You are American if…

You are exactly like me.

For those who haven’t heard yet, a Hindu was meant to give the opening prayer in the Senate yesterday, but before he could begin, he was interrupted by “patriots.” (video) (background pieces, 1, 2)

I think Anna of Sepia Mutiny has it right that when she says that the pilgrims came for religious freedom. However, we have to understand that religious freedom still meant for those who had the power to exercise it, lest we forget what happened to the Native Americans and great civilizing “crusade” of bringing the Gospels. Her intent is right though. We should be able to remember that religious freedom is one of the founding principles of this country.

She goes on to talk about how the Prophet Jesus would call out hypocrites like them, and I agree. But we’ve already demonstrated that Middle Eastern looking men, with beards, who are religious, are not welcome in this country, so Jesus is not found here. I think what would be interesting is to see how the Founding Fathers would look upon Operation Save America [From Us]. Abortefecants were available and used and not Constitutionally banned. It was neither a political nor religious issue. Many of the founders were deists, who would probably have had a Hindu come and offer a prayer. Remember, Jefferson had a Qur’an. So dear “patriots” would you denounce the Founding Fathers? Oh why do you hate America? Why don’t you go back to where you came from?

Read Pastor Dan’s follow-up. Freedom of religion because God granted it, just for no other religion but mine.

Bruce Prescott, of Mainstream Baptist, questions if this event just highlights the hypocrisy of talking about the separation between Church and State if we have prayers opening State functions. I disagree. I do believe firmly in the separation, but a benediction seems appropriate. No one is leading anyone else in forced prayer. Those who wish to pray may, others may walk out. I think we have to acknowledge that the oldest civic institutions in this country are religious, and a benediction is appropriate. No one stops the Senate from talking about baseball. It’s only when there’s a law that forces me to become a Red Sox fan that there’s a problem.

So, to end, please don’t make us all the same. It’s un-American.

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