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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: NeilSmith
See post# 819. We are talking about the intent of prayer. If one is praying then it is his belief that dictates whom one is praying to. Hopefully this will get you passed your defensive intolerance.
851 posted on 04/05/2003 2:52:06 PM PST by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: way2go
Thank you. I appreciate your views. It is my prayer that evangelical Chistianity in particular will help to save this country.

Somewhat more Judaically oriented myself however, I recently posted Some Problems With Christ As The Messiah. Please be as critical as you might in any response.

I believe ultimately in Ethical Monotheism as ancient to modern all-inclusiveness.

852 posted on 04/05/2003 3:35:23 PM PST by onedoug
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To: lsee
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Above is true lsee because it is only through Jesus that we are even worthy of any redemption.
853 posted on 04/05/2003 3:39:07 PM PST by ProudAmerican13
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To: honway
I heard about that.
854 posted on 04/05/2003 3:50:11 PM PST by sauropod (I'm a man... But I can change... If I have to.... I guess...................)
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To: honway
Maybe they should threaten to move to some foreign country, like France?
855 posted on 04/05/2003 3:53:35 PM PST by DoctorMichael (Liberalism = Evil)
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To: Captain Beyond; TopQuark
Indeed TQ's answers have been thoughtful!
856 posted on 04/05/2003 3:57:20 PM PST by sauropod (I'm a man... But I can change... If I have to.... I guess...................)
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To: sauropod
How can you not love someone who has quark, strangeness, and charm.8-) His posts have been very thoughtful indeed.
857 posted on 04/05/2003 4:05:30 PM PST by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: Illbay
You say this guy is seeking to offend. He is not. He is simply praying to his Lord Jesus Christ. If people are offended then they should get over it.
858 posted on 04/05/2003 4:27:25 PM PST by Michael2001
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To: aruanan
You must make your choice. Either he was and is the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.

Thanks for that quote.I have never understood the irrational response many exhibit at the mention of Jesus Christ in public forums outside of a church. The quote helps explain it.

859 posted on 04/05/2003 4:28:14 PM PST by honway
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To: honway
Sure! That quote's pretty stinking succinct. Have you read either Mere Christianity or Miracles?
860 posted on 04/05/2003 4:44:56 PM PST by aruanan
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To: Michael2001
I don't know if he was seeking a confrontation or not. It seems like he was told the proper form of prayer for such an occasion.
861 posted on 04/05/2003 5:04:05 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: Illbay
}...he was told the proper form of prayer for such an occasion.

IMHO any "proper form of prayer" arrived at by a committee of man is not a prayer at all, but a performance or exhibition.

To suggest that a performance is a prayer flies in the face of Jesus admonition "do not pray on the street corner to be seen of men" but "go into a closet and pray to your Father which art in heaven". (Or words to that effect.)

862 posted on 04/05/2003 6:44:04 PM PST by DensaMensa (He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the definitions controls the past.)
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To: DensaMensa
Yours is but one more comment leading me to conclude that prayers for such events will soon be a thing of the past.
863 posted on 04/05/2003 8:17:18 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: Illbay
}Yours is but one more comment leading me to conclude that prayers for such events will soon be a thing of the past.

Oh, I don't believe that, but am not sure what the loss would be, except in a ceremonial sense of course.

864 posted on 04/05/2003 8:36:10 PM PST by DensaMensa (He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the definitions controls the past.)
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To: Captain Beyond
"See post# 819. We are talking about the intent of prayer. If one is praying then it is his belief that dictates whom one is praying to. "

Agreed.

"Hopefully this will get you passed your defensive intolerance."

No, I will never support intolerance.


865 posted on 04/05/2003 10:19:15 PM PST by NeilSmith
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To: NeilSmith
Who is supporting intolerance?
866 posted on 04/05/2003 11:29:36 PM PST by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: Illbay
Actually, I was refering to Sauropod's missive to YOU. I included you in my post.

My apologies for my misunderstanding and thanks for your support.

867 posted on 04/06/2003 11:11:25 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (G-d's laws or NONE!!!)
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To: honway
Paradoxically, a walk-out over a Muslim cleric's prayer opening a Washington state legislative session last month backfired on one Christian lawmaker.

Once again, the reason for this blatant double standard is the (perhaps unconscious) classification of people in this country into "host" and "guest" populations. While the "guests" have the right to protest the religious beliefs of the "hosts" (ie, the Jewish liberals in Maryland), the "host population" can never protest the religious beliefs of "guests" (ie, the chr*stian in Washington State who walked out on an islamic prayer). It is this difference in treatment meted out to "hosts" and "guests" that allegedly assures "religious liberty," ie, that the "hosts" cannot "impose" their views and that the "guests" are free to practice theirs.

Of course this is hypocrisy to the nth degree, but the most distressing thing of all is that liberals such as Dershowitz (who is still crying in his beer because his "good friend" Al Gore isn't leading the war on Iraq) claim they do not recognize any difference between "host" and "guest" populations. But if they did not, then all religions would be treated with equal sensitivity--which they obviously are not.

868 posted on 04/06/2003 11:21:46 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (G-d's laws or NONE!!!)
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To: aruanan
Thanks, aruanan!

It is a glorious quote. I've not yet read Mere Christianity but plan to before the summer's out.

869 posted on 04/07/2003 10:51:23 AM PDT by k2blader ("Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful." - C. S. Lewis)
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To: way2go
That's odd considering that people can purchase the Talmud online.

How many mdeieval anti-semitic lines can you spout before I impale you with my horns?

870 posted on 04/09/2003 8:19:12 PM PDT by rmlew ("Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.")
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To: Alex Murphy
shame I saw that I am surprised at you!
871 posted on 04/10/2003 3:31:10 PM PDT by restornu ("FREEDOM is not America's gift to the world; it is God's gift to humanity." George W.- Bush 2003)
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To: restornu; Illbay
Just making an observation that the word and topic kept creeping into his posts for a time. Was it coincidental, or not? I don't know - that's why I made the observation. Apparently the poster knows he was engaging in foul language, thus the substitution of ***s when he posted it. Thankfully, someone washed his mouth out with soap, and the language has since subsided a bit.
872 posted on 04/10/2003 3:47:47 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (Athanasius contra mundum!)
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