Prayers and the Constitution


Rajan Zed, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism.

News that a Hindu man would travel to Bishop to deliver the invocation before the next Bishop City Council meeting led to passage of new invocation guidelines that had been under consideration. Rajan Zed will offer a Sanskrit prayer and interpretation next Monday, August 13. The City’s new guidelines may make all invocations more general and less about specific religions.

With new invocation restrictions officially approved by the Bishop City Council, Mayor Dave Stottlemyre said he wanted to emphasize that the City is “open to invocations by all religions and all faiths.” The newly adopted guidelines, prepared by City Attorney Peter Tracy, respond to court cases dealing with the topic. Case law has indicated that any legislative prayer that proselytizes or advances one religious belief or faith or disparages another, violates the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Attorney Tracy came up with guidelines for Bishop which ask anyone delivering an invocation to avoid references to a particular deity, to avoid reference to any religious holiday, to avoid any reference to a particular religious sect. The entire guidelines are posted on our website.

Rajan Zed of Reno, Nevada, self-described as a Hindu Statesman, has offered invocations at numerous city council meetings in the West and before the U.S. Senate. Asked if Mr. Zed’s request to perform an invocation caused passage of the guidelines, Bishop City Administrator Keith Caldwell said, “We have been looking at this for awhile. We wanted to make sure we were doing this correctly.” Did Mr. Zed’s request prompt the official guidelines? Caldwell said, “Certainly, he moved us forward.”

One local religious leader, First United Methodist Church Pastor Kathleen Puntar of Bishop reviewed the guidelines and said she appreciates the City’s willingness to continue with invocations. Some places, she said, have discontinued them. Pastor Puntar called it a challenging, balancing act – freedom of religion and speech versus separation of church and state along with a variety of faiths.

The Pastor pointed out that the Supreme Court did not outlaw invocations, just sectarian ones. Will the City of Bishop’s new guidelines alter her invocations? Pastor Puntar said it might tweak them a little bit. “Even if I use the word God or Creator,” she said, “I know who I’m praying to.” She said in public forums, she tends to use broader references to God. The Pastor also said disparagement of other faiths is not appropriate. She said with the recent shootings at the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, it is important to work against “so much hatred and violence and work for greater understanding.”


City of Bishop
Guidelines for Invocations at City Meetings

The City does not intend to proselytize or advance any faith or belief. Neither the City, nor the City Council, endorses any particular religious belief or form of invocation. In accord with California court decisions,* we must advise you that sectarian prayers in City meetings are
prohibited by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Prayers are allowed, as long as “there is no indication that the prayer opportunity has been exploited to proselytize or advance any one faith, or to disparage any other, faith or belief.”
Please follow the guidelines below in delivering invocations at City meetings:

• Avoid references to a particular deity (such as Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah, or “Our
Father in Heaven”). More generic and inclusive terms, such as “God,” “Holy One,”
and “Creator” are acceptable.
• Avoid reference to any particular religious holiday, significant date, holy day, or
religious event.
• Refrain from reading or quoting from any sectarian book, doctrine, or other material.
• Refrain from any reference to a particular religion or religious sect.
• Avoid using any other sectarian words or concepts that could reasonably be viewed as
advancing or favoring one religion over another.
• The invocation need not be a prayer. The invocation may speak to a theme of
thanksgiving, gratitude, enlightenment, guidance, etc.
• Legislative invocations involving nonsectarian requests for wisdom and solemnity, as
well as calls for divine blessings on the work of the legislative body are encouraged.
• Be creative and self-expressive while respecting the religious and political viewpoints
of others.
• Invocations should be long enough to be meaningful but brief enough that the Council
has adequate time to address the issues at the meeting.
• If a presenter fails to comply with the nonsectarian invocation guidelines, the person
may not be permitted to continue the invocation and will not be invited to return.
We thank numerous cities which graciously shared their already established guidelines
which were utilized in developing the City of Bishop’s invocation policy.
*The California Court of Appeal in Rubin v. City of Burbank 101 Cal. App. 4th 1194 ruled that California cities could begin their city council meetings with an invocation, but only a nonsectarian invocation. This case arose from invocations given at city council meetings at the City of Burbank in which it was claimed that invocations that referred to “Our Father in Heaven” and “Jesus Christ” violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Court agreed
and held that sectarian invocations at city meetings were prohibited, but that nonsectarian invocations were permitted.


