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Jewish lawmakers threaten walk-out over reference to Jesus
WorldNetDaily.com ^ | April 3, 2003 | Diana Lynne

Posted on 04/03/2003 6:25:58 PM PST by honway

A Maryland minister was barred from giving the opening prayer in the state Senate after he refused to drop a reference to Jesus.

The Rev. David N. Hughes of the Trinity and Evangelical Church of Adamstown, Md., intended to round out his invocation yesterday with the line, "In Jesus' name, Amen." But the sergeant at arms – on the orders of Senate President Thomas Mike Miller Jr. – shut the reverend out of the body's chambers.

Miller issued the orders after two Jewish lawmakers threatened to stage a boycott of the legislative session if the phrase was not removed.

"I'm shocked by the response. I've never had this happen in 26 years," Hughes told the Frederick News-Post. "It just makes me feel that they've taken away my right as an American to pray, and this is the seat of government, and that's scary."

The pastor – a Vietnam veteran – was invited to give the prayer by Republican Sen. Alex Mooney. Hughes was Mooney's fourth guest. The other three were Jewish rabbis.

Opening up legislative sessions with prayer is a longstanding tradition in Maryland, as it is in states across the country. Mooney told WorldNetDaily no one had been barred from giving an invocation before. He sees irony in yesterday's "censorship."

Maryland state Republican Rep. Alex Mooney

"We were the first state to address religious tolerance in our state charter," he told WorldNetDaily. "This just shows a lack of tolerance for peoples' religious views."

Mooney recalled numerous instances of invocations referencing Jesus throughout the four years that he has been in office.

But at the beginning of the session this year, a string of invocations by Baptist preachers invoking the name Jesus Christ sparked debate on the issue. Miller appealed to lawmakers for tolerance and urged they stick to guidelines that call for invocations to be of an ecumenical nature and respectful of all faiths.

Webster's New World Dictionary defines ecumenical as "promoting cooperation or better understanding among differing religious faiths."

Since the debate, the Senate clerk screens prayers ahead of time and flagged the written text submitted by Hughes.

When Sens. Ida Ruben and Gloria Hollinger – both of whom are Jewish – heard of the reference, they asked Mooney to strike it.

"I said, 'Hey, I'll let him pray however he wants to pray. I'm not going to censor him and tell him how he needs to pray,'" Mooney told WND.

Ruben told the Frederick News-Post she then urged Hughes to substitute "messiah" for Jesus, telling him the reference could offend non-Christians and goes against the guidelines.

Neither Ruben nor Miller returned calls seeking comment.

"This is part of my faith," Hughes responded, according to Mooney. "The Gospel says when you pray, pray in Jesus' name."

The senators next asked to be excused from the floor during the prayer.

Paradoxically, a walk-out over a Muslim cleric's prayer opening a Washington state legislative session last month backfired on one Christian lawmaker.

Washington state Republican Rep. Lois McMahan

As WorldNetDaily reported, Rep. Lois McMahan, a Republican from Gig Harbor, Wash., refused to participate in the prayer and declared, "My god is not Muhammed."

"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 in an interview with the Seattle Post Intelligencer. "Even though the mainstream Islamic religion doesn't profess to hate America, nonetheless it spawns the groups that hate America."

But a day later, McMahan apologized on the floor of the state House of Representatives amid mounting furor over her stance.

Debate over invocations is raging elsewhere in the country. As WorldNetDaily reported, several Southern California cities are grappling with threats from both sides of the issue.

Under pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union to quit using the name Jesus Christ in invocations, the city of Lake Elsinore, in Riverside County, decided to eliminate mention of "religious figures." The decree subsequently had the apparent effect of eliminating the prayer altogether, as no local pastors would accept invitations to deliver the prayer, and city councilors adopted moments of silence instead.

The ACLU contends that praying at the request of a government entity is a violation of the First Amendment's prohibition against the establishment of religion.

