Idaho Legislator Demands Exclusive Christian Privilege

And we have yet another example of a Christian legislator demanding that only Christians be allowed to deliver invocations at legislative sessions. It’s in Idaho this time, where a Hindu priest was scheduled to give the pre-session Senate prayer on Tuesday.

A North Idaho senator is objecting to allowing a Hindu prayer as the opening invocation for the Idaho Senate on Tuesday morning, and says he’ll walk out.

Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, said, “They have a caste system. They worship cows.”

And you believe in talking snakes, burning bushes that speak and lots of other ridiculous things too.

He acknowledged the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows any kind of prayer, but said he thinks the Hindu one shouldn’t be allowed to open the Senate, as the United States was “built on the Judeo-Christian not only religion but work ethic, and I don’t want to see that undermined.”

“I’m very supportive of the way this country was built, and I don’t want us to move away from it,” Vick declared…

Vick took to social media over the weekend to vent his displeasure about the plan for a Hindu prayer in the Senate, telling his Facebook followers, “I am working to get it stopped.”

He told The Spokesman-Review on Monday he’s had strong support from his North Idaho constituents for his stand. “They’ve all been supportive of the effort to not allow the Hindu prayer in the Senate chambers,” he said.

“It goes back to my concern about the way this country was built, if you compare it to a country that was built on the Hindu faith,” Vick said. He said allowing the prayer could “send a message we’re not happy with the way America is.”

Yeah, having a Hindu priest give an invocation before a group of bored legislators in a backwater state is going to undermine the American work ethic. I’m sure that’s exactly what will happen. Again I say: Can we please stop electing morons to public office?

Update: Seven Republicans walked out on it Tuesday morning.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • maddog1129

    1. The “way this country was built” was to allow people to believe differently from one another, as in liberty of conscience. Why don’t these people know that?

    2. At least if the Republican reps walked out, that means that they didn’t stop the Hindu prayer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    “built on the Judeo-Christian not only religion but work ethic, and I don’t want to see that undermined.”

    So, he’s saying Hindus are lazy. Nice.

  • seashell

    “I’m very supportive of the way this country was built, and I don’t want us to move away from it,” So slavery? is that what you are saying?

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    The Judeo-Christian work ethic of enslaving people and having them do your labour for you.

  • Sastra

    Some of them also walked out on humanist Herb Silverman, who gave a great secular and alternative invocation.

    From my perspective as an atheist a Christian objecting to a Hindu prayer looks particularly petty. Jeez, it’s religion; it’s God; it’s basically all the same pious faith crapola.

    But sure, go ahead and argue amongst yourselves. It helps to create the safeguards which accidentally end up protecting us.

  • Johnny Vector

    In all fairness, as Madison said about Jefferson’s bill for the same, religious freedom applies to the “Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.” He didn’t say anything about Hindus.

  • cptdoom

    They have a caste system. They worship cows.

    And you protest that by declaring he’s not good enough for a ceremonial role in this country. I believe that’s what we call ironic.

  • dugglebogey

    I’m interested in what this man from Idaho knows about the work ethic amongst people in India.

    Can we get him to expand on this knowledge?

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    “I’m very supportive of the way this country was built, and I don’t want us to move away from it,” Vick declared…

    …”that’s why,” Vick continued, “I support testing every legislative chaplain in the country to make sure they would never permit a guest chaplain in any legislative chamber unless that guest was a sincere Judeo-Christian believer in Jesus Christ, Son of God. A legislative chaplaincy is an office of significant public trust. We can’t convey these willy-nilly without a religious test if we want to remain true to the founding national vision of the United States of America, as expressed in 1 Kings and the Mayflower Compact.

    “Our own Idaho Constitution declares: ‘nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.’ We must never move away from these founding principles, and such movement is at terrible risk if we don’t pass legislation now that prevents pagan religionists from corrupting our most trusted governmental officials.”

    David Barton later named Vick the state legislator “truest to the Constitution” of any with whom he had ever won a national Lacrosse championship.

    “When Vick scored the national championship winning goal – a three pointer from outside the 10 yard line – off of my assist, I could only thank God himself. It was a measure of Vick’s devotion, and mine, that we took up a game originally played with crucifixes Justinian’s Rome. Saint Augustine himself played in a Lacrosse match to honor Justinian’s passing. I could think of no better honor we could do to our white, European heritage than play this sport conceived in honor of (and prophesied by!) Jesus Christ himself. In that moment, I remember I said to Vick that he was going to accomplish more in the name of our Constitution and Country than anyone since Abraham Lincoln, the man who famously signed the Declaration of Independence and then founded the Republican Party when the Democrat party banned the whigs in an attempt to preserve slavery for the economy of the North against the wishes of all the good folk of the South at the time.

    “And now, the words God gave to me in that moment of celebration have come true with Vick’s courageous stand in Boise. When the Anti-Christ comes, I would trust Vick with my life and soul as soon as I would trust Jesus Christ himself.”

  • Dave Maier

    To be fair, Christianity IS the one true faith.

    (if Modus will let me borrow his signature phrase, “to be fair”).

  • coffeehound

    Great. At least he’s one of the only Republicans willing to admit he’s actively working to subvert the Constitution. Don’t let the door hit you and all that….

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    “They have a caste system. They worship cows.”

    I assume he’s talking about Texans?

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Seriously, though – we need legislators who know what they’re doing enough that they don’t need to start their sessions with a prayer.

