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2 lawmakers spurn Muslim's prayer - Republicans step off House floor
Seattle Post-Intelligencer ^ | March 4, 2003 | ANGELA GALLOWAY

Posted on 03/04/2003 2:34:57 AM PST by sarcasm

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To: Illbay
You are incorrect. Please quote me the clause of the constitution you are referring to about religious neutrality and elected officials having to be neutral. Having read the constitution several times, I have never seen it. That is why I ask you to point to it, rather than stating it in your own words. If you cannot do so, it means that it does not exist. I don't disagree with you simply because I don't like what you say, I disagree with you because you don't support what you say. AS I said before, the only reference to religion in the Constitution is that the Congress shall establish no religion. It says nothing about neutrality and says nothing about whay legislators can and cannot do or say. In fact, a legislator can get up on the floor of the institution, and denounce any religion he/she wants to and it would not be unconstitutional. Now, if the Legislature (which is the body, not the individual) passed a law establishing a religion, that would be unconstituitional. Do you understand the difference? I will try to make it simpler. An individual legislator, acting alone, is not the same as the legislature (the body, made up of many individual legislators) formally voting on a statute or resolution. Therefore, there is no constitutional ban on any individual legislator walking out on the prayer.

Now, you can argue that it was impolite, or political stupid, but you cannot argue that it was illegal or unconstitutional. Again, those are different concepts.
501 posted on 03/05/2003 10:19:46 AM PST by brownie
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To: EternalVigilance
Let's all agree to give up arguing with Illbay. I can't figure out if he really believes what he's writing, in which case he has a very strange view of what the constitution is and what it says - much different then what the letters on the paper say anyway - or he is just having fun getting a rise out of everyone.
502 posted on 03/05/2003 10:23:27 AM PST by brownie
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To: Illbay
So, the president or other elected officials should not go to church regularly, as this shows favoritism toward his/her faith? And, the president and all elected officials should officially resign from their religions? I mean, if I'm elected and everyone knows I'm, say, catholic, that shows that I have a bias toward that religion, which would be unconstituitonal according to this strange argument. I think you are on to something here, only professed aetheists or agnostics can be elected to office, otherwise it is unconstitutional!!
503 posted on 03/05/2003 10:27:43 AM PST by brownie
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To: brownie
illbay ... "neutral" means morally // mentally dead --- equity (( rest )) of lies !
504 posted on 03/05/2003 10:34:33 AM PST by f.Christian (( + God ==Truth + love courage // LIBERTY logic + SANITY + Awakening + ))
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To: Illbay; All
BTTT If she chose not to attend, and did NOT walk out during the prayer, then I apologize to her.

Morning Illbay. Yes, she did NOT walk out. This was a (hit) piece against Republicans. If you read some of my postings on this situtaion(unfortunately late in the thread) you'll see that the media presented this in a biased manner. Surprise, surprise. Many here, including myself before I learned differently, assumed the House ceremony to be one where everbody sat down quietly to begin the day and prayed together. Not so. People coming and going all the time, every day. Christian or non, giving the prayer.
505 posted on 03/05/2003 11:09:18 AM PST by Libertina
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To: cardinal4
Right now, Islam is at war with the US.

The profound level of B.S. on FR continues.

506 posted on 03/05/2003 11:12:38 AM PST by Illbay
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To: brownie
Again: You're all about "rights" and NOTHING about responsibilities.

As it is, I got a response from one of the legislators, Rep. McMahan, and she tells me that she never walked out in the first place, and WOULD NOT HAVE WALKED OUT. She says this news story has been blown all out of proportion and is the result of irresponsible reporting.

She also said that she supports freedom of ALL religions and has great respect for Islam as she does all religions in America.

So there.

507 posted on 03/05/2003 11:16:09 AM PST by Illbay
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To: Illbay
Illbay, perhaps you should go into a mosque in disguise. Listen to what they have say and then come back and make your claim.
508 posted on 03/05/2003 11:17:45 AM PST by cardinal4 (The Senate Armed Services Comm; the Chinese pipeline into US secrets)
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To: Illbay
So there.

Spoken like a true nine-year-old...

509 posted on 03/05/2003 11:35:59 AM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: Libertina
See THIS THREAD. You are spot-on.
510 posted on 03/05/2003 11:44:13 AM PST by Illbay
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To: f.Christian
Not so. "Neutral" in this case simply means that no religious faith is favored, and no religious faith is put in official disrepute.

This is a sacred principle, and one of the most important foundations of our Republic.

