Common Dreams NewsCenter

We Can't Do It Without You!
 

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

Home > Progressive Community > NewsWire > For Immediate Release
   
Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
   
Americans United for the Separation of Church & State: Disruption Of Hindu Chaplain's Senate Prayer Shows Religious Right's Intolerance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 12, 2007
12:20 PM

CONTACT: Americans United for the Separation of Church & State
Email: Joe Conn
or Call: (202) 466-3234

 
Disruption Of Hindu Chaplain's Senate Prayer Shows Religious Right's Intolerance
Religious Right Activists Want Government To Reflect Only Their Faith, Says AU's Lynn
 

WASHINGTON - JULY 12 - Religious Right Activists Want Government To Reflect Only Their Faith, Says AU’s Lynn

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today deplored the disruption by Religious Right activists of a Hindu chaplain’s prayer to open the U.S. Senate.

“This shows the intolerance of many Religious Right activists,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “They say they want more religion in the public square, but it’s clear they mean only their religion.

“America is a land of extraordinary religious diversity, and the Religious Right just can’t seem to accept that fact,” Lynn continued. “I don’t think the Senate should open with prayers, but if it’s going to happen, the invocations ought to reflect the diversity of the American people.”

Hindu Chaplain Rajan Zed, a Nevada resident, gave the opening prayer in the Senate at the invitation of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). As he began his remarks, two protestors interrupted the proceedings, asking for forgiveness from Jesus Christ for the “abomination” of failing to pray to the “one true God.” (The sergeant-at-arms had to restore order.)

Religious Right groups have been agitating against the Hindu leader’s prayer since it was announced. The Rev. Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association has asked his members to complain to their senators about the invitation. The group’s news service reported that “Christian nation” activist David Barton said that Hinduism has few followers in the United States and that prayer to a “non-monotheistic god” is “outside the American paradigm.”

Said AU’s Lynn, “The Religious Right promotes a deeply skewed version of American history. Our founders wanted separation of church and state and full religious liberty for all faith traditions. The episode today shows we still have a ways to go to achieve that goal.”

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

###

Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

The press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community. If you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information, please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)

Making News?
Read our Guidelines for Submitting News Releases

CommonDreams.org is an Internet-based progressive news and grassroots activism organization, founded in 1997.
We are a nonprofit, progressive, independent and nonpartisan organization.

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.


www.commondreams.org