Gimme A Break Already
Yesterday, crazed Talibangelicals attacked
en masse … er, in a group of three, bringing the Senate to a halt … well, slowing it down a tad, before being dragged away by shrieking harpies and flying monkeys … er, by security.
The problem? A Hindu priest offering the morning invocation.
Oh, the horror!
From TPM Election Central:
The three protesters, who all belong to the Christian Right anti-abortion group Operation Save America, and who apparently traveled to Washington all the way from North Carolina, interrupted by loudly asking for God’s forgiveness for allowing the false prayer of a Hindu in the Senate chamber.
“Lord Jesus, forgive us father for allowing a prayer of the wicked, which is an abomination in your sight,” the first protester began.
“This is an abomination,” he continued. “We shall have no other gods before You.”
The group these Talibangelicals belong to issued a press release:
Theology Moved to the Senate and was Arrested
Theology has moved from the church house onto the floor of the United States Senate, and has been arrested.
Ante Pavkovic, Kathy Pavkovic, and Kristen Sugar were all arrested in the chambers of the United States Senate as that chamber was violated by a false Hindu god. The Senate was opened with a Hindu prayer placing the false god of Hinduism on a level playing field with the One True God, Jesus Christ. This would never have been allowed by our Founding Fathers.
“Not one Senator had the backbone to stand as our Founding Fathers stood. They stood on the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Ummmm…… No. (Or “Sadly, No!” – to coin a phrase)
Our Founding Fathers, especially John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and many others, believed religion held no place in the workings of government.
In 1831, the Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson had this to say, in a sermon given in Albany NY:
“The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in Christianity….
“Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism.”
To wit, Thomas Jefferson:
Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination. [my emphasis]
– Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.
– Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.
– Notes on Virginia, 1782
I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians.
– Letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 (Richard Price had written to TJ on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion and wrote “Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?”)
Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
– Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814
As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?
– Letter to FA Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816
I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved — the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!
– Letter to Thomas Jefferson
“Checks and Ballances, Jefferson, however you and your Party may have derided them, are our only Security, for the progress of Mind, as well as the Security of Body. Every Species of these Christians would persecute Deists, as soon as either Sect would persecute another, if it had unchecked and unballanced Power. Nay, the Deists would persecute Christians, and Atheists would persecute Deists, with as unrelenting Cruelty, as any Christians would persecute them or one another. Know thyself, human Nature!”
– Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 25 June 1813
Among many other weighty objections to the Measure, it has been suggested, that it has a tendency to introduce religious disputes into the Army, which above all things should be avoided, and in many instances would compel men to a mode of Worship which they do not profess.
– Letter to John Hancock [then-president of Congress] in 1777, opposing a Congressional plan to appoint brigade chaplains in the Continental Army
…Freedom arises from the multiplicity of sects, which prevades America and which is the best and only security for religious liberty in any society. For where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest.
– Spoken at the Virginia convention on ratifying the Constitution, June 1778
What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not. [emphasis mine]
– Address to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785
The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.
– Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec 3, 1821
If Christian preachers had continued to teach as Christ and his Apostles did, without salaries, and as the Quakers now do, I imagine tests would never have existed; for I think they were invented, not so much to secure religion itself, as the emoluments of it. When a religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one. [emphasis mine]
– To Richard Price (a Friend, or Quaker), 9 October 1780
The faith you mention has doubtless its use in the world; I do not desire to see it diminished, nor would I endeavour to lessen it in any man. But I wish it were more productive of good works than I have generally seen it: I mean real good works, works of kindness, charity, mercy, and publick spirit; not holiday-keeping, sermon-reading or hearing, performing church ceremonies, or making long prayers, filled with flatteries or compliments, despised even by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the deity. […]
Your great Master thought much less of these outward appearances and professions than many of his modern disciples. He preferred the doers of the word to the mere hearers; the son that seemingly refused to obey his Father and yet performed his commands, to him that professed his readiness but neglected the works; the heretical but charitable Samaritan, to the uncharitable though orthodox priest and sanctified Levite; and those who gave food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, raiment to the naked, entertainment to the stranger, and relief to the sick, etc. though they never heard of his name, he declares shall in the last day be accepted, when those who cry Lord, Lord; who value themselves on their faith though great enough to perform miracles but have neglected good works shall be rejected. [emphasis mine]
– To Joseph Huey, 6 June 1753