511 posted on 03/05/2003 11:45:18 AM PST by Illbay
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To: EternalVigilance
CLICK HERE. Whatever else you might think, Rep. McMahan apparently agrees with me.
512 posted on 03/05/2003 11:46:12 AM PST by Illbay
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To: Illbay
Could care less if cleric is funding raghead terrorists...
who's talking out their ass... those defending ragheads for any reason.
513 posted on 03/05/2003 11:47:32 AM PST by Terridan
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To: Illbay
Creation/God...REFORMATION(Judeo-Christianity)---secular-govt.-humanism/SCIENCE---CIVILIZATION!

Originally the word liberal meant social conservatives(no govt religion--none) who advocated growth and progress---mostly technological(knowledge being absolute/unchanging)based on law--reality... UNDER GOD---the nature of GOD/man/govt. does not change. These were the Classical liberals...founding fathers-PRINCIPLES---stable/SANE scientific reality/society---industrial progress...moral/social character-values(private/personal) GROWTH(limited NON-intrusive PC Govt/religion---schools)!

Evolution...Atheism-dehumanism---TYRANNY(pc/liberal/govt-religion/rhetoric)...

Then came the SPLIT SCHIZOPHRENIA/ZOMBIE/BRAVE-NWO1984 LIBERAL NEO-Soviet Darwin/ACLU America---the post-modern age of switch-flip-spin-DEFORMITY-cancer...Atheist secular materialists -- BONE heads and RAG (( nazi cults )) heads !

514 posted on 03/05/2003 11:51:53 AM PST by f.Christian (( + God ==Truth + love courage // LIBERTY logic + SANITY + Awakening + ))
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To: Illbay
Apparently she does.

Zippety-do-dah.
515 posted on 03/05/2003 11:52:28 AM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: Terridan
who's talking out their ass...

You are, obviously, since you have absolutely no proof that this guy was doing any such thing.

516 posted on 03/05/2003 11:58:06 AM PST by Illbay
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To: sarcasm
.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134646239_prayer05.html

Protest over Muslim prayer nothing new for Legislature

By David Postman and Sarah Lorenzini
Seattle Times Olympia bureau

OLYMPIA — Melding prayer and politics in the Legislature has long been one tough job. Poets, policy, a lesbian former nun, a Native American healer, and praying in Jesus' name all have created controversies among legislators who stand for the prayer each morning they're in session.

But never has it caused the stir whipped up by Rep. Lois McMahan's statements after she chose to leave the House chambers Monday rather than listen to a prayer by a Muslim cleric.

It wasn't so much that she left, but what she said afterward.

She said she did it as a patriotic act to protest U.S. Muslim leaders who she said did not condemn strongly enough the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

McMahan is expected to make an apology on the House floor today for the comments she made about her decision to sit out on the prayer, according to her legislative assistant.

But McMahan's protest has some people questioning whether politicians can pray without fighting.

"Maybe the time for prayer in the Legislature is past," said Janice Holz, office manager with Associated Ministries of Thurston County, which arranges for clergy to deliver the prayer.

Republican leaders were quick to distance themselves from McMahan, a Republican from Gig Harbor. Some Democrats called for an apology.

"I feel it is unfortunate, and I think it paints us with a broad stroke. But I hope people realize that each member is an individual, and we let them have all the rope they want, and what they do with it is their choice," said House Deputy Minority Leader Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis.

Minority Leader Cathy McMorris, R-Colville, Stevens County, said that although she talked with McMahan yesterday, she wasn't yet sure McMahan should apologize.

"I left a little confused about what she really is trying to accomplish," McMorris said, adding that McMahan's statements "seem to be in conflict."

After a barrage of media calls from around the country, McMahan issued a statement late yesterday saying her actions had been misrepresented.

"For personal reasons, I chose to remain off of the House floor during the Imam's prayer. This action was not meant to make any public statement," she said in the written statement.

But yesterday she continued to say she left the House chambers to be absent when the prayer by Imam Mohamad Joban of the Islamic Center of Olympia was delivered.

"If it was a statement of anything, it was a statement of the patriotism I feel, for the love I have for this country," McMahan said in an interview.

McMahan, a conservative Christian, said she respects freedom of religion, but she wanted to protest the role of Muslims in the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I feel like the Islamic leaders in this country have not been vocal enough in condemning what happened."

At the beginning of the legislative session, Holz sent out invitations to Thurston County spiritual leaders. She tried to schedule everyone who replied to bring "as wide a diversity of faiths as possible."

After the Sept. 11 attacks, Holz said people in the organization have felt the same changes as the general population. People are more sensitive about Islam, either shying away or going to great lengths to include people of Islamic faith.

