Senate Hindu Prayer Disrupted by Christian Activists

Some Christian zealots yesterday disrupted a Hindu invocation in the U.S. Senate. An embarrassing incident that will likely be played up around the world. Here’s how the Times of India reported it:

Christian activists briefly disrupted a Hindu invocation in the U.S Senate on Thursday, marring a historic first for the chamber and showing that fundamentalism is present and shouting in the U.S too.

Invited by the Senate to offer Hindu prayers in place of the usual Christian invocation, Rajan Zed, a Hindu priest from Reno, Nevada, had just stepped up to the podium for the landmark occasion when three protesters, said to belong to the Christian Right anti-abortion group Operation Save America, interrupted him 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 shouted. “This is an abomination. We shall have no other gods before You.”

Democratic Senator Bob Casey, who was serving as the presiding officer for the morning, immediately asked the sergeant-at-arms to restore order. But they continued to protest as they were headed out the door by the marshals, shouting, “No Lord but Jesus Christ!” and “There’s only one true God!”

There’s not much doubt that fundamentalism, much less shouting, is present in the U.S. Thankfully, even most fundamentalist Christians in America would condemn this rude interruption of someone else’s prayer. Toleration for other religious faiths is a cornerstone of our tradition.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. DC Loser says:

    I’m sure there are whackjobs who will defend these nutcases, some may even show up on this site.

  2. James Joyner says:

    I’m sure there are whackjobs who will defend these nutcases, some may even show up on this site.

    Sure. Even if 99.99% of a group is decent and honorable, there’s plenty of whackjobs out there if it’s a big group. That’s true on just about any issue.

  3. David Harris says:

    showing that fundamentalism is present and shouting in the U.S too

    I always love little digs like this. Can’t wait to hear how these people are “worse than terrorists” or “just like the Taliban.” Idiocy in the name of religion is not quite the same as murder and violence in the name of religion (although we’ve had our share of that here, as well).

  4. Michael says:

    Thankfully, even most fundamentalist Christians in America would condemn this rude interruption of someone else’s prayer.

    If it were a prayer in private, you might be right. Even a personal prayer in public, most would probably condemn it. But when it comes to prayer in government, most *fundamentalist* Christians seem to think the constitution gave them a monopoly. I doubt many *fundamentalist* Christians will condemn the interruption, most will probably condemn the prayer itself.

    * Note that I’m referring only to fundamentalist Christians, which is not the majority of Christians.

  5. Bandit says:

    Even a personal prayer in public, most would probably condemn it. But when it comes to prayer in government, most *fundamentalist* Christians seem to think the constitution gave them a monopoly.

    Excellent religious bigotry – you know this because..let me guess.. all fundies are intolerant fanatics who want to establish a Christian theocracy? Excellent projection of your own bigotry – good job.

  6. Boyd says:

    Michael:

    I doubt many *fundamentalist* Christians will condemn the interruption, most will probably condemn the prayer itself.

    One of us doesn’t know as many fundamentalist Christians as he thinks he does. As you might guess, I think it’s you who doesn’t know very well how fundamentalists think, but I have to allow for the possibility that my experiences have misled me.

    But clearly, one of us is grossly out of touch with Christian fundamentalism.

  7. madmatt says:

    “There’s not much doubt that fundamentalism, much less shouting, is present in the U.S. Thankfully, even most fundamentalist Christians in America would condemn this rude interruption of someone else’s prayer. Toleration for other religious faiths is a cornerstone of our tradition.”

    Proselytizing and conversion are the cornerstone of your tradition thus ruling out “toleration”.
    Please give me an example of fundamentalist tolerance…fred phelps, dobson, etc.?

  8. G.A.Phillips says:

    The freedom of Religion the Founding Fathers believed in and set to law was as to what denomination of Christian you are, not any thing else.

    And no there is no place for Hindu rituals in the U.S. Senate.

    But also, no reason to get all crazy and start acting like liberal activist.

  9. just me says:

    Note that I’m referring only to fundamentalist Christians, which is not the majority of Christians.

    Michael-just what definition of fundamentalist Christian are you working off of? You made a pretty big generalization, then tried to degeneralize it to some degree, so now I would like to know exactly what your definition is?

