I wrote about a Hindu man who was delivering the opening prayer in the US Senate this morning– and the Christian Right’s reaction to it.
Here’s video of the event (via Talking Points Memo):
Man… I feel bad for Rajan Zed. He looked so flustered! 🙁
Those protesters were “three activists from the Christian Right anti-abortion group Operation Save America.” The activists were Ante and Katherine Pavkovic and Kristen Sugar. They were all arrested. Some background on them can be found here.
They’re part of an anti-abortion group? Maybe I missed the part of the video when Zed performed a D & E… but I’ll watch it again.
The group’s leader, Rev. Flip Benham, said this about the disruption:
“What we have here is just a wonderful example of Christian theology becoming biography in the sacred chamber of the United States Senate, as a Hindu was offering up a prayer to open up the session this morning. And the folks that were there [the Pavkovics] … waited for the Senate, or a Senator with a backbone, to remind the Hindu that there is one God who made this country great, and his name is Jesus.”
After no Senator tried to stop Zed from speaking, the disruptions began.
Here’s one more bit of inspiration from Benham:
“When you stand up and are arrested, and the Hindu is allowed to go free, this country has gone upside-down,” Benham added — though when asked, he later clarified that he does not believe people of other religions should be arrested for their beliefs. “Now, why are Hindus allowed here? Why are Muslims allowed here? Because we are a nation that’s free, built upon the principles of almighty God.”
For what it’s worth: The angry press release urging people to call their Senators in disgust was put out by the American Family Association and its leader Tim Wildmon.
Wildmon had this to say to CNN: “We would not ever encourage shouting in the gallery like that; we asked people to contact their Senators to show their disapproval.”
(Thanks to Siamang for the video link!)
[tags]atheist, atheism, Hindu, Rajan Zed, Senate, Talking Points Memo, Christian, fundamentalist, anti-abortion, Operation Save America, Ante Pavkovic, Katherine Pavkovic, Kristen Sugar, Flip Benham, Jesus, God, Muslim, American Family Association, Tim Wildmon, CNN[/tags]