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68 Responses to Prayers and the Constitution

  1. John P. Gross August 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    “an invocation can be made, but without reference to a certain deity” …Then why pray or maybe it would be more politically correct to say, “Why invocate”?

  2. Big AL August 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    We all pray to the creator in our own way ,, if it is that we believe. A prayer of invocation can be led by anyone who believes in God or the creator what or who ever it is they see as the spiritual force in their life.
    If it is so that they are praying for invocation over something, they are asking for God or their spiritual force to put blessing on the proceedings.
    The problem is when .. in these times we live in .. if someone calls directly to one deity they recognize, some will be offended from one and or two perspectives, 1, they will be offended that a certain deity is invoked that they do not recognize as God or their spiritual force, or 2, they will be offended that it isn’t theirs that is being invoked or that they are not allowed to have their deity recognized as well.
    So being neutral in this allows the invocation of God or a higher being to bless the proceedings and not offend or leave anyone out.
    All of the different religions, churches, sects you name it .. don’t want the others to get the upper hand or get other deities in the lime light, they all feel theirs is the only true legit religion.
    I say .. if it is kept neutral and as long as it is calling a benevolent spirit or being to bless the proceedings then so be it.
    But then you throw the secular crowd in the mix .. they don’t think we should acknowledge any spirit that has anything to do with God or any deities. Now what do you do .. do you stand for your principles and say we want to invoke a Godly spirit of blessing or do we throw it out to satisfy the secular crowd and have no blessing.
    We need blessing at least that is how I see it, but some will differ with me and is that really OK ..who is right, to say no blessing .. or say yes have a blessing.
    To say either way will discriminate against one of the two … either way.
    Maybe the answer is ..
    allowing a time for personal call to prayer of each who choose to do so .. to call their own invocation of blessing.
    Then you don’t offend any one view of religion, or discriminate against one who does not believe in a higher being of benevolence over them.

    Some will complain about this but .. they really have no complaint, they will just have to deal with the time of personal prayer. They can think happy thoughts during that time even positive thoughts.

    • Benett Kessler August 7, 2012 at 8:45 am #

      In England, before our ancestors created America, the King (government) and religion were one. There was no freedom of religion and expression.
      Anyone who believed differently from the Crown was persecuted. Our Constitution gives that freedom. So, when religious prayers appear in government meetings,
      this gives rise to concern about separation of church and state. It’s not a dishonoring of spiritual beliefs but rather protection of the right to pursue those beliefs as a free individual.
      Benett Kessler

      • John P. Gross August 7, 2012 at 11:45 am #

        It’s a fascinating topic and it does make one think. Dr. Martin Luther in the 1530’s was one that believed the two should be separated. That the State have no say in the church and that the church have no say in the state. Even though Luther believed that the God of the Bible created both the state and the church.

        One advantage of this is that it would always help the church keep focused on the message of Jesus Christ, instead of telling people how and who to vote for and being involved in the politics of the time

    • Jeremiah August 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

      Very well said Al Grande!
      I was getting ready to say the same thing, lol.

    • Trouble August 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

      Big Al, i don’t always agree with you, but my respect for you just grew. Thxs.

      • Big AL August 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

        Thanks trouble, I really appreciate that. I try to be positive and right, and I fail at times, I know I have ripped on people at times when I get pretty adamant about something. I can say the same for you, I have come to understand and respect you more as well.

        • Trouble August 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

          Big Al- we probably learn more of a person in a forum like this , than we would over dinner. I’m looking forward to hearing your response to what the ” what makes you think God is a he” question you walked into bellow.

          • Big AL August 10, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

            Hey trouble .. you like Chileno peppers? I just canned 9 quarts tonight .. makes 15 quarts total, put away …. might enter some in the fair … Big Al’s peppers … hehe

  3. A different point of view August 7, 2012 at 5:22 am #

    Some things should remain private.

    • kaat August 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

      ….like ones sexuality!, but that is front and center these days. So indeed, “some things” should remain private….guess it just depends on what those “some things” are. Sexuality is okay to be made public and shouted from the roof tops, but faith and God is not? hmmmmmmm. funny what “offends” people these days….certainly makes a statement about our culture and country.

