Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The House That Prays Together

God-fearin' legismalators pissed at commie judge over usual mumbo-jumbo.

In a spirited duel over prayer, members of the Indiana state House are at odds with a federal judge who ruled that the daily invocation appeals too often to Jesus Christ and a Christian god.

The "systematically sectarian" prayers, U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton concluded, are barred by the Constitution, which forbids the government to show preference for any religious denomination. He ordered the House to avoid mentioning Christ in the formal benedictions.

Hoo boy. Here we go again. Everybody got their victim goggles on?

Terry Goodin, a Democrat who rejects Hamilton's order, is among at least two dozen House members who have asked to give Wednesday's prayer. He said he would "absolutely" speak Christ's name if given the chance.

"Really, who do you pray to? If you're offering up a prayer, you're praying to a deity. You don't offer prayers to just an open space," Goodin said. "I will give the same type of prayer that's been given for 100 years. I won't change my words because of someone in the judicial branch who tells me I must."

Yeah. Silly laws. This whole thing is just another in a long line of stupid chest-shoves in the protracted "culture war". Gee, we've been picking our asses the exact same way for over a century now, so there must not be any reason to change. Great logic.

So what's the deal with this heathen godless commie judge?

"If the Speaker or those offering prayers seek to evade the injunction through indirect but well understood expressions of specifically Christian beliefs, the audience, the public, and the court will be able to see what is happening," Hamilton, the son and grandson of Methodist ministers, warned in a Dec. 28 ruling rejecting a rehearing.

Huh. So Judge Hamilton is actually the son and grandson of ministers, yet he understands that churchin' is for, well, church. Imagine that.

It was Clarence Brown's energetic rendition of "Just a Little Talk With Jesus" that prompted several legislators to decide enough was enough. The Indiana Civil Liberties Union soon filed suit in the name of four people -- a Quaker, a Methodist and two Catholics -- to stop what critics considered an increasingly sectarian prayer practice.

Brown, 51, is an evangelical Christian layman who works in an auto parts factory 70 miles south of Indianapolis. Invited to give a prayer to open the April 5 House session, Brown said he was thinking about the separation of church and state as he drove to the state Capitol.

He said he talked with God during the ride and decided to speak up for the man he considers his savior. "I wanted to share the word. That's what I'm supposed to do," Brown said. "I have to do what Jesus Christ says for me to do as a witness."

Brown's prayer included thanks to God "for our lord and savior Jesus Christ, who died that we might have the right to come together in love." When the prayer was finished, Bosma announced that Brown would "bless us with a song."

Next time just sing "Stairway to Heaven", and call it close enough.

Me, I'm just sick of this damned victim mentality these guys drape themselves in every time someone looks cross-eyed at them. I think maybe it's time an atheist ran for public office, with one eye on a targeted media campaign to point out all the hypocritical persecution and condemnation he'll face for testifying as to his Truth. Can you imagine if atheists organized and went door-to-door and popped up at public events and governmental events, and pushed their (non-)beliefs on everyone? Hey, it's their right. Free speech, chump.

I think the Christofascists (as opposed to regular people of faith who are grownups enough to keep it to themselves) need to look in their own hearts with honesty and humility, and see if they can figure out just where they get off both insisting that we all have to up with their personal beliefs in the public arena, and they get to push other (or again, non-) beliefs away and treat them like they're second-class ideas.

And we all know that that's never going to happen -- in fact, it's precisely the opposite. More to come on that subject.

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