Friday, November 01, 2013

Are "good Christians" really incapable of understanding why this is so offensive -- not to mention (one hopes) illegal?

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There's audio on the DNAinfo website.

by Ken

One of the favorite lies of the Christian Right is that the U.S. is a "Christian country." There is, of course, no basis in fact for this assertion, either historical or documentary. And since one of the favorite habits of right-wingers of every stripe is telling lies about our revered Founding Fathers, naturally they love to tell the bare-faced lie about them being good Christians. On the contrary. As one of my favorite New York City walking-tour leaders, Justin Ferate, likes to point out whenever the subject comes up (or he can make the subject come up), with only very occasional exceptions the Founding Fathers weren't even Christians.

It's frequently noted that many of them were deists, and therefore believed in God, but there is no indication that they believed in any of the Christ apparatus, which is kind of central to being of the Christian faith. Justin will usually go on to point out that one thing the FFs overwhelmingly were is Masons. George Washington took the oath of office as president not on a Christian bible but on a Masonic bible.

And Justin will usually also point out that by and large even the Christians among the colonists had had quite enough of the experience of state-sponsored religion, and wanted no part of it here. As witness the constitutional mandate for separation of church and state. Oh, right-wingers like to lie about that too, pretending that the First Amendment didn't really mean to establish separation of church and state, but then, lying is what right-wingers do. It's what they expend nearly all their mental activity doing.

And so right-wingers, and especially the fascists of the Christian Right, especially love to lie with the claim that separation of church and state somehow infringes on their religious freedoms. If there are any of them genuinely ignorant enough to believe this, it's only because they have been miseducated to have their brains function at the moron level; the rest of them know better and are just, well, lying.

The school-prayer issue is a perfect example. Absolutely to restriction on the rights of students to pray has ever been hinted at. What the Christian fascists can't have in public schools, for reasons that should be blindingly obvious to even the most degraded moron, is official public prayer, which is thereby inflicted on students of all beliefs. I really don't understand how it's possible to be so stupid that you can't understand something so ridiculously simple.

Which brings us to this story, reported for DNAinfo New York by Nigel Chiwaya:
Opening Prayer to Jesus Sparks Shouting Match at Precinct Council Meeting

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS -- An uptown police precinct council member sparked a shouting match with community members after opening Wednesday night's public meeting with a prayer to Jesus Christ.

34th Precinct Community Council secretary Loreen Felis, who has been at her post for the past five months, opened the meeting at Isabella Geriatric Center with an invocation that repeatedly and exclusively referenced Christian religion.

"All things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things and him all things hold together; and he is the head of the body; the church," Felis said.

"Peace through his blood shed on the cross. And the body of Christ says Amen."

The prayer drew immediate outrage from audience members, who said prayer had no place in a public meeting on issues of neighborhood government.

"We are coming to a meeting that has to do with the community, and to have to listen to a prayer?" asked Eddie Santos, general manager at Papasito Restaurant and Agave Bar. "You have a thousand other cultures -- why would you want do a prayer?"

"I go to church, but this is ridiculous."

Rud Morales, owner of Negro Claro lounge, told Felis, "I don't want to hear you pray here. It's not in the bylaws."

Felis stood her ground and began shouting back at Morales, saying that people complaining about the prayer were uptown club owners who need God's intervention more than anyone. . . .
Now there clearly was overlap here between the prayer issue and ongoing community complaints about noise level and rowdiness emanating from some area restaurants and bars. But the prayer issue is open and shut. Not to Ms. Felis, though.
"This is not about religion. It's about keeping us in unity," Felis told DNAinfo New York after the meeting.

"The nightclub owners don't understand that they're supposed to be on their knees praying 24/7 because they don't know if having youngsters in their club could form some kind of chaos, not to mention terrorism."
The president of the 34th Precinct Community Council, George Espinal, after spending a fair amount of time answering charges of "sowing discord," as reporter Chiwaya characterizes the claims of the business owners, "between restaurant owners and residents over noise on Dyckman Street" (to promote his run for district leader, the business leaders say), defended Felis, saying her prayer "was to start the meeting on a good note."
He added that opening prayers are also standard practice at several other precinct councils around the city. He declined to say which ones.

"We're not trying to proselytize anyone or make anyone join any denomination," Espinal said. "The majority of the precinct councils have an opening prayer that is non-denominational."

However, in light of the controversy, Espinal added that the council would look into the incident. He would not say whether he planned to allow the practice to continue at future meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for the end of November.
Apparently Ms. Felis is incapable of understanding how unallowable her Jesus chatter is for an official at a public meeting, doesn't grasp that saying, "This is not about religion," doesn't make it not about religion. So it may not be totally surprising that her belief that "it's about keeping us in unity" did the opposite.
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3 Comments:

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous me said...

"good Christians"

What's that?

 
At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how you call a moron a moron.

 
At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This woman Loreen Felis is a FALSE individual!!! she uses God to instill fear and uses her post on the Board of Elections to do her EVIL deeds... she is Vindictive and Malicious! Watch out if you disagree with her and what she wants to do, she will drag your name and family to the ground!

 

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