***Update***: I spoke too soon. There was a protest, albeit a silent one:
What would Jesus do?
If he were a member of the Iowa Legislature, Rep. Rob Taylor believes he would peacefully protest the morning prayer being offered by a Wiccan priestess. So the West Des Moines Republican turned his back Thursday and prayed silently as Cedar Rapids Cabot witch Deborah Maynard prayed from the speaker’s podium to “god, goddess, universe, that which is greater than ourselves.”
Many of his colleagues chose not to attend the daily prayer, but Taylor said that after praying over it, he decided the appropriate response would be to “be in the presence of a prayer, but peacefully protest.”
Taylor, a Protestant Christian who has recently celebrated Easter, said he asked himself “what would Jesus do?”
“Jesus would be in the chamber, from my perspective, he would passively protest. Then he would seek that individual out and have peaceful conversation about why his way was the best way,” Taylor said.
That invocation took place this morning — and the House is still standing. You can check out the video here (starting at the 3:09 mark) or read the transcript below:
We call this morning to God, Goddess, universe, that which is greater than ourselves, to be with us here today.
By the Earth that is in our bones and centers us, may all here remember our roots and those we are here to represent.
By the fire that gives us light and passion, may all here remain passionate about the work that must be done for the people of Iowa.
By the air that gives us breath and logic, may all here find thoughtful solutions to the problems that are presented.
By the water that flows through our blood and stirs our emotions, may all here draw on that emotional intelligence which helps us to see the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
We call this morning to Spirit which is ever-present to help us respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Be with us and this legislative body, and guide them to seek justice, equity, and compassion in the work that is before them today.
Blessed be, Aho, and Amen.
As far as invocations go, an excellent job. And no one appeared to walk out or stage a protest. Success!
Once again, many thanks to Rep. Bennett for reaching out to a non-traditional voice. If politicians want invocations, might as well make them sit through ones that aren’t Christian.
(Thanks to Joe for the link)