Skip to comments.Jewish lawmakers threaten walk-out over reference to Jesus
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."
I'm going to assume you are Jewish. I have a question for you. Why are Jews so vehemently opposed to the mere mention of "Jesus." Why is the mere mention of that word so threatening and reprehensible to Jews? I'm betting the Jewish lawmakers have never made such a stink over the name "Mohamad."
To deny Jesus' name and that he is truly who we pray to when we pray to G-d, means we are lost forever.
He is our (Christians) only way to Heaven.
Said like one who leans toward fundamentalism. Many who don't, would disagree.
}Do you comprehend the meaning of the word "difference."
Yes, do you understand the meaning of STANDARD closure? If you don't want a Christian Cleric to give the prayer because it may offend your tender sensitivities, don't ask. This is not complicated.
Ditto! It;s time for others to show some respect and tolerance. It is ONLY to Jesus that Christians pray. They have NO choice but to reference His name. To suggest otherwise would void the prayer.
If the Christian prayed at the memorial, then I expect he/she would pray in Jesus' name.
"Would it make more sense to make a prayer that both Jews and Christians can accept?"
No, it would not. Who can or will accept it is irrelevent. A prayer designed for the audience is not a prayer.
That was not my intent in my dialogue with you.
Being Jewish this would fit YOUR beliefs however Christians accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah. To ignore that He is the Messiah would not be Christian.
It's time for you and others to show some respect and tolerance for the beliefs of others. It is ONLY to Jesus that Christians can pray. They have NO choice but to reference His name. To suggest otherwise would void the prayer. Now do yo get it? You don't have to accept it but I do suggest you show some respect and tolerance for others that wish to make a request to Jesus.
Good question. Our currency says, In G-d We Trust.
I've seen enough people, and I can tell that you do not mean bad things you say, but you say them. The phrase "This is a Christian nation" implies by all standards of logic that if one is not a Christian, he is not an American. YOu may not mean it --- and I take your word for it that you do not --- but that is what you say.
Your position amounts to "I am going to be very free with the words, and throw them around freely. If people misunderstand my good intensions, tough luck; ley them grow skin."
Well, you are not at the center of the universe; the language is a two-way street. If you repeat the favorite phraze of the Aryan Nation, I have the right to take it face value without spending an hour of my life to find out that your heart is better than your mouth.
Finally, I showed in a previous post by example, that you wouldn't like it. "Do unto others..."
I appreciate and accept the clarification you gave. Let's call it a night, shall we?
Have a happy Easter holiday, if I don't see you before then.
That is certainly the understatement of the thread. A little less leftleaning touchy "ethnic pickiness" would markedly turn down the global temperature IMHO. Actions do have consequences.
Was it? Or was it founded on G-d? Our currency says, 'In G-d We Trust.
.....and I AGREE with you.