      • Big AL August 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

        You’re right kaat, its all about what offends and who is offended.

      • Baby Jesus August 10, 2012 at 11:43 am #


        Maybe because sexuality is real, and something you should be proud of… and faith in “god” is an old fairytale, and attributed to violence and/or ignorance? Our “culture” and country has indeed suffered under the stress of organized religions.

        Maybe it’s time to wake up a bit?

        No offence, just saying.

        • Big AL August 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

          No offense taken,

          I don’t see faith as a fairytale, old or new. faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

          OK so how can we attribute that to violence and ignorance?

          If you would like to try to attribute it through our culture either present .. or past, I don’t think you will be able to make a true correlation between faith in God and violence and ignorance, intolerance and hate.

          For true faith in God is benevolent in nature, so how can one try to put all that together, faith in God = benevolence = violence, ignorance, intolerance, and hate.

          You can’t … for God is good with all that we learn about God.

          But the paradox is, that as you say, this country has suffered under the stress of organized religions. Well yes it has, if you look at religion for what it is in the world today and in the past.

          Religion really has nothing to do with faith, in a sense that faith being something personal. Faith does not make religion. Religion does not make faith.

          This country has suffered under religion and has not suffered for faith, not one bit. Man’s heart brings forth suffering and control of others. As with anything that is messed up, it involves meddling of man.

          We can’t blame our troubles on God, or faith in God, we can directly put blame on man, the evil and greed that is in the heart and mind.

          God has been the fall guy for a whole buttload of junk in the world, it is easy to blame God or a higher power, it is easy to use God for your banner under which you lay waste to everything in sight. Easy to justify your cause … because God say’s this is so! It has to be so! That is religion.

          Faith is a personal relationship with your God, what you choose to do with it is what you do with it. Just saying.

        • kaat August 11, 2012 at 1:50 am #

          dear “baby jesus” (how cute): please understand that not everyone thinks or feels the same way that you do…. you may not believe in God, but many do… you may not want to hear about God, like others don’t want to hear about your sexuality….we all can choose what is “real” to us….but the important thing is to not crash each others party, to not hurt each other, to not steal what the other holds sacred, to not bully each other, to not twist what the other has into a different shape to fit your own fancy, to allow each other separate space to grow and thrive, to respect each others differences, to not expect others to change because you don’t like how they think, feel or live….if you get my meaning….

          • Benett Kessler August 11, 2012 at 8:06 am #

            Just an added note. Every religion in every country has one thing in common – they all have a version of the Golden Rule.

          • Bemused August 11, 2012 at 10:50 am #

            “We all can choose what is real to us” ?? WRONG. Fact is fact…lies are lies…and myth is myth.

          • Big AL August 11, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

            Right on kaat

        • Trouble August 11, 2012 at 10:29 am #

          Baby Jesus- the older you get the more you realize that sex becomes mostly a fairytale . A promise to nowhere. I’ll asked my God why sometime to soon.

  4. Frank August 7, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    Why pray at all at government meetings? Keep the line between church and state distinct and you won’t have any “balancing acts”. No religion would be perceived as getting special treatment, and the business at hand would not be affected in any way.

    • No to Theocracy August 7, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      As much as some politicians would love California to become another Utah, thank God (pardon the pun) California will always be California.
      Leave theocracy to Utah and the Mormons.

  5. McCarthyism is back August 7, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    There is a disturbing return to McCarthyism today.
    We have those “Americans” today who believe the country should be a white, Christian nation … period. Those who do not espouse this belief are demonized as communists aka liberals.
    It is no surprise that hate groups are at an all time high in this country.

    • Big AL August 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

      Dr. Facts, you’re back hey dude .. where you been?

  6. Change is to be feared August 8, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    The International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences defines conservatism
    as “an attitude of opposition to disruptive change in the social, economic, legal, religious, political, or cultural order.” The distinguishing mark of this conservatism, as indeed it is of any brand of conservatism, is the fear of change which becomes transformed in the political arena into the fear of radicalism. The recent attack on non-Christian church members recently, supports the twisted mindset of the far-right.

