Skip to comments.2 lawmakers spurn Muslim's prayer - Republicans step off House floor
Posted on 03/04/2003 2:34:57 AM PST by sarcasm
OLYMPIA -- He prayed for the politicians, the state's prosperity and peace for all ethnicities and religions.
But when a Muslim cleric offered the opening prayer before the state House of Representatives yesterday, at least two lawmakers stepped off the chamber floor.
"It's an issue of patriotism," Rep. Lois McMahan, a conservative Republican from Gig Harbor, said of her decision to stand in the back of the room.
"The Islamic religion is so . . . part and parcel with the attack on America. I just didn't want to be there, be a part of that," she said. "Even though the mainstream Islamic religion doesn't profess to hate America, nonetheless it spawns the groups that hate America."
Rep. Cary Condotta, a Republican from East Wenatchee, also left the floor. He said the timing was not a coincidence, but he declined to comment further on why he left, except to say he was talking to another lawmaker and "let's just say I wasn't particularly interested."
A prayer is given at the beginning of each Senate and House session, and attendance is hit or miss, particularly on Mondays.
The interfaith organization Associated Ministries of Thurston County schedules the daily chaplain, said Cynthia Zehnder, clerk of the 98-member chamber. They have selected clerics representing a broad range of faiths, she said.
Imam Mohamad Joban, of the Islamic Center of Olympia, presented yesterday's brief opening prayer.
In part, he said: "We open this session of House of Representatives in the name of Allah the one God Abraham, God of Moses, God of Jesus, and God of Mohammed, peace be upon them all. . . . We ask Allah or God to bless the state of Washington so it may continue to prosper and become a symbol of peace and tranquility for people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. We pray that Allah may guide this House in making good decisions for the people of Washington.
"At this time, we also pray that America may succeed in the war against terrorism. We pray to God that the war may end with world peace and tranquility."
Joban said the walkout was not hurtful, but ignorant.
"They're unable to distinguish between Islam as religion and way of life, and bad Muslims," said Joban, who has also given the opening prayer to the Senate. "They are easily able to distinguish between Christianity and bad Christians.
"They need to understand that like (President) Bush said . . . Islam is a peaceful religion."
Kathy Erlandson, director of Associated Ministries of Thurston County, found the small walkout disappointing, but not surprising.
"It makes me embarrassed to know that some of our legislators can't even treat someone with that common respect," she said. "He's an American citizen and he's praying for their work, then how can it be an act of patriotism to walk away?"
McMahan said she does not oppose having a Muslim cleric deliver the prayer.
Her departure was not a protest, but a personal decision not to participate because "the religion is the focal point of the hate-America sentiment in the world."
"My god is not Mohammed," McMahan added.
Joban said that if he were invited to give the opening prayer, he would do it again.
"Even if half of them leave it's OK for me," Joban said. "As a Muslim we have to respect what people believe and . . . we have to forgive something because of ignorance.
"The Holy Quran says that (one should) always respond to bad action with good and those who used to be enemies become friends."
Are you suggesting that the town where you live, could establish a "town church" funded with city taxes? After all, your town isn't Congress, right?
Your answer to me has been refuted on the other thread.
You keep citing the 14th Amendment which simply states (in part) that:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
The key here is privileges and immunities NOT Rights.
If anything, your own argument defeats you!
Congress was prohibited from passes laws regarding free speach, religion etc..., if extended to the states, then the States are prohibited from doing the same.
It does not apply to individuals.
The First Amendment Limits the Legislature only.
Only the Legislature can violate the First Amendment.
I never said anyone had to listen to it. In fact, as far as I'm concerned they can stand there and work algebra problems in their heads.
But the initial report--which according to late information may not have even been correct--stated that they had WALKED OUT during the prayer. There is a HUGE difference between passively showing respect, and actively showing impunity.
There is no justification for a show of blatant disrespect to a Muslim cleric based on the fact that you don't believe in the religion, if you are an elected official. Period.
If these people simply stayed away from the invocation, that's one thing. If they staged a walkout during the prayer, that's something else.
You have not made one single argument, nor pointed to one single clause of the Constitution, which requires anyone to sit through a prayer from another religion.
Yes I did, you just don't like it. As I said: Government is to show neutrality with respect to religion. It has no opinion. People can have an opinion, but elected or appointed officials cannot. It is a violation of their constitutional responsibilities, PERIOD.
Funny, I was thinking the same thing about you.
In my case, no emotion applies. I don't care what the religion is, you do. Your argument would change if this was a Christian minister, mine wouldn't.
Your argument is subjective, mine is objective.
Therefore, your statement applies to yourself, not me.
Quibble, quibble, quibble. "Privileges and immunities" == "Rights."
You keep jumping to the conclusion that this is some sort of "right to personal opinion" issue. It isn't.
It is rather an issue of the RESPONSIBILITIES of an elected official. I expect my elected officials to behave in a certain way regardless of their personal opinion.
When a liberal governor (like Mario Cuomo of NY state a few years ago) commutes to life the sentences of any and all convicted murderers who have been sentenced to death, based on their PERSONAL conviction that the death penalty is wrong, then I OBJECT. He has no right to impute his own personal beliefs in such a situation. He has no right to use his personal opinion to make such a decision, because he is an ELECTED OFFICIAL and must act in accordance with his office.
When a judge practices judicial activism, seeing things in the constitution that aren't there but are instead simply in accordance with his personal agenda THAT IS WRONG AND I OBJECT.
And when (and if) a legislator walks out in the middle of a prayer by a Muslim cleric because "that God isn't my God," then I OBJECT, because it is wrong for him or her to act on personal belief when they stand in their elected office.
It's just wrong, period, no matter if you're talking about an atheist "dissing" Christianity or what have you. It's wrong.
HINT: I didn't say what YOU think I said.
They must remain neutral with respect to religion. To do otherwise is to abrogate their duties under the Constitution.
Im surprised too. Right now, Islam is at war with the US. There are those who will deny that fact and call me intolerant, but the fact remains; Wiccan witches didnt attack us on 9/11 in some druid ceremony, it was Muslims. and those same Muslims IN THIS COUNTRY, just havent condemned the violence. Or they do condemn it, but still find away to blame the US. Think about it guys; when muslims stop hijacking airliners and flying them into crowded bldgs, stop blowing up buses in Israel, blowing airports in the Philipines, stoning rape victims under the guise of adultery( That one just kills me)kidnapping foriegn jounalist and slicing their throats, people might be a little more tolerant of a leader of that same religion addressing an American session of State legislature. Just my opinion. Islam equals terrorism in most peoples minds, and right or wrong, Islam has DONE NOTHING to dispel that myth.
I guess for some folks any kind of attention is better than no attention...
We really shouldn't be posting these pictures.
Isn't it better to keep them from the public, like the major media has, to prevent inflaming hostility against Muslims?
All these pictures do is inflame war mongering and hatred against our fellow travelers on spaceship earth.
GIVE THE INSPECTIONS TIME TO WORK!
The Savage Truth
Right you are!
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