Woster posted an interesting topic at Blogmore. A Prayer and the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance as requisites of endurance at the inauguration of just about every public gathering that involves more than two people annoys me a lot.
Every purpose they serve is nefarious. Patriotism is exhibited by one's presence at the event. If one feels it necessary to give thanks to God (Allah, Yahweh, Buddha, Alfred E. Neuman, Eric Clapton), one can do so without ceremony or even moving his lips.
The purpose served reminds me of accounts of being in an audience in front of a Soviet Union dictator. At every applause line (and there were a lot) the person who stopped clapping first was liable to be appraised as not appreciative of the message, and that could lead to discomfort, so sometimes the applause lasted for half an hour, ending because of sheer exhaustion on the part of those with the clap.
People are forced by convention to show their patriotism and their faith in God by including some combination of the Prayer/Anthem/Pledge (PAP test) whenever they produce an event. The Taliban sector, like Missouri Republican Congressman Todd Akin (see Woster's blog entry), appears to require that those around them exhibit some common ground with them on their philosophy that they are furthering the work of God, "who has blessed this Nation Beyond All Nations." If you fail to exhibit unmitigated pride in Being an American (not your fault, usually) or belief in a Supreme Being who holds beliefs somewhat similar to Their Supreme Being, then you are not to be trusted and are not worthy of civil liberties and should either be deported, jailed or shot.
One exhibits patriotism by partaking in public discussions, and by opposing public policies that violate the clear intent of the Constitution (the expression of individual liberty). One exhibits spiritual integrity by following the moral road his/her "faith" maps out. Talking to God doesn't require a pre-dinner prayer delivered by somebody brought in for the ceremony.
But if you're still uncertain, make sure your "Amen" is loud enough to be heard by several folks and is not delivered until several seconds have passed since the end of the prayer.