Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Invocation Intemperance: State-Sponsored Prayer Rankles In Hawaii And Oklahoma

The earlier part of this article from AU discusses developments in the Hawaii legislature.

Here is the pertinent Oklahoma portion---

Meanwhile, a March 1 invocation (that was really a sermon) before the Oklahoma House of Representatives has been making the rounds on YouTube. Pastor Bill Ledbetter of Fairview Baptist Church launched into a “Christian nation” rant replete with bad history, attacks on church-state separation, assaults on evolution and legal abortion and a declaration that Americans was “founded in the person of Christ and his word, the Bible.”

Ledbetter just goes on and on. It’s a remarkable fountain of ignorance and intolerance – and it was greeted with prolonged applause and a standing ovation.

Americans United has been challenging government’s use of prayers (which are usually Christian) before meetings in court lately and having success. Our opponents in the Religious Right say we’re being extreme and trying to drive every vestige of religion out of public life.

In response, I can only point to the recent incidents in Hawaii and Oklahoma. Is this really the kind of country you want to live in? Do you want an America where people who protest actions they believe are unconstitutional are mauled and where extreme fundamentalist ministers are invited by government to spew narrow-mindedness and hate in your name?

That’s not the America that Americans United supports. We will continue our efforts to prevent the halls of government from being converted into houses of worship.

1 comment:

  1. Here is a link to a letter sent to Speaker of the House, Kris Steel from the Freedom from Religion Foundatin, pointing out the clear violation of the First Amendment presented by having religions invocations and devotions at the opening of House sessions.

    The letter includes a complete trancript of Rev. Ledbetter's prayer and sermon.


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