Your Daily Dose of Christian Tolerance

Rajan Zed, a Hindu from the Indian Association of Northern Nevada, gave the opening prayer in the United States Senate today.  Reasonably noncontroversial, right?  Of course not!  As Zed attempted to begin, hecklers from the gallery began shouting prayers in an attempt to drown him out. 

The Corner, of all places, has the video.  Of course, this is further proof of what most of us already know: the idea that everyone’s faith is respected in this country is a bunch of hokum.

Advertisements

34 Comments

Filed under 10_jeff_fecke

34 responses to “Your Daily Dose of Christian Tolerance

  1. Quite honestly, that’s one of the most embarrassing things I’ve read about this country in quite some time.

    Which, considering I read most of Bush’s speeches, is really saying something.

  2. Any report on who the fuckers were? I need to take a walk.

  3. Melangell

    Wow. That is horrible. I am shocked.

  4. NameChanged

    Why are we praying at all in the Chamber? We could avoid all of this bullshit if we just AVOIDED ALL OF THIS BULLSHIT!!

  5. I’m with NameChanged – leave all manner of deities out of the business of running the government. We’d all be a lot better off, I think.

  6. Damn. Damn, that makes me sad.

  7. The hecklers then went back to their churches, where they slapped this song up on the ol’ overhead projector and sang for the rest of the morning.

  8. Holly in cincinnati

    AU Press Release:

    Disruption Of Hindu Chaplain’s Senate Prayer Shows Religious Right’s Intolerance, Says Americans United

    Religious Right Activists Want Government To Reflect Only Their Faith, Says AU’s Lynn

    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.”

    * * * *

    Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

    http://www.au.org

  9. Gotta say, I’m with NameChanged and the Chemist here. Obviously I’m not opposed to prayer, but I don’t see why the Senate should have it.

  10. Don’t get me wrong, I think an invocation is silly, too, but if you’re going to have it, it seems only logical that in a country with diversity of religion to have different religious leaders there. Of course, that’s the irony; the folks who made idiots of themselves today are quite fine with prayer in the Senate — as long as it’s the right type of prayre.

  11. “Don’t get me wrong, I think an invocation is silly, too, but if you’re going to have it, it seems only logical that in a country with diversity of religion to have different religious leaders there.”

    Yeah, like we’re going to see the Lord and Lady of Wicca invoking the chamber.

    Plus, we’d need to include Scientology, a muzzein, and someone from Subgenius.

    Actually, if they’d be truly inclusive, it might be kind of fun.

    Until then — get teh prayer out of my congress.

  12. oddjob

    They also show their ignorance of Hinduism which as a religion is much more complicated and subtle than straight up monotheism, or polytheism.

  13. Jewel

    From the article Holly posted: “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.'”

    That makes me SO FUCKING MAD. Can they not SEE that who is/is not the ‘one true god’ is a RELIGIOUS matter, NOT a GOVERNMENT MATTER???

    …ok, I’ll stop yelling now. I’m just so angry and disgusted and fed up and just about at the end of my rope.

  14. oddjob

    Can they not SEE that who is/is not the ‘one true god’ is a RELIGIOUS matter, NOT a GOVERNMENT MATTER???

    They regard the splitting of the two as bogus and false.

  15. Actually, if they’d be truly inclusive, it might be kind of fun.

    I want them to ask me. I’ve got my invocation all ready:

    STOP PRAYING AND GET TO FUCKING WORK, YOU RIDICULOUS BOOBS! Amen.

  16. Jewel

    Oddjob: “They regard the splitting of the two as bogus and false.”

    Which is precisely what makes me so fucking mad. THEY’RE WRONG.

    Can we have a constitutional amendment, please?

  17. Before this SCOTUS I wouldn’t have said we needed an amendment specifying the separation of church and state, as we have the First Amendment, but maybe it is time we introduce one.

