Sunday, July 29, 2007

The War on Krishna

It is always wise to start your legislative day with prayer, even if it is to a false god.

Recently the US Senate invited a Hindu clergyman, Rajan Zed, to offer the opening prayer on the Senate floor. As Rev. Zed began his invocation of “the Deity Supreme,” he was interrupted by followers of the Supreme Deity, Jesus Christ.

Three members of the Christian group Operation Save America/Operation Rescue, were taken away in handcuffs after shouting “This is an abomination!” and “No lord but Jesus Christ!” in an attempt to silence Zed and protect America from idolatry.

According to the July 27th issue of The Week, Operation Save America/Operation Rescue denounced Zed for “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.”

They may have a point. If living in a religiously free country means that all gods are created equal, how are we to know which gods are worthy of prayer, and which are not? The Senate seems to be saying, “We don’t care which god you worship as long as you worship some god,” reminiscent of the national campaign in the fifties encouraging people to worship in “the church or synagogue of your choice.” No one seemed to care which church you attended, or if you preferred synagogue to church, they just felt more comfortable knowing that you spent some part of each week in some kind of Judeo–Christian house of prayer.

The problem is that if all gods are equal, no god is God. The Bible certainly rejects any idea of a level playing field for gods. Even if you argue that in the early books of the Bible God exists among other lesser gods, you have to admit that God is superior to them, and wherever possible smashes them to bits and slaughters those who worship them. And it is certainly true in the Bible that whenever someone tries to bring another god into the Temple of God things get pretty violent; so why bring these lesser gods into the Senate of the United States?

If the Senators really don’t care which god they pray to, then their prayers are hypocritical and should be ended. But I think they are sincere, so my suggestion is this: the Senate should suspend their official prayer until they first decide which god is God at which time they can resume their prayers and limit them to that god. A simple up or down vote should suffice.

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