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."
Yours in Gumby,
Neither are those mormon boys who show up on my doorstep.
I've read them, trust me. I'd like to think Illbay's just having a really bad week. Some would say your conclusions are mistaken, and others would disagree. Chalk it up to Illbay buying his Dr. Dentons at a different store than Sears.
Until then, if it doesn't quack like a duck or swim like a duck, it ain't a duck :-)
Ever think about a career in Meteorology?
What IS "proven" is the length that some will people go to distort reality and invalidating an American tradition in the name of their own agendae -- that somehow prayer or the evocation of the Deity of our Founding Fathers is suddenly offensive and taboo.
Adams and Madison would be agast at what is transpiring.
I hereby confer, upon the one known as so_real, the honorary title of
including all the powers, rights, authorities, and responsibilities accorded therein.
And may God have mercy upon your soul.
Trust me, you've earned the title! You are now permitted to enter the super-secret Society snack bar at your discretion.
I think that it is probably the case that since this country is not a "Jewish" country, halacha does not require one to publicly argue with religious leaders from other faiths.
Matter of fact, there is a great deal of debate amongst Jewish legal authorities whether it is halachly permissable for a non-Jew to worship as a Christian. Unfortunately, on those issues that really matter, such as the defense of Jews in Israel, Jews have halachly erred far more greatly in current action than the public debate over this issue here in America. It is hard for me to get worked up about all this.
Why Christians are so insistent on Jesus' name:
1Jo 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also]. Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jhn 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Jhn 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Phl 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: Phl 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; Phl 2:11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
GOOD ADVICE FROM A WISE HEBREW OF OLD: Act 5:37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, [even] as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. Act 5:38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: Act 5:39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. Act 5:40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten [them], they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Act 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. Act 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.