  7. Alter Ego August 9, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    We All could use a prayer as often one or all gives!
    We have free will to do as we please, but to close the door on religion is a slap in the face to a value that makes this country great (where any religion is welcome and no religion is a choice one can have). So we should respect any way people choose to go. We live in historical times with unprecedented problems and issues at a huge scale. How can a prayer be a bad thing?

    • Big AL August 9, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

      A prayer can not be a bad thing, if at the least, it gives one a sense of hope for the situation, or the future. Even if prayer doesn’t seem to be answered, it still brings hope that it will help.
      Sometime an answer to a prayer comes in the form of perspective for the situation in need. Personally, I believe in prayer and it’s power, for as I have just stated .. and .. I have seen prayer answered in ways that appear to not be able to be explained, yet it has come to be.
      I know some will not agree with me, because they don’t believe, but those who do believe will know.
      If anything .. it is just positive thinking and looking to the hope in the situation.

    • Bemused August 11, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      When one relies upon it as a realistic means of resolution/change…

  8. Church & State Separation August 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm #


    I don’t think anybody wants to “close the door on religion.”
    But as always, mankind has an odd tendency to take things to the extreme.

    I.e., The Crusades were a series of military campaigns that took place during the 11th through 13th centuries in response to the Muslim Conquests. In the Middle Ages, religion played a major role in driving antisemitism. Though not part of Roman Catholic dogma, many Christians, including members of the clergy, have held the Jewish people collectively responsible for killing Jesus.

    The Palestinian Israel conflict can be viewed as an ethnic conflict, yet elements on both sides view it as a religious war as well.

    We have Fundamentalists, Inerrantists, today, insisting that this nation was founded on Christianity. It was not, although the moral and ethical values common to many of the world’s religions were espoused in the founding documents. Almost to a man, the Founding Fathers were Deists, as opposed to Theists, realists and well educated, opposed to tyranny in any form, whether the tyranny of secular governments or the tyranny of ecclesiastic theocracies, cults, orders and sects. The Fundamentalists of all nations would establish tyrannies over their fellowman, insisting that “their way to God, their way of governance, is the ONLY way”.

    This sort of nonsense is catching hold again in this country.

    • Alter Ego August 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      Your right it is catching hold again. just like Andrew Jackson in his time and Teddy Roosevelt in his time. We need one like them in our time.

      • Keep the separation August 10, 2012 at 6:07 am #

        There are those who believe that a man running for president is like one of the Founding Fathers (who were Deists – not Theists) erroneously believing the U.S. should be a one,Christian, and white nation.
        A closer examination of the man running for president’s religious ties will reveal that
        his organization is more of a cult than mainstream Christian.

        Keep separation of Church and State.

        Look how the wedge today has divided the country at a time when it should be pulling together in harmonious interest.

  9. Religion/Politics August 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Who is “closing the door on religion?”

    This is the sort of rabble-rousing that neoconservative people like Glenn Beck like to preach. And of course, when separation of church and state is mentioned, we get to hear, “This is what the liberal media wants!” It’s the way the extremists want to set themselves apart.

    This quote comes to mind:

    When fascism comes to America – it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.”
    – Sinclair Lewis (from It Can’t Happen Here)

    • Tourbillon August 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

      “When fascism comes to America – it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.”

      How true my friend. The mayors of Chicago and Boston who recently threatened the right to do business of a company simply because its president exercised his First Amendment right of free speech to express his belief in the traditional definition of marriage (one that President Obama himself just held, until a few months ago) certainly wrapped themselves in the flag, carrying the cross of a certain special interest lobby. Exactly like SInclair Lewis said.

      • Poli-Sci August 11, 2012 at 6:26 am #

        Nice try Tourbillon,
        but your party is being exposed for what they are – nasty modern fascists of America.
        The country is not so stupid as to believe Beck, Limbaugh, and Fox News.

        • Tourbillon August 13, 2012 at 7:39 am #

          Lessee, micromanagement of personal conduct through endemic government coercion, increasing confiscation of tax dollars to pay for all manner of mandatory “needs of das volk”, dripping malice (e.g., your own post) reflexively dished to one’s political adversaries – if I were a modern left wing progressive I should be wary of raising consciousness about fascism. People might start connecting the dots.

