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


Dirk Gently said...

but we have complete freedom of religion in america! you can be a baptist, a methodist, presbyterian, evangelical lutheran - whatever you want!

sheesh. some people are so ungrateful for the gifts god has given them through our xian forefathers, praise jesus.

Anonymous said...

-bangs head repeatedly on altar until indelable face mark remains on altar cloth-

"OOOOh.. ii's the Shroud of Irving!"

May I just say that they do not speak for me.

Thank you.

-left rev.

Gummo said...

They're still lying about the Founding Fathers, I see.

Gee, how very.... unChristian of them!

Anne Johnson said...

1. The Senate should not open with a prayer.

2. If it does, every religion in the nation should be allowed to deliver a prayer. The Santerians ought to be able to deliver a prayer.

3. No one goes to jail very long for a misdemeanor offense, which is what they committed.

Dr 4LOM said...

"Matthew 6

1Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

3But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."

I wish more Christians would read the bible.