Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hindu Prayers and Protests on the Senate Floor

Kali, the Hindu Goddess of destruction and the female part of the god Shiva, who along with Rama and Vishnu make up the highest rung of Hindu gods.


Last week for the first time the Senate was opened with Hindu prayer. Specifically a Hindu prayer with a pantheistic view of reality. Three Christians in the senate gallery protested by praying while the Hindu was praying. They were quickly apprehended by the sergeant at arms and escorted out. It is not known if they will face any other legal repercussions.

My first two impulses were contradictory: 1) As a believer in the one true God of the Bible and of our Founders, I felt that the Senate had once again shamed itself and 2) those Christians should not have tried to interrupt that Hindu, because freedom of religion means freedom for everyone to practice their religion. Those were my first impulses, but I have turned it over in my mind and I think the matter is more complex than that....

To find the right answers, one must first ask the right questions. Question one: Why would the Senate invite a pantheistic Hindu to open their session with prayer? What do they mean to say by doing this? Since no Senators were Hindus, it could not have been an act of real faith from some member of that body. Answer: The act of bringing in a Hindu to pray can mean nothing other than to show that the Senate believes that all gods should be treated "equally". That of course can only mean that they should all be equally irrelevant to the Senators whose unbiblical policies are taking this nation to ruin.

Some members of the Senate may prefer a "pantheistic view of God" as it allows them to consider themselves gods too- a view I suspect many now have. They like that much better than the Founder's view that rights were God-given, not state granted. The Founder's view limits what government can do to it's citizens, and is therefore an obstacle to their plans for us.

The parading of pagan "holy men" does not represent real acts of faith by the senators, but rather these are symbolic acts designed to underline their position that the God of the Bible has no special place in our nation. He is but one god of many, all quaint and none relevant. The new gods are the god-men senators themselves. Now that all supernatural powers have been dismissed, the new highest power is the state. They need no pantheon of gods, for in their minds the Senate itself is a pantheon of gods.

This defiant posture is a threat to the liberties and rights of every single American; Hindu, Christian, Jew or atheist. It is well known that the signers of our Constitution held that rights came from God. While not everyone of them were traditional Christian, none of them were pantheists. The vast majority would be considered "Christian Right" in today's environment.

Even Jefferson, the one who had the most deist leanings, said "I consider the teachings of Jesus Christ to be divinely inspired", and "Can the rights of the people remain long secure once we have removed their only firm basis? That they are the gift of God?". Even the ones with a vague idea of God still thought there was one God, we were not Him, and His moral order was equal to or very much like that of the God of the Bible. That was the context under which they felt it was "self-evident" that men are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights". The Hindu culture did not produce such a view of man, nor could it do so.

The Senate's rejection of God's sovereignty is a direct attack on the very basis of our rights as citizens of the United States. Regardless of whether or not the protesters should have interrupted the Hindu prayer, the members of the Senate responsible for this philosophical attack against the basis of all our liberties should be turned out of office. Harry Reid was the main culprit. In the long run, there is no way a man with a philosophy so badly flawed will produce public policy that is very good.

But was it OK for the protesters to interrupt? If the Hindu was praying in a public park or the town square, I can clearly say "no". Two wrongs don't make a right, and this was not how Jesus dealt with the pagans. But the protesters were not really protesting against the idea that Hindus also have the right to exercise their religion. They were protesting against the idea that the Senate no longer feels obligated to acknowledge that there is any god at all that is above them. They were protesting that the Senate was acting to free itself from the restraints of the God of the Bible on their conduct and view of government. I have now concluded that this was not an improper act because it was a civil protest against unrestrained government, not an attempt to suppress one's neighbor from practicing their faith as they see fit.

There is no place in our formal laws where the Senate is obligated to acknowledge the God of our Founders, nor should there be, but our system was designed to work on that basis. They can have a pantheistic pagan come pray, but they shouldn't have. Even the rights of Hindus are more secure when government officials understand and acknowledge that they are bound by accountability to the God of Scripture.


For a more detailed look at the balance between public officials and the acknowledgment of God here is a 25 minute audio file (or video file).....

