the Bible, I just ask them "Why?" If you get a verse, you can look it up. If you get an opinion then it's just an opinion. – styfle Oct 13 '11 at 1:20
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    I suspect it wasn't the moment of silence that your mum found offensive but rather the somewhat over-the-top reaction to Steve Jobs' death that there has been. – Waggers Oct 13 '11 at 6:04

No, there's nothing anti-Christian about a moment of silence. Asking us to pray to another god would be anti-Christian.

The purpose of the moment of silence is to allow those who are Christian to pray to our God, while allowing others to pray to theirs, without annoying people with opposing religious (or anti-religious) viewpoints. In short, it's a politically correct way of allowing prayer in public places, while trying to maintain a "separation of Church and State".

One possible explanation for the reaction is a a gut reaction to what's perceived as a violation of our first amendment rights by those who are working to remove all references to Christianity in public places. That's more of a political issue, however, and I don't want to expand on it here, other than to say that this is one reason she may have said it's anti-Christian.

For clarification as to why she found it offensive, you'd be better off asking her when she cools down.

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    Prayer is just one reason for a moment of silence; it is perhaps more commonly associated with a moment's reflection, contemplation, respect, commemoration, or solemnity. None of those things necessitate prayer. People are welcome to use that time in prayer, of course. – Marc Gravell Oct 13 '11 at 11:44
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    That is true. No argument there. Perhaps @hammar's answer deserves an up-vote on that since that's the essence of his answer. I think I'll give him one now. – David Stratton Oct 13 '11 at 12:31

I don't think there's anything religious at all about a moment of silence for somebody who died. It is supposed to be a moment to remember those persons and to show our respect for them.. If someone wishes to use the opportunity to pray, then that is their own business.

The political issues brought up in David Stratton's answer seem to be more concerned with a moment of silence where it is not held in connection to some deceased person or tragic event. For example, a daily moment of silence in schools are seen by some as an endorsement of prayer in conflict with the separation between church and state, but that is a different matter and not really relevant to this question.

However, I agree that it would be best to ask her once she has cooled down.

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I agree with the others. There is nothing anti-Christian about a moment of silence. I'd hope that you don't feel you or your classmates have done anything wrong.

Maybe your mother got upset not about that there was a moment of silence, but who it was for in this case. Steve Jobs apparently (I don't watch TV) got a huge amount of coverage regarding his death, and perhaps your mother was fed up with so much attention being paid to a billionaire's death, when there is almost no attention in the popular media regarding the many deaths of average people or people who are dying in parts of the world the U.S. media doesn't care about. Maybe in that sense she felt that bothering to honor Steve Jobs was misplaced, and, after all the attention in the media, approaching an almost worshipful reverence of the man (which, in her view, should of course only be paid to God).

(For what it's worth, I tend to think that, despite any person's death being sad--particularly for a young man like Jobs--there may well have been so much coverage that it bordered on poor taste.)

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