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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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To: honway
So would you have a problem with a prayer that did not mention Jesus? Isn't G-d part of the Christian faith? Why couldn't the prayer just say G-d? Unless you are trying to proselytize, why would you need to include Jesus and not just stick with G-d? Would you be ok with a Hebrew prayer as well?
51 posted on 04/03/2003 6:45:47 PM PST by Bella_Bru (For all your tagline needs. Don't delay! Orders shipped overnight.)
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To: Hoppean
Because your religion is not more important than any other religion under the eyes of the law.
52 posted on 04/03/2003 6:46:44 PM PST by ChicagoRepublican
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To: honway
How is mentionimg the name Jesus getting into anyone's face?

Especially because opening prayers are common in all legislative bodies, and such prayers reference that minister/rabbi/whoever's beliefs. A little respect for differing religious beliefs is what is called for, just as Christians should be respectful if a Moslem cleric is giving the prayer and refers to Allah.

53 posted on 04/03/2003 6:46:48 PM PST by Numbers Guy
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To: RJCogburn
I should remark further that I think there are occasions where it IS appropriate to declare one's faith. Giving an ecumenical prayer to begin a legislative session isn't one of them.
54 posted on 04/03/2003 6:47:36 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: RaceBannon
Ping.
55 posted on 04/03/2003 6:47:58 PM PST by yonif
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To: dennisw
I can appreciate her position on this, but Christians have rights too. Thanks for your research and comments.
56 posted on 04/03/2003 6:48:13 PM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: dennisw
Bingo! Welcome to the People's Republic of Maryland.
57 posted on 04/03/2003 6:48:13 PM PST by sauropod (If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy...)
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To: Illbay
Still agree, same percentage.
58 posted on 04/03/2003 6:48:19 PM PST by RJCogburn (Yes, it's bold talk)
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Comment #59 Removed by Moderator

To: Servant of the Nine
Because the Fundy Preachers were being petty and spoiling for a fight, just like the Jewish Senators.

You've nailed it. We could do with fewer people getting their backs up over God.

60 posted on 04/03/2003 6:49:15 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: DoughtyOne; Beacon Falls
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.

Agreed from here. When I'm in the midst of people who are INTOLERANT, I leave...(see, even I can be intolerant of intolerance)...I don't spend a lot of time on people who are so blind they cannot see, and so deaf they cannot hear.

This whole post cracks me up...If this is all these pissants have to do, get them out of the "kitchen"!

FMCDH

61 posted on 04/03/2003 6:49:22 PM PST by nothingnew
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To: honway
"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."

So, they are demanding that Christians not pray. Without Christ, the prayer goes nowhere. Now, you can yell at me, but that is my belief. Perhaps the invocations should be dropped entirely.
62 posted on 04/03/2003 6:49:24 PM PST by stayathomemom
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To: Illbay; DittoJed2; Thinkin' Gal; Bobby777
This was a Christian nation.

Pharasaical readings of the Constitution stripped it of this particular characteristic.

63 posted on 04/03/2003 6:50:11 PM PST by sauropod (If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy...)
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To: Illbay; GatorGirl; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; Askel5; ...
The US is a clearly Christian country, including the Christian principles of tolerance and respect. The entire sociopolitical matrix that created and has nurtured us over the last 2+ centuries is Christian in nature. Our legal structure and our culture are intrinsically Christian.
64 posted on 04/03/2003 6:50:11 PM PST by narses (Christe Eleison)
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To: StockAyatollah
Leftist jews like this are the root cause of most anti-semitism in this country.

Maybe not most, but you have the right idea. Example: Alan Dershowitz has been behaving recently but loud & lefty Jews like him are very bad PR for the Jewish people. His OJ antics hurt Jews of America.

65 posted on 04/03/2003 6:50:21 PM PST by dennisw
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To: stayathomemom
Without Christ, the prayer goes nowhere. Now, you can yell at me, but that is my belief. Perhaps the invocations should be dropped entirely.

Maybe they should be, and your post is good evidence why.

66 posted on 04/03/2003 6:51:19 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: Bella_Bru
Yes...tho I don't know about honway.

FMCDH

67 posted on 04/03/2003 6:51:27 PM PST by nothingnew
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To: Yehuda; SJackson
Ping. Jewish faith debate here.
68 posted on 04/03/2003 6:51:31 PM PST by yonif
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To: Bella_Bru
"Christians both worship the G-d of Abraham, why wasn't that enough? "

Because that is not what he wanted to say. Maybe he didn't like the words used by the rabbi's, should they change the way they pray just because someone doesn't like one of the words?

