Want Jesus out of government?

A Jewish lawmaker form Minnesota wants to take Jesus out of legislative sessions. Great, right? Not quite.

A Jewish Minnesota lawmaker is asking Senate leaders to allow only nondenominational prayers to open sessions, after feeling “highly uncomfortable” when a Baptist pastor repeatedly mentioned Jesus Christ and Christianity in one of the invocations.

Democratic Sen. Terri Bonoff says she wants Republican Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch to change the letter submitted to all visiting chaplains to say they are “required,” rather than “requested,” to make prayers nondenominational.

“I’m a very religious woman and believe deeply in God,” said Bonoff, of the Minneapolis suburb of Minnetonka. “We honor God in public and our political discourse, and that’s proper. But in doing a nondenominational prayer we are honoring him without violating the separation of church and state.”

Uh-huh. It’s not okay to prayer to Jesus because it makes people uncomfortable. But praying to God? Why, that’s just dandy. Who could that possibly offend? What part of the constitution could that possibly violate?

Bonoff is obviously a mental midget, but she still may be able to win this battle. She just needs to look at the system itself.

Koch said Wednesday she wouldn’t support such a requirement. She said the Senate invites leaders from numerous Christian and non-Christian faith traditions to pray, and notifies them that senators come from a diverse background. “I’m not going to get into the process of sort of editing prayer,” Koch said.

If senators can invite leaders from all sorts of organizations, Bonoff ought to invite an atheist leader. It’s Minnesota, get PZ Myers. Or any other atheist. It doesn’t matter. As long as the person proudly wears the label of “atheist”, all these Republican mooks will immediately start backtracking. Get the person to appear over and over; don’t let anyone think it’s just a one-time thing. Show the anti-constitutional Republicans that if they want to violate the separation of church and state by using government resources to promote religion, then they’re going to have to deal with the consequences of promoting views they don’t like. (Actually, the “consequences” would probably be very good, but I’m biased with my positive views of reason and rationality.)

3 Responses

  1. Since fundagelicals and right wing Republicans are taught from childhood to hate atheists, they will never invite one.

    A lecture from PZ Myers would be fun to watch.

  2. Additional comment to get notified.

  3. Asking an atheist to lead in prayer is like asking the Pope to lead a pro-choice rally. Atheist don’t believe in prayer and the Pope is decidedly pro life.

    An invocation is not a lecture but traditionally a prayer to a supernatural entity..God, Jesus, Allah, whomever. Just how would PZ rise to this challenge?…How about this:

    “We are assembled today to ask for guidance that our deliberations carry out God’s (Jesus, Allah, etc)plan on earth,. Some of us pray to God, or Jesus, or Allah. A rising number of us don’t believe in any supernatural being and look forward to using the guidance of our wisdom Intellect, and reason to assist us so that humanity’s cause will be furthered today.

    May each of us seek the guidance of our choice. Amen”

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