Friday, July 13, 2007

So much for religious tolerance...

Yesterday, for the first time, the daily prayer that opens Senate proceedings was recited by a Hindu chaplain.

One would think the recital of a Hindu prayer on the Senate floor would be a wonderful statement about the diversity and tolerance that make the United States great, especially considering that over 750,000 thousand Americans are practicing Hindus. Unfortunately, some people in the Senate gallery didn't see it that way:
Capitol police said two women and one man were arrested and charged with causing a disruption in the public gallery of the Senate. The three started shouting when guest Chaplain Rajan Zed, a Hindu from Nevada, began his prayer.

They shouted "No Lord but Jesus Christ" and "There's only one true God," and used the term "abomination."

While it would be correct to characterize these three hecklers as fringe lunatics, the sad fact is that they are merely representatives of the tens of millions of Christian fundamentalists throughout this country whose understanding of "freedom of religion" means their freedom to prevent everyone else from practicing any religion other than their own. Yesterday's outburst was not an isolated incident, but rather just another instance in an ongoing campaign by these zealots to intimidate, bully and harrass anyone whose beliefs they deem to be unacceptable.

It's really rather disgusting. And disturbing. Especially when you consider that these theofascists (let's call them what they are, shall we?) are well-organized, and well-funded, and constitute a major base of support to one of this nation's two major political parties.

Land of the free, indeed.

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