  18. Melangell, I’d love to be shocked by things like this, but I’m Wiccan, and I see it all the time; Wiccans not allowed to make non-sectarian (e.g. not Wiccan) prayers at school boards and town councils, driven from communities, having their religion made an issue in custody cases. So it’s reached the Senate? Sad, but not shocked.

  19. “STOP PRAYING AND GET TO FUCKING WORK, YOU RIDICULOUS BOOBS! Amen.”

    Melissa! Stop insulting boobs by comparing them to congress!

  20. Plus, I don’t think you’re allowed to say “boobs” on the Senate floor.

  21. eastsidekate

    STOP PRAYING AND GET TO FUCKING WORK, YOU RIDICULOUS BOOBS!

    Agreed.

    And for chrissake, show some respect in the gallery! I happened to be in the gallery for one of Sen. Helms more notable speeches about AIDS and teh gays– needless to say, I found it offensive. If I can keep my trap shut while sitting in the Senate, so can they. Find another place to make your point– have they no respect for our country?

  22. have they no respect for our country?

    I think the answer to this question is a resounding – NO!

  23. Elizabeth

    I found his prayer to be very touching and beautiful, once order was restored and he was allowed to speak it uninterrupted. Did anyone else listen? If only the zealots could have listened then they might have learned something. The best way to deal with things like this when they come up is the way that it was dealt with, not by shouting back equally intolerant messages, but by holding one’s ground patiently and continueing with your message.

  24. Holly in cincinnati

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/12/prayer.protest.reut/index.html

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Three protesters disrupted a prayer by a Hindu chaplain Thursday at the opening of a Senate hearing, calling it an abomination and shouting slogans about Jesus Christ.

    Chaplain Rajan Zed, left, and Sen. Robert Casey looks toward the Senate’s public gallery during the protest.

    It was the first time the daily prayer that opens Senate proceedings was said by a Hindu chaplain.

    Capitol police said two women and one man were arrested and charged with causing a disruption in the public gallery of the Senate. The three started shouting when guest Chaplain Rajan Zed, a Hindu from Nevada, began his prayer. Video Watch the disruption »

    They shouted “No Lord but Jesus Christ” and “There’s only one true God,” and used the term “abomination.”

    Religious figures from various faiths have said the prayer, which is normally recited by a Christian chaplain.

    Barry Lynn, executive director of religious watchdog group Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the protest showed the intolerance of the “religious right.”

    “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,” Lynn said in a statement.
    advertisement

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had invited Zed.

    “I think it speaks well of our country that someone representing the faith of about a billion people comes here and can speak in communication with our heavenly father regarding peace,” he said after the disruption.

    Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.

  25. Pingback: Newshoggers

  26. Pingback: There’s a Term for These Folks - They Are Stupid Jerks · Articles

  27. Daniel

    I agree with Elizabeth. As a Christian I have no objection to having prayers (or reflections by those who do not believe in prayer) being offered by representatives of various faiths, including those that are seemingly contrary to Christian beliefs (yes, even Wiccan). These demonstrators were acting very-unchristian, stupidly and with extreme intolerance. Bravo for the way it was handled. And by the way, this is not representative of everyone (and probably not the majority) in the Christian Right.

  28. Pingback: UPDATED: There’s a Term for These Folks - They Are Stupid Jerks » The Moderate Voice

  29. Pingback: UPDATED: There’s a Term for These Folks - They Are Stupid Jerks · Articles

  30. Pingback: Central Sanity: UPDATED: Shameless Hecklers in the Senate

  31. Pingback: Christianists embarass the US « Greg Prince’s Blog

  32. segmentation fault

    why does congress even open up with prayer? what is this the middle east?

  33. Daniel

    segmentation fault asked: “why does congress even open up with prayer? what is this the middle east.”

    The simple answer is because this is a deliberative body of consenting adults that chooses to do so. There is no measurable difference in intolerance between banning prayer and mandating it. I understand the problem with school prayers and prayers at public events. But the senate and the house establish their own rules of conduct and they must be free to do so.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s