  10. Michael says:

    Excellent religious bigotry – you know this because..let me guess.. all fundies are intolerant fanatics who want to establish a Christian theocracy?

    We must be using different definitions of fundamentalism. But I do personally know several Christians who would be offended by an officially supported Hindu prayer in the Senate.

    The freedom of Religion the Founding Fathers believed in and set to law was as to what denomination of Christian you are, not any thing else.

    And no there is no place for Hindu rituals in the U.S. Senate.

    G.A.Phillips is an example of my definition of a fundamentalist, just for reference.

    Michael-just what definition of fundamentalist Christian are you working off of? You made a pretty big generalization, then tried to degeneralize it to some degree, so now I would like to know exactly what your definition is?

    Well, for me a fundamentalist Christian is someone who is offended that any religion other than Christianity is recognized by the US government as being non-evil.

    I think of a fundamentalist (of any religion) as someone who feels their belief system should be the fundamental part of everyone’s lives, and not just someone who feels that the fundamental parts of their belief system should be a part of their own life.

  11. floyd says:

    I am a fundamentalist Christian and I am concerned about anti-Christian bigotry of the type displayed above.
    We have not yet been maligned or slandered, by lunatic Hindus, seeking to destroy the free exercise clause of the first amendment.
    It is not Hindus, Buddhists,Christians,Jews[fundamental or otherwise]Or even clear minded atheists, who threaten our countries founding principles. It is the bigotry of a particular strain of virulent secularism which poses the real fundamentalist threat.

  12. Michael says:

    One of us doesn’t know as many fundamentalist Christians as he thinks he does. As you might guess, I think it’s you who doesn’t know very well how fundamentalists think, but I have to allow for the possibility that my experiences have misled me.

    But clearly, one of us is grossly out of touch with Christian fundamentalism.

    Boyd, I regularly attend a Southern Baptist church in rural Florida that hasn’t elected a Democrat is about as long as anyone can remember. You?

  13. floyd says:

    Michael; Private definitions defy communication, the very purpose of language! If you choose this path, be prepared to be misunderstood.

  14. Michael says:

    I am a fundamentalist Christian and I am concerned about anti-Christian bigotry of the type displayed above.
    We have not yet been maligned or slandered, by lunatic Hindus, seeking to destroy the free exercise clause of the first amendment.
    It is not Hindus, Buddhists,Christians,Jews[fundamental or otherwise]Or even clear minded atheists, who threaten our countries founding principles. It is the bigotry of a particular strain of virulent secularism which poses the real fundamentalist threat.

    I’m not sure if this was directed at my posts or just a general observation of the topic, but for the record I am in no way anti-Christian, or anti-religion of any kind. I was just disagreeing with James’ assertion that most fundamentalists would condemn the disruption of a Hindu prayer to open the Senate, and I still stand by that disagreement.

  15. Michael says:

    Michael; Private definitions defy communication, the very purpose of language! If you choose this path, be prepared to be misunderstood.

    http://mw1.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fundamentalist

    1a often capitalized : a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching b: the beliefs of this movement c: adherence to such beliefs
    2: a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles <Islamic fundamentalism> <political fundamentalism>

    By that definition, I still stand by my disagreement.

  16. floyd says:

    Michael; Who could possibly argue with your conclusion, while using your definitions?

  17. floyd says:

    Michael; Well now, by changing to a widely accepted definition , you have exposed your argument to legitimate criticism! See the impact of clarity?

  18. Michael says:

    Floyd, did you see the link? It’s not my definition, it’s Merriam-Webster’s definition. But just in case you don’t trust that source, here is what I found from the American Heritage Dictionary:

    http://www.bartleby.com/61/27/F0362700.html

    1. A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.
    2a. often Fundamentalism An organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century in opposition to Protestant Liberalism and secularism, insisting on the inerrancy of Scripture. b. Adherence to the theology of this movement.

    And from Dictionary.com, which uses the Random House Unabridged Dictionary:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fundamentalism

    1. (sometimes initial capital letter) a movement in American Protestantism that arose in the early part of the 20th century in reaction to modernism and that stresses the infallibility of the Bible not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record, holding as essential to Christian faith belief in such doctrines as the creation of the world, the virgin birth, physical resurrection, atonement by the sacrificial death of Christ, and the Second Coming.
    2. the beliefs held by those in this movement.
    3. strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles: the fundamentalism of the extreme conservatives.

