Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

In gods we trust

Posted by Ron Coleman on July 12, 2007


Three people were arrested Thursday after staging a noisy protest as a Hindu chaplain read the opening prayer at the US Senate, branding his appearance an “abomination.”US Capitol Police said the protestors, apparently Christian religious activists, were ejected from the chamber and charged with an unlawful disruption of Congress.

As Hindu chaplain Rajan Zed started to recite his prayer, one protestor was heard chanting “Lord … forgive us father for allowing a prayer which is an abomination in your sight.

“You are the one, true living God.”

pantheon-interior.jpgThis is an interesting dilemma. It is certainly problematic to say that we will have monotheistic chaplains leading the prayer in the Senate, but not ones that are otherwise. But most religious Christians and Jews believe in a religious creed that does not teach toleration of non-monotheistic religions — this speaks not of people in a pluralistic society, who are to be afforded respect, but of theologies.

I guess the answer, though, is easy. No more clergymen or clergypersons in official roles in the Capitol. If that’s where we are today, better to do without.

Interestingly enough, however, the Ron Coleman solution, as obvious as it sounds, will not be the policy any time soon. Hoary custom provides for these invocations. But how long until the Wiccans have their morning on the podium? For that matter, how about the IRS’s favorite religion, the Church of Scientology? The Aryan Brotherhood?

I’m not trying to insult Hindus, who practice the world’s third largest religion. I am saying there is no obvious dividing line, now that the pantheon is open to all comers, between religions that may demand their moment on stage. Yet this does not elevate all religions — it debases them. They stand for different things, notwithstanding fiddle-faddle about the “Golden Rule.” This is the curse of ecumenicism: If they are going to all get up there and pronounce the Golden Rule (would Scientologists?) then, for Heaven’s sake, let’s just send up Tony Robbins or Jay Leno and at least be entertained.

Maybe Congress will come around to my point of view on this, after all.


One Response to “In gods we trust”

  1. Bob Miller said

    Based on its recent un-productivity, we could reasonably tell Congress to take a permanent vacation, and thereby make the invocation problem go away. We could pay Members of Congress as we pay farmers not to grow stuff.

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