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, good grief.


Some of the conclusions jumped to in this post are absurd.

7:21 PM, July 17, 2007  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Thanks for the in-depth analysis. You jumped to your conclusion that the post was "absurd" from point zero. You do not even attempt to give any supporting rationale for your conclusion. I at least attempt to explain how I come to my conclusions before I "jump" to them. When you give as much reason for your conclusions as I do, we can talk about it. Until then, your charge is hypocritical.

7:49 PM, July 17, 2007  
Blogger David said...

Your claim of pantheism is simply incorrect. The gods you refer to in Hinduism are merely aspects of Brahmin and Atman, an apparent duality 'joined' ultimately (though as they are two representations of the same thing that is impossible)in Advaita, or 'non-duality'. A single 'god', if you will. If you are to speak of a religion or way of life, please at the very least acquaint yourself with some basic knowledge of it beforehand! Please contact me at logosthedestroyer@gmail.com if you wish to discuss further. Thanks.

5:57 PM, September 23, 2007  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

David your issue is not with me, but with the Hindu representative that the Senate got to do the prayer. Though I cannot recall the language of the prayer at the time, I distinctly remember it was pantheistic in tone. Apparently, you are not the sole arbiter of what people claiming to be Hindu's believe! (and neither am I of course.)

8:23 PM, April 20, 2008  
Blogger the said...

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11:54 PM, August 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The crux of the argument, the bit about how "the Senate believes that all gods should be treated 'equally'" which, "of course can only mean that they should all be equally irrelevant" doesn't make sense to me. How does respecting multiple deities make them collectively irrelevant? If anything, it should heighten a sense of morality in our Senate because all faiths hold a message of virtue and integrity, and by acknowledging them, they are surrounding themselves with the words of many all advising them to make moral decisions. Also, as a note, pantheism means to worship all gods equally - as opposed to disregarding all gods equally. Pantheism also means to equate God with the forces of the Universe, which as the Creator, He kind of is. Which leads me to my second point.
The following paragraph, as well, doesn't make much sense: "Some members of the Senate may prefer a 'pantheistic view of God' as it allows them to consider themselves gods too". Perhaps I am just ignorant, but I do not know of any religion, modern or ancient, that claims humans are gods. There is a stark division between men and god in every formal belief system I have encountered. The suggestion that humans contain divinity within them, that is a different story, but the concept is comparable to people having souls and entitles no one to playing God and excuses no one from tyranny.
I guess what I'm getting at is that I still don't understand how a pantheistic Hindu prayer in the Senate can represent a lack of restraint and base immorality in our government. A unbalanced set of priorities in which money and power and personal ties are given too much consideration, well I somehow think those are the threads one should follow when complaining about our government. I apologize for the length of my argument, but I feel the point is one worth expanding upon to explain.

3:23 PM, September 27, 2009  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

"How does respecting multiple deities make them collectively irrelevant? If anything, it should heighten a sense of morality in our Senate because all faiths hold a message of virtue and integrity, and by acknowledging them, they are surrounding themselves with the words of many all advising them to make moral decisions."

They don't all preach the same message. There is no basis for agreement on what a "moral" decision is. A Thugee Hindu would have a very different idea of it than a Baptist, or even other Hindus.

7:43 PM, December 10, 2010  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Perhaps I am just ignorant, but I do not know of any religion, modern or ancient, that claims humans are gods.

Rome deified emperors. As did the Aztecs. As is the goal of Mormons today. As does the Dali Lama. Really there are too many to mention. It is extremely common for humans to attempt to turn other humans into gods.

7:47 PM, December 10, 2010  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I guess what I'm getting at is that I still don't understand how a pantheistic Hindu prayer in the Senate can represent a lack of restraint and base immorality in our government.

Giving all "gods" equal recognition is like giving all women equal recognition, it takes away from the moral authority of the one you are married to. No one "god's" precept are binding. That puts man back in the driver's seat as far as morality goes. Its where many want to sit, but they are headed for a crash.

7:50 PM, December 10, 2010  

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