    (Here’s hoping this doesn’t get eaten by the moderation queue.)

  19. G.A.Phillips says:

    Michael

    G.A.Phillips is an example of my definition of a fundamentalist, just for reference.

    In my faith the choice is yours, and what does this have to with my post, why dude.

  20. Michael says:

    In my faith the choice is yours

    I very much doubt you follow that statement in real life.

  21. It doesn’t matter to me if those Christians were fundamentalists or not. They were rude. It certainly is a poor way of “making disciples of all nations.” But that wasn’t the point of those intolerant people.

  22. Namasthe: They are protesting out of fear, fear that many will be interested in a CULTURE/RELIGION like Hinduism; fear that people will try to educate themselves about other religions and cultures.

    They shouted….“There’s only one true God!” Very true.

    Hindu scriptures state, “There is ONE & ONLY God and that God expresses itself in trillions of forms.

    That is the reason why Hindus have no problem worshiping that God as Krishna, or Jesus or Allah or Jehovah…

  23. floyd says:

    Michael;There are two comments, the first refers to your definition , the second refers to merriam-webster’s. They are out of sequence through no fault of mine.

  24. G.A.Phillips says:

    I follow that statement always when it has to do with my faith, and why would it stop me from telling you about wrong and right, is that what your getting at?

    All I said was what freedom of religion was meant to mean when our Founding Fathers set it down and that Hinduism was not a part of it, its the truth and that you cant handle the truth is why I’m all this and that. There is a reason for the greatness of this country and it has very little to do with the twisted concepts of what a lot of people believe today.

  25. floyd says:

    Bartleby’s, Well worth the price!
    It does however support the babel school of communications.

    It is not exactly a “gay” prospect, That one wanting to “smoke” a “fag” might be misconstrued as a violent bigot rather than a tobacco aficionado! Therefore, the word fundamentalism must now enter realm of obsolescence by virtue of contradictory definitions!

  26. G.A.Phillips says:

    creation of the world, the virgin birth, physical resurrection, atonement by the sacrificial death of Christ, and the Second Coming.

    Micheal, this is the Word of GOD, belief and adherence to this makes you a believer and I’m sorry you cant under stand this and if you think there is another way or its open to debate, well, you need to take another look at your bible.

  27. John Burgess says:

    G.A.Phillips: What makes you think the Founding Fathers were concerned only about Christianity? That was far more an issue for the colonialists a century or more earlier.

    Not only were there prominent Jews within the power structures of Revolutionary America, but tolerance for their presence was cited by the Founders. These guys were actually pretty smart, pretty well educated. They were able to encompass the concept of ‘Religion’ writ large.

    So what if there was no Hindu community? So what if there was no Muslim community? The Founders were certainly aware of those religions. That they did not present an instant concern is why they are not cited by name, not that they weren’t included.

    Why, those pesky Founders even made political space for atheists, of all things….

  28. Matt T says:

    All I said was what freedom of religion was meant to mean when our Founding Fathers set it down and that Hinduism was not a part of it, its the truth and that you cant handle the truth is why I’m all this and that.

    But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

    — Thomas Jefferson, 1782

  29. Michael says:

    I follow that statement always when it has to do with my faith, and why would it stop me from telling you about wrong and right, is that what your getting at?

    The contradiction comes when you want to be able to prevent others from doing what your belief system deems “wrong”, even when it does no harm to your person or property. For example, I would imagine that you support a constitutional ban on homosexual marriage.

    All I said was what freedom of religion was meant to mean when our Founding Fathers set it down and that Hinduism was not a part of it, its the truth and that you cant handle the truth is why I’m all this and that.

    Our founding fathers were very well versed in other religions. Many laws were enacted prior to the writing of the constitution and after that specified Christianity, or Protestant Christianity as a requirement for holding office. The fact that they did not specify only Christianity in the Constitution I think is proof enough that they did not want to specify only Christianity. As Thomas Jefferson said: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”

    There is a reason for the greatness of this country and it has very little to do with the twisted concepts of what a lot of people believe today.

