Thursday, July 12, 2007
This Is Why We're Supposed To Have Separation Of Church And State
Disruption Of Hindu Chaplain's Senate Prayer Shows Religious Right's Intolerance, Says Americans United
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today deplored the disruption by Religious Right activists of a Hindu chaplain’s prayer to open the U.S. Senate.
“This shows the intolerance of many Religious Right activists,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “They say they want more religion in the public square, but it’s clear they mean only their religion.
“America is a land of extraordinary religious diversity, and the Religious Right just can’t seem to accept that fact,” Lynn continued. “I don’t think the Senate should open with prayers, but if it’s going to happen, the invocations ought to reflect the diversity of the American people.”
Hindu Chaplain Rajan Zed, a Nevada resident, gave the opening prayer in the Senate at the invitation of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). As he began his remarks, two protestors interrupted the proceedings, asking for forgiveness from Jesus Christ for the “abomination” of failing to pray to the “one true God.” (The sergeant-at-arms had to restore order.)
Religious Right groups have been agitating against the Hindu leader’s prayer since it was announced. The Rev. Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association has asked his members to complain to their senators about the invitation. The group’s news service reported that “Christian nation” activist David Barton said that Hinduism has few followers in the United States and that prayer to a “non-monotheistic god” is “outside the American paradigm.”
Said AU’s Lynn, “The Religious Right promotes a deeply skewed version of American history. Our founders wanted separation of church and state and full religious liberty for all faith traditions. The episode today shows we still have a ways to go to achieve that goal.”
/hat tip to wtfwjd? at Eschaton
This is fun, in the same way that using the Fourth Circuit's ruling to get Yule and Atheiset Summer Camp flyers handed out at schools was fun. One imagines that even some of the the more crazed xianits might begin to understand how the rest of us feel having their religion shoved down our throats and why it might be better if we actually had a wall between church and government. But, really, their cognitive disonance is far too well entrenched and they are far too irony-impaired.
Update: Josh Marshall has video, as well as the press release from the fundies:
Theology Moved to the Senate and was Arrested
Theology has moved from the church house onto the floor of the United States Senate, and has been arrested.
Ante Pavkovic, Kathy Pavkovic, and Kristen Sugar were all arrested in the chambers of the United States Senate as that chamber was violated by a false Hindu god. The Senate was opened with a Hindu prayer placing the false god of Hinduism on a level playing field with the One True God, Jesus Christ. This would never have been allowed by our Founding Fathers.
"Not one Senator had the backbone to stand as our Founding Fathers stood. They stood on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! There were three in the audience with the courage to stand and proclaim, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' They were immediately removed from the chambers, arrested, and are in jail now. God bless those who stand for Jesus as we know that He stands for them." Rev. Flip Benham, Director, Operation Save America/Operation Rescue