Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Yes, the same publicity-hound former chaplain who has been continually dissembling about why he was removed from his position as a chaplain by the Pentagon. He’s a typical religious right persecution poser whose story is based on distortions and falsehoods and he’s hopping mad about that Hindu prayer in the Senate. Predictably, his claims are just full of lies beginning with the very first sentence:

I personally sat in the Senate gallery, witnessing history when a Hindu chaplain prayed to “earth” and “sky” and “spirits” on the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday.

No you didn’t. You may have sat there, but the Hindu chaplain did not pray to any of those things. Here is the full text of his prayer:

Let us pray. We meditate on the transcendental glory of the deity supreme, who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of heaven. May he stimulate and illuminate our minds.

Lead us from the unreal to real, from darkness to light, and from death to immortality. May we be protected together. May we be nourished together. May we work together with great vigor. May our study be enlightening.

There is no mention of “spirits” and the only mention of the earth and sky is to say that the one god, the deity supreme, inhabits them both. He did not pray to any of those things. And that’s just the start of the utter absurdity of this column:

Rajan Zed’s prayer was hailed by sponsoring Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., as “free speech” allowed by the First Amendment. No senators seemed to notice, nor did any object, while Zed committed the sin of idolatry, right there in public, violating the first of God’s Ten Commandments with full government permission.

Well yes, Gordon, that’s how it works. We have this thing called the Constitution and it guarantees freedom of religion. That means that people get to violate that commandment at will any time they want – yes, right there in public – and they have “full government permission.” It also means that you have the right to commit idolatry in the eyes of Muslims and Jews and violate their religious commandments. No one’s religion is binding upon you other than your own. That’s called freedom; it’s kind of important.

Sure, a Hindu prayer (to millions of false gods) may be “legal” by American law, but it still violates God’s law: “I am the Lord Thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

The government has no authority to punish violations of “God’s law”, Gordon. Again, it’s part of what whole freedom thing. Look it up.

He then recounts his amusing tale of going to the offices of Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, demanding that they give him equal time to pray a Christian prayer. Unsurprisingly, his request was denied – and probably with much laughter. He concludes:

So all three offices turned me away, denying equal access for Jesus, but welcoming Hinduism, in the name of tolerance for all faiths, except mine.

This is absolutely laughable. Gordon, this is the first time in 220 years that a Hindu chaplain has been allowed to open the Senate with prayer. Every other day for 220 years, the opening prayer has been a Christian prayer from a Christian clergy (perhaps not strictly true; I wouldn’t be surprised if, once or twice, a Jewish clergyman had uttered a generic prayer). Are you seriously going to claim, with a straight face, that the religion whose clergy have prayed 47,999 out of 48,000 prayers is not being “tolerated”? Seriously, you can’t possibly be that freaking stupid.

Who can pray “in Jesus name” in the U.S. Senate today? Not Ante and Katherine Pavkovic, nor their daughter Christan Sugar, who were arrested and jailed for praying Christian prayers aloud in the Senate gallery that same day.

I watched the Hindu chaplain stand to pray, and everybody stood to their feet. I heard the Pavkovic family pray simultaneously with the Hindu chaplain: “Lord Jesus, have mercy on our nation for allowing this abomination, this idolatry, for violating the First Commandment ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ God forgive our nation, in Jesus name, Amen.”

No, you didn’t hear them “pray simultaneously” with the Hindu chaplain, you heard them try and shout down the Hindu chaplain. They aren’t the same thing, Gordon. If you were leading a prayer and a Hindu started yelling about your blasphemy, I suspect your view might change a bit and you’d see it more accurately for what it was.

Had the Pavkovic family simply said “Amen” to the Hindu prayer, or prayed a Hindu “ohm” meditation, they’d have been viewed as supportive, not disruptive, and wouldn’t have been arrested. But since the content of their prayer voiced opposition to Hinduism, so they were arrested and jailed as “disrupters,” arrested for the content of their prayer, nothing else.

Such stupidity. No Gordon, the content of their prayer had nothing to do with it. Had they stood up and yelled out the opening passages of the Vagina Monologues, they would still have been arrested. It doesn’t matter what they said, it mattered that they were disrupting an even at which they had no right to speak. Anyone in the Senate galleries at any time when it is in session who stands up and starts yelling things out is going to be hauled out of the chambers. The content of their speech is absolutely irrelevant.

It doesn’t matter whether they’re singing a song or reading out of the Manhattan phone book; it only matters that they are disrupting a scheduled event that falls under Senate rules. Again I’m left to wonder: is this man really this devoid of anything like basic reasoning skills? This isn’t complex thinking; a 9 year old could figure this out.

Oh, and this ignorant screed certainly would not be complete without a little fake history:

But they’re out of step with the Founding Fathers, including George Washington, who prayed:

“Help me thoroughly to examine myself concerning my knowledge, faith and repentance. Increase my faith and direct me to the true object Jesus Christ the way, the truth and the life. Bless, O Lord, all the people of this land, from the highest to the lowest, particularly those whom thou has appointed to rule over us in church and state … for the sake of thy dear son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”

Well no, Washington did not pray that prayer. That comes from the document that religious right frauds continue to call the George Washington Prayer Journal. That journal never had anything to do with George Washington and there is not a single historical scholar who thinks it does. It was sold by an auctioneer as belonging to Washington, but he was lying. In fact, the journal had already been taken to the Smithsonian and he had already been informed that the journal was from long after Washington died and, if it had any connection to him at all, it belonged only to a descendant of his. The only ones who still peddle it as belonging to George Washington are frauds like this guy.

I pray we’d elect government leaders that might allow someone like George Washington to pray on the floor of the U.S. Senate, but I suspect they’d turn him away, that is, if they wouldn’t just throw him in jail.

Gordon, If you’d stop reading fake history and start reading real history, you’d find out that George Washington was a universalist. He believed that there was one God and that all civilizations worshiped that one God in different ways. That’s why when he wrote to the Indians, for example, he referred to God as the Great Spirit. Of course, you would accuse him of idolatry for doing so; that is, if you were aware of him doing it, which you obviously weren’t.

And by the way, if you want the real story behind Klingenschmitt being court-martialed and thrown out of the chaplain’s service, go here.