Do you agree? I sure don't.
Apparently in some states, legislative bodies have prohibited the invocation of the name of "Jesus Christ" in legislative session prayers. This has some people in those states frustrated that Hindu leader Rajan Zed has been allowed to cite the Hindu "Om" in his prayers in various legislative bodies.
I contacted the person at the Utah legislature who coordinates prayers in the Utah House and Senate, and I was very impressed with Utah's policy. Utah invites members of various denominations to offer prayers, and no judgment is made as to the content of the prayer. In keeping with this policy people have not been prevented from ending their prayers "in the name of Jesus Christ". This is a healthy policy. I'm not sure how other states think that this policy wouldn't work for them. Since it doesn't apparently work, some Christians think that Hindus shouldn't be able to specifically invoke their god (or absolute essence) either.
In the US Senate, Mr. Zed was unceremoniously disrespected as he began his prayer. They exclaimed
Lord Jesus, forgive us, Father, for allowing the prayer of the wicked, which is an abomination in your sightHoly cow! That is just plain rude. Jesus probably needs to forgive them for interrupting someone else's prayer.
No religion is "more equal" than any other, despite what we might think. Is the United States a "Christian nation"? Many of the American Founders were Christian, but the answer to that question is "Absolutely not." We are a nation that encourages freedom of religion. Additionally, no religious test can be required for public office. So what gives with some of these bigoted Christians?
The solution is not--like crabs pulling another crab back into the pot--to demand that Hindus, Muslims, and others can't pray to god in their own way. The solution is to realize that if Christians expect to be able to pray in their fashion, so should everyone else.
I am surprised by some of the Christianocentric statements that are being uttered across America. Such as
David Barton, president of WallBuilders, a foundation that researches and promotes the Christian origination of American law and culture, said the Hindu belief in multiple gods contradicts the U.S. motto of "One Nation Under God."What??? So? How should that matter?
He said it also conflicts with the historic references in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence to the Creator.
"We don't know which creator we're talking about within the Hindu religion," he said.
How about this one by Judge Roy Moore:
...there is only one true God and, unless our national motto is in vain, it is 'in God' that we and our forefathers have always trusted," Moore wrote. "When a nation embraces apostasy by rejecting God or embracing a false religion like Hinduism or Islam, it is God who renders judgment."I thought I knew Roy Moore better. If he really said that, then he's got some serious problems.
I like the American Family Association as well, but apparently it thinks that you don't have a good family if you aren't Christian:
Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, told the San Francisco Chronicle that it remains a mystery to whom Zed was praying.Mr. Wildmon, you're partly right--that is your belief. But it is far from logical. And, by the way, you're wrong.
"I don't know if he even knows who he's praying to," he said. "We're not opposed to the ability of people to worship their own gods or god, but when it comes to our civil government … it's always been the recognition of the God of the Bible. Every religion is not equal. That's my belief. That's logic."
I happen to be a Christian. I happen to be a Mormon as well, if you hadn't already noticed. ;-) But that doesn't mean that I think anyone who is not a Mormon is going to burn in hell. How should I know? There are a lot of people in other religions who are much better people than I.
I'm not perfect, but I try to respect all other religions as equal to my own. Do I believe that my religion is the only true one? Yes. But that's my belief. It can't necessarily be considered logical. Because you probably think your religion is the only true one as well.
And that's just fine. I can respect that. And I don't mind you praying about it either.