  10. No luck August 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    I see the power of prayer has failed to rid the country of freaky extremists like Glenn Beck who believes the U.S. should see the light and convert to his religion – Mormonism.

    • Big AL August 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

      The power of prayer has not failed .. it is the belief behind it that has failed, as is with Christianity, the Holy Spirit is not being used in a way that blesses God.
      With the muslin faith, it is being misused by extremists and the spirit in prayer in the religion is not being used for good in the way that God wants it to be.
      These two are examples of religion and personal views walking hand in hand to promote what it is that is in man’s heart, not God’s heart.

      God is Who He is, but who man presents Him to be, is a different story.

      You can’t really pin it on liberals .. you might be able to pin it on conservatives, You can’t pin it on atheists .. but you can pin it on those who seek to control other people. It is that evil that lurks in man’s heart.

      • Baby Jesus August 10, 2012 at 11:51 am #

        “..religion is not being used for good in the way that god wants it to be.”

        HAHA! Has it ever?
        Both concepts (god/religion) were invented by man as a means to control – along the same line as our current “governments.”

        Institutions of “authority” help no-one – they are fundamentally flawed (to the core).

        • Big AL August 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

          I disagree baby j … God was not invented by man, but that is my opinion, and I don’t laugh at yours, it is yours and your right to say it, I might not agree with it, and that is OK.
          Religion was created by man, that part you have right as I see it. Institutions of authority are flawed, I do believe that, but I don’t believe it is so deep as you claim. It is not the institution .. in how it was created, as much as it is the people involved.
          Some people wreck it for everyone else because of personal agendas and greed.

      • Tourbillon August 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

        “With the muslin faith, it [Christianity] is being misused by extremists and the spirit in prayer in the religion is not being used for good in the way that God wants it to be.”

        Al, assuming you are referring to the Muslim faith, in case you have failed to notice, in contemporary times those who do mischief explicitly in the name of Christ are rather a bit more restrained in their enthusiasm than those who do violence explicitly in the name of Mohammed. This stupidly insidious equivalence of the two erects willful blind spots and reflects poorly on those who advance it.

        • Big AL August 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

          Tourbillon, you don’t get it. I refereed to both religions as acting badly.

          Do you mean to say Christians act better than muslims?

          Or is it you see Christians as lesser mischief makers?

          Or do they just go about it stealthily?

          Or D .. all of the above?

          Oh yeah .. and both religions refer to the higher power as God.

          Muslim extremists make no bones about killing infidels (infidels = anyone who is not of the muslim faith). Some Christians make no bones about killing muslims.

          I know that is stupidly simple for you, as you seem to delight in saying of others, so hopefully you understand what I was meaning to say a little better. Just saying .. simply speaking.

  11. The Rise of Theism August 10, 2012 at 5:34 am #


    And those “who seek to control other people” are the politicians who try to convince voters that if you don’t vote for them, God will turn His/Her back on you.
    This appears to be working for the sheep today who turn themselves over to this negativity praying that their man gets elected.

    • Big AL August 10, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

      Yeah Dr. Facts, I will give you that one, you’re right, except for the negativity praying part. Well yeah I guess so .. I get ya .. but all one can hope for is that a right (person) (for the poisonous patriarchy crowd) wins the fight, but which one is right .. or are either one righteous?

  12. Poisonous Patriarchy August 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    What makes you so sure God is a “He” Big Al?

    Minds are like parachutes – they function best when they are open.

    • Big AL August 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

      Ahh I knew one like this would drop (parachute) in eventually. What makes me so sure God is a He?
      Hmmm …. Well what makes you feel He isn’t a He?

      I think it is because everyone seems to refer to Him as a He, good question though, glad you asked … What do you think the answer is?

      but I’m curious as to the name poisonous patriarchy? Just saying.

      I do know God is some sort of an omni presence. To me He lives within me, He is my spiritual source of strength. To me He is a He, and that is just how I see God.

      If you choose to see Him as a She, then God bless you. It’s that simple. If you are a believer, then your relationship with God is yours and yours alone, and no one can tell you how to do it, they may try, but you need to be true to your personal walk.

      Please forgive the opening quip, I couldn’t help it, but yeah open minds are a good thing but they have to be careful and watchful for false teachings.

