There are several updates at the bottom
Yesterday, for the first time ever, a Hindu chaplain opened the Senate’s daily session with a Hindu prayer. This seems to have bunched the panties of Christian Nation apologist David Barton.
WallBuilders president David Barton is questioning why the U.S. government is seeking the invocation of a non-monotheistic god. Barton points out that since Hindus worship multiple gods, the prayer will be completely outside the American paradigm, flying in the face of the American motto “One Nation Under God.”
Mind you, when we criticize the fact that the Senate begins every other day with a Christian prayer, we are accused of trying to destroy religious freedom. When any other type of prayer is offered, this magically has nothing at all to do with religious freedom. Silly Hindus, don’t you realize that only Christians get to have the official government imprimatur upon their religion? You just sit back and enjoy your cheeseburger and let the Christians pray.
But wait, it gets better. Three whackos from a religious right group called Operation Save America decided to disrupt the Hindu invocation and got hauled away by the police:
The three protesters, who all belong to the Christian Right anti-abortion group Operation Save America, and who apparently traveled to Washington all the way from North Carolina, interrupted by loudly asking for God’s forgiveness for allowing the false prayer of a Hindu in the Senate chamber.
“Lord Jesus, forgive us father for allowing a prayer of the wicked, which is an abomination in your sight,” the first protester began.
“This is an abomination,” he continued. “We shall have no other gods before You.”
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), serving as the presiding officer for the morning, immediately ordered them taken away — though they continued to yell at the Hindu cleric as they were headed out the door, shouting out phrases such as, “No Lord but Jesus Christ!” and “There’s only one true God!”
That blog has video of the disruption, but it’s not posted yet. The whackos then put out a press release that reads:
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.
I’m popping some popcorn. Can’t wait to see the rest of this show.
Update: Here’s the video:
Update #2: a religious right former Navy chaplain is shocked – SHOCKED – that those who interrupted the event were arrested:
Klingenschmitt was in the Senate gallery earlier today to witness the prayer being given by the Hindu chaplain — a prayer that was interrupted twice by individuals in the gallery. “About 50 feet away from me there were these other Christian people [who] stood up like everybody else … and they began to pray also,” he recalls. “But [they] prayed Christian prayers, and they prayed out loud — and they prayed in Jesus’ name. They said ‘God have mercy on our nation. God have mercy on America.'””
He explains what he then witnessed in the Senate chamber. “Would you believe that the security office immediately escorted them out and hauled them off to jail because they prayed in Jesus’ name, out loud, when this other man was praying a Hindu prayer out loud?” he shares. “He was praying a prayer of idolatry, violating the First Commandment [which says] ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” he continues. “In contrast, these Christian people, they stood up and they just prayed in Jesus’ name.”
Klingenschmitt says the Hindu chaplain finished his prayer after the two were escorted from the gallery. He offers this assessment: “[A]pparently one kind of prayer is permitted and even honored on the floor of the Senate; the other kind of prayer is seen as disruptive.”
Well yes, you dolt, when one person is invited to be there and those in the gallery try to shout them down, they’re seen as disruptive. It has nothing to do with the content of the prayers. If they had stood up and started yelling baseball scores from last night’s Sportscenter, they would still have been arrested. If 3 Hindus stood up and started shouting Hindu prayers during an invited Christian invocation, would this halfwit be so stunned to find out they were arrested? Of course not.
t all goes back to the same thing that should be painfully obvious to everyone by now: it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with religious freedom. Their goal is an exclusively Christian country where only Christianity gets recognized and endorsed by the government.
Update #3: Yet another fevered and absurd reaction from the religious right, this time from Jan Markell who says this morning’s Hindu prayer will let the terrorists win:
an Markell of Olive Tree Ministries says she’s absolutely outraged that Hindu chaplain Rajan Zed was pegged to deliver the opening prayer of the U.S. Senate this morning. The director of the pro-Israel ministry is concerned about the consequences of allowing someone to open the day’s business in the Senate by referencing Hindu scriptures and praying to over 300 million gods…
Markell says this reminds her of what happened in the Old Testament when the people of Israel turned to other gods. “When Israel went straying and worshiping other gods, very, very serious consequences came down upon her,” the ministry leader points out.
“I think that America is at a turning point,” Markell continues. “The head of Homeland Security himself, [Michael] Chertoff, said he’s very concerned about some sort of a major strike here this summer in America. And so instead of turning to the God who defends and protects America, just like Israel we go chasing off after other gods who cannot protect us.”
Funny Jan, but that same chamber has begun with prayers to your bodyguard god every day for two centuries or nore. One prayer to the “deity supreme” is enough to cancel out 60,000 prayers to the right god? And if prayers to your god to protect us work, where was he on September 11th? Perhaps he takes Tuesdays off. Or perhaps we shouldn’t rely on sky gods to protect us.