The House and Senate start each floor session with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.

Lawmakers, particularly in the House, have been sensitive to who is giving the opening prayer and what is said.

Former House Speaker Clyde Ballard, R-East Wenatchee, said most of the problems arose when people tried to make political statements.

One year, Ballard said, there was a good deal of excitement when a former nun used the opening prayer to reveal she was a lesbian.

"When you have 98 different people, it's hard not to run into times in which someone is not offended," he said.

Democrats were unhappy in 1996 when pastors invited by Republicans were making what they believed were political statements in the prayers.

Rep. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, then the Legislature's only openly gay member, complained that conservative messages were showing up in the daily prayer. He labeled the dispute "prayer wars."

Conversely, Republicans didn't like Democrats inviting poets to speak instead of pray.

"That did bother me, because although poetry is very meaningful, I could not take it to the level of reverence and spirituality that I personally obtain from prayer," said Sen. Bob Morton, R-Orient, Ferry County.

Morton, a pastor, says he hasn't always agreed with what he has heard during the morning prayer and has found it difficult to remain on the floor.

"But I have always stayed to recognize their right in these United States for their own religious beliefs, or nonreligious beliefs."

Some Republicans once objected to a Native American healer who gave the prayer.

Most recently, Democrats wanted to encourage clergy not to stress one religion too much in their prayers.

Last year, a new set of prayer guidelines were written:

"Conclusion of the prayer should embrace the collective prayerful thoughts of all present in an ecumenical manner, rather than 'in the name of' a particular deity."

That upset Ballard, who persuaded House leaders to clarify the guidelines so it's clear that people can say, "In Jesus' name we pray."

Clergy who regularly appear in the Legislature are careful about what they say.

The Rev. Paul Lundborg, senior pastor from Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Olympia, said he uses more generic terms to avoid offending anyone's religion, and he expresses an interfaith idea, rather than his own religion.

"Whoever's doing the praying needs to make that decision," he said. Lundborg had Joban speak at his church to teach him more about Islam.

Former Secretary of the Senate Marty Brown said some legislators have always protested the opening prayer.

It's "the church and state question," he said.

Sen. Margarita Prentice, D-Seattle, said it is a concern she has heard from constituents as well. But she thinks the daily prayer is a good idea. She also attends a weekly morning prayer meeting of legislators and staffers.

"We can't do this by ourselves, and unless we really center ourselves and you measure yourself according to the things you believe, you can get really lost here," Prentice said.

Murray thinks one day of prayer, on Mondays, would be enough.

Rep. Dennis Flannigan, D-Tacoma, said even that's not necessary.

"I don't think we need prayer," he said. When prayer becomes "theater politics," he said, "I think it sets us against each other."

David Postman: 360-943-9882 or dpostman@seattletimes.com; Sarah Lorenzini: 360-943-9882 or slorenzini@seattletimes.com

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Murray thinks one day of prayer, on Mondays, would be enough

Of course.
No surprise there.
Murray's claim to fame is the fact that he is the State of Washington's first "openly gay" legislator.

517 posted on 03/05/2003 12:03:38 PM PST by ppaul
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To: kittymyrib
The First Commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods." That's a COMMAND, not a suggestion, from the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And the third Commandment, is a COMMAND as well. Keep the Sabbath (Saturday) holy.

518 posted on 03/05/2003 12:07:39 PM PST by ET(end tyranny)
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To: ppaul
Looks to me like the politically correct idiots in the Washington legislature have turned the whole thing into a theater of the absurd.

God have mercy.
519 posted on 03/05/2003 12:17:45 PM PST by EternalVigilance (War's Mayhem is Produced by Weakness of the Good - Peace through Strength)
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To: sarcasm
Good for them!
520 posted on 03/05/2003 5:52:59 PM PST by Commander8
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To: Illbay
Can we stop now? Again, I say, who cares? No muslim need conduct prayers period. Good bye.
521 posted on 03/05/2003 10:05:29 PM PST by Terridan
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To: Terridan
For that matter, NO ONE need conduct prayers.

Freedom of religion for all, or for none. There's no in-between.

522 posted on 03/06/2003 4:56:28 AM PST by Illbay
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To: Illbay
No, you are confusing 2 arguments. I was responding to your statements that what the legislators did was UNCONSTITUTIONAL. I was not responding to whether what they did (or allegedly did) was right or wrong, smart or foolish, moral or immoral. I am still correct that what they (allegedly) did was not illegal or unconstitutional. You are still incorrect on that point.