      • Benett Kessler August 11, 2012 at 8:11 am #

        The literal translation of the ancient Hebrew word for God means “He-She”.
        Benett Kessler

      • Trouble August 11, 2012 at 8:58 am #

        Wow Big Al, you got Benett in on this one. Good job. Good luck with that.

      • God as a woman August 12, 2012 at 6:49 am #

        Good points Big Al.
        BTW – what is your REAL name?
        But you lost me in the end with the standard “be watchful for false teachings” thingy.
        What is true for some may not be true for others.

        • Big AL August 12, 2012 at 11:32 am #

          There are some who will deceive, that is what evil does. As it is written, evil comes to kill steal and destroy. The spear head of that effort is deception. If evil can convince you God is bad, such as it does through individuals and religions, then it can then proceed to indoctrinate you in the ways of killing stealing and destroying.

          Not all people who are Christians are bad people, most are good people, some are deceived, some are not really Christians, only professing to be. It is the evil that gets in .. the old adage, the root of all evil is money .. basically greed (of money or anything the heart desires).

          That comes from the book of 1st. Timothy, what that say’s to us, basically is it is all caused by evil, greed is only evil, there is nothing good about greed at all .. it lays waste to everything in site.

          So the false teaching part is basically being watchful for those who deceive people into thinking such things as God being evil, the devil is always on his job.

          If you believe, then you know what I am talking about if you don’t, then you do not accept what I say That is the standard response to your question, I guess, but it is the truth that I know it to be.

  13. It's evil alright August 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Perhaps the best example of “that evil that lurks in man’s heart” is the angst-ridden group that gained power in pre-World War II Germany (during another bad economic time) believing in the supremacy of a white, Christian nation. It should be of no suprise that skinhead groups and others angry, hate-mongers like it are on the rise again in America.
    Instead of radio propaganda from Joseph Goebbels, today we have other popular talk-radio pundits preaching the very same white supremacy under the guise of “patriotism.” They hate blacks, muslims, anybody who is not Christian, with their #1 “evil group – liberals (aka Democrats.)

    • Big AL August 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

      Dr. Facts, quit the freakin white supremacy … hate, angst, donkeys and elephants racism propaganda already .. geeeze it isn’t doing any good to stop the racism by throwing it in everyone’s face, you’re not being a part of the solution, only making it worst, in how you choose to present this.

      For me, I hate it when people talk about all of the racist things people do .. making sure everyone is reminded of it. Making people see it and get excited about it and start going off with people over it.

      How can we really get past it all when we are reminded of it constantly like this?

      • Benett Kessler August 11, 2012 at 8:09 am #

        Dear Al,

        Those who are not aware of history are bound to repeat it.

        • Big AL August 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

          Dear Benett,

          knowing of the past is one thing, but to harp on it and use it as a way to incite people is another thing.

          History doesn’t repeat itself. People do what they will do .. regardless of what what they know or do not know of history. People repeat repeat the offenses.

          We can only hope that history can teach from people’s mistakes and short comings without having to have it rubbed in our faces.

      • Ignore/Ignorance August 12, 2012 at 11:45 am #

        “it isn’t doing any good to stop the racism by throwing it in everyone’s face,” chides Big.

        Sorry, Big, but no problem ever gets solved by ignoring it. Today we have open hatred for a president who has black roots, the vast majority of poor and impoverished are people of color, and the Ku Klux Klan is alive and flourishing.

        How can ignoring everything result in “getting past it all” Big?

        • Big AL August 13, 2012 at 12:46 am #

          I never said to ignore it .. only we don’t need to throw it out there like you have done Dr. Facts. But I will give you credit with this response .. it was less inciting although my thoughts were not a chide. I was just putting it out there as I see it.
          You are wrong though about the vast majority of the poor being of color. Now days poor doesn’t have anything to do with color .. it has to do with the fact that our economy is taking a big dump on us. And our president is not helping much ..
          I think the vast majority of people .. black white and all others are not too pleased with our president now… he made the comment, that if we were no better off in four years we can say good bye to him .. well I think a lot of people who voted for him .. are ready to say good bye to him.

          It is people like you Dr. Facts, that promotes racism, with your rhetoric about racism and left wing right wing, white black brown.