    Hinduism is far, far older than Christianity. In fact, it’s probably one of the oldest religions still practiced today.

  30. Michael says:

    Micheal, this is the Word of GOD, belief and adherence to this makes you a believer and I’m sorry you cant under stand this and if you think there is another way or its open to debate, well, you need to take another look at your bible.

    You are only proving my point, if that isn’t your intention, perhaps you should stop posting.

  31. G.A.Phillips says:

    Michael

    How am I proving your point if any thing you continue to prove mine, about liberals.

    The contradiction comes when you want to be able to prevent others from doing what your belief system deems “wrong”, even when it does no harm to your person or property. For example, I would imagine that you support a constitutional ban on homosexual marriage.

    Of course I do, and it’s because you and your friends seek to make it a right, and tell me what do you think Tomas Jefferson (your favorite cause you can twist some of his quotes)or any of the Founding Fathers would have thought about this, and the phrase homosexual marriage is so redundantly idiotic, civil unions with the twisted laws that we have on the books today, I cant see that, I would not be for it, but see no reason to ban it.

    Our founding fathers were very well versed in other religions. Many laws were enacted prior to the writing of the constitution and after that specified Christianity, or Protestant Christianity as a requirement for holding office. The fact that they did not specify only Christianity in the Constitution I think is proof enough that they did not want to specify only Christianity. As Thomas Jefferson said: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”

    why do you continue to lie about our founding fathers and their intentions.

    And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wraith?Indeed I tremble for my country when I Reflect that God is just:that his justice cannot sleep forever. Thomas Jefferson

    so now tell me under the belief of What God he got ideas like this from?

    And your assumption that the Constitution is the be all and end all,

    The Declaration of Independence..(is the)declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of men. Thomas Jefferson

    I have studied the religion of Islam and of the Hindu and nope dint see anything like that in any of it.

    so you where saying?

  32. floyd says:

    “”The contradiction comes when you want to be able to prevent others from doing what your belief system deems “wrong”, even when it does no harm to your person or property. For example, I would imagine that you support a constitutional ban on homosexual marriage.””
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

    Michael;
    I infer from your comment that you oppose the The imposition on society of morality by “religious” people, yet support the same imposition by secularists? Is secularist bigotry less offensive than religious bigotry?
    By your “harm to your person or property” standard of morality, I would imagine that you would support the legalization of consensual pedophilia.
    Who should be the arbiter,of what harms persons or property, if not the voter himself? And who better to guide his conscience than his creator?

  33. G.A.Phillips says:

    Oh, and Michael almost every thing you liberals are for is a harm to my person and my property.

    emotionally,spiritually,patriotically,and monetarily.

  34. Billy says:

    G.A., why do you continue to lie about our founding fathers and their intentions?

    I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. The scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined on what we thought but what we did.

    –Benjamin Franklin, 1738

    Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.

    –James Madison, 1774

    It was rejected by the great majority in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the gentile, the Christian and the Mohammedan, the Hindu and infidel of every denomination.

    –Thomas Jefferson, 1786

    Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. I had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled the Christians so that their religious fights would not endanger the peace of Society.

    –George Washington, 1792

    [T]he Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.

    –John Adams, 1797

    In every country and in every age the priest has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.

    –Thomas Jefferson, 1814

    The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my profession.

    –Abraham Lincoln

  35. Rodney King, who became famous after his violent arrest by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department said: “Can’t We All Get Along??”

    I wish to ask the same question? “Can’t We All Get Along??”

    Why there is so much fear about a Hindu saint praying in Senate? Unless the fear is that more people will be interested in culture/religion like Hinduism.

    Hindu scripture Rig Veda states, ” Truth or God is One but men describe it in different ways.”

    One God, but many names.

    In India with 80% Hindu Population , a Catholic woman [Sonia Gandhi] is totally in charge of the government, a Sikh [Dr. Manmohan Singh ] is the Prime Minister and a Moslem [Abdul KALAM] as the president and no Hindu protests over this diversity.

    Why can’t we celebrate and admire the diversity in the world?

    Nobody can monopolize God or truth. God and Truth are universal.

    Whether we like it or not, people every where will be educated about every aspect of every culture and religion in due course of time. Nobody can stop this passion among people to know the truth.