Tolerence works both ways, if you are going to shove it down someone throat, expect to eat your own share.

And the word if GOD, not g-d, GOD, if you are going to reference the Christian deity, please use His name.
69 posted on 04/03/2003 6:51:33 PM PST by Rasputin_TheMadMonk (Yes I am a bastard, but I'm a free, white, gun owning bastard. Just ask my exwife.)
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To: Illbay
he was asked to open with prayer, he did, do you think he was honestly attacking the 2 Jewish lawmakers? If you don't agree with what the clergy/iman/rabbi/whatever saying than simply pray your own prayer or have a moment of silence, you make it sound like he was holding forced conversions.
70 posted on 04/03/2003 6:51:37 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: sinkspur
Yes He certainly did. See Matt 7:7
71 posted on 04/03/2003 6:51:52 PM PST by sauropod (If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy...)
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Comment #72 Removed by Moderator

To: Rasputin_TheMadMonk
if = is
73 posted on 04/03/2003 6:52:02 PM PST by Rasputin_TheMadMonk (Yes I am a bastard, but I'm a free, white, gun owning bastard. Just ask my exwife.)
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To: honway
He didn't simply "mention the name of Jesus." I have often had discussions with Jewish friends where I have "mentioned the name of Jesus," as in "Jesus taught that we should love one another."

This man prayed IN THE NAME OF JESUS. This is appropriate when he is standing in the pulpit of his church. It is appropriate when he is at home with his family. It is appropriate when he is invited to pray with a family to whom he ministers.

It is NOT appropriate when giving an ecumenical prayer to open a legislative session. Instead of selfishly thinking about himself and the "point" he wanted to make, he should have deferred to his audience.
74 posted on 04/03/2003 6:52:15 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: sauropod; Jeremiah Jr; dennisw
Isaiah 11:13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
75 posted on 04/03/2003 6:52:28 PM PST by Thinkin' Gal
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To: narses
Askel5's been banned.
76 posted on 04/03/2003 6:52:33 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: stayathomemom
So, they are demanding that Christians not pray

It all boils down to that.

77 posted on 04/03/2003 6:52:34 PM PST by honway
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To: honway
this nation, of course, was founded on Christianity. This is a terrible, terrible shame!
78 posted on 04/03/2003 6:53:05 PM PST by mc10
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To: 1 spark
The very same 3% that rejected and continue to reject Jesus as the Messiah.
79 posted on 04/03/2003 6:53:12 PM PST by sauropod (If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy...)
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To: 1 spark
That 3% also has faith in God...the very same God to whom Jesus prayed.

Theological hair-splitting aside, keep in mind that not all of the 3% in question has any faith in God--many are liberal secularists whose true house of worship is the ACLU. They're the professionals at making these kinds of divisive political statements. It raises the money and garners the votes, you know.

80 posted on 04/03/2003 6:53:22 PM PST by Hoppean
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To: Blue Scourge
I don't think the use of Jesus is attacking anyone. I believe that it was not appropriate.

(I am Jewish, btw).
81 posted on 04/03/2003 6:53:36 PM PST by yonif
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To: Blue Scourge
I don't think the use of Jesus is attacking anyone. I believe that it was not appropriate in that time being.

(I am Jewish, btw).
82 posted on 04/03/2003 6:54:00 PM PST by yonif
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To: honway
defines ecumenical

I don't believe much in "ecumenicalism" for this reason. Who needs it? The US had different religion before that and "multiculturalism" became the vogue and people ended up getting along just fine.

83 posted on 04/03/2003 6:54:04 PM PST by FITZ
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To: Numbers Guy
"Allah" is simply the Arabic word for "God."

Arab Christians use the word "Allah" to mean God.
84 posted on 04/03/2003 6:54:05 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: Bella_Bru
So, why couln't a Christian just give a prayer totally acceptable to everybody? Probably for the same reason you don't spell out God's name, eh!

If these politicians are going to invite in the preachers they are going to have to put up with what the preacher's say and pray, irrespective of their denomination (or other religiously significant differentiation).

Alternatively, one supposes all the invocation could be given by the various politicians on a rotating schedule. Or, maybe the Maryland House could just abandon invocations and prayer - it's about the smarmiest bunch of politicians in America anyway - way beyond God's, or Jesus' help.

Why anybody would wish to waste prayer on that bunch is beyond me.