  14. Ken Warner August 11, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Oh god…..

  15. Give me you tired, your poor... August 11, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    Dear Al (the far-righter),
    Methinks thou protest too much about the racism growing again in this country.
    Thanks Benett for the reminder of a very real problem that occured in past history and what is certainly passing for “political dominance” today.
    The Limbaughites are being exposed for what they are: an angry, racist group of confused souls believing they are the “true Americans.”

    • Big AL August 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

      Dr. Facts, dude .. who is protesting what? hehe I think you need to take a better look around.

  16. Trouble August 11, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Back to the is God a he or she debate, I just want it to be known that I have a really hard time picturing my God in hi-heels .

    • Big AL August 11, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      Yeah I hear ya Trouble, lol .. not my idea of my God either .. but hey … what ever blows your skirt up.

  17. Macho, macho man August 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    How about a angry-looking old man, with the scowl that would kill?
    This is the standard depiction.
    You know – the kind that would throw people into everlasting hell-fire for their transgressions – because he loves them.
    I think I would prefer a kinder, gentler womanly figure (in high heels if that’s what turns you on Trouble.)

    • Religious Right August 12, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      You can clearly see how today’s rabid Right views their god by the angy posting above.

    • Big AL August 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      Macho and God as a woman … Your view of God as a scowling old man, who is ready to mete out punishment on all who disobey Him while claiming to love them is the type of portrait people love to paint of God.

      Whether it be people who seek to control others such as some religions do, and certain people in power. Or if it is someone who does not know God, who does not believe in Him or any deity, who paint a horrible picture of God to further their agendas.

      What is someone portrayed God as a loving father who loves his children with all of His heart. God can be so loving, yet have to show some discipline, for there has to be some teaching of error and accountability.
      As long as it is done in a right way, not the way that the world and the devil would do, with an evil heart and heavy hand being the picture people paint of God.

      If you want to think of God as being a woman, as I say, that is your choice, I imagine God can be any picture we have of Him, for me I see Him as Him, such as I write here.
      It is what is true within your heart that matters, and that is what a person who is a Christian should show to others that God is loving. Not the awful scowling old man as you say, or the woman in high heels, just God, who He is.

      Both of your cheap shot comments (from each one of you) towards Trouble for his quip, just show the intolerance that portrays God in the way people see God in the world. But yet you seem to champion the cause of intolerance and equality.
      But when someone makes a comment as such that Trouble did .. or someone speaks some truth, that is against your ideals and beliefs, then you lash out at them in much the same way as what you protest in this subject.

      You don’t show much tolerance, yet you expect it from others.

      • Same ol, same ol August 13, 2012 at 5:54 am #

        Non-stop blather from the right offering nothing but “we are better Americans and closer to God than you liberals” nonsense.

        “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in flag and carrying a cross” .

        – Sinclair Lewis

  18. God as a woman August 12, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    All matriarchal religions included Ancient Egypt as matriarchal paradises, were destroyed by the patriarchal Indo-Europeans. The Hebrew Levites, because of their clearly patriarchal outlook were clearly Indo-Europeans, and included misogyny and hatred of goddess worship within Israelite society, which later developed into Christianity. The Bible was an attempt to change that symbolism and celebrate the victory of male oriented rites and gods.

    Perhaps a god in a business suit would be preferred today by those like Trouble above who today use the God as man notion to authorize taxpayer funds for Viagra but not birth control.

  19. Trouble August 12, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    god as a women- I think viagra and birth control can make for one good night with no worries.

  20. Deep thoughts August 13, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    And that is about as deep as the far-right can think on civil matters today.
    These types would surely be much happier living in Utah.

  21. Jeremiah's Alter Ego August 13, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    I feel us humans are not givin the ability to break down “God, Our spirit, Miracles, creation of all, beggining of life, or ending of life”. We are not allowed to grasp or understand it to the point we can write it down in books and guarantee that is the word of God. We are just a small peice of something that obviously way over our heads. It is a slap in the face to the Creator to think we can break down all that makes our exsistance possible. Just my human opinion.

    • Big AL August 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

      I hear what you’re saying Jeremiah, but I don’t think it is a slap in the creator’s face, just our attempt to understand God/creator, my thought, is that I feel He understands, and respects our wonder and quest to know Him more.


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