But the nonprofit United States Justice Foundation, which threatened to sue the city if it failed to reverse its decision, maintains telling a pastor what to pray is a violation of his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion.

The notion of "separation of church and state" is derived from the dissenting opinion of the 1946 Supreme Court case Everson vs. Board of Education, which upheld a program allowing parents to be repaid from state funds for the costs of transportation to private religious schools. The court required only that the state maintain neutrality in its relations with various groups of religious believers.

"The decision in Everson does not rise to the level of being a battle cry for those who would wish to remove every vestige of religion from the public forum," USJF litigation counsel Richard Ackerman asserts.

"There's a push in this country to remove religion from society," Mooney echoed, "from the Supreme Court's decision on the Pledge to the ACLU going after all the Ten Commandments posted across the country. ... Nothing in the church-state relationship allows censorship and the removal of religious values from society."


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Maryland
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; christians; ecumenical; hypocrites; jews; liberals; maryland; silliness; watereddown
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1 posted on 04/03/2003 6:25:58 PM PST by honway
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To: honway
What a time for Jews to start making trouble with Christians. We need to stick together.
2 posted on 04/03/2003 6:28:56 PM PST by Delphinium
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To: honway
what whiners!
3 posted on 04/03/2003 6:29:03 PM PST by graycamel
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To: honway
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
4 posted on 04/03/2003 6:29:52 PM PST by lsee
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To: honway
Just a question, but why couldn't the prayer just have included G-d? Jews and Christians both worship the G-d of Abraham, why wasn't that enough?
5 posted on 04/03/2003 6:30:49 PM PST by Bella_Bru (For all your tagline needs. Don't delay! Orders shipped overnight.)
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To: honway
Frankly, this is petty. On the part of everybody involved. There's no reason to be in anybody's face about one's religion.

The evangelical pastor should have sucked it up, and been satisfied to pray to God.

Won't He do?

6 posted on 04/03/2003 6:31:37 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: Bella_Bru
Please see reply #4
7 posted on 04/03/2003 6:32:42 PM PST by honway
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To: honway
What an embarassment. Who the heck cares? We are fighting for our lives and these idiots are having a pissing contest.

I volunteer to throw a knish at each of them.

8 posted on 04/03/2003 6:32:42 PM PST by Nachum
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To: honway
I agree with the Jewish people there. They should have removed references to Jesus.
9 posted on 04/03/2003 6:32:42 PM PST by yonif
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To: honway
What an embarassment. Who the heck cares? We are fighting for our lives and these idiots are having a pissing contest.

I volunteer to throw a knish at each of them.

10 posted on 04/03/2003 6:32:42 PM PST by Nachum
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To: honway
What an embarassment. Who the heck cares? We are fighting for our lives and these idiots are having a pissing contest.

I volunteer to throw a knish at each of them.

11 posted on 04/03/2003 6:32:42 PM PST by Nachum
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To: lsee
The minister was thoughtless-an old testament reference would be more appropriate
12 posted on 04/03/2003 6:33:39 PM PST by Cato the Censor
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To: honway
Let them walk. I have a hunch they'll back. This is a Christian nation, but I do not think they should be forced to listen. They can leave during the prayer.
13 posted on 04/03/2003 6:34:55 PM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: Delphinium
The Rev. David N. Hughes of the Trinity and Evangelical Church of Adamstown, Md., intended to round out his invocation yesterday with the line, "In Jesus' name, Amen." But the sergeant at arms – on the orders of Senate President Thomas Mike Miller Jr. – shut the reverend out of the body's chambers.

This would bother me a little bit. (I'm Jewish) But really no big deal. Rabbis get plenty of face time leading prayers in state legislatures and other government functions. I don't hear Christians complaining.

14 posted on 04/03/2003 6:35:01 PM PST by dennisw
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To: honway
This wasn't appropriate. It is not necessary to pray a "Christian-specific" prayer in an ecumenical setting.