Whether they did or did not do it does not change my argument. Whether you agree with walking out on a prayer does not change my argument. My argument was, is, and will be, that walking out on a prayer is NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

So there.
523 posted on 03/06/2003 5:59:03 AM PST by brownie
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To: brownie
I was responding to your statements that what the legislators did was UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

I said that what they ALLEGEDLY did was a violation of their oath to uphold the Constitution. I didn't say that it was an overtly "unconstitutional" act.

The constitution is more than simply a set of rules. It embodies a set of PRINCIPLES.

The First Amendment goes beyond the simple words enjoining the Congress from passing laws respecting religion. It enshrines the principle of government neutrality with respect to religion.

This is a PRINCIPLE that an elected official has sworn to uphold. Look on the NEWS forum for Rep. McMahan's reply to my email. She acknowledges that respect for and freedom of religion is a PRINCIPLE that she personally would give her life for.

You do NOT have to "like" a particular religious philosophy, whether Islam or anything else. But you ARE required to show due respect, if you are acting in your post as an elected official. That's showing respect for the CONSTITUTION.

524 posted on 03/06/2003 6:35:41 AM PST by Illbay
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To: Illbay
RE: To: mombonn

"I would have stood quietly until it was over, and then continued on with business." That's because you have a shred of common decency. Too bad that couldn't be said of these nitwits. 20 posted on 03/04/2003 4:24 AM PST by Illbay

Irag is running short of human shields due to recent defections, perhaps you would like to volunteer for the position.

525 posted on 03/06/2003 6:42:05 AM PST by Augustine_Was_Calvinist
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To: Illbay
I believe we will have to agree to disagree. I have never heard or seen this interpretation of the establishment clause in any of my studies or historical readings, and certainly think it would surprise many of the founding fathers. (I can just see some of the founders agreeing to sit and listen to muslim prayers and/or scientologist rantings - not).

You are reading what you believe into the constitution, which is what I have a problem with. Again, that is why you try to rely on a "principles" argument, because you cannot rely on a constitutional argument.

The estabishment clause is what it is, i.e., a rule that the United States Congress shall not establish a religion. that is all. Nothing more, nothing less.
526 posted on 03/06/2003 6:48:16 AM PST by brownie
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To: Augustine_Was_Calvinist
So if I'm FOR religious freedom, that means I must SUPPORT Saddam Hussein?

Maybe you're confused. You see, it's countries like IRAQ that foster YOUR sort of philosophy, where anyone who doesn't agree with you is oppressed.

Perhaps YOU might feel more comfortable as a "human shield," since YOU are the one supporting oppression of religious minorities.

527 posted on 03/06/2003 7:13:43 AM PST by Illbay
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To: brownie
You think it would surprise the Founders, that an elected official ought to exemplify government's neutrality with respect to religion?

How odd.

The estabishment clause is what it is, i.e., a rule that the United States Congress shall not establish a religion. that is all. Nothing more, nothing less.

So by your logic, if the city where you live wanted to, they could establish a "city church" paid for by city taxes, as the "official church of [YOUR TOWN]," right?

528 posted on 03/06/2003 7:16:54 AM PST by Illbay
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To: Illbay
Well, as a matter of fact, they could have, until the supreme court ruled that the bill of rights applied to state and local government through the 13th amendment. (that is, of course, supposing that the State's constitution did not ban such a thing). And that, my friend is a legal historical fact. The bill of rights did not apply to states until the Supreme Court decided it did in the early 20th century, through the process of what is called "reverse incorporation".

You may not actually realize this, but the constitution was originally written to set up, and restrict the powers of, the federal government. It was not meant to apply to state (or local) governments. If you believe otherwise, there is nothing I can do other than tell you to read some history books.

And yes, this idea of government "neutrality" you keep talking about is a figment of your imagination. You are inserting your own ideas into the constitution. The framers were concerned that the federal government would establish a national religion, as the english had, that is why they inserted the Establishment clause. That is it. That is the clauses purpose, to keep the federal government from establishing a national religion. It says nothing about neutrality. It says nothing about what "elected officials" do or do not do. The founders, as you apparently do not know, were mostly very religious people, and would be very surprised if you travelled back in time and told them that they could be forced to listen to some other religion's prayer in the name of "neutrality".

Now, what I have stated here is actual, historic fact. If necessary, I will pull out my old con law book and cite you the specific cases regarding "reverse incorporation." However, I doubt any actual facts will change your mind. And, If facts do not convince you, then there is nothing else to say. I cannot imagine where you picked up these strange ideas regarding history and american law.
529 posted on 03/06/2003 1:28:40 PM PST by brownie
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