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Other “Sensibilities” Pt II-How ‘Bout Hinduism?

Scott on July 13, 2007 at 9:57 am

Yesterday I quickly highlighted two examples of Muslim/Islamic “sensibilities” being accommodated within the public educational system of the U.S. I wondered if/how such accommodation threatens our roots and position as a nation whose foundations are grounded within the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Today pondering about “sensibilities” leads me to wonder about the philosophy of multiculturalism that has lead Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to invite a Hindu clergyman to offer the Senate’s morning prayer on Thursday, July 12th. His prayer began:

“We meditate on the transcendental glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the Earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of the heaven. May He stimulate and illuminate our minds.”

In the spirit of full disclosure, I grew up around Eastern mysticism. I am familiar with Eastern mysticism. I believe that Eastern mysticism is a load of crap for a variety of reasons. Thus, I felt a huge cry of “Oh, Brother!” rise up from within my bowels when I read this guys prayer. That being said, I am also somewhat skeptical about the three Christian protesters who disrupted the prayer by shouting out pronouncements and declarations that included:

“Lord Jesus, forgive us, Father, for allowing the prayer of the wicked, which is an abomination in your sight.”

“You shall have no other gods before you.”

“We are Christians and patriots.”

“No Lord but Jesus Christ.”

“There’s only one true God.”

We may be a nation founded upon Christian ideals by people looking for religious and political freedom influenced by those ideals…but we aren’t a “Christian” nation. Our nation hasn’t been ordained and anointed by God to inherit the mantle once held by Israel as God’s “chosen people.” The United States is an amazing country, the brightest political and societal light in the world. But we are still just what we have always been, a country…a political entity.  We are not a body of Christian believers, so it’s not like the Hindu clergyman was invited to offer a prayer within a Christian church.

Are the denouncements of these “Christian activists” justified? Should they be convinced that “our nation” needs forgiveness when “our nation” isn’t a single entity made up of followers of God but is instead a collective of individuals comprised of many religious beliefs and no religious beliefs. As individuals we need forgiveness, but as a collective nation?

And yet at the same time, when our nation stands as a collective whose very foundations are rooted in Christian faith and free will, should we feel obligated to “make room” for other religious traditions to express themselves on an equal footing as though they are equally as valid?

Can’t we “respect” other cultures and other religious traditions without “embracing” them and “accepting” them as being as “true” as the culture and religious tradition upon which our nation is founded?

I wonder…

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