This is entirely the clergyman's fault and he owes an apology.
15 posted on 04/03/2003 6:35:33 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: Delphinium
In this case, it is the Christian who's making trouble for the Jews.
16 posted on 04/03/2003 6:35:54 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: lsee
When he's in his own church he can make that point.

When he's leading a prayer in an ecumenical setting, he has no business causing problems for everyone.

This was a foolish thing to do.
17 posted on 04/03/2003 6:36:37 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: Bella_Bru
Actually I think it should be acceptable that lawmakers skip the prayer if they are not comfortable with the prayer.

Because the problem is only going to get worse. I don't think the God of the Muslims is the same as the God of the JudeoChristian faiths. The Muslim God doesn't share the same characteristics. So it's not just the wording it's integrety of the whole prayer and who it's directed to.




18 posted on 04/03/2003 6:37:10 PM PST by DannyTN (Note left on my door by a pack of neighborhood dogs.)
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To: DoughtyOne
I checked out one of them (Hollinger) and she's a Democrat ..... Only thing I saw was her effort for medical marijuana.

These two most likely are standard issue liberal Jews
19 posted on 04/03/2003 6:37:34 PM PST by dennisw
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To: honway; Bella_Bru
In other words: "I don't care if I offend you as long as I'm offending you for what I think is a good cause."

Sheesh.

20 posted on 04/03/2003 6:37:40 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: honway
Leftist jews like this are the root cause of most anti-semitism in this country. Maybe we shouldn't even bring up God, since that might offend the wiccans and satan worshippers.
21 posted on 04/03/2003 6:38:05 PM PST by StockAyatollah
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To: Nachum
So, is that three knishes each?
22 posted on 04/03/2003 6:38:15 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: DoughtyOne
This is a Christian nation

Which is precisely why the Christian should have acted like one.

23 posted on 04/03/2003 6:38:38 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: honway
The minister is a jerk.
The 'lawmakers' are foolish.
24 posted on 04/03/2003 6:38:49 PM PST by RJCogburn (Yes, it's bold talk)
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To: Illbay
This is entirely the clergyman's fault and he owes an apology.

You are absolutely correct. Christians everywhere should apologize for their belief in Jesus Christ.

25 posted on 04/03/2003 6:39:04 PM PST by honway
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To: Illbay
Sort of a condescending pat on the head, "We know what prayers are best for you?".

Thank you Illbay, for a second we agree on something.

26 posted on 04/03/2003 6:39:13 PM PST by Bella_Bru (For all your tagline needs. Don't delay! Orders shipped overnight.)
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To: DoughtyOne
This is a Christian nation,...

No, it is not. It is a nation where freedom of conscience, not a specific religious faith or philosophy, is the rule.

This was a boorish way to behave, and the clergyman owes an apology.

27 posted on 04/03/2003 6:39:13 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: Delphinium
How 'bout this:

What a time for Christians to start making trouble with Christians. We need to stick together.

28 posted on 04/03/2003 6:39:24 PM PST by ItisaReligionofPeace ((the original))
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To: DannyTN
I get so sick of this ignorant misinformation.
29 posted on 04/03/2003 6:40:08 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: honway
Why should Christians feel compelled hide their faith for the sake of bending over backwards for 3 percent of the U.S. population?
30 posted on 04/03/2003 6:40:40 PM PST by Hoppean
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To: honway
You can believe however you wish. This man was asked to perform a service, not get in someone's face.
31 posted on 04/03/2003 6:40:59 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: Illbay; Bella_Bru; sinkspur; yonif; Cato the Censor
AMEN!
32 posted on 04/03/2003 6:41:07 PM PST by 1 spark
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To: honway
I've never seen a Freerepublic thread where everyone was wrong before. The answer is teh Jews have someone pray the Jewish way, the Christians have someone pray the Christian way and the liberals have someone stand up and go on and on about peace on earth and we all have to listen to each other. That's pluralism. Censoring someone's prayer is NOT ACCEPTABLE!
33 posted on 04/03/2003 6:41:28 PM PST by Rippin
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To: DannyTN
I think it should be acceptable that lawmakers skip the prayer

Now we are getting to the heart of the matter.

