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
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The profound level of B.S. on FR continues.
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.
Spoken like a true nine-year-old...
This is a sacred principle, and one of the most important foundations of our Republic.
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)!
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 !
You are, obviously, since you have absolutely no proof that this guy was doing any such thing.
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."
Murray thinks one day of prayer, on Mondays, would be enough
No surprise there.
Murray's claim to fame is the fact that he is the State of Washington's first "openly gay" legislator.
And the third Commandment, is a COMMAND as well. Keep the Sabbath (Saturday) holy.
Freedom of religion for all, or for none. There's no in-between.
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.
"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.
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.
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?
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