  36. Michael says:

    I infer from your comment that you oppose the The imposition on society of morality by “religious” people, yet support the same imposition by secularists? Is secularist bigotry less offensive than religious bigotry?

    Floyd, I oppose the establishment of laws that impose morality simply because someone’s personal beliefs makes such an imposition on them. It doesn’t really matter who is doing the imposing.

    By your “harm to your person or property” standard of morality, I would imagine that you would support the legalization of consensual pedophilia.

    To the point that we don’t recognize children’s ability to make rational decisions in regard to sexual relationships, there is no such thing as “consensual pedophilia”.

    Who should be the arbiter,of what harms persons or property, if not the voter himself? And who better to guide his conscience than his creator?

    It’s actually up to the courts to determine if an action causes harm to another’s person or property. For guidance they have the constitution and precedent. I don’t think any court ruling based on the judge’s conscience or his belief in his creator should stand.

  37. Michael says:

    Oh, and Michael almost every thing you liberals are for is a harm to my person and my property.

    I very much doubt I or any other liberal will ever be convicted of that. But go ahead and file suit against me, I’m sure the judge will appreciate the laugh.

  38. G.A.Phillips says:

    Billy thank you for doing your best to prove the way the liberal missuses of the circumstances and the conditions for their own doings and meanings, as it was much better then they way I tried to say it in an earlier post.

    and yes you sure like to bring up religions a lot even in the face of the Christians and the Christian faith I keep trying to tell you about.

    I said formed on christian principals to be run by Christians.

    The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of god, and that there is not a force of law and public Justice to protect it,anarchy and tyranny commence. if ‘Thou shalt not covert and ‘Thou shalt not steal were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.
    John Adams

    All,of us who where engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending Providence in our favor.To that kind of Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten our powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his aid?
    Benjamin Franklin

    The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot Dis join them.
    Thomas Jefferson

    The Propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.
    George Washington

    It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it (the constitution)a finger of that almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution.
    James Madison

    Not a founding father but,
    In regard to this great book , I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man,all the good the Saviour gave to the world has communicated through this book.
    Abraham Lincoln

    So Billy you and Michael and the rest of your friends can go back to the A.C.l.U’s “how to ruin a Godly nation archives” all you want but you will still be horribly mistaken.

  39. G.A.Phillips says:

    John

    *****Not only were there prominent Jews within the power structures of Revolutionary America, but tolerance for their presence was cited by the Founders. These guys were actually pretty smart, pretty well educated. They were able to encompass the concept of ‘Religion’ writ large****

    Of course they did and where but they dint.Tolerance is one thing but their intent for our Nation and who would run it is another.

    And I do believe because of history that history is on my side, and the faith of the old testament is all a part of Christianity to me just as it would have been to most of our founding Fathers, there is really a lot more out There then just quotes, and my wish is for most you to go find it.

  40. floyd says:

    Michael; Pshaw!!

    1] EVERY law imposes the morality of the author!

    2]That’s an imposition which does not conform to YOUR criteria.

    3]The subject was “belief systems” not remedies.

    The whole point is that every man is righteous in his own eyes. So beware of the whole mote-beam thing!
    And be careful seeking justice, you might just get it. Seek grace instead!
    ’nuff sed .

  41. floyd says:

    It’s Principle NOT Principal that sustains liberty! FC
    [not thomas jefferson]

  42. John Burgess says:

    G.A.Phillips: You seem rather quick jumping to conclusions. First off, I am conservative. I’ve voted Republican since Nixon I, even while living in Babylon on the Potomac. (Voting was still restricted to those >21 when I could first vote.)

    Second, while I no longer practice, I was raised and educated as a Catholic (Sisters of St. Joseph and Jesuits, among others) and studied for the priesthood in a Carmelite seminary. If you’ve got problems with Catholicism, then you’re certainly on a plane of existence I’m not interested in even visiting.

    Third, you seem utterly unable to understand that the Founding Fathers, individually and as a group, said, in effect, “We don’t want no stinking Christian government’. They had long and personal histories of the messes that resulted from the unnatural mating of state and religion. They wanted none of it. As Billy amply cites, they saw religion as a problem, not a solution. The solution they preferred was a secular state.