85 posted on 04/03/2003 6:54:12 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Illbay
Look, how would you like it if the Christian demanded the Jewish participants refrain from using the label Messiah? Ilbay, if we're going to respect other people's regligous views, they need to respect ours. This is a complete denial of the Christian faith. We pray to Jesus. They pray to the Messiah. I don't see a problem with that.
86 posted on 04/03/2003 6:54:52 PM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: Motherbear
I wonder if they would have done the same thing if a Muslim cleric prayed to Allah?

I've never heard a Muslim cleric deliver a public prayer and refer to Allah; most of them refer to God.

They're more sensitive than this preacher was.

87 posted on 04/03/2003 6:54:53 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: stayathomemom
Perhaps the invocations should be dropped entirely.

This is where it's leading.

88 posted on 04/03/2003 6:55:28 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: Numbers Guy
...just as Christians should be respectful if a Moslem cleric is giving the prayer and refers to Allah.

Why?..."allah" is not my God...You're turning this around. Might as well have an opening prayer to "gaia".

FMCDH

89 posted on 04/03/2003 6:55:38 PM PST by nothingnew
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To: Illbay
The nature of allah is very different than the nature of the God of Abraham. For one it takes a violent pedophile polygamist to bring one to allah. When you look at the life of Mohammed, you can clearly see he was no man of God.
90 posted on 04/03/2003 6:55:59 PM PST by FITZ
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To: ChicagoRepublican
There are some things that supercede the "law."

Tell me friend, are you so sure of the "law" when it comes to things like Abortion? The Patriot Act?

91 posted on 04/03/2003 6:56:01 PM PST by sauropod (If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy...)
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To: honway
IIRC, in the Bible, instructions are for Christian prayers to be asked "in the name of Jesus Christ". Therefore it would be a matter of faith that any prayer would mention Jesus.

This nation was founded on Christian principles, not on Jewish ones. Seems to me that the Jews are the ones who are intolerant. Ever seen any Christians object because a Jewish prayer does not mention Jesus?

92 posted on 04/03/2003 6:56:09 PM PST by wcbtinman (Not from 'my cold dead hands', but from your's.)
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To: Bella_Bru
Some people are just compelled to force their religious beliefs on others. Doing that has been know to cause wars over the many centuries.
93 posted on 04/03/2003 6:56:16 PM PST by DaGman
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To: Motherbear
"I wonder if they would have done the same thing if a Muslim cleric prayed to Allah? "

Not a chance, that wouldn't be tolerant of them. It's alright to attack Christians, but moslems are a protected species.

94 posted on 04/03/2003 6:56:19 PM PST by Rasputin_TheMadMonk (Yes I am a bastard, but I'm a free, white, gun owning bastard. Just ask my exwife.)
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To: DoughtyOne
America as a Christian-Judeo nation founded on Christian-Judeo priciples sounds about right to me.
95 posted on 04/03/2003 6:56:29 PM PST by dennisw
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To: yonif
This is NOT a "Jewish faith debate." I suspect that the Jewish legislators who walked out probably aren't even religious.

It is a debate about propriety.
96 posted on 04/03/2003 6:57:27 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: honway
Oh please... nice christian attitude. I call it 'rightousness' and it's not a pretty character flaw, nor is it likely to bend many people to your 'side'.

The Christians don't need to apologize for their beliefs, but they could deign not to shove it down the throat of people who don't believe the same.

Isn't this another form of bigotry, to look down upon Jews because of their beliefs? How much further is it from making someone wrong about that to making them wrong about everything?
97 posted on 04/03/2003 6:57:57 PM PST by LaraCroft ('Bout time)
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To: dennisw
I live in an area where there is a mix of Jews and Christians. Together, we listen to Hanukah songs. We listen to Christmas carols. We celebrate each other’s Holidays. Anyone "offended" by the way the other side respects God is just a bigot, as far as I’m concerned.

Mike Miller was local politics where I use to live. The term “major jerk and sleaze bag” describe him best.
98 posted on 04/03/2003 6:58:02 PM PST by lizma
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To: stayathomemom
Without Christ, the prayer goes nowhere. Now, you can yell at me

Jesus is not part of the Trinity?
When you call upon any one of the three names do you not call upon the same single being?

So9

99 posted on 04/03/2003 6:58:18 PM PST by Servant of the Nine (We are the Hegemon. We can do anything we damned well please.)
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To: DaGman
Some people are just compelled to force their religious beliefs on others.

As long as no one is threatening to kill me, has me tied up and tortured to convert me, they aren't "forcing" their religion on me. A person so afraid they'll be converted, doesn't have much faith in their own belief.

100 posted on 04/03/2003 6:58:29 PM PST by FITZ
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