The Uninspired Manifesto
Saturday, July 28, 2007
They Hate You For A Reason
U.S. Hindu organizations are urging presidential candidates to denounce the protesters who disrupted the Senate as the first-ever Hindu opening prayer was being delivered this month.
Ante Nedlko Pavkovic, Katherine Lynn Pavkovic and Christan Renee Sugar -- identified in the Christian media as a couple and their daughter -- were removed from the Senate floor and arrested by Capitol Police on July 12 after they began shouting, "This is an abomination," and asking for forgiveness from God.
The three, from Davidson, N.C., were arrested and charged with disrupting Congress, a misdemeanor.
A brief prayer was then delivered by Rajan Zed, a chaplain from Reno who was invited by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.).
Several Christian organizations spoke out against the prayer, before and after it was delivered. The American Family Association circulated a petition, urging its members to contact their senator to protest the prayer. "This is not a religion that has produced great things in the world," it read. The Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Rescue/Operation Save America issued a statement saying the prayer placed "the false god of Hinduism on a level playing field with the One True God, Jesus Christ."
Although the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington issued a statement July 17 saying its members were "deeply saddened" by the interruption, no senators present spoke out against it publicly, according to the Hindu American Foundation and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
Both organizations said they are disappointed with the legislators, and they sent letters this week to presidential candidates and senators, asking them to condemn the incident.
"We call on you to follow the example set by [Reid] and take a stance in defense of religious freedom and equality, in the face of opposition from extremists and fundamentalists," the ISKCON letter said.
A focus of the Christian organizations was the perception that Hindus are polytheistic. "Our national motto isn't 'In gods we trust,' " Janet L. Folger, president of Faith2Action, said the day before the Senate prayer.
However, the U.S. Hindu groups say this criticism reflects ignorance of the monotheistic underpinnings of their faith. Hinduism has many deities, all manifestations of one god.
Although there were only three protesters, said Ishani Chowdhury, executive director of the Hindu American Foundation, "if you look at it as a reflection of a larger number of people . . . we need people to condemn what happened and highlight the need for dialogue."
First of all, I don't support prayer of any kind in the US Senate, being an obvious conflict with the constitution, but this issue brings up an even bigger 'Church-State Seperation' issue. When any one religion is favored over others, people are going to be offended. Just because the majority of the population is christian at this point in time, doesn't mean that can't eventually change. So what would happen to all those fundameltal xians if the population became overwhelmingly Jewish or Hindu? Would you just abandon your faith because its no longer the most popular? You have to learn to stop looking at what benefits you personally and fucking think about everyone else.
There's something inherently wrong with your beliefs and yourself personally if you feel that any expression of religion contrary to your own needs to be protested. I hate a lot of things that these assholes do. I hate it when some 'morally right' christian blows up an abortion clinic in 'The name of God'. I hate it when they hold up signs on street corners warning about the 'dangers of homosexuality'. I hate how there are three fucking 24-hour christian television networks in my cable package, yet they get pissed off when PBS wants to run an atheist tv show at two in the mother fucking morning! You know what I do? I write a couple blog posts to vent my anger, and fall the fuck asleep, because you fucking douchebags that want to opress everyone who disagrees with you are the REAL threat to our way of life. The sooner you learn that and change your ways, the beter off the entire world will be.