    Religion can well be a solution to individual, personal wants, desires, and issues. It certainly provides comfort and solace to believers. I do not denigrate it; I do not disdain it; I do not belittle those who follow any particular religion (well, maybe Scientologists).

    But religion is personal. When anyone seeks to insert his or her personal box of morality or doctrine into my life, I reject it as a matter of course. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Parsi, Christian or anything else.

    The United States is a secular state founded on a history and tradition of and respect for Judeo-Christian religion. Respect for, not identity with.

    Having studied theology deeply, having lived in countries where the dominant religion was Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., I see that they can each bring something of moral value to the human equation. I don’t think any of them ‘get it right’ in all matters. That’s fine. I don’t chastise them, though I can regret that they get lost in a solipsistic universe where there is only ‘one way’. Not only is that hubris (to put it secularly), it is out-and-out un-Christian, at least for the followers of one who said ‘In my Father’s house there are many mansions.’

  43. Alan Kellogg says:

    Bandit said,

    Excellent religious bigotry – you know this because..let me guess.. all fundies are intolerant fanatics who want to establish a Christian theocracy? Excellent projection of your own bigotry – good job.

    Jesus said,

    By their fruits you shall know them.

  44. G.A.Phillips says:

    John, my message was Intent, and oh yes I have a great problem with Catholicism, why you would say you study the teachings of Christ as you say that you have and come away with that’s a relationship that you are to keep to your self I will never know, and not once did I ever say that in any way they wanted to establish a Christian Religion for our nation, but a secular state hardly, so the Christian speaks out on the faith of his Forefathers and their intent and he is attacked as some type of Religious Zealot, I know this will happen and do not fear it, and as always the Choice is all of yours to believe what you will, and it is my duty to point out the only one you need to make and believe, so I think we have come as far as we can together on the subject, but I just hope that some of you can see my message and that a lot of you have misunderstood it.

  45. just me says:

    it is out-and-out un-Christian, at least for the followers of one who said ‘In my Father’s house there are many mansions.’

    Just a note but you are using this verse way out of context to support your argument-the verse doesn’t say what you think it says.

    You are definitely entitled to your opinion and some of it I don’t agree with, but pulling a verse out of context is a bad move and doesn’t help your argument.

  46. Billy says:

    I said formed on christian principals…

    This is undoubtedly true – many of the men I quoted were indeed devout Christians who took inspiration for the fundamental rights from their interpretation of Christ’s teachings.

    …to be run by Christians.

    This, on the other hand, is a categorically deliberate revisionist misstatement of verifiable fact. While no doubt there were some who argued for religious tests for public office, ultimately (as the earlier Jefferson quote that I cited alludes to) the great majority rejected any attempt to establish this nation as a “Christian” one. No doubt the majority of early colonists from England were themselves Christian, but it is enshrined in the foundation of our law that there would be no religious tests for citizenship or participation in our government, and this is beyond debtate.

    oh yes I have a great problem with Catholicism, why you would say you study the teachings of Christ as you say that you have and come away with that’s a relationship that you are to keep to your self I will never know

    This offends me as a Christian, and it’s the kind of rhetoric that leads to accusations of sectariansim and religious zealotry. Neither is it remotely relevant to whether the principles of our government demand tolerance for other religions. After all, Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s, and the laws of the Constitution are not those of God.

  47. John Burgess says:

    G.A.Phillips: The quotation means exactly what I implied it to mean. You differ? Your interpretation is clearly wrong.

    Arguments like this are exactly why church and state need to be as far apart as logically possible. You assert one thing; I assert another. Neither of us can provide adequate proof to convince the other (or others, perhaps), but one of us—and it ain’t me—seeks to make laws based on his understanding of the quotation.

    Put another way, why should I pay attention to a heretic? In leaving the one and only Church, you obviously value your own ability to divine God’s will over that of the Holy Fathers, a chain of authority created by the Christ personally and directly.

    [The above paragraph is intended to demonstrate that getting on high religious horses is no way to conduct policy. Nor does that paragraph demonstrate the slightest hint of that Christian virtue, humility. You might meditate on that virtue before going all takfiri on us.]