    I prefer knowledge and self-confidence.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    maddog1129 @ 1

    Actually, the “way this country was built” was to allow a bunch of slave-owning, white businessmen to get out of paying some taxes and to steal land from the Indians. The Enlightenment-era rhetoric was just a facade.

  • John Pieret

    Johnny Vector @ 6:

    For future reference, that phrase comes from Jefferson’s Autobiography:

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/jeffauto.asp

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Hindu? More like Hindon’t, amirite?

     

    He said allowing the prayer could ‘send a message we’re not happy with the way America is.’

    If he’s happy with the way America is, he should abandon his then-unnecessary seat in the then-unnecessary State Legislature.

     

    Dave Maier “(if Modus will let me borrow his signature phrase, ‘to be fair’).”

    To be fair, I have no hold on it, as I undoubtedly stole it from someone else.

  • Johnny Vector

    John Pieret @ 15:

    Shoot. That’s what I initially thought, but I wasn’t sure so I looked it up. Then I skipped a line while reading, jumping over the close-quote at the end of Madison’s comment and the attribution to Jefferson of the phrase I was looking for.

    I blame Japan, for being on the other side of the world. Or airplanes, or circadian cycles, or something. I’m just gonna put my head down on my keyboard now and catch some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Steve Sirhan

    150 years ago today, Abraham Lincoln rejected that we’re a “city on a hill,” that we’re “divinely anointed,” or, by extension, that something like American exceptionalism is true: http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2015/03/lincoln-rejects-american-exceptionalism.html

  • Childermass

    Maybe we should outsource the jobs of Republican state senators to India. Not only will they will do the job for a fraction of the cost, but we can be sure that we will get some very hard working people doing the work. If being stupid is a qualification for office, I’m sure we can find some really dumb people in India as it is a far larger country.

  • naturalcynic

    So, he’s saying Hindus are lazy. Nice. That’s why there are so many octors, professors and IT execs.

    And Idaho is right next to Montana where they worship sheep [nervous sheep].

  • howardhershey

    “It goes back to my concern about the way this country was built, if you compare it to a country that was built on the Hindu faith,”

    As I understand it, the country with the largest Hindu population is, just like the U.S., an *imperfect* democracy. And one with substantial minority of Muslims as well as Sikhs and Christians, all of whom have some (albeit imperfect) degree of religious freedom.

  • Chiroptera

    “It goes back to my concern about the way this country was built…”

    …by exploiting the labor of slaves kidnapped from other countries, and by taking the land from the indigenous inhabitants.

    “…if you compare it to a country that was built on the Hindu faith…”

    …and then conquored and heavily exploited by a country that was built on the Christian faith.

  • Trebuchet

    And Idaho is right next to Montana where they worship sheep [nervous sheep].

    Hey, be nice to my natal state! Which used to be kind of liberal. Heck, Max Baucus, who pushed Obamacare through the US Senate, is from Montana. And sheep are more of a Wyoming thing, I think.

    Besides, this clown is from North Idaho, home of Nazis and in the Pacific Time Zone. Montana is in Mountain Time, like southern Idaho, AKA North Utah.

    Which reminds me, do they allow Mormons to do prayers in their legislature? They aren’t exactly Christian either. But I bet the make up around 50% of that legislature.

  • pixiedust

    “They worship cows.”

    Which is so much sillier than worshiping something called the Holy Ghost.

  • lorn

    “send a message we’re not happy with the way America is.”

    Because we wouldn’t want anyone to claim that the US is anything but absolutely perfect.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1159674804 robertbaden

    How welcoming of Jews were xtians in the early United States?

  • U Frood

    Don’t they try to say it doesn’t hurt non-Christian children if they have to listen to school-official-led prayer in school?

  • lorn

    robertbaden @ 26:

    “How welcoming of Jews were xtians in the early United States?”

    As I understand it George Washington commented on the number of Jews in his army doing their part.

    Evidently, based upon this and other mentions, Buddhists and Hindus were also present in colonial America.

  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    Seven Republicans walked out on it Tuesday morning.

    Can you imagine the uproar if Jews, Hindus, Muslims, atheists, etc. walked out on a Xtian invocation?

  • matty1

    Well if it were me, I would probably not walk out but just arrive after any invocation. I don’t think it’s the proper business of a legislature. Then again I’m also against what I call ‘this house likes cake’ resolutions that have no effect but to express a vague opinion. I.e voting to congratulate a successful athlete or send birthday wishes to a foreign leader

  • Anri

    He’s not saying that foreign brown-skinned people are lazy, he’s just saying…

    … um…

    … hunh, that’s pretty much exactly what he’s saying, carry on.

  • ospalh

    I am working to get it stopped.

    Afaiks there is one way to get a Hindu invocation stopped, and i’m all for it:

    Make sure there are no invocation at all, by anybody.

  • caseloweraz

    Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, said, “They have a caste system. They worship cows.”

    Much better to worship bull — eh, Mr. Vick?

    He acknowledged the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows any kind of prayer, but said he thinks the Hindu one shouldn’t be allowed to open the Senate, as the United States was “built on the Judeo-Christian not only religion but work ethic, and I don’t want to see that undermined.”

    What is the Judeo-Christian work ethic? Is that anything like the U.S. Congress work ethic?

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    @ 30,

    That’s my strategy. When I can’t avoid some occasion that begins with mumbling to an invisible sky monster and/or pledging fealty to a rectangle of brightly colored cloth, I make sure I’m a good five to 10 minutes late so as to avoid the histrionics.