Much may be made of the clip “Christian extremists disrupt Hindu Senate invocation”:
I have a couple of thoughts. First, I think it says good things about our country. While the various news reports describe the protesters as anything from “polite” to “noisy” (luckily we have the video to judge for ourselves), all can see that they were treated appropriately: both firmly for their inappropriate disruption, but without malice or overreaction. The system worked precisely as designed. Our system allows for the Pavkovics to speak their mind peacefully, just not to disrupt the Congress.
Second, I note the press release in Christian Newswire:
[Pastor Wiley Drake said,] “What a shame that not one of our Christian Senators would object to this ungodly action.” The Hindu Chaplain said…………
“We meditate on that transcendental deity supreme who is inside the heart of us and inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of the heavens”
What about “One Nation Under God????” The real God our Nation was founded upon.
We have freedom of religion in America but not the freedom to invoke a false god to visit our U.S. Senate.
I find the objection to the specific prayer interesting. Does Pastor Drake imply that “transcendental deity supreme” is an inappropriate attribution to his god? Note the use of the singular “deity” despite the complaint that this would be “seeking the invocation of a non-monotheistic god.” Note how likely difficult it would be to distinguish this prayer from the many Christian prayers that open the Congress. Only the context of the speaker sparked this protest. This speaks mostly to the vagueness of the common form of American Christianity (a vagueness that was shared by our Founding Fathers, much as they are invoked by the anything-but-vague Christian Conservatives of today).
I think much can be said about the nature of that vagueness, and the strengths and weaknesses it provides. It’s something to think more about.