  48. G.A.Phillips says:

    Good golly,
    This, on the other hand, is a categorically deliberate revisionist misstatement of verifiable fact. While no doubt there were some who argued for religious tests for public office, ultimately (as the earlier Jefferson quote that I cited alludes to) the great majority rejected any attempt to establish this nation as a “Christian” one. No doubt the majority of early colonists from England were themselves Christian, but it is enshrined in the foundation of our law that there would be no religious tests for citizenship or participation in our government, and this is beyond debtate.

    Not what I said at all but something you refuse not to believe.

    This offends me as a Christian, and it’s the kind of rhetoric that leads to accusations of sectariansim and religious zealotry. Neither is it remotely relevant to whether the principles of our government demand tolerance for other religions. After all, Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s, and the laws of the Constitution are not those of God.

    be offended, also nothing to do with what I said.

    Arguments like this are exactly why church and state need to be as far apart as logically possible. You assert one thing; I assert another. Neither of us can provide adequate proof to convince the other (or others, perhaps), but one of us—and it ain’t me—seeks to make laws based on his understanding of the quotation.

    I am sick of explaining to you folks what you think they meant by this made up analogy of keeping the church and state as far apart as possible poop, adequate prof, history dude, after the things you sight happening and up till when what were the main school texts for this nation? this is one example. Another is Jefferson seeking for congress to fund christian missionary, but I’m sure none of this will matter much to you guys.

    and as I have said believe what you will it is you choice, It seems no matter what any one says you have both won your arguments for your selves, as you say that I
    have no hope to, whats next, are we done yet.

  49. Billy says:

    Not what I said at all but something you refuse not to believe

    So, when you said:

    The freedom of Religion the Founding Fathers believed in and set to law was as to what denomination of Christian you are, not any thing else.

    …and when you said:

    And no there is no place for Hindu rituals in the U.S. Senate.

    …and when you said:

    All I said was what freedom of religion was meant to mean when our Founding Fathers set it down and that Hinduism was not a part of it

    …and when you said:

    I said formed on christian principals to be run by Christians.

    …you didn’t really say it? Bearing false witness isn’t limited to overt statements; omissions can just as surely convey a falsehood.

  50. John Burgess says:

    No, G.A., you mistake the desire to keep religion out of politics as hostility to religion, particularly to your religion.

    I am not in the least hostile to religion. I am extremely hostile to those who purport that their religion–whatever it may be–is the way this nation was designed to be run. I am hostile toward those who will try to make me follow their religious beliefs, in practice if not in faith, no matter what my conscience tells me.

    You demonstrate a very narrow understanding of the history of this country as well.

    ‘Christian missions’ were the only tools available ‘to bring light to the benighted’, not for the benefit of any particular religion, but for the benefit of those not yet endowed with the blessings of Western civilization, Enlightenment and all. They were missions of civilization, not any particular sect. Because of the proselytizing nature of the religion(s) followed by the majority of Americans (or British, for that matter), the missions were of course Christian.

    The 18th C., unlike today, was bereft of NGOs. Charitable groups were always and exclusively to be found wearing the cloak of one religious group or another. You need to wait until after the Industrial Revolution before you find individuals wealthy enough to fund civilizing missions on their own, Christian, Jewish, secular.

    While you find a frontier general or two shoving his religious pieties down the throats of his political charges on the frontiers, you did not see the US Army or the US Navy carrying crosses and building Christian churches to support their mission to convert other than to bring the light of civilization to the ‘pagans’. You do not find a Department of Christianity & Propagation of the Faith in any Cabinet, in any organizational chart of the US Government.

    We have had wise men in our history. Don’t you think it likely that there would be some success in promulgating ‘the National Faith’ if such had ever been perceived as needed? What attempts there were, were defeated in debate.

    The ‘national faith’ of the US is “You follow your beliefs; I’ll follow mine. Neither of us will seek to impose his belief on the other, for if we do we will only repeat the bloody history we’ve chosen to avoid.’

    Try a thought experiment:

    Let’s suppose that there is a ‘National Faith’, but it’s not yours. To make it more clear, assume that it’s a religion most antipathetic to yours.

    I accept that you firmly believe what you believe. But what you believe is not, in this experiment, what the majority of your fellow citizens believe (as firmly as you believe). The majority is as convinced of their righteousness as you are of yours. But you have to put aside your beliefs because the majority thinks you wrong. Would you accept that?