34 posted on 04/03/2003 6:41:32 PM PST by honway
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To: Bella_Bru
Nothing chaps my hide more than someone trying to PUSH their beliefs on someone else when it isn't invited or appropriate.
35 posted on 04/03/2003 6:41:40 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: dennisw
This is shocking... Jesus is the Son of God King of Kings and Lord Of Lords.... Praise Jesus Holy Name, I always do...
36 posted on 04/03/2003 6:41:45 PM PST by HowBoutThemCowboys
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To: honway
Christians everywhere should apologize for their belief in Jesus Christ.

Get the chip off your shoulder. Jesus condemned Pharisees for their "we're better than you are" attitude.

37 posted on 04/03/2003 6:41:50 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: Illbay
This is a Christian nation,...

No, it is not.

LOL! Never thought I'd see that written on a conservative board.

38 posted on 04/03/2003 6:41:59 PM PST by Hoppean
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To: Hoppean
How was he being asked to hide HIS faith?

This wasn't ABOUT his faith, it was about providing a service for others. It was about OTHERS, not about him.

Selfish jerk.
39 posted on 04/03/2003 6:42:48 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: honway; Lil'freeper; big'ol_freeper; tgslTakoma; Abundy; Pippin; George Frm Br00klyn Park; ...
Oh yeah. Big Mike (Michael Steele is an uncle tom) Miller.
40 posted on 04/03/2003 6:43:15 PM PST by sauropod (If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy...)
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To: HowBoutThemCowboys
This is shocking... Jesus is the Son of God King of Kings and Lord Of Lords.... Praise Jesus Holy Name, I always do...

Not to Jews.

41 posted on 04/03/2003 6:43:27 PM PST by Bella_Bru (For all your tagline needs. Don't delay! Orders shipped overnight.)
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To: yonif
It's alright to through Mohammed in there, but not Jesus?

Personally, I think the two Jewish senators where wrong, just as I thought the senators who walked out on the Muslim prayer where wrong.

42 posted on 04/03/2003 6:43:38 PM PST by Blue Scourge (If a man hasn't found something he is willing to die for, he is not fit to live. - MLKjr.)
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To: Illbay
This man was asked to perform a service, not get in someone's face

The United States is a predominately Christian nation. How is mentionimg the name Jesus getting into anyone's face?

43 posted on 04/03/2003 6:43:47 PM PST by honway
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To: Illbay
Nothing chaps my hide more than someone trying to PUSH their beliefs on someone else when it isn't invited or appropriate.

Agree, 100%.

44 posted on 04/03/2003 6:44:22 PM PST by RJCogburn (Yes, it's bold talk)
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To: Hoppean
Why should Christians feel compelled hide their faith for the sake of bending over backwards for 3 percent of the U.S. population?

That 3% also has faith in God...the very same God to whom Jesus prayed.

45 posted on 04/03/2003 6:44:33 PM PST by 1 spark
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To: Cato the Censor
I agree. An old testament reference would have been more suitable. This is a country founded on Judeo-Christain principles. Prayers made in a government setting should not offend either the Jewish or Christain religion.
46 posted on 04/03/2003 6:44:51 PM PST by yonif
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: StockAyatollah
Maybe anti-semites are the problem behind anti-semetism in America.
48 posted on 04/03/2003 6:45:10 PM PST by ChicagoRepublican
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To: Bella_Bru
Just a question, but why couldn't the prayer just have included G-d? Jews and Christians both worship the G-d of Abraham, why wasn't that enough?

Because the Fundy Preachers were being petty and spoiling for a fight, just like the Jewish Senators.

SO9

49 posted on 04/03/2003 6:45:13 PM PST by Servant of the Nine (We are the Hegemon. We can do anything we damned well please.)
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To: yonif
I disagree with the Jewish people there. They were intolerant.
50 posted on 04/03/2003 6:45:21 PM PST by sauropod (If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy...)
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