Pennsylvania State House Invocation

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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Rvaughn » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:16 pm

The point is not that a prayer at the beginning of a legislative session has to be an empty formality or a sham. The point is that once authorities determine what can be prayed then it has become at worst a sham and at best a formality. If I were to pray before legislative session (which I would chose not to do) my prayer would look much much more like the one Sandy's suggest above than Ms. Borowisc's prayer. But her prayer is her prayer, and doesn't have to sound like mine.

When we set ourselves up as the arbiters of what can and cannot be prayed we begin to insert our own beliefs, ideas, and inhibitions into the beliefs of others. Where is the stand for freedom of speech and religion that we don't like? Should not it be respected too? Should the new Muslim member and others also be allowed to pray according to their beliefs (yes) or should theirs be stifled as well? If so, then make it a clear and obvious formality. Let the legislature write up several innocuous blessings that won't offend a flea or a fly and let volunteers choose and read them. If they have prayer, let it be prayer.

Let not our stance on free exercise and speech be limited to what agrees with our own opinions.
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Rvaughn » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:34 pm

Sandy wrote:This legislature, along with several others under Republican control, already set parameters on what can be said by a legislator, and on who can actually pray, and you have no problem with those, because they are Republican.
I realize you are here addressing William, but where has he clearly stated that he has no problem with those rules because they are Republican? He did assert that he did not know the makeup of the Pennsylvania House. William can come back and speak for himself, but I do have a problem with those kinds of rules, whether they are Democrat or Republican.

As far as the General Operating Rules of the Pennsylvania House, the only stated rule is Rule 17.1, that the day will be opened with prayer. At least that is all I found. There are some policies or guidelines that evidently the Speaker of the House puts in place. One is being challenged, that the person must be a theist. I read this morning, but can't find it now, that suggested he has guidelines for how a legislator ought to pray.
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Rvaughn » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:49 pm

I and others have used "the first Muslim member" of the Pennsylvania House in our writing to describe Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell. The more accurate statement is that she is "the first female Muslim member" of the Pennsylvania House. There is at least one other Muslim member, Jason Dawkins, Democrat of Philadelphia. He read a prayer from the Quran Tuesday and was met with applause afterward.
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Sandy » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:18 pm

KDKA News wrote:On the House floor Monday, Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, asked members to “craft a prayer that is respectful of all religious belief.”


There is the speaker of the house telling legislators what the content of a prayer should be. Turzai is a practicing Catholic, if that makes a difference. THe more I read about this, the more I see comments from legislators, even Rep. Borowicz's GOP colleagues, about their discomfort with what she did, and their perception of her "prayer" in light of the circumstances. So they asked another Muslim member of the house to open in prayer the next day and he did, not with some smackdown prayer dripping with anti-Jewish or anti-Christian rhetoric or underlining some left wing legislative victory.

This is the stuff Sunday School lessons are made of, so when there is a real example does it just get relegated to the "old church teachings" pile and ignored? Rep. Borowicz says a prayer that a clear majority of individuals in the room who heard it, including members of her own party, saw as being deliberately offensive and aimed at a Muslim female representative being sworn in and those accompanying her. There are any of a dozen places in the New Testament where the Bible's writers give instructions to Christians regarding controlling their speech, being a good witness, self-control and self-limitation of the freedom we possess to protect our witness and testimony for Jesus. If you believe those verses, and trust their inspiration, as a Christian, noting the offense that was caused, this is not about you, your perceptions, how you normally pray, or how you feel about it. This is about those who were offended. Now your obligation is not to firmly stand behind what you did and defend yourself to the hilt, but it is to take the higher road and rectify the offense for the sake of your testimony. The fact that the representative is not willing to consider the offense would be evidence, if that's what you need, of her intentions.

So as the result of a Christian's prayer, the speaker of the Pennsylvania house admonishes its members to craft prayers that are respectful of all religious beliefs.
And what of the house's requirement that anyone who prays must be a theist? Isn't that dictating what can be said and how it can be said?
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby William Thornton » Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:06 am

"asked" not, as you said, "told."

May be the worst prayer in history but if the solons begin with prayer, they get what they get.
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Rvaughn » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:45 am

Right, William, asked, not told. But Sandy's theory seems to be that the since the Bible teaches the Christian should practice self-control then the legislature should therefore control the prayers of those who pray on its dais.
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Haruo » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:52 pm

Sandy wrote:So they asked another Muslim member of the house to open in prayer the next day and he did, not with some smackdown prayer dripping with anti-Jewish or anti-Christian rhetoric or underlining some left wing legislative victory.

I thought you previously said that the woman being sworn in was the first Muslim member of the House. But in any event, do you have a YouTube of the Muslim prayer?
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Haruo » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:58 pm

I recall that in the aftermath of the WTC collapse the LCMS fired one of their top dogs for participating in an interfaith prayer event. I wonder if they feel the same way about legislative prayers. Are the Show-Me Lutherans in the PA House supposed to plug their ears during the prayer, and to recuse themselves if asked to lead it? How about the Pledge of Allegiance?
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Sandy » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:18 pm

Haruo wrote:
Sandy wrote:So they asked another Muslim member of the house to open in prayer the next day and he did, not with some smackdown prayer dripping with anti-Jewish or anti-Christian rhetoric or underlining some left wing legislative victory.

I thought you previously said that the woman being sworn in was the first Muslim member of the House. But in any event, do you have a YouTube of the Muslim prayer?


She was not the first Muslim member, she was the first female Muslim member, which is a landmark of similar significance. Here are some additional details reported since Monday.
https://whyy.org/articles/boyle-calls-f ... religions/

And here's a video of the prayer offered on Tuesday, I believe, by Rep. Jason Dawkins, who is also Muslim.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvxN8RyiZQA
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Rvaughn » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:59 pm

Sandy wrote:She was not the first Muslim member, she was the first female Muslim member, which is a landmark of similar significance...
I've been trying to find a bit of information on Representative Borowicz, and noticed that she has a "first" in her resume as well.
...Stephanie Borowicz was elected as the first-ever woman to serve and represent the people of the 76th Legislative District in November 2018.

I thought her prayer had a little charismatic flavor (especially the "I claim all these things in the powerful, mighty, name of Jesus" part), but I have not been able to identify her denominational affiliation. Her husband is an associate pastor at Crossroads Church in Jersey Shore, but I have not ascertained the flavor. It does not come up in SBC or Assemblies of God church searches. I looked at Assemblies of God because she is a graduate of Vanguard University, which is an AOG affiliated institution.
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Haruo » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:39 pm

Sorry, Sandy, I see now that you didn't say there were no Muslim members, just that you weren't aware of any. (Here) Obviously there was at least one other besides the new girl. I think that under the circumstances his prayer was very appropriate.

I notice that today Texas has decided to ban all clergy from the death chambers.
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Haruo » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:51 pm

Amash is intriguing. I can imagine a situation where I might vote for him. But so far, I'm still a Buttigieg loyalist. ;-)
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Sandy » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:00 pm

Haruo wrote:Sorry, Sandy, I see now that you didn't say there were no Muslim members, just that you weren't aware of any. (Here) Obviously there was at least one other besides the new girl. I think that under the circumstances his prayer was very appropriate.

I notice that today Texas has decided to ban all clergy from the death chambers.


It's actually kind of funny. I've met Rep. Dawkins, twice on volunteer lobbying ventures to Harrisburg. I didn't know he was Muslim.
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Re: Pennsylvania State House Invocation

Postby Haruo » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:25 pm

From his diction I would have guessed probably COGIC, failing that, Baptist.
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