    I think not. You seem to think other people’s approach to their religions is somehow less than yours, that they’re immature or haven’t get gotten the message. Maybe they’re just stupid or pig-headed. Maybe they just enjoy vice too much. But they do believe that God speaks to them with the same clarity, the same urgency that he speaks to you.

    Because we must grant that each of our faiths (or none) is as honestly, as deeply held as you hold yours, we must have a government that is guided by no one religion. Government must be sympathetic, in equal measure and in equal sincerity, to all religions. It must not be hostile to any religion.

    By having sessions of Congress opened with prayers from those of different faiths, the government demonstrates its non-hostility to all religions. That is what separation of church and state means.

  51. G.A.Phillips says:

    Billy now you are twisting my words because you cant understand them ether and I don’t fear the judgements of such as you,and John I believe that you believe you when you say that you know more about the history of this country and more about the the teachings of Christ because you studied to be a Priest or something and once again I agreed that you have both won your own augments for yourselves. so again what is the point.

    Oh and I do not need to take part in any denial of my God thought experiment so I can make others feel or fall better, I have the freedom of speech,which is a right, still, and unlike the separation of church a state which is a lie , but is it not irony that that which is false has almost destroyed that which is true.

  52. John Burgess says:

    Thank you for confirming that you’re a religious bigot who does not need to think, so convinced you are of the unexamined rightness of your position.

    That’s what the world needs, more bigots who can’t think for themselves, but only regurgitate religious doctrine. Just like the jihadists.

  53. G.A.Phillips says:

    John, whatever that means or has to do with what I have said? And I do hope you know that in my faith it is considered a blessing to be called a bigot by the likes of you on behalf of the world.

  54. VB says:

    So what’s wrong with being a Hindu?

    Phillips, you should be happy there aren’t a bunch of Hindus roaming around your country converting every Christian they find (sort of like what the Romans did a while back).
    I am also quite positive the Hindu priest would be pretty upset that someone disrupted his freedom of speech. You might want to hide from comets one day when a Hindu is running for office on the Republican side.

  55. Mark says:

    Many of us practice Yoga along with millions of Americans for health. This is a gift of Hindus. Our numerals and decimal system was developed by Hindus, thousands of years ago. Just multiply 50 with 50 in Roman and you will understand the beauty of decimal system. This digital world became possible only with 0 and 1 for which part of the credit goes to Hindus.

    And this is what these bigots do to them in return!

  56. G.A.Phillips says:

    Phillips, you should be happy there aren’t a bunch of Hindus roaming around your country converting every Christian they find (sort of like what the Romans did a while back).
    I am also quite positive the Hindu priest would be pretty upset that someone disrupted his freedom of speech. You might want to hide from comets one day when a Hindu is running for office on the Republican side.

    why would I hide, when what said was true. I never said that a Hindu could not practice his religion, I said there was no place for it in our senate.

    Many of us practice Yoga along with millions of Americans for health. This is a gift of Hindus. Our numerals and decimal system was developed by Hindus, thousands of years ago. Just multiply 50 with 50 in Roman and you will understand the beauty of decimal system. This digital world became possible only with 0 and 1 for which part of the credit goes to Hindus.

    and I would love to to tell you about yoga and what its all about but I have come to see that the those of you I am most trying to help will just hate me for it so I wont.

  57. G.A.Phillips says:

    Oh and while we are back on the subject, I have a Question for Billy And John: why for so long did the A.C.L.U. try to keep people out of the national Archives?

    one answer: In 1892 in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, the Supreme Court examined thousands of documents concerning the founding of the nation, including every state constitution as well as compacts leading up to the American Revolution.After ten tears of research, the court issued a unanimous decision that included the recognition that this nation is not only historically and culturally religious, but that the very system of government and our laws are based on a Christian worldview.(not my words but I tend to agree with them)

    Regarding this documentary evidence, the Court further stated:

    “there is no dissonance in these declarations, There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning. They affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of Private persons. They are organic utterances. They speak the voice of the entire people.”

    “This is a religious people…This is a Christian nation.”
    (Trinity Decision,1892)