Sunday, December 04, 2005

Indy's Response to the Statehouse Ban on Sect-Specific Prayer

Gary Varvel, whose serves as the Star’s resident Idiot Christian, has sparked quite a debate through his Expresso entry in which he claims that sect-specific prayer should be allowed during House of Representatives business because if someone doesn’t like something, they can simply turn the channel.

This is Mikal Belicove’s response:
…”When the Indiana House of Representatives sanctions a prayer of any kind, it IS an implicit sanction of that particular religion verses another. One can not simply 'change the channel' as you suggest (unless of course they were to get up and walk out of the room, which no one should have to do, ever, when sitting in a state's legislative chamber).”

Further, there are a number of staff members of the legislature who are required to be on the floor or monitor each and every House Session. To get up and leave because they preferred not to pray would be equivalent to disobeying boss’s orders. There are also visitors, educational groups, and clubs who come to watch legislation in action. Can a 4th-grader get up and leave his class if he becomes offended? Certainly not. I’m sure nobody would like their Christian children coming home from a field trip at the Statehouse and telling their parents that they were wrong all along, and Bahá’u’lláh is the Messenger of God. And that they know this to be true because the preacher at the Statehouse said so.

The Varvelist portion of society wrote in mostly complaining of persecution of the Christian majority and the attempt of the left to undermine the fact that we are a “Christian Nation.”

Randy Clark says, “The name of Jesus is what this country was founded on!! Why did the people of England want to leave? Because they were tired of being told how to worship.”

Allow me to paraphrase: The country was founded by people who fled England because their government had backed one religion which was different from their own. So the country was founded on the idea that government-mandated religion was bad. Which directly contradicts the statement that the country was founded on the name of Jesus. [If this is true, why was the U.S. not named Jesusland? Or The United States of Christendom?]

By the way, the government-backed religion was Anglicanism, which also worships Jesus and is simply a form of Christianity that was thought by Puritans to be “too Catholic.” If, in fact, the roots of this country are defined solely by the flight of Puritans from England, then the country is as much based on NOT worshipping Jesus as it is on worshipping Jesus. Even though the Puritans believed in the same god as the Anglicans, (listen closely), they still felt it was wrong for their government to force them to worship him.

Finally, in the 13 original colonies that ratified the Constitution, there were various religious sects including Puritans, Quakers, Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, Baptists, and (gasp) Anglicans. So even the church that the original immigrants fled had representation in the forming of the Constitution. As did Jews, who certainly would not have argued for a country founded on the name of Jesus.

For all you who believe that the country should be allowed to mandate religion as long as it is *your* religion, consider this: with the constantly changing population in this country, there may be a day when Christianity is no longer the majority religion. By your reasoning, it would be okay for the new majority, say the Baha’is, to pray to your grandchildren or great-grandchildren in a government forum, or to teach their beliefs about the origins of life to your grandchildren in a public school. In that day, when you stir in your grave hearing your descendents reciting words that you consider blasphemous, then get back to me and let me know if you believe that it is okay to impose the religion of the majority on the rest of the country.


Blogger Marti said...

I don't even read Varvel's crap anymore. He typifies the average Christian who on one hand asks you to think about the possible alternatives (Intelligent Design) but when the subject is religion there is no room for a alternative thought.

9:39 AM  
Blogger torporific said...

Yeah, I read that nutbag Varvel's blog too. I was struck by this statement as well.

Randy Clark says, “The name of Jesus is what this country was founded on!! Why did the people of England want to leave? Because they were tired of being told how to worship.”

Surely, this guy did not think before he posted that.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Jezebella said...

Which brings the question, does Gary Varvel think before he posts?

11:58 PM  

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